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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  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 18 sec ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 9 min 21 sec ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 10 min 15 sec ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 34 min 52 sec ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • crunch 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 8 hours 37 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 20 hours 51 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 1 day 2 hours ago view