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
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
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.