Big Cubs Comeback Leaves Rockies Fit to Be Tied
Trey Martin blooped an opposite-field single over the second-baseman's head to score Rubi Silva from 3rd base and cap a furious comeback, as the Cubs rallied to score seven runs over the last four innings to tie the Rockies 7-7 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
The game started at 9 AM, and there was a pre-scheduled curfew of 11:30 AM or seven innings (whichever came first), so that players could get to the airport and catch their flights. As it turned out, the game did go seven innings, ending at 11:20 AM.
The Cubs played short-handed today from the gitgo, what with five players (Javier Baez, Taiwan Easterling Dustin Geiger, Reggie Golden, and Rafael Lopez) on the shelf with injuries, and with another group (Jose Arias, Jeffrey Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Mark Malave, Carlos Penalver, and Alexander Sanchez) having left Phoenix last night en route to the Dominican Academy to participate in the Dominican Instructional League.
In fact the Cubs were so short-handed that Garrett Schlecht played RF but did not bat (he has some type of injury where he can catch & throw but can't hit), Yaniel Cabezas missed two ABs because he was busy warming up pitchers in the bullpen, Rubi Silva played shortstop for the first time in his career, and DH Dan Vogelbach left the game and was not replaced after the end of the 5th inning (he was last seen running in full sprint to the clubhouse so that so he could get to the airport and fly home to Florida... whether he had time to change out of his uniform first, I do not know).
It kind of reminded me of one of those neighborhood baseball games you played as a kid, where some of the guys have to leave before the game is over. Like maybe Johnny's mother is calling him to come home for dinner, or Bobby has a clarinet lesson, etc.
The Rockies rocked Tony Zych and David Henrie for seven runs in tbe top of the 2nd inning, as Tyler Massey (two-run single), Trevor Story (bases-loaded triple), and Tim Smalling (RBI double) contributed key hits. It was the worst outing of Tony Zych's pro career.
The Cubs bullpen then retired 16 of the last 18 hitters they faced, as the Cubs offense kept pecking away at the deficit.
The Cubs scored three times in the bottom of the 4th, as Rubi Silva and Micah Gibbs singled, Dan Vogelbach blasted an RBI double, and Trey Martin followed with an RBI single. The third run of the inning scored on a double play.
The Cubs scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th, as Yaniel Cabezas pulled a one-out double into the LF corner, Zeke DeVoss singled, and Rubi Silva bounced an RBI FC. The second run scored on a two-out E-4.
The Cubs narrowed the Rockies lead to one, scoring once in the bottom of the 6th inning on a balk after consecutive singles by Danny Lockhart and Shawon Dunston, Jr.
That set-up the bottom of the 7th as the final half-ining of the game (and 2011 Instructs), with the Cubs down 7-6.
Rubi Silva led-off with an infield single, outracing the pitcher to 1st base (the pitcher was late covering). Micah Gibbs lined a single to RF to move Silva to 3rd, and then Trey Martin came through with his game-tying bloop hit.
With runners at 1st & 2nd and no outs, it looked like the Cubs might come all the way back and win the game, but Danny Lockhart struck out after trying (unsuccessfully) to lay down a sacrifice bunt, and Shawon Dunston, Jr grounded out 4-3 (although the runners did advance to 2nd & 3rd). Justin Marra then walked to load the bases, leaving it up to Zeke DeVoss.
But DeVoss lined-out to SS for the 3rd out, bringing the 2011 AZ Instructional League season to a close for the Rockies and for the Cubs. (The Giants, Royals, and Reds have not yet concluded intructs, and will be playing games next week).
Here is the abridged bix score (Cubs players only)
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 1-5 (P-3, K, 1B, K, L-6)
2. Rubi Silva, SS: 2-4 (5-3, 1B, 4-6 FC, 1B, 3 R, RBI)
3. Micah Gibbs, 1B: 3-4 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, R)
4a. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 1-3 (P-3, 2B, E-4, R, RBI)
4b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
5. Trey Martin, LF: 2-4 (5-3, 1B, F-8, 1B, 2 RBI)
6. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 1-4 (K, 6-3 DP, 1B, K, R)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-4 (3-U , K, 1B, 4-3)
8. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3, BB)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st & 4th TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Yaniel Cabezas, DH #2: 2-2 (2B, 1B, R, CS)
10. Garrett Schlecht, RF: NO AB - PLAYED DEFENSE ONLY
1. Zac Rosscup: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 FO/FO
2. Tony Zych: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
3. David Henrie: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (21 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (6 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Jose Rosario: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 16 pitches (11 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
7. Frank Del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with morning temperatures in the 80's
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
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.