Walk in the Park Turns into Nightmare on Center Street
Rolando Gomez hammered a two-run home run and a two-run triple to help overcome an early seven-run deficit, as the Angels rallied to edge the Cubs 10-9 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
The Cubs took advantage of 12 walks through the first five innings to plate nine runs, as Gioskar Amaya drove-in three runs with two RBI singles and Jae-Hoon Ha slugged a two-run HR. But the Angels scored two in the 5th, five in the 6th, one in the 8th, and two in the 9th, to claim the victory.
18-year old switch-hitting Dominican OF Oliver "Viva" Zapata had three more hits today and was on base four times, raising his Instructs slash-line to a likely unsustainable 857/889/1.143. (He hit 241/333/661 in 71 games & 301 PA for DSL Cubs #1 during the 2010 regular season). Zapata is a stocky, roly-poly kid (5'8, 200), who looks more like a catcher or a college fullback than an outfielder. But he runs surprisingly well for a player with his body type, he is a good bunter, and he has a nice compact swing from both sides of the plate. He has committed several errors and misplays in the outfield already, however, like errors on successive plays last week, and turning what should have been a line-drive out into a triple leading-off the top of the 9th today. He played both CF and 2B in the DSL, but I've only seen him in the outfield so far.
CF Jae-Hoon Ha had another fine game in the field, making a running catch on the warning track in right-center in the 4th, and throwing out a runner at the plate trying to score from second base on a line-drive single to CF with two outs in the top of the 9th, keeping it a run-run game and at least giving the Cubs a chance to maybe tie it up in their last AB. But despite the fine running catch and the clutch 9th inning outfield assist, one thing Ha does do that he really needs to change is that he tends to hold the ball too long before throwing it back to the infield. He should watch how Kosuke Fukudome does it. (Just throw the damn ball!).
RHP (and ex-C) Alvaro Sosa had an especially bad day on the mound, allowing five runs on four singles, a double, and a triple in the 6th, while Casey Harman gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the 9th on two triples (one of which was Zapata's misplay), a double, and a single.
Cubs 2B Pin-Chieh Chen had to leave the game in the bottom of the 3rd inning after he was struck on the left rib-cage by a ball thrown in from CF while he was standing on 2nd base. He had to be helped off the field, although he was able to walk to the clubhouse under his own power.
Dustin Geiger returned to action today after leaving Saturday’s game when he was hit on the left hand by a pitch, and Logan Watkins is expected to be in the lineup within the next couple of days after being sidelined for the past week with back spasms.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-0 (BB, BB)
1b. Willson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-3 (4-3 GIDP, L-9, K, R)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, DH-SS: 1-4 (1-6-3 GIDP, 1B, BB, E6, 3-U, RBI, R, CS)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, 6-4-3 GIDP, HR, 6-3, P-1, 2 RBI, R)
4a. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-1 (3-U, BB, BB, R, SB, CS)
4b. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (L-9, K)
5. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-3 (BB, BB, K, 6-3, K, R)
6a. Chad Noble, C: 0-1 (BB, 6-3, BB, R)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-0 (HBP)
7. Wes Darvill, SS-DH: 0-2 (BB, BB, F-8, K, R)
8. Engel Santana, DH #2: 2-4 (K, 1B, 1B, K, 2 RBI, R)
9. Gioskar Amaya, 3B-2B: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, 1B, 6-3, 3 RBI)
10. Oliver Zapata, RF: 3-3 (1B, BB, 1B, 2B, R, SB)
1. Brent Ebinger: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 28 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Jeff Lorick: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
3. Starling Peralta: 1.0, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Jhon Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 22 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
6. Casey Harman: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3B Willson Contreras E-5 (missed catch on relay throw from LF allowed runner to score from 3rd)
1. Oliver Zapata: threw out batter 9-4-2 trying to stretch triple into inside-the-park HR
2. Jae-Hoon Ha: threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd on single to CF.
ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s
2010 CUBS INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:
ACTIVE LIST (47):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
* Jeff Lorick
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
# Engel Santana
* Justin Bour
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
* Logan Watkins
* Delbis Arcila
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata
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.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.