EXST Cubs Pitchers Throw Two-hitter at Fitch

Five Cubs pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter and Gian Guzman drove in three runs, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Giants 5-1 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.  

Tennessee RHP Grant Johnson, at EXST rehabbing from a sprained elbow ligament that was diagnosed midway through Minor League Camp last month, finally got into some game action and worked a 1-2-3 1st inning, striking out the side.

Fellow Smokie RHP Jim Henderson, who is also on the Tennessee DL, worked the next two innings, and allowed a solo HR and a two-out walk in the 3rd. Both pitchers appear to be on the fast track to get out of Fitch and back to AA ASAP.  

LHP,Arik Hempy, RHP Rogelio Carmona, and LHP Jeffry Antigua followed the two Smokies, each throwing two shutout innings. The 17-year old Antigua was especially impressive, as the southpaw struck out the side on ten pitches in the top of the 9th.

On offense, Gian Guzman drove in single runs in the 4th, 6th, and 8th with three RBI singles, and Kevin Soto reached base twice, stealing a base each time, and scoring each time. 
On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman, who underwent Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery last September, says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” While he is still limited to side (bullpen) sessions only at this point, a third party who has seen him throw says his velocity is outstanding. While Gooz might not be ready for game action just yet, it’s nice to know that the Cubs might possibly have another power arm available in the bullpen for the stretch run.  

And the Venezuelan contingent at EXST welcomed some new blood today, as SS George Matheus, RHP Israel Camacaro, and OF Cesar Salazar reported to Fitch Park. The trio had been working out at the Cubs Venezuelan Baseball Academy in Puerto Cabello prior to leaving for the U. S., so they should be ready for game action in fairly short order. 

The 19-year old Matheus played for the VSL Cubs/Twins co-op club in 2007 after signing in May, while Salazar and Camacaro signed with the Cubs a couple of months ago. 

Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):

1. Kevin Soto, LF: 1-2 (Ks, HBP + SB + R, 1-4 SH, 1B + SB + R)
2. Gian Guzman, 3B: 3-4 (5-3, 1B-RBI, 1B-RBI + CS, 1B-RBI + SB)
3. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-4 (4-3, Ks, F-8, Ks)
4. Carlos Perez, C: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, Kc, F-9 SF-RBI)
5. Andres Quezada, CF 2-4 (5-3, 2B + R, 1B, 4-3) 
6. Luis Bautista, 1B: 2-3 (5-3, 1B, 1B) 
7. Dwayne Kemp, DH #1: 0-1 (5-3, F-9 SF-RBI, BB) 
8. Roberto Sabates, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 5-4 FC, 5-2 FC) 
9. Junior Lake, SS: 0-3 (5-4 FC, Ks, P-4)
10a. Starlin Castro, 2B: 0-1 (3-U)    
10b. Jose Made, 2B: 2-2 (1B + R, 1B + R) 

1. Grant Johnson – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (16 pitches – 11 strikes)
2. Jim Henderson – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR (4/1 GB/FB)
3. Arik Hempy – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (5/0 GB/FB)
4. Rogelio Carmona  - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
5. Jeffry Antigua – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP

DEFENSE: No errors! (not a misprint)

BASERUNNING ADVENTURES: Gian Guzman was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with no outs in the bottom of the 4th, and then was thrown out trying to steal 2nd base with two outs in the bottom of the 6th.

WEATHER: Warm & sunny


Great news about Guzman. Thanks Phil.

AZ Phil, can you think of another MLB player that experienced the kind of continuous arm problems Guzman has, yet come back to have a good ML Career?

Was it really 5 years ago now that Guz was our #1 prospect, absolutely dominating AA, and literally days from being called to Chicago and inserted into a playoff-bound rotation? (to replace Estes, I presume?)

PS, I suppose one answer could be "Will Ohman", who looks like a real ML pitcher down in Atlanta. Bum.

Phil, have you heard anything about the young 18 yr old SS from Korea?

2003: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

2004: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

2005: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

2006: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

2007: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

2008: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

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  • video of Maddon.


    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 8 hours 22 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 8 hours 27 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 8 hours 55 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 10 hours 40 sec ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 11 hours 12 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 11 hours 29 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 11 hours 34 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 12 hours 18 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 17 hours 9 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 23 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 26 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 45 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view