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):
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)
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!
Alvaro Sosa: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Warm but not too hot, and VERY breezy!
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
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.
#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
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.
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.