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
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.