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
This game is already bumming me out. Hope the Cubs brought their bats.
Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot
That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
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?