Alzolay Stifles Snakes at Salt River Fields

Pedro Martinez drilled an RBI single to drive-in Rochest Cruz and put the Cubs on the board in the top of the 3rd and then Diamondbacks Joey Rose and Keshawn Lynch belted back-to-back doubles with one out in the bottom of the 5th to knot the score, and that's the way it ended as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 1-1 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Thursday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.    

SP Adbert Alzolay (on Iowa 7-day IL - lat strain) hurled three innings of shutout ball for the Cubs (F-9, P-5, 4-3 * P-4, 1B - CS, K * K, K, 1B, 6-4 FC). He threw 39 pitches (11 in the 1st, 12 in the 2nd, and 16 in the 3rd), of which 22 were strikes. All three of his strikeout victims went down swinging. Alzolay velo was FB 92-95 (T-96), CH 83-86, and CV 79-82, and he was generally able to command all three of his pitches. The FB gained velo during the outing, starting at 92-94 in the 1st inning before consistently sitting at 94-95 (touched 96 once) in the 2nd and 3rd. He mixed his FB & CV (only) in his first two innings, before introducing his CH (he threw five) in his third inning. Alzolay was almost too efficient, because after finishing his three innings of work in the game, he was directed to throw an additional 15 pitches in the bullpen (five FB, five CV, and five CH). 
 
The Cubs played only one Cactus League EXST game today, so the squad that traveled to Salt River Fields consisted of elements of both the "A" team and the "B" team. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Jacob Hannemann, CF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, 3-U)
2. Rochest Cruz, DH #1: 1-2 (4-3 DP, BB, K, R, 2 SB)
3. Pedro Martinez, SS: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, P-6, RBI, CS)
4. Wladimir Galindo, DH #2: 1-3 (2B, 5-3, 6-3)
5. Fabian Pertuz, 3B: 0-3 (L-3, P-4, P-6)
6a. Jonathan Soto, C: 0-2 (P-2, L-7)
6b. Alexander Guerra, C: 0-1 (6-3)
7. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, K, CS) 
8. Jake Slaughter, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, E-6, 3B)
9. Dalton Hurd, RF: 0-3 (6-3, P-6, K)
10. Fernando Kelli, LF-DH: 0-2 (5-3, K)
11a. Widimer Joaquin, DH #3: 0-1 (K) 
11b. Brandon Vicens, LF: 1-1 (1B, CS)

CUBS PTCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 39 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Chi-Feng Lee: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Fauris Guerrero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/AO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Benjamin Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/5 GO/AO, 27 pitches (16 strikes) 

CUBS ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Jonathan Soto: 1-1 CS 

ATTENDANCE: 14 

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80's 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 

Comments

Fauris Guerrero and Benjamin Rodriguez doing it.

Hey PHIL! Thanks for the eyes on the ground there, sir! What is the level of competition out there right now? Curious and trying to gauge what level the hitters he faced are at. 

E-MAN: In terms of the Cubs it would be approximately equivalent to Eugene, but it's a mix of guys from various levels. For example, this was the AZ lineup that faced Alzolay this morning (2018 level in parenthesis):

1. Matt Szczur, CF (MLB/AAA - post-2018 minor league FA - age 29) 
2. Kevin Watson Jr, LF (AZL/SS-A - AZ 2017 18th round pick - age 19)
3. Liover Peguero, SS (DSL/AZL - AZ 2017 IFA - age 18)
4. Jesus Marriaga, RF (AZL/SS-A - AZ 2016 IFA - age 20) 
5. Joey Rose, 3B (SS-A/Lo-A - AZ 2016 5th round pick - age 21) 
6. Keyshawn Lynch, 2B (SS-A - AZ 2017 14th round pick - age 22) 
7. Joe Gillette, 1B (AZL - AZ 2018 36th round pick - age 23) 
8. David Sanchez, DH #1 (SS-A - 2015 IFA - age 20)
9. Ryan January, C (SS-A - AZ 2016 8th round pick - age 21) 
10. Rafael Jimenez, DH #2 (DSL - AZ 2016 IFA - age 19) 

Alzolay struck out Lynch, Gillette, and Sanchez (all swinging), and Rose and January got the two hits (both singles). 

OF Kristian Robinson and SS Blaze Alexander are among the Diamondbacks Top 10 prospects and they are both at EXST, but they did not play in the game. 

is szczur coming off an injury or are they deciding what to do with him or what?

CRUNCH: Szczur is on the AAA Reno 7-day IL, but I can't say for sure that he has (or had) an injury. Sort of like Jacob Hannemann.  

hell yeah, alzolay...nice.

cj picks up the win in relief for iowa and b.duensing has given up earned runs in his last 5 appearances without missing many bats (5.2ip 14h 4bb 1k, 7er)...

disregard

Thank you, Phil. Is Jose Albertos still in Arizona? I know that the kid is still only 20, but after last season's difficulties, what can we expect from him this year?

KPB: Jose Albertos is at EXST working on finding the strike zone, and he did that (more-or-less) on Friday, throwing only 18 pitches (61% strikes), issuing no walks, and inducing six soft-contact ground-ball outs in his two innings of work. His CV and CH are both plus pitches, but he still has some difficulty comanding his FB (which is consistently 91-94 MPH), but it looks he may be turning the corner somewhat. 

Thank you, Phil. That sounds encouraging. 

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