A's Top Cubs at Papago Park
Dayton Alexander knocked-in two runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, leading the Athletics to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Park Baseball Facility in Phoenix, AZ.
Eloy Jimenez drove-in two of the three Cub runs with a sharply-hit RBI ground single through the 5.5 hole with two outs in the 1st inning and a two-out bases loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch in the 5th.
The Cub offense collected more walks (8) than hits (3) in the game, while Cub pitchers surrendered more walks (8) than hits (6).
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
In EXST Cubs roster news, AAA Iowa OF Jae-Hoon Ha (post-2013 broken wrist) has completed his EXST rehab and has rejoined the I-Cubs, and INF Giuseppe Papaccio has been moved up to AA Tennessee.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-4 (K, BB, K, 1B, K, PO)
2a. Varonex Cuevas, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, BB, F-8, 2 R, SB)
2b. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-1 (K)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF-CF: 0-4 (F-8, K, BB, P-3, 6-3)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, BB, 5-3, K, 2 RBI)
5. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 0-3 (K, BB, BB, 3-1, K, RBI)
6. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-4 (L-4, 3-U, 3-1, K)
7. Mark Malave, C: 0-3 (BB, K, K, 4-3)
8a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, K)
8b. Roney Alcala, PH-3B: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
9a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, F-7, R)
9b. Arnaldo Calero, RF: 0-1 (E-5)
1. Tyler Ihrig: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 40 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Jose Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 24 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Hector Perez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Frailyn Figueroa: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 1 BALK, 2/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Greyfer Eregua: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
6. Zak Hermans: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
2. P Frailyn Figueroa - E-1 (overthrow on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd)
3. C Mark Malave - E-2 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Mark Malave: 0-1 CS, 1 PB, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 90's
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.