Giants Are Mean to Cub Teenagers
The Giants combined two doubles, three singles, five walks, and an error to score seven runs in the first two innings, cruising to a 7-1 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale.
LHP Christopher Pieters (signed as a 16-year old out of Curacao during the 2011 International Signing Period for a reported $350K) got the start for the Cubs, and could not throw strikes (33 pitches – only 11 strikes), allowing three runs on three walks and two hits (a single and a double) in the 1st inning.
RHP Alexander Santana (signed as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic in 2010) wasn’t any better in the 2nd inning, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits (two singles and a double) and two walks while throwing 34 pitches (only 16 strikes).
The other four Cub pitchers who took the hill today fared much better, throwing six innings of three-hit shutout ball with no walks and six strikeouts, but by that time the Giants had what proved to be an insurmountable lead.
The Cubs offense was mostly dormant, scoring their only run in the top of the 4th inning without the benefit of a hit.
Rubi Silva drew a lead-off walk and moved up to 2nd base when Dan Vogelbach reached base on a error, advanced to 3rd on a double play, and then scored on a Wild Pitch.
The Cubs are missing a number of players who started the AZIL schedule on the Active List, as 2011 1st round draft pick SS Javier Baez, 1B Rock Shoulders, OF Taiwan Easterling, 3B-1B Dustin Geiger, and C Rafael Lopez are out of action.
Easterling, Geiger, and Lopez suffered injuries (either groin, quad, hamstring, or calf) while running the bases and/or sliding last week, Shoulder suffered a torn meniscus in a base-running drill two days prior to AZIL Opening Day, and Baez has been shut-down with a sore arm for more than a week (exact nature and extent of his injury is unknown at this time).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 0-4 (6-3, K, 5-3, K)
2a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3, BB)
2b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (F-7)
3. Rubi Silva, DH #1: 0-3 (K, BB, 4-3, K, R)
4. Dan Volgelbach, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, E-3, F-8, 2B)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, 1-6-3 DP, P-2, BB)
6. Yaniel Cabezas, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, F-7, 1B, BB)
7a. Mark Malave, C: 0-1 (BB, E-4)
7b. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 0-3 (F-7, L-3 DP, P-5)
9a. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-2 (5-3, P-2)
9b. Trey Martin, CF: 0-1 (F-9)
10. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 1B)
1. Christopher Pieters: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 33 pitches (11 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 1.0, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Starling Peralta: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 0/5 GO/FO
4. Tayler Scott: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
5. Jose Arias: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 16 pitches (10 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Andrew McKirahan: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 8 pitches (5 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SS Danny Lockhart - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
Mark Malave: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.