Tulo Two RBI Too Much for Cubs
Troy Tulowitzki drove-in both Colorado runs with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, and Jorge de la Rosa and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs offense sputtered all day, but they did threaten to score twice.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning but did not score (Luis Valbuena drew a walk, Darwin Barney reached on an infield hit down the third-base line, and Starlin Castro grounded a single to left, but then Alfonso Soriano and Scott Hairston struck out swinging and Dioner Navarro flied out to CF), and the first two Cubs reached base in the bottom of the 9th but were left stranded (Steve Clevenger reached on an infield single that glanced off the pitcher's glove and Johermyn Chavez drew a walk, but Darnell McDonald was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch, Jorge Soler popped out to the first-baseman in foul territory, and PH Brad Nelson rolled out 4-3).
After not pitching in an "A" game since a week ago Sunday, Edwin Jackson got the start for the Cubs today and became the first Cub hurler to go five innings, E-Jax allowed one run on three hits (two infield singles and the Tulo RBI double) and one walk in his 5.0 IP (59 pitches - 38 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), while striking out two. This was definitely the best Jackson has looked so far this Spring.
Japanese import RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa labored through a 25-pitch 6th, as the Rockies loaded the bases on a single and two walks, followed by the Tulowitzki SF. Although Fujikawa was behind on most every hitter he faced, he did strike out two (one looking and one swinging).
Both Cory Wade and Carlos Marmol breezed through seven-pitch shutout innings in the 7th & 8th, and Jensen Lewis pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a lead-off single, but eventually leaving the runner stranded at 2nd.
Catcher Dioner Navarro had another strong game behind the plate, picking one runner off 1st base, and nailing another runner trying to steal 2nd.
After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, Starlin Castro returned to the lineup and looked fine. He played shortstop for three innings and handled five chances easily (Eric Young, Jr did beat-out an infield single to deep short, but there was no realistic chance to throw Young out although Castro did make the play close at 1st), and reached base in both of his AB (drawing a walk in the 1st, and grounding a single to LF in the 3rd).
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.