Bote Debut a Thing of Beauty at HoHoKam Park
In just his second AB in his first professional game, 19-year old SS David Bote (Cubs 2012 18th round draft pick out of Neosho CC) blasted a three-run home run off the LF scoreboard, carrying the AZL Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the AZL Angels in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Bote also walked and stole a base, and he made a nice defensive stop & gun from shortstop.
In addition to Bote's heroics, Trey Martin singled twice, tripled, scored a run, and stole a base, and Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, helping the Cubs to a hard-fought victory.
With his hitting, baserunning, and Gold Glove defense in CF, Martin is making a strong case to get a ticket punched to Boise (he actually should have been there from the gitgo), and Rademacher is definitely a cut above your average JC player in all phases of the game, and so he could get moved up to Boise sooner rather than later.
LHP Brian Smith started the game for the Cubs and threw four strong innings (47 pitches - 30 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, with one strikeout and one GIDP. Smith struggled to throw strikes at Extended Spring Training and was relegated mostly to low-pressure "sim" games on Fitch Park Field #2, but he has shown improved command in his first two AZL outings.
6'5 245+ LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 8th round draft pick out of USC - Beaufort by way of UIC) threw a 1-2-3 9th with two strikeouts to record the save. Although he didn't need to use all of his pitches to record his three outs, Heesch has a plus breaking ball and change-up, and is especially effective when he can spot his fastball for strikes. He led NAIA in IP in 2012, so he could be a rotation workhorse down-the-road once he gets settled in pro ball.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.