Robert Bautista

AZL Cubs Rally for Opening Day Victory

Dwayne Kemp ripped an RBI single to drive-in Robert Bautista with the game-wining run, as the AZL Cubs rallied with three runs in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the AZL Angels 6-5 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action at Fitch Park on Sunday. Kemp also clubbed an RBI triple earlier in the game, and Bautista drove in three runs with a squeeze bunt, a FC grounder, and a single, while also stealing three bases.

 

20-year old 2B D. J. Fitzgerald had a memoraable pro debut, going 4-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and a stolen base. The Cubs 22nd round pick in the 2009 Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) out of Dyersburg State CC, "DJ Fitz" was a star baseball player at Ocean Lakes HS in Virginia Beach, VA. He signed an NLI with Georgia Southern, but ended up at a Tennessee JC instead.

20-year old RHP Toby Matchulat got the start for the AZL Cubs, and was stellar, throwing four shutout innings (7/1 GO/FO), while allowing just two harmless singles and no walks, with four strikeouts. Matchulat just missed making the Boise Opening Day roster, after having an impressive Extended Spring Training at Fitch Park. An 11th round pick out of Wabash Valley JC in 2008, the lanky 6'5 right-hander struggled big-time with his command in his pro debut last year (29 BB in 18.2 IP), but he has really turned it around this year. Kudos to AZL Cubs Pitching Coach Rick Tronerud and Minor Leagure Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins for helping Matchulat find a better arm slot and a more consistent release point.

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  • QuietMan 6 hours 21 min ago view
  • Javy's grunge dive into the stands for the popup was awesome - the hitting into the double play not so much

    Eric S 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • Third time I've tried to post this (forgive me if it winds up appearing three times)

    Junior Lake, batting 9th and playing RF for the Blue Jays...

    Transmission 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • *That was a fun HALF inning.

    Brick 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • this game is no longer awesome.

    crunch 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • he did...it was awesome.

    crunch 8 hours 16 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.

    okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.

    ...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.

    crunch 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • this game is awesome already.

    also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.

    crunch 8 hours 27 min ago view
  • Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.

    Transmission 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • "Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."

    crunch 9 hours 50 min ago view
  • Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 6 min ago view
  • how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?

    crunch 12 hours 1 min ago view
  • Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd

    J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora

    Eric S 12 hours 25 min ago view
  • The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.

    Charlie 15 hours 5 min ago view
  • Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."

    The E-Man 1 day 5 hours ago view