Game 8 Recap - Prince is King for a Day

Box Score | Highlights

The Gist: Chris Narveson pitched a gem, Matt Garza did not. Not much else to say. I believe the first two times through the Brewers lineup, the top 4 hitters had all reached base safely, somethingl ike 6/6 with a BB and a sac bunt and the bottom 5 were 0/10. Space that out and the Cubs are probaly not down 4-0, but such is the game. The big hits came from Prince Fielder of course who knocked in 4 of the 5 runs off Garza all on a bunch of lousy pitches and lousy location.

First At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.

On an 0-2 count Garza seems to hit his spot with a changeup, although I think it stayed a little more up then he wanted. It's spanked down the right field line. Demerits all around.

Second At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.

Another 0-2 count, Soto sets up low and outside, Garza's throws a fastball that ends up over the middle of the plate and Fielder lines it the opposite way.

Third At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.

Yet another 0-2 count, Soto sets up low and inside it appears. Garza throws
the 12-6 curve that Fielder has whiffed at a few times when it's at his
shoetops. This time the pitch is up and over the plate though and Fielder lines into the left field gap.

Not often a hitter goes 1.000 on 0-2 counts for a game. Garza still strikes out 8 over 5.2 IP with 3 BB's (one intentional) and has yet to give up a home run. And while I admire him attacking hitters, he's going to have execute a lot better with 2 strikes to succeed (stating the obvious).

Not much else to say, the offense did nothing, Castro got hit in the face trying to catch a throw from Soto and had no one but himself to blame. Why the Brewers were running up 5-0 is the more interesting story. Gallarado vs. Coleman pitch tomorrow in the rubber match.

Hitter Results for April 09
Name Level Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB SB CS
Michael Burgess A+ LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Welington Castillo A+ DH 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Matthew Cerda A+ 3B 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Ryan Flaherty AA SS-2B 5 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Reginald Golden

Brett Jackson AA CF 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
DJ LeMahieu AA 2B-3B 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Marquez Smith AAA 3B 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Matthew Szczur A CF 4 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0
Josh Vitters

None of the pitchers I'm tracking threw so I'm skipping them.

Scores from Saturday...


Rob G.

I've really enjoyed tracking prospects using FirstInning. I see that you have Cerda on your list there, and I wonder whether your keeping track of his teammate at Daytona, Justin Bour, a big first baseman who has yet to show any power yet. Seems like he's got a pretty good set of offensive tools right now and could develop some power given his rather large frame. I also wonder whether AZ Phil has any take on Bour.

I peruse all the box scores. I think Bour has at least 1 hr this season, maybe 2 already. But for the tracker I'm just publishing my top 16 prospects until someone makes a real good case to be included.

Makes sense. I guess I'm rooting for Bour to make a good case to be included on prospect lists next year. It'd be nice to a have a first base prospect (without having to draft one in the first three rounds). Ridling seems a little old to be a prospect now, given that he hasn't advanced very far.

Ridling spent four years in college, one at a JC and three at Oklahoma State. He's only had two full pro seasons, at Peoria and Daytona. In both places he made the postseason all-star team, which essentially means he was considered the best first baseman in the league.

I researched this a few weeks ago, and only Ryan Harvey and Felix Pie among Cub prospects (since the late '90s) were postseason all-stars in both the Midwest League and the FSL. Whatever you think about those two, they were real prospects in A-ball. And Ridling does it without the monster home runs and without the flashy tools.

I find him interesting.

Much the same way you found Scott McClain and Brian LaHair interesting?

Not likely. When they were prospects, they weren't Cubs.

With an apparent injury (called an injury replacement on gameday, he had given up no hits and 2 BB/2K in 2.2 ip).

Hopefully nothing serious.

"No word yet on Trey McNutt injury. Appeared to be a blister issue."

Submitted by Charlie on Sat, 04/09/2011 - 11:46pm.
Rob G.

