Cubs Rally for Two in 8th to Claim Victory
Danny Lockhart drilled an RBI single to right to drive-in Dustin Geiger from 3rd base with the tying run, and Shawon Dunston, Jr scored the go-ahead run (the eventually winning run) on an errant pickoff attempt at 3rd base, as the Cubs rallied for two in the 8th to edge the Angels 4-3 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning when catcher Carlos Ramirez took Cubs starting pitcher Jose Arias deep for a two-run HR over the LF fence.
The Cubs tied it up in the bottom of the 6th, as Dan Vogelbach tripled off the top of the right-centerfield fence just to the right of the “Green Monster” (Batter’s Eye) with one out, Reggie Golden followed with an RBI double off the LF fence, and Dustin Geiger knocked-in Golden with an RBI single to CF.
Watching Vogelbach hustle around the bases for his triple brought to mind a man running for a bus that was pulling away from the stop. The only thing that would have added to the picture would have been if Vogelbach had been carrying a briefcase and an umbrella. But for a big man, Vogelbach runs pretty well.
The Angels took back the lead in the top of the 7th on a two-out RBI double by Abel Baker, before the Cubs plated the game-tying and game-winning runs in bottom of the 8th.
Two more Cubs pitchers headed for the Arizona Fall League got a tune-up in today’s game, as Marcus Hatley and Chris Carpenter each threw an inning. Both pitchers will be working out of the Mesa Solar Sox bullpen. (The AFL begins play next Tuesday).
Long & lanky 6’3 LHP Christopher Pieters made his pro debut in today’s game, throwing a 1-2-3 11-pitch 5th inning (4-3, F-8, F-8). Pieters is all arms & legs, and has a similar pitching style as that of Cubs Dominican LHP Willengton Cruz.
A native of Curacao, Pieters signed with the Cubs this past summer as a 16-year old during the International Signing Period for a reported $350K bonus. He turned 17 last week.
As has been the case for much of Instructs, the three umpires working the game were “wired” and in communication with an umpire instructor sitting in the Observation Tower behind home plate. The instructor can provide the young arbiters with real-time teaching moments as may be necessary during the course of the game, although the umpires and the instructor also occasionally meet face-to-face between innings to discuss matters of importance.
In Cubs Instructs roster news, 17-year old catcher Alberto Mineo has returned home to Italy. This was planned in advance and had nothing to do with anything that transpired at Instructs (and in fact Mineo has been very impressive). He will return to Fitch Park next Spring and will attend Extended Spring Training April-June before likely being assigned to the AZL Cubs.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, RF: 0-3 (K, 4-6 FC, F-8)
2. Javier Baez, SS: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, PO)
3. Rafael Lopez, DH #1: 0-3 (3-1, 4-3, K)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-3 (1B, 3B, K, R)
5. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, 2B, K, R, RBI)
6. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-2 (K, 1B, HBP, R, RBI, SB)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-3 (6-3, P-3, 1B, R)
8. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (1-3, K, 1B, RBI)
9a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (6-3, 1B)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (F-8)
10. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-2 (K, BB, K)
1. Jose Arias: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 38 pitches (22 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Marcus Hatley: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Chris Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Christopher Pieters: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (6 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
5. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 7 pitches (6 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (4 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
7. Luis Liria: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 8 pitches (5 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
8. Andrew McKirahan: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (7 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
CF Shawon Dunston, Jr - runner thrown out 8-6-5 trying to stretch double into triple
ATTENDANCE: 34 (including cubs.com beat writer Carrie Muskat)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.