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
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!