I've really enjoyed tracking prospects using FirstInning. I see that you have Cerda on your list there, and I wonder whether your keeping track of his teammate at Daytona, Justin Bour, a big first baseman who has yet to show any power yet. Seems like he's got a pretty good set of offensive tools right now and could develop some power given his rather large frame. I also wonder whether AZ Phil has any take on Bour.


CHARLIE: Justin Bour is a good hitter and has a good eye at the plate, but he is also a below-average defensive 1st baseman and a below-average runner, and he lacks the athleticism or arm to play corner OF. As a result he has to hit HR to be considered an MLB prospect.

He went to AZ Instructs last post-season to work on developing a HR stroke, and so far it looks like he might have one. We'll have to wait and see where he's at by the end of the season.

His brother Jason is a catcher in the White Sox organization.

Thanks, Phil! I'm really hoping for Bour to turn into a better power hitter--it'd really be nice to turn that 25th round pick into a player with on-base skills and power, even if he isn't a gem defensively.

Heading north past the brat stop a quick turn in and back on road,

Looking forward to first Miller Park experience i will try the cheese

curds as was recommended.

Hopefully Coleman does good, as i dont see Cubs scoring alot today.

Both Matt Garza and Tom Gorzelanny pitched yesterday.
5.2 Innings/8H/5R/5ER/3BB/8SO/1.94WHIP/7.94ERA
5.1 Innings/4H/6R/5ER/2BB/8SO/1.13WHIP/8.44ERA


Nice breakdown of those 0-2 pitches to Fielder. Obviously, you can't just throw anything to the guy. He's a great hitter, far better than any Cubs hitter.

On a scale of 1 to AZ Phil, I'm aiming to achieve a score of 1.5 in game recapping. Went to Thursdays and Saturday nights I-Cubs game here in Austin/Round Rock (and going again today). The Round Rock Express are now a Rangers affiliate instead of the Astros and from a quality of baseball standpoint, a welcomed change.

Thursday: The bats were awake and the Cubs made quick work of 2010 PCL pitcher of the year, Rangers lefty Michael Kirkman. Lou Montanez indulged my love of triples by hitting two of them. Chris Davis now plays 3b for Rangers, he can still crush AAA pitching, I would have liked for the Cubs to have taken a flyer on him. He seems to be that failed big time prospect that after getting traded and getting a fresh start can be a servicable MLB player. See Felix Pie or Cubs current 1b Carlos Pena and his what seemed unlikely at the time resurgence at Tampa Bay. As someone (Mr. Wellman I believe) said, LeHair does a reasonable Micah Hoff-power impersonation. He clubbed a couple of homers, an absolute no doubter on Saturday. Beer is half price on Thursdays at Round Rock, the $3.50 20 ounce Shiners combined with this game being wrapped up early and being there with my girlfriend and her friends makes the end part of the game less than memorable. Both teams hit alot, the Cubs hung on and got the win.

Saturday: Absolutely perfect baseball weather, it cracked 90 degrees here in Austin and cooled down to a perfect combination of sun and temperature by game time. Lehair got the game off to a matching perfect start with an absolute bomb to right field that scored Scales. Chris Davis answered for Round Rock with his first of 3 Round "Rock" trippers as my friend, game companion and avid Rangers fan Richie likes to call them. Apparently this is what they teach in his UT Masters in Journalism program. Coello got the start for the Cubs, labored through 4 innings, giving up 7 runs, including 3 homers. The only player to have a worst night is Ty Wright. His defense surpassed even his 0 for 5 night in absolute Cubbery. He dropped 3 fly balls. The official scorer was generous and he only ended up with 1 error, but it could have been 3. One of them he broke so far the wrong direction that he couldn't recover and get close enough for it to be an error. Even in the rare occurance he caught the ball, it was made much more difficult than necessary by breaking the wrong direction. It was the worse defensive night I have seen by an outfielder since the little leauge kid picking dandelions. Even the Round Rock fans took a moment from their funnel cake/cotton candy/play ground infused stupor to give him a hard time. Also, Fernando Perez is very fast. Unfortunately speed is not needed to walk back to the dugout after striking out. It is somewhat more useful in running to first on routine ground outs, but in the end accomplishes nothing. My two game impression, Perez is just Juan Pierre light.

