The Brewers took advantage of four errors and seven walks to defeat the Cubs 10-1 at Maryvale Baseball Complex Field #7 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon in Phoenix.
While the main purpose of "Instructs" is to provide lots of coaches and instructors and a less-pressurized, more low-key environment that allows pitchers to work on a new pitch or on their secondary stuff and position players to try a new position, make adjustments as a hitter, or improve their baserunning, the fact is somedays the Cubs youngsters look better than they do on other days. And today was just not one of the good days.
18-year old Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez got the start for the Cubs, and had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning with two strikeouts and a 3-1 ground out. But the big right-hander gave up three runs in the second on a lead-off first-pitch single, a walk (3-2 pitch just missed), and a line single to CF that was misplayed into a three-base error by Tony Campana, allowing all three runs to score (only one of the runs ended up being earned, however). Suarez actually looked OK, throwing an 88-91 MPH "heavy" two-seamer with an effective breaking ball and change.
RHP Tommy Mejia (2008 NDFA out of Dominican College in New York) followed and didn't even last one inning. In fact, the only two outs he got were baserunners caught stealing by catcher Carlos Perez. Otherwise Mejia had a very poor outing (four consecutive hits).
2008 11th round pick RHP Toby Matchulat (Wabash Valley CC) wasn't much better, allowing three runs (one earned) on two singles and a walk mixed together with his own throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 1st base and a costly two-out fielding error by SS Carlos Morales (the first of two errors by the lanky Dominican infielder).
RHPs John Muller and Brian Schlitter (the former a converted college SS and the latter acquired from the Phillies last month for LHP Scott Eyre) and Daytona LHP Dustin Sasser then combined to throw four scoreless innings of one-hit relief, before converted OF (now LHP) Luke Sommer gave up two runs in the bottom of the 9th on two doubles and a triple. (Even though the Brewers were victorious in 8-1/2 innings, the game was extended one additional half-inning to allow Sommer to get his scheduled one inning of work).
The Cubs scored their only run in the bottom of the 6th on a lead-off single by Carlos Perez, a one-out double to left center by Josh Harrison (2008 6th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati), and an RBI sac fly to medium-deep RF by converted infielder (now catcher) Robinson Chirinos.
Starlin Castro had three singles and a stolen base.
Brandon Guyer (who hit a HR in each of the Cubs first two games) had the day off.
And still no sign of 3B Josh Vitters and OF Dylan Johnston.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-4 (K, CS)
2. Josh Harrison, LF: 2-4 (2 2B, SB, CS)
3. Robinson Chirinos, DH-C: 0-2 (SF-RBI, BB)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 0-4 (K)
5. Michael Brenly, 1B: 0-2 (2 BB, K)
6. Jake Opitz, DH #2: 0-2 (2 BB)
7. Starlin Castro, 3B: 3-4 (SB)
8. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-3 (BB)
9. Carlos Morales, SS: 0-3 (K)
10. Carlos Perez, C-DH: 1-3 (R)
1. Larry Suarez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K (2/2 GO/FO) - 33 pitches (17 strikes)
2. Tomy Mejia - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K - 23 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Toby Matchulat - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP (1/2 GO/FO) - 19 pitches (11 strikes)
4. John Muller - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 24 pitches (11 strikes)
5. Brian Schlitter - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (0/1 GO/FO) - 31 pitches (19 strikes)
6. Dustin Sasser - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 16 pitches (10 strikes)
7. Luke Sommer - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K (0/2 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (13 strikes)
1. Tony Campana, E-8, overran line drive single to CF allowing batter to run all the way around the bases and score (three-base error)
2. Toby Matchulat, E-1, overthrew pickoff attempt at 1st base, allowing runner to advance to 2nd base
3. Carlos Morales, E-6, fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base & runners to score from 2nd and 3rd
4. Carlos Morales, E-6, misplayed ground ball allowing batter to reach base
Carlos Perez: 2-3 CS
Robinson Chirinos: 1-1 CS
LF Josh Harrison, threw out batter-runner 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double
WEATHER: 100+ again, occasionally breezy, but mainly just plain very hot
ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)