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.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.