All in all, not a very exciting I-Cubs team. As you all know, no big prospects at AAA, mostly just organizational filler. Still, its Cubs baseball, and until I get to Wrigley this summer, it will have to do.

Watch it!!

Careless statements like that do not reflect well on 5 years and 5 months of Tim Wilken.

I like Marquez smith. Aaa tends to carry a lot of the minor league vets. AA is where the talent is and the smokies have a lot.

Great report

Nice recap, thanks.

i like the way you watch a game!

I was at all the Cubs/Express games this weekend, too, and would point out that a contributing factor to the difficulties in RF Saturday night was the high wind, sustained 25+mph with gusts over 40mph. (Note the 8 homers hit in that game, too.)

I was watching the pregame report and Len and Bob were talking about Prince Fielder. I thought about what it would be like to have a true power hitter on the Cubs and went on to fantasize on a somewhat homegrown lineup for next year

B Jackson
Vitters/M Smith

Of course, a true fantasy lineup would be much better than that, but even Cub fan's fantasies don't produce a WS champ

Vitters has probably more a late 2012 or 2013 ETA. Hopefully he'll have success in AA this year, but even if he does, his pattern has been to struggle for a period each time the organization promotes him, so I suspect they'll look for some success at AAA before he spends much time at the MLB level. Then again, if he crushes the ball at AA this year, he could get a taste of AAA and even a September callup to MLB.

Yeah, you're probably right. Cubs have shown a fast approach with prospects and especially with Vitters, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him up in September if he has a great AA season. Otherwise I think what you posted is accurate.

I'd like to see us keep Rammy next year and let Vitters get 450 AAA at-bats before handing him the job. Especially considering how pedestrian the rest of the Cubs big league lineup is right now.

after coleman's initial 3-2 pitch to fielder, gomez (running on the 3-2 pitch) was past 2nd as fielder fouled it off...damn.

of course 2 pitches later it's a HR, though...sigh.

Coleman's got nothing with which to finish Fielder if Fielder is staying back on the fastball. If Fielder is ahead on the fastball, Coleman can throw him a changeup. But after Fielder fowled that pitch off to the third base side, Coleman and Geo decide to go to the off-the-hip two-seamer. It didn't help that Coleman left it over the plate instead of on the corner, but Fielder had him beat either way. Coleman has to go in the zone, and he's got nothing to throw in the zone to get Fielder out when Fielder is staying on the fastball.

coleman is a pure-movement junkballer. what else can you say about a guy who throws a high-70s slider that looks and acts like a changeup? i find it amazing when guys like this actually get to the bigs as starters.

with a guy like coleman who throws 88-90 doesn't it make more sense to have k.hill catching in order to boost coleman's fastball to 93+mph?

fire quade.

Really have to stop pitching to fielder.

At least the bats showed up.

continuing other-team-minor-leaguer-mancrush-update...

paul goldschmidt (ARZ, 1st) (who is pure power and then some) hits his 4th HR in 4 games for AA mobile...2 came in 1 game.

it's been a long time since ive seen a guy with this much power. if he can control his K rate he might be in the bigs this year.

Kosuke is the anti-Marlon Byrd/Reed Johnson/Ryan Freel. He rarely has to leave his feet in order to make great defensive plays in the outfield, and he never does it when he doesn't have to.



Diet Snapple Papaya Mango Tea is spectacular. Highly recommended.

Looks like Fuku did do something to his leg/hamstring on that catch. He hoped after he caught it and now left the game for Fonzi.

Lol. Maybe he should've dove. Whoops. Hope he's okay.

take your word for it metroman...

