Spoon, Hair, and Grichuk Spell Doom for Cubs
Travis Witherspoon ripped an RBI double and Randal Grichuk slammed an RBI triple to highlight a four-run 3rd, and Trevor Hairgrove doubled twice and drove-in a run, leading the Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Dan Vogelbach and Jeffrey Baez provided most all of the Cub offense today, with Vogelbach reaching base three times on an RBI single and two walks, and Jeffrey Baez roping a bases-loaded two run double down the LF line.
The Cubs had other chances to score and cut the Angel lead at various points during the game, but inopportune DP balls and strikeouts deflated the Cubs hopes.
The AZIL Cubs continue to struggle offensively, what with some of the squad's best hitters (including Javier Baez, Taiwan Easterling, Dustin Geiger, Reggie Golden, and Rafael Lopez) sidelined with injuries.
Shawon Dunston, Jr did break his 1-26 slump with a 4th inning single, but he also dropped a line-drive in CF allowing an unearned run to score in the top of the 3rd.
The Cubs pitching and defense left a lot to be desired today, as the Angels collected three triples, three doubles, and five singles, and scored two unearned runs thanks to three Cub errors.
Worst outing of the day among the eight Cubs pitchers who took the mound was the one by 5'8 fireballin' RHP Tarlandus Mitchell, who managed to allow two runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the 6th. "T" walked the bases loaded and threw two wild pitches, hurling 25 pitches (but only seven strikes) in his one inning of work.
Mitchell was the Cubs 22nd round pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX in 2008, but he has yet to get past Boise. His four seasons in the Cubs organization have been tarnished by injuries, and bouts with wildness when he has been healthy.
RHP David Henrie (2011 NDFA - Trinidad State JC) also struggled, but in a different way. Henrie allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits (two doubles, a triple, and a single) in just 1.2 IP. He also allowed one inherited run to score (charged to Jose Rosario), and commited a fielding error that directly led to one unearned run scoring.
Best outings today were the innings thrown by LHP Frank Del Valle and RHP Tony Zych, but that's no surprise since Del Valle and Zych have been two of the best-looking pitchers so far at Instructs.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 1-2 (3-U, 1B, HBP, BB, R)
2. Trey Martin, LF: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, 4-6-3 DP, R)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, E-1, BB, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-2 (1B, BB, BB, 3-6 FC, RBI, SB)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, K, 2B, 5-4 FC, 2 RBI)
6. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 1-3, F-7)
7a. Justin Marra, C: 0-2 (BB, F-8, F-7)
7b. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, K, K, BB)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (2-3 SH, P-4, BB, 4-3 DP)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 0-2 (K, 6-3, BB)
1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K,14 pitches (9 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (15 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 25 pitches (7 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
7. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
8. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
1. P David Henrie - E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. CF Shawon Dunston, Jr - E-8 (missed catch with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score from 3rd base)
3. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
RF Jeffrey Baez - Batter thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
ATTENDANCE: 23 (including Angels manager Mike Scioscia)
WEATHER: Sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 90’s
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
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.