EXST Cubs Rally for Victory at Fitch Park

Luke Sommer beat-out a dribbler down the third-base line for a game-winning infield single, as the EXST Cubs rallied to edge the EXST Angels 8-7 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

The Angels took an early 2-0 lead against Cubs starter Robert Hernandez, scoring two runs on a walk, a single, and a two-out two-run triple in the top of the 2nd.

After LHP Mark Pawelek threw a shutout 3rd inning (he struck out the side), RHP Jon Mueller got creamed for four runs on a walk, a single, three doubles, a triple, and a home run, as the Angels extended their lead to 6-1.

While Ryan Searle and Eduardo Figueroa stopped the bleeding with four shutout innings of relief, the Cubs narrowed the Halo lead to 6-2 with a run in the 7th on a two-out RBI single by Alvaro Sosa, and then scored five times (taking the lead) with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, keyed by a bases-loaded two-run single by Starlin Castro and a bases-loaded triple by Jose Made.

But EXST Cubs closer John Muller couldn't close the deal, allowing the tying run to score on three consecutive hits with one out in the top of the 9th.

But the EXST Cubs came right back with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, as Drew Rundle clubbed a lead-off double high off the RF fence, barely missing a walk-off HR.  Gian Guzman then laid-down a picture-perfecf sac bunt to get Rundle to 3rd.

The Angels answered the threat by intentionally walking Nelson Perez (the EXST Cubs big bopper), and it looked like the strategy might work out when Jose Guevara went down swinging. But then Sommer topped the game-winning swinging bunt down the 3rd base line, barely beating the throw to 1st as Rundle slid across home plate, giving the Cubs the hard-fought victory.

And the Cubs players were plenty excited with the victory, too, as pitchers Kevin Kreier and Scott Meyer broke out into an impromptu rousing rendition of "Go, Cubs, Go!" as the players cascaded onto the field, mobbing Sommer and Rundle.  

Now, I suspect singing "Go, Cubs, Go" was the EXST Cubs way of getting a laugh (since me and some young lady engrossed in a book were the only fans left at Fitch by the time the game ended), but it was kind of interesting to hear the song sung by the players for a change. 

While the Cubs and Angels were playing their game on Field #3, RHPs Chris Huseby and Carlos Rojas threw "live" BP sessions on Field #2 to some of the Cubs position players who were not scheduled to play in the game (Lake, Matheus, Quezada, Rea, Sabates, Salazar, and Soto). 

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

LINEUP:
1. Drew Rundle, CF: 2-4 (R, 2B, BB, 2 K)
2. Gian Guzman, SS: 1-4 (SH, K, GIDP)
3. Nelson Perez, RF: 2-4 (R, 2B, IBB, K)
4a. Carlos Perez, DH #1: 1-2 (R)
4b. Jose Guevara, DH #1: 0-3 (K, GIDP)
5. Luke Sommer, LF: 2-4, (GW RBI, R, BB, K)
6. Luis Bautista, 1B: 1-2 (2 R, RBI, 2 BB, GIDP)
7a. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2
7b. Starlin Castro, 2B: 1-1 (2 RBI, R, BB)
8. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (R, 2B, BB, K) 
9. Jose Made, DH #2: 2-4 (3 RBI, 3B, K, CS)
10. Alvaro Sosa, C: 1-4 (RBI)

PITCHERS:
1. Robert Hernandez - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K (2/3 GB/FB)
2. Mark Pawelek - 1.0 IP,1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
3. Jon Mueller - 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
4. Ryan Searle - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (3/0 GB/FB)
5. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (1/5 GB/FB)
6. John Muller - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K, BS (1/2 GB/FB)

DEFENSE: No errors again!

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alvaro Sosa: 0-2 CS

WEATHER: Warm but not too hot, and VERY breezy!

ATTENDANCE: 5 

Comments

these threads are gonna be interesting 4-6 years from now.

thanks phil.

you know eventually some of this will probably be referenced in books. this kind of info is historically hard to get besides anecdotal remembrances from players/coaches and pale/cold stats.

all the new baseball info on the internet isn't as tightly collected as some other collections, but it's still all very impressive in scope.

http://www.northsidebaseball.com/Forum/viewtopic.p...

18 YO 6'2'' 170 LB Lee-Hak Ju. Ju can throw about 98 and runs the bases in a little over 4 second.

http://eastwindupchronicle.com/east-prospect-watch...

I mentioned this guy's site before, but he's supposedly an actual scout for the Cubs in Korea. That's his writeup on him, although he only watched him once.

