As mentioned earlier today in this condemned tenement of a baseball blog, tonight’s Cubs intrasquad game in Wrigley Field would be broadcast on Marquee, and lo and behold it was.
The park was empty, other than some players, coaches and staff milling around the stands, Len & JD in the booth, and the PA and sound guy, I guess. At some point, they posted the attendance as 186.
So how did it go? Let’s get to this:
Kyle Hendricks. He’s in midseason form, throwing six extremely efficient innings and allowing no runs. Hell, they even had Kyle pitch to an extra hitter after the third out in the sixth just to get his pitch count up. Rob Friedman will have plenty of “Savage Kyle” material in this truncated season.
Yu Darvish. He didn’t have his command the way he did in the second half last year, gave up a Willson Contreras home run, and still has to iron some stuff out. But his flow is majestic. And he’ll get another start to iron things out.
Nico Hoerner. A hit off Darvish, a hit off Craig Kimbrel. Based upon the way David Ross is using him in this training camp, it’s pretty safe to say his days in the minors are over.
Contreras and Baez hit homers tonight, which is something the Cubs will need if they want to play beyond 60 games.
Kimbrel and Dillon Maples both looked pretty solid out of the pen, which is great since they’re both guys who are pretty serious question marks.
A couple hits for Josh Phegley tonight. I don’t think his spot on the 30-man roster is in doubt, but it’ll be a nice bonus to have that third catcher who can hit some.
Hey, where did the umpires go? They had a three man crew for 5 innings, then they were a wrap. After that, it was pure sandlot, with the catchers calling balls and strikes. I get the umps not wanting to stick around, but you’d think the Cubs would have had someone available, a coach or something, to take over. Ah well, we’re talkin’ practice.
No kid in Chicago will be asking Santa for a Hernan Perez or Josh Phegley first baseman’s glove this winter, that’s for sure. Get well soon, Tony.
The piped-in crowd sounds, ads on the video boards and announcements were all kind of creepy. At least in the Korean leagues they stick stuffed animals or sex dolls or something in the stands. Maybe they can hire Morph to photoshop some fans into the stands.
I hate to keep beating the dead horse of the Marquee Network, but here we are. A great opportunity existed tonight to get fans excited about baseball, maybe after the game they buy a hat or shirt or something. But I cannot stress this enough – the team’s ownership has been planning the launch of this network for essentially a decade, and they still don’t have a carriage deal with Comcast. In any other company, this would cost someone their job.
See you at the next scrimmage.