Cub Rally Falls Short at Papago Park
Sean Jamieson and Max Stassi rapped RBI triples to highlight a three-run 1st inning and RBI singles to key a four-run 2nd, and Jordan Tripp and A. J. Kirby-Jones slugged solo home runs to provide the eventual margin of victory, as the Athletics withstood a late rally to edge the Cubs 10-9 in AZ Instructional League action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.
The Cubs took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning, as lead-off man Rubi Silva lined a single over the shortstop's head, advanced to second on a sac bunt, and scored when the catcher threw the ball into the LF corner on a delayed steal where the third-baseman forgot to cover 3rd.
But Cubs starter Amaury Paulino was battered in the bottom of the 1st, as four of the first five men he faced ripped hits (two singles and two triples) before the young Dominican right-hander settled-down and struck out the last two A’s hitters to strand a runner at 3rd.
Tarlandus Mitchell made his first mound appearance in about five months, taking the hill for the Cubs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Mitchell induced the first A’s batter he faced to hit a routine two-hopper to 3rd, but third-baseman Jeimer Candelario fumbled the ball for an error. Then after the next two batters were retired (a 5-4 FC and a K), Mitchell fell apart and surrendered four unearned runs on two hits, a walk, and a HBP, while also throwing two wild pitches that moved runners up into scoring position.
LHP Zac Rosscup (on the Daytona Cubs DL since June) pitched the third inning and two outs into the 4th, allowing two runs, including a Jordan Tripp solo HR. Rosscup also pulled the bonehead play of the day, allowing a run to score from 3rd base on a foul pop up out to the first-baseman. The ball came down near the Cubs on deck circle (first-base side) as both 1st baseman Dan Vogelbach and catcher Yaniel Cabezas chased the pop up, but Rosscup forgot to cover home as Sean Jamieson scored easily from 3B. Rosscup was then immediately pulled from the game.
Down 9-3 (with a Micah Gibbs double and a Shawon Dunston, Jr RBI single in the 2nd having plated the Cubs second run, and a Gibbs RBI single following consecutive singles by Yaniel Cabezas and Dan Vogelbach having knocked-in the third run in the 4th), the Cubs mounted a comeback with a five-run 6th off RHP Ryan Doolittle.
Rubi Silva (who had three hits today) roped a single through the box and into CF to lead off the inning, stole 2nd base (his second SB of the day), and, after Yaniel Cabezas walked, scored on a Dan Vogelbach RBI ground single to right. Taiwan Easterling then lined a one-out two-run triple over the centerfielder’s head to drive-in Cabezas and Vogelbach, before scoring on a Micah Gibbs sacrifice fly. Jeimer Candelario kept the inning alive with a two-out opposite-field hump-back single to left, and scored on a line-drive RBI single to right-center by Jeffrey Baez (in what was his U. S. debut). Down 10-8 after A. J. Kirby-Jones took Frank Del Valle deep in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs scored what would be their final run of the day in the 8th to narrow the deficit to 10-9.
Javier Baez sliced an opposite field double into the RF corner to lead-off the inning, and took third when the A’s second-baseman fumbled the relay throw for an error. After Justin Marra (making his pro debut) struck out swinging (and looked over-matched doing it), Baez raced home on a Carlos Penalver 1-3 ground out (high chopper fielded by the pitcher, with the only play at 1st base). The Cubs then went down 1-2-3 in the 9th.
The defensive gem of the day for the Cubs was a sliding run-saving catch in short left-center (in traffic) by LF Taiwan Easterling. I've seen him make catches like this before, and it's the type of move a punt returner will make when fair-catching a short punt. It's probably fairly easy and comfortable for Easterling to make catches this way, since he did return punts when he played football at Florida State.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB, PO)
2. Javier Baez, DH #1: 1-3 (2-3 SH, K, K, 2B, R)
3a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, 2 R)
3b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
4a. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
4b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (1-3, RBI)
5. Taiwan Easterling, LF: 1-4 (6-3, K, 3B, 2-3, R, 2 RBI)
6. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 2-3 (2B, 1B, F-9 SF, 1-3, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B-1B: 1-4 (3-1, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, P-6, R)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Jeffrey Baez, DH-RF: 1-2 (1B, F-9, RBI)
9. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF-DH: 1-3 (1B, 3-1, K, RBI, PO)
10. Eliecer Bonne, RF-CF: 0-3 (K, F-9, F-9)
11. Danny Lockhart, SS-3B: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, 5-3)
1. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Zac Rosscup: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 30 pitches (17 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Jose Arias: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 19 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Frank Del Valle: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
6. Andrew McKirahan: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Rubi Silva - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Yaniel Cabezas 0-2 CS
ATTENDANCE: 19 (including Shawon Dunston, Sr)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 90’s
Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!
Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.
Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.
Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.
Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories.
And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around!
CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!
I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.
You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.
BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.
oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.
Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.
My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!
Bryant: Base running adventures.
Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.
Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360
Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
Russell: All the defense.
Bryant: Pelting the video board.
Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
Baez: That 3B play.
Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....
I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.
evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.
i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.
Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!
The only issue with this dead horse is that there's no evidence that his performance during those games is solely due to playing the OF. I would tend to agree that I'd rather see him play 3B, though.