Cubs Battle Wyverns to 2-2 Tie at Fitch Park
Tyler Skulina and five relievers combined to toss a four-hitter, and Carlos Penalver tripled, singled, walked, and scored both Cub runs, as the Cubs and the SK Wyverns (KBO) played to a 2-2 tie in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
Two Korean (KBO) teams sent developmental squads to the Arizona Instructional League this year, witb the SK Wyverns prospects playing in the AZIL East with the Cubs, A's, Angels, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies, and Las Aguilas de Mexicali (LMP), while the NC Dinos youngsters are assigned to the AZIL West with the Dodgers, Indians, Mariners, Reds, Rangers, Royals, and White Sox. (The Padres are not fielding a team in the AZIL this year, instead opting to send all of their kids to the Dominican Instructional League that begins after the conclusion of the AZIL).
In addition to the traditional AZ Instructional League, there is also an AZ Advanced Instructional League (AZAIL) operating now, too. This league is designed for older and more experienced players than those normally assigned to the AZIL, and consists of squads from the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Rangers, Reds, Royals, a Mariners/Brewers co-op team, and Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo and Los Yaquis de Obregon from the Mexican Pacific League.
Six Cubs players who have been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League (AFL) saw game action in today's AZIL game at Fitch Park, to prep for AFL Opening Day next Tuesday. .
2012 #1 draft pick Albert Almora played CF and batted second in the order, going 0-3 with a 1-3 comebacker to the mound, a P-2 foul out to the catcher, and a strike out (swinging). He caught one fly ball (basket catch, 'natch).
Jorge Soler played RF and batted third, getting three Plate Appearances and reaching base twice on a walk and a line single to left-center. But he was also picked-off 1st base (and he was totally frozen on the play, too, didn't even move, almost like he was distracted or not paying attention).
2013 #1 draft pick Kris Bryant played 3rd base, hit clean-up, and and batted three times, hitting into a 6-4 FC to end the bottom of the 1st, before striking out (swinging) in each of his final two AB (both times on breaking balls on a 1-2 count). He also commited one error in the field (an easy one-hop bouncer hit right at him, that bounced in & out of his glove before dribbling into foul territory).
In addition, Wes Darvill (who is assigned to the Solar Sox "taxi squad," meaning he can play only on Wednesdays and Saturdays) got the start at 2nd base and went 0-2 with a walk, and RHRPs Armando Rivero and Lendy Castillo threw one shutout inning a piece.
The defensive gem of the day was turned-in by 2B Gioskar Amaya, who ranged behind 2nd base with no outs in the top of the 6th to make a diving stop of a grounder headed for CF, and then (from his knees) threw out the Wyverns baserunner trying to advance from 1st to 2nd.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Trey Martin, LF: 1-2 (1-3, 2B, F-9 SF, RBI)
1b. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-1 (4-6 FC, RBI)
2a. Albert Almora, CF: 0-3 (1-3, P-2, K)
2b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (4-6 FC)
3a. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, L-5, PO)
3b. Jose Dore, RF: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Kris Bryant, 3B: 0-3 (6-4 FC, K, K)
4b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-1 (P-5)
5a. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, F-7, BB)
5b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-1 (F-9)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, DH: 1-4 (P-5, F-8, F-7, 1B)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1B, 3B, BB, 1-4 FC, 2 R)
8a. Ben Carhart, 1B: 0-1 (5-3, BB)
8b. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 0-2 (K, 6-4-3 DP)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-1 (K, BB)
9b. Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B)
1. Tyler Skulina: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 2/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Rob Zastryzny: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Armando Rivero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Lendy Castillo: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
5. Johermyn Chavez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 1/4 GO/FO, 38 pitches (18 strikes)
6. Sam Wilson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (overthrow on SB attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd)
2. 3B Kris Bryant - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Wilfredo Petit: 0-3 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Trey Martin - Batter thrown out 7-2-4 trying to advance to 2nd base after a play at the plate on an RBI single.
ATTENDANCE: 12 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny, cloudless, and breezy, with temperatures in the 90's
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.