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
Kershaw uses his 132nd pitch for his 15th K (Marlon Juice Byrd, with the tying run at 2nd), and the Dodgers sweep the Giants. Also, Pirates lose to the Brewers for the 5th straight time. So...with 30 to play, we are 6.5 up on SF (7 in loss column) and 8 up on the Nats, and still in contact (4.5 back) of the Pirates. Man, what a roller coaster the last 2 days -- fantastic stuff.
Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
DAT TIE THO.
Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
<p>I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers. </p>
Tony Four Sacks # 27