Where Is Team China When You Need Them?

The EXST Giants smacked 14 hits off four EXST Cubs pitchers, en route to an 8-2 stomping of the Cubs at Indian School Park Field #2 this morning in Scottsdale.

Bryan Jost blasted a solo HR over the RF fence and Nelson Perez and Junior Lake belted back-to-back doubles to plate the only EXST Cubs runs. Josh Vitters also doubled. 

The biggest cuplrits in the loss were the four Cubs pitchers (none of whom escaped unscathed), most of the starting lineup (only four hits total), back-up catcher Roberto Sabates (0-4 CS plus one error trying to throw out base-stealers--and that was in just three innings behind the plate!), and 2B George Matheus (who made an ill-advised unnecesary relay throw to 3rd base that resulted in an error and a run, after he had earlier been thrown out by a mile trying to score from 1st base on a one out double by Vitters in the top of the 1st). 

Here is today's abridged EXST Cubs box score (Cubs players only)...

1a. Cesar Salazar, LF: 0-3 (GIDP)
1b. Marwin Gonzalez, PH: 0-1
2a. George Matheus, 2B: 0-2 (BB)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-1
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 1-3 (2B, R)
5a. Junior Lake, SS: 1-3 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jose Made, SS: 0-0  
6. Kyler Burke, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, K)
7. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-3 (K)
8. John Contreras, DH #2: 0-3
9. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-3 (SOLO HR)
10a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1 (BB)
10b. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-1

1. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
2. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
3. Jon Mueller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
4. John Muller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K

1. George Matheus, E-4: Errant throw trying to put out batter-runner at 3rd base on RBI triple, ball caromed off batter-runner into dugout and batter-runner scored.
2. Roberto Sabates, E-2: Bounced throw into CF on SB attempt, runner advanced to 3rd base.

Nelson Perez, threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF 

Roberto Sabates: 0-4 CS, plus the E-2 throwing error

WEATHER: Hot with temperatures in the 90's, clear skies, gentle breeze



Phil -- Two quick questions. 1) Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise? 2) A little bird mentioned that two pitchers were cut. One could be Scott Taylor. Have you heard? Did I miss one of your columns (naw)?

Alex, Scott Taylor and Chris Shaver were cut.

Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?

Submitted by Raisin101 on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:40pm. Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?


RAISIN: Vitters is looking much better with the bat since he returned to the lineup. I would think this is the Josh Vitters the Cubs expected to see when they drafted him.

In today's game, Vitters had only two defensive chances at 3B, one a 5-3 put-out where he made a strong, accurate throw to 1st base on a play where he had no time to think, and the other a line drive hit right at him.

It seems like the more time Vitters has to make a throw, usually the worse throw he makes. Like it's probably mainly a mental thing, because he has a decent arm and he is capable of making accurate throws. Again, it's similar to David Kelton's throwing problem a few years ago that resulted in Kelton eventually being moved to OF (although by the time the move was made his confidence was shot).

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:32pm.

Phil -- Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise?


ALEX: Not yet.

More will be known next week after the Cubs make their selections in the Rule 4 Draft and sign some NDFA college players. Who they sign and what positions they play will help to shape the Boise roster.

Thank you, Phil. Makes sense. Just getting anxious.

I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?

BTW, Kevin Kreier never was actually sent down to EXST from Peoria. He was told on Friday that he was supposed to leave for Arizona the next day, but then the Cubs changed their minds before he left and told him to stay put in Peoria.

I believe this had something to do with Todd Blackford getting promoted from Peoria to Daytona.

Also, Iowa RHP Jim Henderson is back at Fitch Park. He had a back priblem in Spring Training, and now he has a sore arm.

You're right, AZ Phil. Kreier is back with Peoria and Blackford is up to Daytona per the Chiefs web site. And Robert Hernandez was great in his season debut with Peoria.

Thanks for the update on Vitters. I hope he gets to Peoria soon!


Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:28pm. I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?


ALEX D: I don't know why the Cubs released Chris Shaver. He was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa as a temporary replacement when they needed another lefty in the bullpen there, but then he got released when he was no longer needed.

Shaver had shoulder surgery last year and his velocity never really came back, but it's still a bit of a surprise that the Cubs would release him in mid-season.

Submitted by The E-Man on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:31pm.

AZ PHIL: Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?


E-MAN: The Tribune Company offered to sell me the EXST Cubs, but they didn't have change for a twenty so the deal fell through.

I think the primary reason for the drop in attendance at EXST games this week is that a lot of the half-year residents who stay in Arizona through May just so they can attend EXST games leave for back east on June 1st.

Tomorrow is the final game for the EXST Cubs, and it's supposed to be "Fan Appreciation Day" at Fitch Park. (And if you're wondering who that fan is, well...)

Sorry if 3/44, but Hart up, Hoffpauir down.


Recent comments

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  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.