Trey Doubles the Fun at HoHoKam Park
Trey Martin doubled twice, the second one a laser-shot off the RF fence that drove-in the go-ahead run and capped a four-run 7th, as the AZL Cubs rallied to edge the AZL Indians 6-5 in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
In addition to Martin's heroics, 1B Jacob Rogers (2012 40th round draft pick out of Mt Olive College) pulled two hard-hit ground RBI singles into the 3.5 hole, one in the 2nd and one in the 7th, to the aid the Cubs offense. (Rogers was 6th in NCAA Division II in HR in 2012).
And DH Dan Vogelbach belted his 4th double in three AZL games--a line shot down the RF line--and then came around to score the Cubs first run of the evening on Rogers' first RBI single.
Vogelbach's approach at the plate was way out of kilter at Extended Spring Training (189/306/379 in 111 PA) and he displayed a lot of visible frustration with how things were going (not to mention the ten errors at 1st base), but it looks like he's got the old Vogelbomb swing back now. Hopefully it's just matter of time before he starts depositing baseballs over the fence.
RHP David Cales (2011 shoulder surgery rehab) saw his first game action in over a year (not including a couple of Extended Spring Training "sim" games and an intrasquad game), and he did not look good. He allowed a run on two hits (a lead-off double and an RBI single) and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning (26 pitches), and he kept pinwheeling his arm like he couldn't get it loose. That's never a good sign for a guy coming back from a shoulder injury.
Another rehab hurler had a different problem, as veteran RHP Shane Lindsay (sent down from AAA Iowa to iron-out some "mechanical issues") continually fell behind in the count over the course of his 2.1 IP. The Australian fireballer did throw shutout ball (allowing a single and two walks) and got lots of swings & misses at his extreme heat, but he also needed 49 pitches (only 25 strikes) to get his seven outs. He threw seven consecutive balls when he entered the game with one out and a runner at 1st in the top of the 3rd, and then he threw seven consecutive balls again to open the 4th.
20-year old RHP Jin Young Kim threw two no-hit innings for the save, as the one-time Korean bonus baby ($850K signing bonus in 2010) is apparently being tracked into the closer role in Mesa. One unearned run did score off Kim, but that was thanks to a two-base error that put a Tribe runner on 2nd base with no outs in the top of the 9th (with the runner eventually scoring after a couple of 6-3 ground outs).
RHP Tony York (2012 NDFA - UCSD) made his pro debut tonight and threw a 1-2-3 12-pitch 6th. York was UCSD's closer in 2012, and indeed he does look like your typical RH college reliever (warms-up quickly, works fast, throws strikes).
RF Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) also made his pro debut in tonight's game, and went 1-4 with a double and a run scored. He has a nice line-drive stroke and sprays the ball all over the yard. He looks like he might be a decent hitter (although HR power is always preferred in a corner OF), and he displayed a plus-arm in RF.
Rademacher was recruited by perennial D-1 baseball powerhouse Cal State - Fullerton out of HS and spent his freshman year there, before transferring to Orange Coast CC. He was set to transfer to Oral Roberts University if he hadn't signed with Cubs.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.
I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.
TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.
I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.
"Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.
Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.