Dunston & Vogelbach Lead Cubs to Victory
Shawon Dunston, Jr drove in three runs with a two-out two-run RBI single that capped a four-run 1st inning and a solo HR leading off the bottom of the 6th, and Dan Vogelbach singled and scored in the 1st and clubbed a tape-measure HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 7th to put the game away, leading the Cubs to a 10-5 victory over the Brewers in Opening Day AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Cubs starter Felix Pena, as Brew Crew clean-up hitter Ben McMahan cracked a two-run double off the LF fence.
But the Cubs offense came right back in the bottom of the first, scoring four times,and giving the Cubs a lead they held for the balance of the game.
After Zeke DeVoss was called out on strikes, Javier Baez ripped a single to center, and then stole 2nd. Rafael Lopez followed with a laser-double into the RF corner, scoring Baez, and then Dan Vogelbach lined a single over the shortstop’s head, moving Lopez to 3rd. Reggie Golden reached base on an infield single, scoring Lopez, with Vogelbach advancing to 3rd on a throwing error. Golden then stole 2nd base, giving the Cubs runners at 2nd & 3rd with just one out. After Dustin Geiger bounced out to 3rd (both runners held their base), Shawon Dunston, Jr (who was making his professional debut) lined the first pitch he saw into right-center to score Vogelbach and Golden with the third and fourth runs of the inning.
The Cubs plated two more runs in the bottom of the second inning, as Neftali Rosario singled, and advanced to 3rd as Garrett Schlecht clobbered a double off the top of the RF fence (near HR). 17-year old Italian Alberto Mineo (making his U. S. debut after spending the summer at the MLB Australian Academy) lined a single to RF to score Rosario, and then Zeke DeVoss drove-in Schlecht with a single, giving the Cubs a 6-2 lead.
The Brewers narrowed the lead to 6-5 before the Cubs scored an unearned run in the 5th, and then Shawon Dunston, Jr blasted his HR off Brewers RHP Tommy Toledo over the RF fence to give the Cubs a 8-5 lead in the 6th.
Dan Vogelbach made it 9-5 Cubs with his solo shot off RHP Carlos Sosa in the 7th, and the Cubs finished their scoring in the 8th as Javier Baez reached base on a two-out RBI infield single, scoring Yaniel Cabezas from 3rd base.
What was especially noteworthy about the Cubs six-run explosion in the first two innings was that four of the key hits (and none of them were cheapies, either) were by Cub left-handed hitters (Lopez, Vogelbach, Dunston, and Schlecht) off a Brewer LHP (Will West).
The Cubs employed seven pitchers today, partly to get more pitchers work (there are 24 pitchers at Instructs and there is only one game per day) and partly to allow the pitchers to get a bit of game action after not seeing any for a couple of weeks.
Luis Liria had a particularly poor outing as he struggled to find the strike zone (31 pitches - only 14 strikes), walking three and throwing two wild pitches in his two innings of work. If it wasn't for Cubs catcher Rafael Lopez throwing out two Brewer baserunners in a row trying to steal 2nd base in the top of the 4th, Liria's final line could have been a lot worse.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, RBI, SB)
1b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3)
2. Javier Baez, SS: 2-5 (1B, L-7, 5-4 FC, K, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
3a. Rafael Lopez, C: 2-3 (2B, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
3b. SEE SLOT #10a
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-4 (1B, K, K, HR, 2 R, RBI)
5a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (1B+E5, 5-3, E-6, R, RBI, SB)
5b. Eliecer Bonne, RF: 1-1 (1B, SB)
6a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, F-7, K)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 2-4 (1B, 6-3, HR, 4-3, R, 3 RBI)
8a. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, L-5, R)
8b. Yaniel Cabezas, PH-DH: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-4 (2B, K, 1-3, 4-3, R)
10a. Alberto Mineo, DH-C: 2-5 (1B, K, 1B, 3-1, K, RBI)
NOTE: Mineo was moved to #3 slot in batting order after Lopez left game
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
2. Luis Liria: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 31 pitches (14 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Austin Reed: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 14 pitches (7 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
5. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (14 strikes)
6. Kyler Burke: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
7. Jose Rosario: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
1. Rafael Lopez: 2-2 CS, 1 PB
2. Alberto Mineo: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Calm wind, sunny, and very hot (107)
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.