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
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...
Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)