Cubs Out-Fox Sox at Camelback Ranch
Jake Fox had three hits and drove in five runs with a two-run double and a three-run homer, Milton Bradley drove in three runs with a two-run home run and an RBI single, Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs with a solo HR and an RBI single, and Sean Marshall started the game and pitched five strong innings (getting ten ground balls), as the Cubs drubbed the White Sox 13-2 in Cactus League action at Camelback Ranch this afternoon
I was not at the game, but I can provide the scoring summary:
Top of the 3rd (Cubs batting versus LHP Mark Buehrle): Alfonso Soriano hit a solo HR and Ryan Theriot singled with one out, and then Milton Bradley hit a two-run HR with two outs.
Cubs lead 3-0
Bottom of the 3rd (White Sox batting versus Sean Marshall): Left-handed hitter Dewayne Wise singled with one out, and scored on a two-out double by left-handed hitter Chris Getz.
Cubs lead 3-1
Top of the 4th (Cubs batting versus LHP Mark Buehrle): Mike Fontenot singled leading off the inning, and scored on a two-out RBI double by So Taguchi. Alfonso Soriano singled to score Taguchi, and Ryan Theriot walked, advancing Soriano to 2nd. Then Reed Johnson singled scoring Soriano from 2nd, (RHP Jack Egbert relieved Buehrle). Milton Bradley singled, scoring Theriot. Jake Fox doubled, scoring R. Johnson and Bradley, and then Mike Fontenot singled, but J. Fox was thrown out at the plate by White Sox RF Brian Anderson trying to score frrom 2nd....
Cubs lead 9-1
Bottom of the 5th (White Sox batting versus Sean Marshall): Josh Fields hit a solo HR leading off the inning.
Cubs lead 9-2
Sean Marshall pitched five innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (two singles by Paul Konerko and one by Dewayne Wise, the Chris Getz RBI double, and the solo HR by Josh Fields), no walks, one HBP (Carlos Quentin), and a WP, while striking out three (Jim Thome twice and Alexei Ramirez once), with a phenomenal 10/2 GO/FO.
Top of the 6th (Cubs batting versus RHP Scott Linebrink ): Ryan Theriot singled leading off the inning, PH Micah Hoffpauir walked with one out, and Jake Fox hit a three-run home run.
Cubs lead 12-2
Top of the 7th (Cubs batting versus RHP Randy Williams): Koyie Hill singled leading off the inning, and then Andres Blanco and Bobby Scales singled with two outs, with Scales driving in K. Hill.
Cubs lead 13-2
The Cubs also loaded the bases in the top of the 8th with two outs versus RHP Lance Broadway (Estaban German and Mark Johnson singled and Joey Gathright walked to load the bases), but Nelson Perez (up from minor league camp) struck out.
Jeff Samardzija, Luis Vizcaino, Mike Stanton, and Chad Fox each worked one shutout inning of relief for the Cubs...
Samardzija allowed a one-out single to Jim Thome in the 6th before striking out Ben Broussard and A,. J. Pierzynski, Vizcaino pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning (striking out Gordon Beckham and Josh Fields and then getting Wise on a GO) Stanton allowed a one-out single to left-handed hitting Getz and a two-out walk to left-handed hitting Thome in the 8th with a 1/2 GO/FO (no strikeouts), and Chad Fox pitched the bottom of the 9th and allowed a two-out single to Fields and struck out two (Beckham and Wise).
I think it's fairly obvious that Jake Fox can hit, and he probably has the most power of any player in the Cubs minor league system. The problem is, his best position is DH, but if he stays in the N. L., his only chance to DH is a couple of weeks in June during interleague play and then (maybe!) in the World Series.
Fox is a defensive liability no matter where he plays, but it looks like the position where he might have a chance to become at least passably mediocre is 1st base, and so it appears that the Cubs have decided to get him as many reps as possible there, which is probably why he hasn't played any LF, RF, 3B, or catcher so far this Spring, even occasionally.
Fox will likely play 1B at Iowa in 2009,and perhaps could get a call-up for interleague play, where he can platoon with Hoffpauir at DH, and then again on September 1st, when he can spend the month of September hitting off the bench as the Cubs #1 RHPH (presuming he can handle that duty).
Unfortunately, Foxy's long-term future is probably not with the Cubs.
The Cubs (and Jake Fox) return to Mesa tomorrow to face the Seattle Mariners at Ho Ho Kam Park
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.