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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
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.
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.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
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.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
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.
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.
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...
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.)