Cubs Mao-Down Team China at Fitch Park
The normally light-hitting Jose Made drove in six runs with two RBI triples and a Grand Slam homer, and Chad Fox and five other pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs (Boise group) probably created an international incident, drubbing Team China 11-0 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.
While the more-advanced EXST Cubs (Boise group) were playing Team China on Field #3, the less-advanced EXST Cubs (AZL Mesa group) faced the EXST Giants on Field #2, and dropped a 4-3 decision in 11 innings.
It was not easy watching both games simultaneously, but I managed to do it without missing a pitch in either game, thanks in no small part to eleven cups of coffee, a bottle of amphetamines, and a strong bladder.
Continuing his rehab, Chad Fox got the start versus the Chinese National team, throwing two shutout/hitless innings (35 pitches – 21 strikes), allowing two walks while striking out two. He threw the ball very well, and appears to be getting close to completing his rehab.
Billy Muldowney followed Foxy, continuing his rehab from last July’s TJ surgery by throwing two shutout innings (one hit), and Rafael Cova (recently arrived from Venezuela after being held captive for several months with “visa problems”) got into his first game action, throwing one inning of one-hit shutout ball.
Robert Hernandez (on the Restricted List while serving a 50-game prohibited substance suspension) then threw two innings of hitless/shutout ball (and yes, minor leaguers suspended for prohibited substance violations CAN participate in EXST), followed by Jose Severino (a 1-2-3 8th with two strikeouts) and 2007 Boise co-closer John Muller, who capped the shutout with an easy 1-2-3 six-pitch 9th (6-3, F-7, 4-3).
While the Cubs pitchers were shutting down Team China, the offense declined the offer of more Moo Goo Gai Pan, instead opting to score 11 runs on 15 hits.
Besides Made’s big day (it's pronounced "mah-day," and he's a college kid from from New York), 1B Luis Bautista (younger brother of Pirates 3B Jose Bautista) went 3-4 with an RBI, and SS Junior Lake (one of the most-patient hitters at EXST) reached base all four times with two doubles and two walks while scoring three runs and driving in two.
Team China is coached by ex-Dodger infielder (and Cub manager) Jim Lefebvre, and the pitching coach is ex-Red Sox LHP Bruce Hurst. The club is in Arizona (I believe they are based in either Peoria or Maryvale) while preparing for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
The team seems to be fairly well-coached and one of the pitchers who threw today wasn’t too bad, but most of the hitters really suck (pardon my Chinese).
Over on Field #2, RHP Miguel Sierra got the start versus the Giants and worked three very impressive shutout innings. But he left the game writhing in pain after taking a line drive off his right forearm to close the top of the 3rd (despite screams of agony, the young right-hander still somehow managed to throw the batter out at 1st to complete his outing). He was last seen being removed by the training staff to the Fitch Park clubhouse via golf cart, before a trip to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment. .
Australian LHP Cody Hams followed Sierra, and threw two shutout/hitless innings, and three other Cub pitchers threw one shutout inning each. However, Dionis Nunez allowed three runs in his two innings of work, and Carlos Rojas gave-up the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th.
On offense, catcher Alvaro Sosa had an RBI single in the 4th and two other runs scored on a wild pitch and an error in the 7th, but the Cubs failed to score after Bryan Jost led off the bottom of the 5th with a triple as Roberto Sabates, Dwayne Kemp, and Starlin Castro struck out, and then Kevin Soto demonstrated that he has been studying the Advanced Cubbery Baseruning Manual, as he was thrown out at third to end the game while needlessly and foolishly trying to take an extra base with two outs and the Cubs down 4-3.
In EXST roster news, catcher Tony Richie (rib cage) has completed his rehab at Fitch Park, leaving Arizona this past Saturday to join the AAA Iowa Cubs.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):
AT FITCH PARK FIELD #3 (EXST CUBS VERSUS TEAM CHINA)
1. Leon Johnson, CF: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, 2B-RBI, K-s)
2. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, P-6, K-c)
3. Nelson Perez, RF: 1-4 (P-6, F-8, 3-U, 1B)
4. Carlos Perez, C: 0-3 (BB, 6-3, K-s, 5-3)
5. Luke Sommer, LF: 1-3 (3-U, K-s, BB + R, 1B + R)
6. Brandon Guyer, DH #1: 2-4 (P-3, 1B + CS, 1B + R, K-c)
7. Gian Guzman, 2B-SS: 0-3 (5-3, P-4, F-9 SF-RBI, F-9)
8. Luis Bautista, 1B: 3-4 (F-8, 1B + R, 1B-RBI + R, 1B)
9. Junior Lake, SS-DH #2: 2-2 (BB + R, 2B-RBI + R, BB + R, 2B-RBI)
10. Jose Made, DH #2-2B: 3-4 (3B-RBI + R, 3B-RBI + R, HR-GRAND SLAM-4 RBI, L-4)
1. Chad Fox - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (4-0 GB/FB)
2. Billy Muldowney - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (5/1 GB/FB)
3. Rafael Cova - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
4. Robert Hernandez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP
5. Jose Severino - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
6. John Muller - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Vitters - 2 (one overthrow at 1B, one dropped pop up)
NOTE: Vitters also dropped a line drive, but he turned it into a 5-4 FC
C. Perez 1-1 CS
AT FITCH PARK FIELD #2 (EXST CUBS VS EXST GIANTS)
1. Starlin Castro, SS: 1-5 (5-3, 1B + R, K-s, E-5, K-c)
2. Elvis Lara, LF: 0-5 (K-s, L-8, 3-1, P-3, 6-3)
3. John Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (K-c, BB, L-8, 5-3, 1B)
4. Andres Quezada, CF: 1-5 (4-3, P-4, 1B, F-9, K-s)
5a. Alvaro Sosa, C-DH: 2-4 (K-s, 1B-RBI, 1B + SB + R, F-8)
5b. Jose Guevara, PH: 0-1 (K-s)
6. Kevin Soto, RF: 1-5 (K-s, 6-4 FC, F-9, 4-3, 1B)
7. Bryan Jost, 1B: 2-4 (K-s, 3B, BB + R, K-c, 1B)
8. Roberto Sabates, DH-C: 1-4 (K-s, K-s, 1B, 6-3)
9. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-4 (K-s, K-s, 6-3, 1B + CS)
1. Miguel Sierra - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP (4/3 GB/FB)
2. Cody Hams - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K (2-3 GB/FB)
3. Dionis Nunez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP
4. Eduardo Figueroa - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
5. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
6. Rogelio Carmona - 1.0 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP
7. Carlos Rojas - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Contreras (overthrow at 2nd base on potential 5-4-3 GIDP)
Sosa 0-2 CS
Lara (7-5-4 at 2nd base)
WEATHER: Hot and sunny
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.