Game 50 Review
|CUBS 2 DODGERS 1|
W: Michael Wuertz (4-2) L: Yhency Brazoban (2-1) SV: Ryan Dempster (6) Looks like I'm stuck doing the Game Review. My First One. I don't like doing them. So this will be the stripped-down version. Things to know about this game: 1. There was a very bad "Batter's Interference" call against the Cubs. In the seventh inning, with Corey running, Dubois struck out, and the catcher, recent call-up Mike Rose, pulled a Reggie Miller and drew the contact with Dubois on the throw down to second. Ed Rapuano called interference on Dubois, and thus Corey is out at second when he had stolen the base, cleanly. It was good to see Dusty get up and argue a call. 2. Zambrano was nearly unhittable. One hit, in fact, over eight innings. 3. With a runner on first and nobody out in the ninth, tie game, Gagne on the mound, Dusty asked Burnitz to bunt. Burnitz has one sacrifice bunt since 1999. He bunted hard to the third-baseman, forcing the runner at second base. Let me quote to you from the delightful children's story and excellent allegory, The Little Prince:
"If I ordered a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a tragic drama, or to change himself into a sea bird, and if the general did not carry out the order that he had received, which one of us would be in the wrong?" the king demanded. "The general, or myself?" "You," said the little prince firmly. "Exactly. One must require from each one the duty which each one can perform," the king went on. "Accepted authority rests first of all on reason. If you ordered your people to go and throw themselves into the sea, they would rise up in revolution. I have the right to require obedience because my orders are reasonable."Bob Brenley came dangerously close to questioning Baker's decision, using The Little Prince-style logic. We'll see if Baker is allowed on the plane back to Chicago. 4. With runners on second and third, two outs in the ninth, facing Gagne, Dubois ropes one down the left field line, just foul, before striking out to end the inning. Interesting that Baker let Dubois hit, with the Proven Veteran Left-handed Bat Off The Bench, Hollandsworth, left sitting on the bench. Personally, I would have let Dubois hit, too. 5. Ed Rapuano had a terrible, inconsistent strike zone. 6. NEIFI!!! with the go-ahead single in the tenth, run scores when the left-fielder boots the ball. 7. A shout-out to all the people in Parachat, who were going strong at a Dusty Baker's dozen, in an extra-inning game that started at 7 pm on the West Coast. I'll put on the coffee, in the morning. 8. Dempster hit Antonio Perez in the batting helmet with a Curveball to start out the bottom of the tenth with a run one lead. Perez wasn't pleased, but nothing happened, and he stayed in the game. 9. Dempster recovers to get a sacrifice bunt, pop-up, and 6-3. Game over, one-hitter. And so the Cubs, for all the drama and disasters and disabled-list trips, finish May on a five game winning-streak, and two games over the .500 mark.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
More on the Cub Way.
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!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
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.