Messinger Delivers a Dinger at Riverview
Darius Perry drilled a game-tying RBI single in the 5th, Bryant Betancourt roped an RBI double in the 8th to break the 1-1 tie, and Skyler Messinger capped the scoring with a solo HR in the 9th, lifting the Rockies to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs in Arizona Instructional League game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
In four AZIL games played against the Cubs, Skyler Messinger has been a virtual one-man wrecking crew, going 6-14 with three singles, a double, a triple, and a HR, and four RBI.
The Cubs employed a 13-man batting order with five designated hitters but still struck out 14 times, while Cub pitchers struck out eleven Rockies, albeit in a losing cause. Cubs 2023 4th round pick RHP Will Sanders was especially impressive, striking out the side 1-2-3 (all three swinging) in the top of the 2nd, mixing a 92-95 MPH FB, 82-85 MPH SL, 86 MPH CH, and 80 MPH CV to great effect.
The one bright spot for the Cubs among the position players was Jose Escobar, who collected an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd to put the Cubs up 1-0 after throwing out a runner on the bases for his second AZIL outfield assist in the top of the 1st. (Not counting the intrasquad game, no other Cub outfielder has even one outfield assist in AZIL games). Escobar played exclusively in the infield (rotating between 2B-3B-SS) in the DSL in 2022 and in the ACL in 2023, but he has been moved to the outfield at Instructs and has played only LF and CF over the last four weeks.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
AZIL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Zyhir Hope, CF: 0-3 (K, L-8, L-7)
2. Ed Howard, SS: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
3. Reggie Preciado, 2B-3B: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
4. Drew Bowser, 1B: 1-3 (2B, 6-3, K, CS)
5a. Yahil Melendez, 3B: 0-2 (K, K)
5b. Christian Olivo, 2B: 1-1 (1B)
6. Josh Rivera, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, K, K, R)
7. Jose Escobar, LF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, 3-U, RBI)
8. Leonel Espinoza, RF-DH: 1-2 (K, 1B)
9. Jefferson Encarnacion, DH #2: 0-2 (K, 6-3 DP)
10. Adan Sanchez, C-DH: 1-1 (1B, BB)
11. Alfonsin Rosario, DH-RF: 0-2 (K, 1-3)
12. Alexis Hernandez, DH #4: 0-1 (L-8, BB)
13. Wally Soto, DH-C: 0-2 (4-3, K)
AZIL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Will Sanders: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Shane Marshall: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Nick Dean: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 37 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Ty Johnson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Kenten Egbert: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 32 pitches (18 strikes)
6. Luis A. Reyes: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 0/2 GO/AO, 25 pitches (12 strikes)
AZIL CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. C Adan Sanchez: E-2 (errant throw to 2nd base on SB attempt allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
2. 3B Reggie Preciado: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely)
AZIL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Adan Sanchez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
AZIL CUBS OUTFIELD ASSIST: 1
LF Jose Escobar- batter thrown out 7-4 attempting to stretch single into double
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"