Vogelbach leads the way in Mesa's win over Salt River
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Over the past few games, Cubs prospect Dan Vogelbach hit a rough patch and went 10 at-bats with collecting a hit.
However, in Mesa's 3-1 victory over Salt River on Tuesday night, Vogelbach broke out of his funk and notched his fifth multi-hit game of the Arizona Fall League.
The Cubs' No. 10 prospect according to MLBpipeline.com went 2-for-4 and provided all of Mesa's offense with three RBIs.
"I've just really tried to simplify things the past week or so and have worried about hitting balls hard, not so much about getting hits," Vogelbach said. "Tonight, I hit two balls that they weren't able to get to and that's how the game works."
Tuesday's game at Salt River Fields, the 11th game in which Major League Baseball's Pace of Game Committee's new pitch-clock initiative was in effect, was completed in two hours and 45 minutes.
The Pace of Game Committee is testing a 20-second pitch clock in all AFL games at Salt River Fields this season, and through 11 games, the average game time is two hours and 39 minutes.
After the first two batters of the game were retired, Mesa loaded the bases via two walks and a hit. Vogelbach, the Cubs' second-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, then came to the plate and gave the Solar Sox an early lead with a three-run single to left.
In the fourth, Vogelbach found his way on base again as he led off the inning with a double to right.
"I think that when you start worrying about hits, you don't get hits," Vogelbach said. "When you just go out here and have fun, have good at-bats and put good swings on balls, at the end of the day, it's going to work out the way you want. You've just got to take it pitch by pitch and day by day."
Individually, the simplified approach worked well for Vogelbach. For the team, it was also beneficial as Vogelbach's three RBIs were the only offense the Solar Sox were able to muster.
"When you've got a guy like [Felipe] Rivero pitching and you can get three early, it's always a good sign," Vogelbach said. "He's in the zone, he throws hard and he's got good stuff so you like your chances anytime you can get a lead with him on the mound."
The early lead paid off as Rivero, the Nationals' No. 16 prospect, put together his best performance of the AFL.
The left-hander allowed 15 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings over his first five starts, but on Tuesday night he was dominant.
Rivero twirled five innings of one-run ball, while allowing just one hit and striking out four. Rivero also retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
"I faced him last year in the Florida State League when he was with Charlotte, and when he throws strikes, he's unhittable," Vogelbach said. "Tonight, he threw strikes, all three pitches and as you can tell, when he throws strikes, it's tough for the opposing team."