Brett Jackson Back in the Saddle at Fitch Ranch
The EXST Cubs rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the EXST Diamondbacks 6-6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs did have a chance to win the game, but Reggie Golden popped out to the first-baseman to end the bottom of the 9th, leaving the potential winning run stranded at 3rd base.
Tennessee OF (and Cubs 2009 1st round draft pick and #1 position player prospect) Brett Jackson saw his first game action since going on the Smokies DL with a finger injury on May 12th, getting four plate appearances as a DH, one in each of the first four innings.
B-Jax ripped a line-drive single to RF in his first AB in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounded out 4-3 in the bottom of the 2nd, struck out swinging in the bottom of the 3rd, and hammered a triple off the right-centerfield fence (near HR) in the bottom of the 4th (and eventually scored on a Pin-Chieh Chen GO). Based on how he swung the bat today (very well), I doubt that he will be down here much longer.
LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke got the start for the Cubs and worked two strong innings (19 pitches - 16 strikes) allowing just a lead-off single on his first pitch to the first batter he faced, before retiring the next six in order, including three on strikeouts (two swinging).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only)
NOTE: Brett Jackson was a DH and batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st inning, 2nd in the bottom of the 2nd, and 1st in the bottom of the 3rd and 4th innings
X. Brett Jackson, DH #1: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, K, 3B, R)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-4 (3-U, 4-3, 3B, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
2a. Augie Ojeda, 2B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, F-8, R)
2b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: NO AB
2c. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
3b. Marco Hernandez, DH #2: 1-2 (K, 1B, R, RBI)
4a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
4b. Gregori Gonzalez, DH #3: 0-1 (6-3, F-7 SF, RBI)
5. Jesus Morelli, LF: 3-4 (1B, 2B, 6-3, 1B, RBI, SB)
6. Brandon May, 3B: 0-4 (6-4-3 DP, K, 6-3, K)
7. Brian Inoa, C: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, K, 1B, RBI)
8. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-4 (F-8, K, 3-U, P-3)
9. Rafael Valdes, SS: 1-3 (5-3, 6-3, 1B)
10. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, 6-4 FC)
11. Carlos Romero, DH #4: 1-3 (K, 4-6 FC, 1B, 2 R)
1. Kyler Burke: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 19 pitches (16 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 0/4 GO/FO
3. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Ramon Garcia: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 42 pitches (28 strikes), 4/5 GO/FO
5. Santo Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 14 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Brian Inoa 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’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.