Giant Nine Spot Crushes Cubs
Matt Downs clubbed a grand slam home run to cap a nine-run 2nd inning, and the Giants coasted to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
18-year old Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez got the start for the Cubs today, and just like last time, had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning before struggling in his second inning of work.
The big right-hander allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in the top of the 2nd, and while his stuff was good (heavy sinker and a "plus" breaking ball), the big right-hander struggled with his mechanics, as he had a lot of trouble throwing strikes.
2008 11th round pick RHP Toby Matchulat (Wabash Valley CC) relieved Suarez with one out in the 2nd inning, and proceeded to surrender two bases-loaded walks and the grand slam to Downs. Matchulat had even more difficulty finding home plate than did Suarez.
Tarlandus Mitchell (two innings) and Erik Hamren, Jayson Ruhlman, Brian Schlitter, and Steve Vento (one inning each) threw six innings of one-hit shutout relief, but by then it was too late. Schlitter returned to the mound looking none the worse for wear, after getting struck flush on the shin by a line drive last week.
On offense, the Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st, as speedy lead-off hitter Tony Campana worked a walk, stole second, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored on a Josh Vitters RBI ground out.
The Cubs plated three more runs in the 4th on doubles by Vitters and Robinson Chirinos, a walk, two wild pitches, and a two-out RBI single by Junior Lake.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-2 (R, 2 BB, SB, CS)
2. Josh Harrison, 2B: 0-3 (BB, K, 2 SB)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-4 (2B, R, RBI)
4. Brandon Guyer, RF: 1-4 (2 K)
5. Robinson Chirinos, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, R, RBI, K)
6. Jericho Jones, DH #1: 1-3 (R, 2B, BB, K)
7. Jake Opitz, 1B: 1-3 (2B)
8. Junior Lake, SS: 1-3 (RBI)
9. Carlos Morales, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
10. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-3
1. Larry Suarez - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (1/1 GO/F/O) - 31 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Toby Matchulat - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR (3/2 GO/FO) - 30 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (1/3 GO/FO) - 39 pitches (25 strikes)
4. Erik Hamren - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP (1/1 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Jayson Ruhlman - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0/1 GO/FO) - 11 pitches (9 strikes)
6. Brian Schlitter - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (1/2 GO/FO) - 15 pitches (9 strikes)
7. Steve Vento - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (8 strikes)
1. Toby Matchulat, E-1, fumbled dribbler hit in front of pitcher's mound allowing batter to reach base;
2. Junior Lake, E-6, two base overthrow at 1st base allowing batter to reach 2nd base.
Robinson Chirinos: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Hot but VERY breezy
ATTENDANCE: 60+ (MLB Scout School Day)
This team even has rap prospects!
If you look at the FIP and xFIP numbers, the Hendricks vs. Ross matchup doesn't look so bad for the Cubs.
Yeah, Baez got Maddon wanting that D.
That is a fair point. Man this team has crazy depth.
Man, with a 20-6 record, it doesn't seem right to complain about any aspect of this team. What are you expecting? A 26-0 record? I'm not saying that the Cubs are above critique, but I am saying any problems that might exist don't appear to be a major hindrance at the moment. To quote a great philosopher "numbers don't lie, check the scoreboard."
I also recall Joe talking about he liked the way Hendricks matches up on paper against Washington. Assuming it was Joe's doing his Jedi mind tricks thing.
Sergio Mitre??!! LOVE IT!
FREE MATT CLEMENT!
Imagine if Lester would just pitch nine innings every start.
Now that's funny coming from the board martyr.
You made a comment about Lester not pitching deep enough into games, Rob and others dispute it, and then it devolves into more of you acting like you're being unfairly singled out.
"Therefore, the Cubs have not had ONE pitcher in the last five years that is a TOR starter waiting in the wings ..."
It's a little scary, especially when you look over at the Mets, the one team around the league that worries me, maybe because I have clear recollections of 1969.
Actually, the only Cub draftee since 2012 when McLeod and the new FO took over the draft who has thrown a pitch in the majors is Zack Godley. So it's not just TOR starters that we're not seeing.
We've got a David-Goliath type situation tonight, but you never know. In matchups like this, I always remember that Sergio Mitre v. Roy Halladay game the Cubs won at home several years ago.
I am going tonight, so I am not ok with that.
But, maybe Hendrix will give his patented solid 5 before Richard or Wood comes in...
One can hope.
if you save the lumber from your constant trips to the cross you can build your very own safe space to view my posts.
@billybucks you speak the truth and it's precisely what me and others have been saying for over a year. It's an unfortunate hitch in his game, one that seems correctable, but so far has not been corrected. Also a hitch that is going over 3 seasons now and no one has been able to truly exploit in any meaningful way (except sort of the Royals in that Wild Card game although they stole plenty of bases off the other pitchers in that game and the rest of the playoff teams the rest of that run).
AZBOBBOP: Nothing new on Oscar de la Cruz. Still shut down with elbow issues.