Bad Blood Moon Rising Marinerates Over Mesa Riverview
17-year old Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Hermosillo, Mexico - $850K signing bonus) drilled a pinch-hit walk-off RBI single into the right-centerfield alley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Mariners 8-7 in AZL action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
18-year old Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) belted a two-run HR, a two-run single, and a double, and drew a walk and Yohan Matos tripled, singled, and walked and scored the game-winning run in the 10th to aid the Cubs cause. (Zamudio leads the AZL Cubs in HR, RBI, and SLG).
The game featured a rare (for the AZL) bench-clearing skirmish at 2nd base in the bottom of the 7th inning. The bases were loaded with one out with the Cubs having already scored three times to take a 7-6 lead, when Ruben Reyes bounced into an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP. But Cubs baserunner Yohan Matos slid hard into Mariners SS Joseph Rosa while attempting to break-up the DP, and the two players came close to exchanging blows before other players pulled them apart. There was only one ejection resulting from the tete-a-tete, that being Mariners 1st base coach James Lofton. (Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez was also ejected later in the game, but he got his while arguing balls & strikes in the bottom of the 9th).
The last three innings of the game were somewhat tense as both benches alternately chanted, yelled, and jeered with every pitch (VERY unusual for an AZL game, which normally has the ambience of a public library), and the Mariners bench erupted with loud cheers of joy after Joseph Rizzo (Mariners 2016 2nd round draft pick - Oakton HS - Vienna, VA) laced a game-tying RBI triple into the RF corner on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the 9th to drive-in Anthony Jimenez (who had reached base after being hit by a pitch with two outs and nobody on base). But the Cubs were not to be outdone, as the entire team mobbed Paredes (who struck out five times in five AB versus the Mariners Wednesday night in Peoria) between 1st & 2nd after he delivered his game-winning hit... just before it started to rain.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, CF: 1-6 (1B, K, E-7, F-8, K, K, R, CS)
2a. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 1-3 (HBP, BB, F-7, 1B+E7, K, 2 R, SB)
2b. Isaac Paredes, PH: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
3. Zack Short, SS: 1-4 (K, F-9, 1B, BB, F-8, 2 R, RBI)
4. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 3-4 (BB, HR, 2B, 1B, K, 2 R, 4 RBI)
5. Michael Cruz, DH: 0-3 (P-5, E-6, F-9 SF, 1-3 SH, P-4, RBI)
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-5 (P-4, P-3, 3-U, 1B, E-6, RBI)
7. Jhonny Bethencourt, 3B: 1-4 (1-3, 1B, K, BB, 4-U FC, PO)
8. Yohan Matos, LF: 2-4 (3B, K, K, 1B, BB, R)
9. Ruben Reyes, RF: 1-4 (1-3, F-8, 2B, 4-6-3 DP, 1-3 SH)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Jordan Brink: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2/4 GO/AO, 31 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Javier Assad: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/AO, 70 pitches (44 strikes)
3. Jack Leathersich: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
4. Luis Aquino: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 5/0 GO/AO, 41 pitches (31 strikes)
5. Jose Leidenz: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 3
1. C Jhonny Pereda: E-2 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score)
2. 2B Edgar Rondon: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. 3B Jhonny Bethencourt: E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy & a bit breezy with temperaures in the 90's