Albertos Gives D'backs Plenty of Nothin' at Salt River Fields
RHSP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M signing bonus) hurled four innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts and Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick Michael Cruz (making his pro debut) belted an RBI double off the top of the right-centerfield fence (near HR) with two outs in the top of the 8th that drove-in the run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, as the AZL Cubs withstood a four-run 9th inning rally and edged the AZL Diamondbacks 5-4 in Arizona League action Wednesday night on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Strick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Besides the 8th inning RBI double, Cruz also was hit by a pitch (right shoulder) in his first pro AB, fouled a ball off his right instep in his second AB, and took a foul-tip off his right shoulder in the bottom of the 4th while working behind the plate (he caught all nine innings in 105+ degree heat). Welcome to pro ball.
The 17-year old Albertos was masterful beyond his years in his four innings of work, staying ahead in the count (69% of his pitches were strikes) and mixing a 96-98 MPH fastball with a plus-change and an occasional curve to keep the opposing hitters off-balance. In fact, the Albertos change-up was so deceptive that one D'backs hitter injured his right knee (and had to leave the game) screwing himself into the ground on a swinging third strike trying in vain to hit one. The only hit off Albertos was a broken-bat line drive single over the third-baseman's head with two outs in the top of the 1st.
The AZL Diamondbacks were held to one hit (the first-inning broken-bat single) through the first eight innings of the game, but Kyle Smith (two-run double), Juan Araujo (RBI double), and Michael Branigan (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to the four-run 9th inning rally that fell a run short, as the potential tying and winning runs were left-stranded on the bases.
LHRP Jack Leathersich (ex-NYM) had another clean 1-2-3 inning (K, K, 6-3), as he continues to impress in his rehab from July 2015 TJS.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, RF: 1-5 (L-7, L-5, 1B, 1-3, K)
2. Jose Gonzalez, CF: 0-4 (1-3, 4-3, 6-3, BB, K, R)
3. Jhonny Bethencourt, SS: 0-3 (4-3, L-4, BB, 6-3, R, SB)
4. Gustavo Polanco, 1B: 1-4 (3-U, L-8, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Kevin Zamudio, DH: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 5-3, F-8, R)
6. Michael Cruz, C: 1-3 (HBP, F-7, F-8, 2B, RBI)
7. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 2-4 (1B, 2B, 6-3, K, R)
8. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 1-3 (3-U, 5-3 SH, 1B, K, RBI)
9. Ruben Reyes, LF: 1-3 (4-3, F-7 SF, K, 1B, RBI)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Jose Albertos: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 54 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Jack Leathersich: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Eugenio Palma: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 4/2 GO/AO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Tanner Griggs: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Luis Aquino: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 4 pitches (4 strikes)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Gustavo Polanco: E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Michael Cruz: 1 PB
WEATHER: Clear with temperatures 100+
Arizona Phil 1 hour 5 min ago (view)
The fact hat the Cubs have not run him through waivers by now tells me the Cubs know Duane Underwood Jr is a lock to get claimed and so they are hoping to find a club that would be willing to give the Cubs something more than the $50,000 waiver price in return for Dunderwood (either more $$$ and/or a player).
Arizona Phil 1 hour 47 min ago (view)
Today's pitchers, most of them the same guys who threw last Tuesday:
COMMENT: This just in: Mills heater now sitting at 91!!!!... had two easy innings and looked very good... threw only a handful of his "Bugs Bunny curves" but they are fun to watch because hitters don't know how to deal with it... ...
Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago (view)
DJL: Jason Adam sustained a right elbow fracture a few years ago and missed two full seasons, and when he returned to action he started using a "short-arm" delivery.
crunch 2 hours 22 min ago (view)
baez "soft tissue injury"...no biggie...it's spring. he'll be back in a day or 2.
crunch 4 hours 31 min ago (view)
kimbrel...K, single, HBP, 3 more hits...inning called due to pitch count. 4 earned.
also, baez removed after being HBP on the hand.
First.Pitch.120 10 hours 43 min ago (view)
Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.
Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton.
First.Pitch.120 10 hours 45 min ago (view)
Yes! Exactly... I'd love to be able to watch coverages in football or just key-in on a great WR to watch them work.
First.Pitch.120 10 hours 48 min ago (view)
Wow... this is the most engagement I have ever received on any topic on social media platform. Please stay tuned for my opinions on the Oxford Comma, the APA Style Manual for Academic Writing, and the auto-correct on my iPhone.
I am an awesome guy at parties....
bradsbeard 21 hours 12 min ago (view)
I watched some of the Puerto Rican Winter League games that Miguel Amaya played in this winter. At least one broadcast had a super wide shot for balls in play that let you see the OF and the baserunners at the same time. It was awesome.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 18 min ago (view)
3 dots on this evening's Cubs-Dodgers game - makes sense & they do color in the 3rd dot as they're going to commericals (Spectrum Sportsnet).
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
3 dot crew represent. i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.
Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!
Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.
George Altman 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport, to learn something from the broadcast crew.
Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't, and I know about NOTHING about football.
First.Pitch.120 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3. If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #. eg - OUTS: 1 It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.
crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.
First.Pitch.120 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.