The three-game Summer Camp slate ended Wednesday night for the Sox at the G-Spot against former AL Central rival and current thorn in the side of the Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers.
No one got hurt. This goes without saying, as all 30 MLB teams want to enter the season fully healthy. There was a minor scare, as Moncada got hit in the right foot by a Josh Hader slider. He was likely to come out of the game after that at bat regardless of how it ended, but I’m sure he could have done without the ball hitting his foot.
Carlos Rodon. His stuff looked good throughout his 5 innings, striking out 7 Brewer hitters while only walking one. He did get tagged for a couple of opposite-field home runs among the five hits he allowed, but they were solo shots, so not much damage done. It’s about as much as you can expect out of a guy that is likely to be the 4th or 5th starter in the rotation this year.
Nicky Delmonico. He got the start in right field after the Sox placed Nomar Mazara on the 10-day injured list, and looks to be the starter there on Friday when the games count for real. He had a very strong Spring down in Arizona, and it has carried over to Summer Camp. In the 7th, he launched the first pitch he saw for a two-run home run into the Goose Island section of seats to get the Sox within one. He’ll be a depth piece, which is invaluable in a 60 game season.
Luis Robert. He drove in the Sox first run on a ground ball, but considering how badly he missed two pitches earlier in the at bat, he did well to drive the ball hard on the ground to the left side of the infield and get the runner home. Later, he barreled up a couple toward third base, one went for a double down the left field line, the other was taken away on a nice play by Brewer 3B Jedd Gyorko.
He also showed impressive speed in the outfield, running down a ball in right-center field, that Nicky Delmonico easily could have made the play. He later came *thisclose* to robbing a home run in the 7th, but his glove, with the ball inside it, careened off his hand and over the wall as Robert collided with the fence. Fortunately, Robert escaped unscathed.
The offense. Brewer pitchers largely kept the Sox hitters off-balanced, with only 2 hits recorded through six innings. There weren’t very many hard-hit balls off Sox bats, and while those nights are going to happen in a baseball season, you hope those are fewer and further between in such a short season. It got a little better in the 7th with the Delmonico dong, but we didn’t see the big, crooked number go up like we did against the Cubs. The offense is gonna have to find a bit more balance to compete with Minnesota and Cleveland this year.
Speaking of Minnesota, we’ll see them Friday when the 2020 season finally begins for real. Seems like a great day to drink eight beers. Until then, pitter patter.