Cub Juggernaut Alive & Well at Fitch Park
Marco Hernandez singled, doubled, tripled, and drove-in four runs, and Gioskar Amaya had two singles and a triple and drove-in three runs, leading the AZL Cubs to a 15-7 thrashing of the AZL Diamondbacks in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternon in Mesa, AZ.
All of the Cubs players in the starting lineup had at least one hit except clean-up hitter Ryan Durrence, who went 0-5, including two DP grounders and a strikeout looking.
But otherwise it was Full Speed Ahead for the AZL Cubs offense.
Los Tres Amigos (Oliver Zapata, Marco Hernandez, and Gioskar Amaya) hit 1-2-3 and had another big day today, reaching base a combined nine times and driving-in eight runs, while scoring four more
Zapata reached base three times (1B, HBP, IBB), stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked-in another with an RBI GO, Hernandez amassed his four RBI on an F-9 SF and a bases-loaded triple, and Amaya collected two of his RBI on a two-out two-run triple in 6th, and then another on an RBI single in the 7th.
18-year old Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) was the DH today, and ripped a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 1st inning, tripled and scored in the 3rd, and walked and scored to lead-off a six-run 7th.
LF Dong-Yub Kim had two hits (a double and a single) and scored two runs, 2B Brian Inoa walked and scored in the 7th and doubled in the 8th, catcher Taylor Davis (2011 NDFA - Morehead State) reached base three times (two walks and a triple) and scored three runs, and supersub Gregori Gonzalez (who played RF today) smashed an RBI triple and then scored in the 2nd, reached base on an HBP and scored in the 6th, and blooped a bases-loaded RBI single into CF in the 7th.
And speaking of Gregori Gonzalez, there is one very obvious mistake in the "official" box score from milb.com (see above link).
And that is that Gregori Gonzalez (not Eduardo Gonzalez) played RF and batted 9th today.
Other than last their names both being "Gonzalez," there really isn't much similarity between them. Gregori bats & throws RH, and Eduardo bats & throws LH. And they actually wear different uniform numbers, too.
But apparently as far as milb.com (and now posterity) is concerned, Eduardo Gonzalez went 2-3 with a triple, a single, an HBP, and a K, three runs scored, two RBI, an outfield assist, and a fielding error today, when actually it was Gregori Gonzalez doing all that.
Of course, it's not like this is the first time milb.com has screwed up a box score.
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
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.