Baseball Toaster Cub Town
2007-03-04 17:39
by Phil Bencomo

White Sox @ Cubs, March 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago (AL) 1 0 0 4 1 0 2 3 2 13 13 0
Chicago (NL) 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 0
WP: Jon Garland (1-0)
LP: Rich Hill (0-1)

This game was so ugly, it doesn't even deserve recognition, let alone comment. In fact, when Lou Piniella said during an in-game interview that "Garland is ahead of the hitters," he should have added, "And everybody's ahead of the Cubs right now."

But I'm a merciful man.

First: Let it be known that Rich Hill did not impress me today. His control, of curve and fastball, was spotty, and his fastball lacked zip. Popping the glove, he was not. But given a few more weeks in camp, Hill should be fine.

Alfonso Soriano, though, had an excellent game. Three hits in three at-bats. Two doubles. Better yet, two opposite field hits. At the plate, Soriano looked impressive.

Derrek Lee hit his first spring home run, middle infield combo Cesar Izturis and Mark DeRosa turned a flawless double play, and Scott Eyre and Clay Rapada combined to throw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.

But that was the extent of the positives. I hate to be negative so early in the spring, but watching today's game was painful. I'll admit it: I stopped watching after the seventh inning.

Masochism has its limits, after all.

2007-03-04 18:41:06
1.   rynox
Really??? I thought Rich Hill was pretty sharp today. I counted 3 pitches. FB, about 91, not bad for March 4. Curveball, about 73-74, got a few guys wiffing awkwardly, and an interesting 88 MPH pitch that was either a slider or cutter. It looked like a cutter to me.
2007-03-05 05:15:25
2.   The Mick 536
How did Alphonso look in the field?
2007-03-05 10:27:49
3.   Phil Bencomo
1 He did hit 91, but was mostly throwing 87-88. I'll agree that his curve had a lot of break, but he was not locating well. He hit a batter on a curve and threw a few in the dirt as well.

But all things considered, not bad for a first outing.

2 I don't remember seeing anything awful. If I had, I would have made a note of it. I think he'll be just fine in center.

2007-03-05 10:28:25
4.   rynox
He fielded a few. On one of the routine pop-ups he took an odd line to get to it. It might have to do with him flipping down his shades, but he eventually got to the ball to make the play, but it wasn't pretty. It's apparent he's still adjusting to the position, but personally, I think he'll be fine.
2007-03-05 12:19:01
5.   The Boar
FYI for those that think Soriano will do alright in CF. Here's some video of the Cubs' workouts on 2/28, with a special emphasis on Soriano's work in CF. Kinda scary. He's going to be a work in progress.

2007-03-05 14:26:07
6.   Phil Bencomo
5 Having watched that video, I see what you mean. But some difficulties are to be expected. After all, he is moving rightward across Bill James' defensive spectrum, which is quite atypical.

DH | 1B | LF | RF | 3B | CF | 2B | SS

We'll see how this plays out, but I think Soriano has the capability to do it. He just needs a lot of reps and some confidence.

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