A Sosa Deja View from Center Street
Francisco Sosa slugged a two-run HR onto Center Street and his teammates rapped out ten singles, seven doubles, and two triples, as the EXST Rockies took both games of a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader from the EXST Cubs by scores of 4-2 and 11-2 this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields and were scheduled as seven-inning affairs, but the game on Field #2 was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Rockies pitchers to get their scheduled work.
While the Rockies were ripping ten extra-base hits in the two games, the Cubs managed just one (a Dustin Harrington double). The Cubs also grounded into five double plays, committed two errors, and pulled a couple of base-running gaffes.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):
1. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-4 (1B, K, 3-U, K)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (1-6-3 DP, 1B, K)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (3-U, L-7, 2-3)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (5-3, 5-4-3 DP, K)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, 6-3)
6. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-3 (5-3, K, F-8)
7. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 2-3 (6-3, 2B, 1B, 2 R)
8. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-1 (1B, BB, BB)
9. Brian Inoa, DH: 2-3 (F-7, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
1. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 51 pitches (28 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Jean Sandoval: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 46 pitches (31 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Luis Villalba: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 27 pitches (15 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
C Johan DeJesus E2 – overthrow at 3rd base on stolen base attempt allowed runner to score unearned run
Johan DeJesus: 3-4 CS, 1 E (see above)
1. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-4 (F-8, 1-U, 4-6-3 DP, P-6)
2. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, K, R)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THROUGH BATTING ORDER
3. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, K, BB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THROUGH BATTING ORDER
4. Dong-Yub Kim, DH: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-8, 5-4-3 DP)
5. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (6-3 DP, 1B, 3-1, F-8, RBI)
6. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (2-3, 5-3, 6-3)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THROUGH BATTING ORDER
7. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 3-4 (4-3, 1B, 1B, 1B, R)
8. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
9. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-2 (1B, BB, F-8)
1. Charles Thomas: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 40 pitches (19 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
NOTE: Thomas first inning of work was stopped with one out when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning
2. Colin Richardson: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 22 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 45 pitches (29 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Diplan’s second inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit
4. Larry Suarez: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Suarez’s inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit
C Yaniel Cabezas E2 – overthrow at 2nd base on stolen base attempt allowed runner to advance to 3rd base
Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
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.