Cubs 9th Inning Rally Falls Short at Papago
Logan Watkins reached base four times (three singles and a HBP), scored twice, and drove-in a run, and D. J. LeMahieu blasted a two-run double and a solo HR, but a 9th inning Cub rally fell short as the potential tying run was thrown out at the plate, giving the A's a 10-9 decision over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix this afternoon.
The Cubs got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a Kyler Burke RBI ground out with the bases loaded and a two-out, two-run RBI single by Rebel Ridling, and then scored three more times in the top of the 5th on a two-run double by D. J. LeMahieu and a Ryan Flaherty triple to take a 6-0 lead, before the roof caved in the 5th and 6th as the A's scored nine unanswered runs to take a 9-6 lead.
LeMahieu narrowed the gap to 9-7 in the top of the 8th, hitting a solo HR over the LF fence, the LSU Tigers' first professional HR. (LeMahieu is probably the best hitter at Instructs, but most of his hits are rockets hit to CF or RF, and while he hits the ball very hard, he doesn't have much elevation in his swing... at least until today, when he turned on the ball like HR hitters do, and launched one out of the yard).
The A's added an insurance run in the 8th on a lead-off solo HR, but the Cubs threatened to tie the game in the top of the 9th.
Rebel Ridling led-off the 9th for the Cubs by lining a single to right. Then with one out, Richard Jones reached safely when the A's second-baseman dropped a pop fly in short right for an error. Brandon May walked to load the bases, and Kyung-Min Na blooped a single into short left, scoring Ridling, and keeping the bases jammed. Logan Watkins then roped what appeared to be a sure-fire game-tying two-run single to right-center, and while Jones did score easily from 3rd, May got a late break off 2nd base and was thrown out at the plate. Then LeMahieu popped up to the second-baseman to end the game, leaving runners stranded at 2nd & 3rd.
19-year old LHP Austin Kirk (Cubs 2009 3rd round draft pick out of Owasso HS - Owasso, OK) got the start today and worked three shutout innings. He escaped trouble in the bottom of the second when he walked the first two hitters, before getting out of the jam with a 6-4 FC grounder, and a 6-4-3 DP. Kirk retired the last six men he faced.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Logan Watkins, 2B: 3-4 (1B, HBP, 1B, 1-3, 1B), 2 R, RBI, CS
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 2-5 (3-U, 5-3, 2B, HR, P-4), R, 3 RBI
3. Ryan Flaherty, 3B: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 3B, F-7), 2 R
4. Brandon Guyer, LF: 1-2 (HBP, BB, 6-3, 2B), R
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-3 (6-3, L-8, BB, 6-3), RBI
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 2-4 (1B, E-9, K, 1B), R, 2 RBI
7. Justin Bour, DH #1: 0-4 (6-U FC, K, 4-6-3 DP, L-7)
8. Richard Jones, DH #2: 1-4 (4-3, 4-3, 1B, E-4), R
9a. Jovan Rosa, C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B), R
9b. Brandon May, PH-C: 0-0 (BB, BB)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 4-6-3 DP, 1B), RBI
1. Austin Kirk - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4/4 GO/FO, 49 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 3/4 GO/FO, 46 pitches (26 strikes)
3. Hector Mayora - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Steve Grife - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
D. J. LeMahieu (E-6) - errant throw to 1B with two outs in the bottom of the 5th allowed batter to reach base safely, but then the runner at 2nd base was thrown out 3-2 trying to score on the play for the third out of the inning.
Jovan Rosa - 0-2 CS, 1 PB
1. D. J. LeMahieu - was thrown out 9-4-5 trying to stretch two-run RBI double into triple with one out in the top of the 5th.
2. Brandon May - was thrown out 8-2 trying to score tying run from 2nd base on single to right-center with bases loaded and one out in the top of the 9th.
WEATHER: 90's, hot & sunny
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.