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
McNutt / Archer didn't work out well for us.
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
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.