My first experience at Cubs Park was a good one, both in terms of the outcome and my own enjoyment. Also, it’s just damn good to be watching live baseball again. I’ll have more on Cubs Park, itself, later.
- The Cubs beat an A’s split squad 6-4, largely on the strength of Justin Ruggiano doing what we hope he does during the season: crushing lefties. He scored Anthony Rizzo on a deep double, and then scored Rizzo again on a deep homer.
- Kyle Hendricks didn’t appear to have his best command in this one, walking three in his two innings of work. He struck out two and gave up one hit. The walks are uncharacteristic for him. I didn’t have a great vantage point to see what his “stuff” looked like, so I can’t really comment further.
- To my eye, the best looking pitcher of the day was Neil Ramirez, the oft-forgotten fourth piece in the Matt Garza trade. He struck out one and gave up a dribbler hit, but – to put it inarticulately – he just looked the part. Big, strong-looking, and a nice delivery. I’m not a scout, but I thought he looked impressive.
- Interestingly, Carlos Pimentel got two innings of work after Hendricks, giving up just a couple walks and striking out two. Pimentel, you may recall, is the 24-year-old righty the Cubs picked up on a minor league deal this offseason, and who went on to win the pitcher of the year award in the Dominican Winter League.
- Jonathan Sanchez also got in two innings of work, giving up four (solid) hits, and walking one. He was not overly impressive today.
- Mike Olt! Entering the game late with a bunch of the prospects, Olt got an at bat against A’s pitching prospect Michael Ynoa, and drilled a homer to left.
- Jorge Soler ripped one down the third baseline in his at bat, but was thrown out after a diving stop. It appeared that Soler was hustling down the line (i.e., no restrictions), but it also appeared that he just didn’t have a lot of speed. Warning: not a scout.
- Albert Almora hit a solid single up the middle in his at bat, and, sure enough, the young man looks pretty well built – much stronger-looking than last year.
The Brewers Walked It Off! … And Simultaneously Got Eliminated from Postseason Contention by the Phillies