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
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
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.