I-Cubs (Dar)Win Again!

Crafty Chris Rusin worked seven strong innings under the weather, you might say, in pitching the Iowa Cubs to their second straight win over the Albuquerque Isotopes this afternoon at Principal Park. He wasn't sick. He just kept the ball down (to the tune of 11 ground outs) and out of the southerly jet stream blowing toward the fences as the I-Cubs notched consecutive W's for the first time in 2013.

I went to the home opener Friday night strictly to preserve a tradition. The stiff wind that evening was out of the north and made the chilly temps in the high 30's insufferable for long. I lasted only the first third of the game. Today I stayed for 2/3 as I stretch myself with an eye on shorts and t-shirt game conditions.

Half of the infield today was manned by rehabbers. As a gold-gloved I-Cub alum Darwin Barney rated what ovation the smallish crowd today could muster when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. He was followed by Ian Stewart hitting in the 3-hole. When Stewart was announced you could have heard a peanut shell drop.

Barney walked on four straight pitches three AB's in a row before striking out in his fourth trip. All told he saw 17 pitches without putting any in play. He also stole a base. Stewart fanned twice, once looking; once swinging, before realizing his bat was useless and drawing a four-pitch walk of his own with the bases loaded in the 4th to knot the score at one. Brad Nelson followed with a two-run single that was the game's deciding blow.

The other thing of note about the game, other than the mausoleum vibe that persisted throughout, was that it took until the game's 22nd batter with two out in the top of the 3rd before a ball was fouled out of play. Don't ask me why I happened to notice that. There's always something that you just don't see everyday. Friday night it was a wind-blown 65 foot double by I forget who that failed to score a runner from 2nd because it came with only one out. The high pop looked destined for the third baseman's glove off the bat but landed safely and untouched right behind the pitcher's mound. Give whoever hit it credit for hustling.

 

Comments

I don't think that's a fair criticism of Kendrick (on TCR Twitter). The seats came with a warning, they violated it, and they still got free clothes and drinks out of the situation.

About five years ago a friend of a business associate invited me onto the field at AT&T Park before a Cubs-Giants game. We got to meet Pinella, DLee, and some of the other guys, plus I watched Lincecum do his off-day throwing from about 10 feet behind the mound. The only condition was that we couldn't wear any Cubs gear. A few people in the party bitched about that, but in the end, some privileges are clearly worth the sacrifice.

Not all that long ago I went to a Cubs spring training game and there was a sea of Prior jerseys and it was about 3 years since he had pitched for the Cubs. Some people should be banned from wearing jerseys just on general principle.

I know this girl who got the owner's box seats at Yankee Stadium back in the 90's. She wore an Orioles hat, she was a fan. She and her hipster doofus friend were kicked out of the game. I think he got hit by a foul ball.

Hee hee.

I'll have you know that the "hipster dufus" you mentioned happens to be a very talented dermatologist. He saved my cousin's life by identifying a problem mole. Dr. Van Nostrand, I believe it was

Isn't that the guy who decked Mickey Mantle?

Joe Pepitone is screaming "You killed Mickey! You killed Mickey!"

You called?

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 13 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 7 hours 12 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 8 hours 24 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 48 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 40 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 14 hours 14 min ago view