Soler Leads Cubs to Victory at Riverview Park
Jorge Soler drilled an RBI double and later scored on an Oliver Zapata two-run single in the 1st, and singled and subsequently scored on an errant pick-off attempt in the 2nd, as the Cubs took advantage of eight errors to crush the Athletics 11-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Cub relievers retired the last 16 A's in a row to seal the victory.
At Extended Spring Training while rehabbing a right hamstring injury, Soler served as a DH and batted once in each of the first five innings. After the double (line-drive into the LF corner) and the single (hard-hit grounder through the 5.5 hole) in the first two innings, Soler reached base on an HBP in the 3rd (he was hit in the lower left back), and grounded out 5-3 in the 4th and 5th innings.
The A's committed all eight of their errors in the first three innings, and three of the miscues occurred on the same play in the bottom of the 2nd. It began with SS Jesus Lopez dropping a Ricardo Marcano pop fly in short left field for an E-6, then LF Matt Hillsinger made an errant throw trying to nail Marcano at 2nd base, and finally 1B A. J. Kubala airmailed a throw to 3rd base that allowed Marcano to come around to score the classic "Little League Home Run."
Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHPs Josh Conway, Greyfer Eregua, and Francisco Carrillo, and LHP Michael Heesch squared off in a three-inning "sim" game on Field #3.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Jorge Soler, DH #1: 2-4 (2B, 1B, HBP, 5-3, 5-3, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Soler batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (BB, 4-6 FC, F-8, 4-3, 2 R, RBI, SB)
2. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-4 (1B, F-7, K, 3-1, R, RBI)
3. Oliver Zapata, RF: 1-3 (1B, E-4, BB, F-7, R, 2 RBI, CS)
4a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
4b. Kevin Brown, DH #2: 0-0 (BB, R)
5. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-4 (6-3, E-5, K, 1-3, R)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-4 (E-4, K, F-8, 1B, RBI)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (E6+E7+E3, BB, K, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
8. Mark Malave, 1B: 0-2 (E-5, F-7 SF, K, BB, R, RBI)
9. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-2 (BB, K, 1B, R)
1. Tyler Ihrig: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Zak Hermans: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 43 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (throwing error while attempting to complete DP allowed batter to advance to 2nd base - eventually scored unearned run)
WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.