Angels Fly Away with Shutout at Fitch Park
Michael Bolaski slugged a 450-ft+ two-run HR over the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”) and five EXST Angels pitchers combined to throw a seven-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs were blanked 3-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Continuing his injury rehab assignment, RHP Todd Wellemeyer got the start for the Cubs today and threw three innings (42 pitches). He allowed one run on four hits (three singles and a double) and a HBP, issuing no walks, while striking out three. The only run allowed by Wellemeyer scored in the top of the 2nd inning (lead-off double, ground out, and a sacrifice fly).
After struggling with the AZL Cubs in 2010 (8.22 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and .311 Opp BA in 15.1 IP), AZ Instructional League post-2010 (8.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and .381 Opp BA in 9.0 IP), and Minor League Camp and the first two weeks of Extended Spring Training in 2011, Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman (Louisburg JC) had what was probably his best pro outing to date today, throwing 2.2 IP of shutout ball, and allowing just one hit and a walk, while striking out five.
While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, and RHP Larry Suarez (injury rehab - unknown type injury) threw “live” BP to the most of the Cubs position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Todd Wellemeyer took an insert-AB with no outs and a runner at 1st base in the top of the 1st inning
X. Todd Wellemeyer, P: 0-0 (2-4 SH)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, 1-3, K)
2. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (5-U FC, K, K, CS)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (P-4, K, 3-U)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-8)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3)
5b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (F-7)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 1B)
7. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, 5-4-3 DP)
8. Max Kwan, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, K)
9. Dustin Harrington, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Eduardo Gonzalez, CF: 1-3 (K-DP, L-7, 1B)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Gregori Gonzalez, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, 6-4 FC, CS)
1. Todd Wellemeyer: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Zeller’s first inning of work was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning
Chad Noble: 2-3 CS
Chad Noble was thrown out at 3rd base (made the third out at 3rd base) trying to stretch a double into a triple
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.