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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  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 2 hours 53 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 4 hours 50 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 7 hours 1 min ago view