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 don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.