Smokies and I-Cubs Get Swept at Fitch Park
Sonny Gray and three relievers combined to throw a five-hitter as the Midland RiverHounds (Oakland A’s AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 3-1 on Field #2, and Jonathon Mota ripped a two-run home run and Juan Apodaca had three hits, but it wasn’t enough as the Sacramento River Cats (A’s AAA affiliate) outlasted the Iowa Cubs 9-5 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
RHP Matt Loosen was moved up to the Iowa squad from the Tennessee squad and made the start for the I-Cubs, and LHP Austin Kirk was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the Daytona squad and was the starting pitcher for the Smokies, and although they both pitched OK (not great), the two best outings of the day by Cubs pitchers were LHP Eric Jokisch (who led all Cubs minor league pitchers in wins last season), and Tennessee LHP Casey Harman.
Jokisch “piggy-backed” with Kirk and threw 4-2/3 innings of shutout ball, and Harman threw two perfect innings in relief after being transferred from the Tennessee squad to the Iowa squad mid-game (moving from the bullpen on Field #2 to the bullpen on Field #3) when Marcus Hatley and Kevin Rhoderick imploded and the I-Cubs ran out of available pitchers.
Hatley allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning (37 pitches – only 19 strikes), and Rhoderick labored through his one inning of work, throwing only 12 of his 30 pitches for strikes, and getting off on the wrong foot by walking the first three men he faced to load the bases with no outs.
Neither Cubs squad playing at Fitch Park today showed much offense, but even when there was a glimmer of a threat, the Cubs farmhands found a way to run themselves out of scoring opportunities with over-aggressive base-running, including two players thrown out trying to strech a single into a double (both out by a mile), another player trying to score from 2nd on a single to short CF (also out by a mile), and a couple of inopportune stolen base attempts that rsulted in "caught stealings" and took runners off base when they were most needed.
As usual, players and pitchers from the Boise/Mesa squad were dispersed among the four full-season squads who played games today (Peoria and Daytona played road games versus the A's "A" and Hi-A affiliates at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix), and several of the Boise/Mesa position players who did not travel to Papago Park saw game action for Iowa or Tennessee.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1a. Logan Watkins, SS: 0-2 (BB, E-6, K, R)
1b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-1 (2B)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-4 (K, E-5, F-8, K)
3. Matt Cerda, DH #1: 2-3 (2B, L-1 DP, 1B, RBI)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-7, 4-3)
5. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-3 (3-1, K, K)
6. Michael Burgess, DH #2: 0-3 (F-7, 1-3, F-8)
7. Michael Brenly, C: 1-3 (K, 1B, F-7)
8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (K, 3-U, K)
9. Taiwan Easterling, CF: 0-3 (6-3, F-7, K)
10. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (1B, BB, 1-3)
1. Austin Kirk: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 41 pitches (24 strikes), 1/6 GO/FO
2. Eric Jokisch: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 53 pitches (32 strikes), 6/5 GO/FO
3. Dan Berlind: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
SS Carlos Penalver - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base)
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Michael Brenly: 0-1 CS
TENNESSEE BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Michael Brenly was thrown out 7-4 trying to stretch single into double leading off bottom of 5th
Matt Cerda was thrown out 7-4 trying to stretch single into double leading off bottom of 6th
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
1a. Brett Jackson, CF: 0-1 (4-3, BB, BB, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-2 (K, E-5)
2. Jonathon Mota, SS: 1-5 (K, HR, 6-3, 5-3, K, R, 2 RBI)
3a. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, P-5, 6-3)
3b. Leugim Barroso, 3B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, CS)
4a. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, K, R)
4b. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K)
5. Marquez Smith, DH: 1-4 (BB, P-4, 2B, K, K)
6a. Juan Apodaca, C: 3-3 (1B, 2B, 1B, R)
6b. Luis Flores, C: 0-2 (F-9, P-4)
7. Nate Samson, 2B: 1-4 (6-4-3 DP, E-4, K, 1B, R, CS)
8. Delbis Arcila, LF: 1-4 (3-U, 1-3, 1B, K)
9. Oliver Zapata, RF-CF: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, K, 1B, SB)
1. Matt Loosen: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 55 pitches (41 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Marcus Hatley: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 37 pitches (19 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 30 pitches (12 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Alberto Cabrera: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 21 pitches (15 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Casey Harman: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 26 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
6. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
IOWA ERRORS: NONE
IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Juan Apodaca: 0-2 CS
Luis Flores: 1 PB
IOWA BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Marquez Smith was thrown out 8-2 trying to score from 2nd on base hit to CF with two outs in bottom of 5th
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Pitcher batting 9th.
i'm not ready for it to end.
i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."
i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.
I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.
But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.
Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!
Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.
Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.
Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.
Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories.
And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around!
CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!
I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.
You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.
BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.
oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.
Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.
My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!
Bryant: Base running adventures.
Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.
Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360
Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
Russell: All the defense.
Bryant: Pelting the video board.
Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
Baez: That 3B play.
Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....
I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.