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 don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.
marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD
This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.
How odd the stats:
Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB
2nd to last in hitting.
In May they were 1st in both.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.