Angels Bedevil Cubs at Diablo
The Angels shutout the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Angels Minor League Complex Field #3 at Diablo Park in Tempe this afternoon.
While the Cubs hitters looked like they needed a wake-up call, four of the five Cubs pitchers threw the ball very well.
19-year old Dominican RHP Alberto Cabrera (2008 sore shoulder) got the start and looked very sharp over his two innings of work, throwing a four-seam heater together with an outstanding slider and change-up. When healthy, Cabrera is the Cubs best Dominican pitching prospect .
Mexican RHP Oswaldo Martinez (who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday) followed and he was also sharp over his two innings (although he appeared to tire a bit at pitch #22), and then RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (2008 22nd round draft pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX) had an easy eight-pitch 5th inning that he topped-off with a knee buckling curve that frroze an Angels hitter for an inning-ending "strike three called."
Ex-OF RHP Andres Quezada (up at Instructs from the DSL) had an easy bottom of the 6th, but then began to struggle in the bottom of the 7th before totally losing control right around pitch #24, at which point he threw two four-pitch walks and a wild pitch, committed a balk, and hit a batter. Quezada played OF for the AZL Cubs in 2007 before being converted to a RHP at Extended Spring Training at Fitch Park this past April.
DSL Cubs RHP Diego Encarnacion made his U. S. debut in relief of Quezada, and retired all four men he faced (5-3, P-4, P-5, and Kc) on just 11 pitches. Nothing special about Encarnacion, but there is certainly nothing wrong with a young pitcher making his first appearance in the U. S. who comes out throwing strikes.
The Cubs had a scare when CF Tony Campana (2008 13th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati) and RF Brandon Guyer (the team's best player) collided going after a pop up in right-center on Alberto Cabrera's very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning (Campana and Guyer are both normally centerfielders, so that might be why neither backed-off). The ball fell for a triple, and Guyer and Campana both lay motionless on the field for a minute or two before regaining their bearings. But both players did stay in the game, and Campana even threw the runner out at the plate two batters later!
Not much to report offensively for the Cubs other than a Brandon Guyer 5th inning triple (near HR) off the right-center field fence, a beautiful bunt single by Starlin Castro, and a Tony Campana infield hit where the hyperactive lead-off man beat-out a routine ground ball to SS (Campana can REALLY fly, folks!).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-4 (K)
2. Josh Harrison, 2B: 0-4
3. Robinson Chirinos, C-DH: 0-3 (BB)
4. Brandon Guyer, RF: 1-3 (3B, K)
5. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-2 (BB)
6. Starlin Castro, 3B: 1-3 (K, GIDP)
7. Junior Lake, SS: 0-3
8. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-2 (BB)
9. Jericho Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (GIDP)
10. Carlos Morales, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
1. Alberto Cabrera - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (0/3 GO/FO) - 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Oswaldo Martinez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (2/1 GO/FO) - 29 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK (1/1 GO/FO) - 8 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Andres Quezada - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 BALK (1/3 GO/FO) - 32 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Diego Encarnacion - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/2 GO/FO) - 11 pitches (8 strikes)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
2. Andres Quezada, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
Carlos Perez: 1-1 CS
Tony Campana threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 3rd base on fly ball hit to medium-deep CF
WEATHER: 100+, hot & breezy
ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.