Again, I feel kind of silly raving about this guy I haven’t even seen in a game, and I’m also not used to writing in this first-person/scout style, but I can say the Cubs are really excited about him. They believe he’d be a first round pick in the states, and one of the people who scouted him also scouted Derek Jeter in high school and says Lee has better tools at his age than Jeter did back in the early 90s.

Az Phil,

Do you feel that Pawelek still has a future in the big leagues? It seems like he has digressed rapidly since we drafted him in 05.

AZ Phil: Just how good is Josh Lansford's arm, good enough to make the switch to pitching? It sure doesn't look like he's ever going to hit. Thanks.

Submitted by Chifan on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 9:35pm.

Az Phil, Do you feel that Pawelek still has a future in the big leagues? It seems like he has digressed rapidly since we drafted him in 05.

================================

CHIFAN: I don't know if Mark Pawelek will ever pitch in the big leagues, but I can tell you that Pawelek threw better yesterday than anytime since 2005. He finally threw all of his pitches for strikes and with better velocity. He really attacked the hitters. Now he just needs to keep it up and do that consistently.

If he can do it, he will be at Peoria in short-order and his career will be back on track. Whether he will end up as a starter or reliever would still have to be determined. He wants to be a starter, but he also might be able to keep his mechancs straight by throwing every day out of the bullpen. .  

There has never been anything wrong with Pawelek's arm. His problems are all related to mechanics and mental approach (confidence).   

Submitted by Timmer on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 9:33am.

AZ Phil: Just how good is Josh Lansford's arm, good enough to make the switch to pitching? It sure doesn't look like he's ever going to hit. Thanks.

==============================

TIMMER: Given the number of 3rd base prospects in the Cubs organization (McGehee, Reynolds, M. Smith, Rosa, Vitters, and Contreras), and with Lansford unlikely to ever develop as a hitter, I guess a switch to the mound is a possibility. He has a strong arm, but the question would be whether he can develop a breaking ball and change-up, and whether he can adjust to throwing off a mound after being used to throwing from a flat surface. That's what Jake Muyco's is dealing with right now. And Brandon Taylor was converted from 3B to pitcher a couple of years ago, and promptly blew out his arm while trying to master a breaking ball and while trying to learn to throw off the mound (and he has already been released)

It's different when a player has some experience as a pitcher, even if it goes back to HS. That's why I would like to see the Cubs give Ryan Harvey (who was a combination RHP-OF in HS) a shot at pitching. He has a rifle-arm (best OF arm in the organization), and it doesn't look like he is ever going to hit enough to take advantage of his prodigious power. Way, WAY too many strikeouts.

I heard his name pronounced "Hak-Ju Lee" and he's supposed to be as good a shortstop prospect as Dae-Eun Rhee is a pitching prospect.

BTW, I was told that Dutch-Aruban 2B Dwayne Kemp has only a three-month visa, and so he will be leaving Fitch Park at the end of EXST and will be playing at the MLB European Baseball Academy in Italy this Summer. Too bad, too, because he's obviously ready to play for the AZL Cubs right now.

And Australian LHP Cody Hams has to leave the U. S. by May 22th (he has only a two-month visa). He will be pitching at the MLB Australian Baseball Academy this Summer, and then will return to the U. S. for the full season next year. Just like with RHP Ryan Searle, who is here for the full season this year after spending three months at Fitch Park (March-May) in 2007.

The Cubs third Australian pitcher (RHP Adam Spencer) will be at the MLB Australian Baseball Academy this Summer, Fitch Park for three months next year, the MLB Australian Baseball Academy again in 2009, and then (if all goes well) a full season in the U. S. in 2010.

Managers on the hot seat according to Rosenthal

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8094014/The-end...

Washington, Gibbons and Randolph

threw 3 scoreless yesterday in AA. Should be an interesting move when he's ready. Send back Marshall who's been pretty effective or Hart or Wuertz who have not been lately.

I vote Hart.

I'd vote Marshall. If for no other reason than his postion as starter #6. He needs to get stretched out at some point if he ever has to go into the rotation. And the odds are squarely against this rotation not having SOMEONE go down at some point. I'd 5000 times rather Marshall take the start over someone like Justin Berg or Mark Holliman at this point.

Hi Arizona Phil,

Your info about "The Dutch-Aruban 2B Dwayne Kemp has only a three-month visa, and so he will be leaving Fitch Park at the end of EXST" is incorrect.

He has a full one year visa and will be able to stay for the entire EXST.

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  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 1 hour 33 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 4 hours 42 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 8 sec ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 13 hours 34 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 14 hours 26 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 14 hours 59 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 15 hours 8 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 15 hours 19 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 15 hours 28 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 15 hours 43 min ago view