Can hit singles to right field and field SS and 2B adequately. These facts assure him a bench job in the majors. All else remains to be seen. How long until pitchers figure out that they have to challenge him inside and see if he can hit it? Seems obvious.

no kerry woods! no!

Dammit, McGehee, why did you have to be so middling during your time in the Cubs organization?

Is it November yet?

Cubs sign washed up journeyman pitcher Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract, he will start at Iowa on Monday night.

He's 38, was a good pitcher for the Angels a million years ago. His body has always looked like a clone to Juan Cruz to me, and at one point of his career he was better than Juan Cruz. But, that's a lonnnnng time ago.

It's probably not a good sign that we're staring at Casey Coleman and Ramon Ortiz as viable options in our rotation. Can't we find someone better, or put Jay Jackson in an oxygen tank and speed up his healing? :)

Soto set up low and in, Wood missed over the plate. Still impressive to get that out in right center by McGehee.

Nice day for Aramis.

"Nice day for Aramis."

At bat and in the field, yes. On the bases, he cost them a run by loafing on what should have been a triple to right center.

Byrd must have caught the "veteran flu" when he also legged a triple into a double.

Ramirez totally should have risked getting thrown at third with 0 outs. That's good baseball.

didn't look like much loafing in the replay, just general slowness and being smart not to risk 3b there.

Didn't see Byrd's.

DeJesus held Byrd up on his. Though it really did look like a triple once the RFer got to it. Probably a poor hold up by TheJesus.

"DeJesus held Byrd up on his."

Are you sure? The announcers indicated that Byrd was gesturing, "My fault."

At least Byrd scored in the inning.

I just watched Ramirez again on, this time with Brewer announcers, one of whom said, "If Ramirez had been hustling all the way out of the box, he would have had a triple."

Doesn't he know you don't take risks with nobody out? Or maybe he didn't think it was much of a risk.

Running toward right, the centerfielder tried to cut the ball off, but it went to the wall. Then it deflected back toward left field. Thinking double all the way, Ramirez took a long time getting to second, even for an over-thirty guy who makes $16 million.

It's pathetic, Rob. It's why they have to watch the turnstiles so closely at Wrigley. People won't pay to see guys loafing.

maybe the Brewer announcer needs to fill air time and knows how to pander to his audience.

He had a chance at third, he didn't take. I saw him briefly look at it when he first hit it and then started running. I'm sure wonder-boy minor leaguer of the moment would have hustled all the way, but odds are better that it would have been his first hit of the day too.

2.6 million tickets already sold for this season.

(According to Bruce Levine's Talkin' Baseball show this past weekend.)

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  • Indians extend their streak.

    Darwin Barney gets tagged with the loss.

    Mornington Crescent 1 min 49 sec ago view
  • delayed until 7:20 -EST- (tarp off the field)...

    CLE/TOR in the top 18th in case you're bored. 2nd baseman r.goins pitching for TOR...hit 90mph so far. 1ip 2h 1bb 0k, 0 r/er (bb was ibb). he threw a fastball/change mix. crowd loved it. d.ross is not impressed.

    d.barney strands j.lake at 2nd in the bottom 18 for the cubs the 19th!

    -cubs game has begun-

    crunch 16 min 25 sec ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Javier Assad was still pitching into the 6th inning, and the first batter he faced reached base on an E-4 (that was Assad's 70th and final pitch of the game). Then Leathersich relieved Assad and retired the second batter 4-3 on the first pitch of the AB (the runner at 1st base advanced to 2nd on the play), and then on an 0-1 pitch the third batter in the inning (second one faced by Leathersich) lined into an inning-ending 6-4 DP (baserunner doubled off 2nd base). When calculating GO/AO, double plays and triple plays count as only one out. 

    Arizona Phil 32 min 16 sec ago view
  • Wow. The site actually loaded without an error! Happy 4th all, and Go Cubs!

    The E-Man 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    Rob Richardson 7 hours 24 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 7 hours 52 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 11 hours 1 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 17 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 18 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 19 hours 52 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 20 hours 22 min ago view