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
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.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.