Reds Nine-Run 9th Crushes Cubs at HoHoKam Park
Donald Lutz slugged a three-run home run to cap a nine-run 9th, as the Cincinnati Reds drubbed the Cubs 11-1 in Cactus League action this evening at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Jeff Samardzija got the start for the Cubs and threw five strong innings (72 pitches - 53 strikes), allowing just one run on five hits (two doubles and three singles) and no walks, with four strikeouts and 6/5 GO/FO. The Reds scored their only run off The Shark in the top of the 3rd, when pitcher Johnny Cueto singled with two outs, advanced to 2nd base on a WP, and scored on an Emmanuel Burriss RBI double.
But Reds SP Johnny Cueto was even better, shutting out the Cubs on four hits and a walk over six innings.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 7th, when Todd Frazier took Cubs LHP Hisanoiri Takahashi deep for a solo HR. Takahashi had struck out the side in a 1-2-3 6th before allowing the Frazier dinger (Takahashi's team leading 4th HR allowed in just 15.1 IP) in his 2nd inning of work.
Shawn Camp (pitching in a game for the second day in a row) got the final out in the 7th, and then James Russell worked a scoreless 8th.
The Reds nine-run 9th was mostly a result of Carlos Marmol's ineffectiveness, as the Cub closer surrendered six runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk without retiring a batter. It's unusual for a Spring Training crowd to boo a player from the home team, but the fans at HoHoKam Park really let Marmol have it as he left the mound. (It's Spring Training for Cubs fans, too).
The Cubs scored their only run of the evening in the bottom of the 7th off Reds RHRP Alfredo Simon. Welington Castillo led-off the frame and fisted a bloop single to RF, advanced to 2nd on a ground out, and scored on a Steve Clevenger two-out PH opposite-field double into the LF corner.
Down 2-1, the Cubs got the tying and potential go-ahead runs on base with one out against Simon in the 8th (Dan Vogelbach walked and Dave Sappelt drilled a single), but Nate Schierholtz struck out (swinging) and Jeimer Candelario (up from Minor League Camp) grounded out to end the trhreat. (Candelario also made a costly error in the top of the 9th).
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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