EXST A's walk-off HR stomps Cubs at Papago Park

RHP Robert Hernandez, serving a 50-game prohibited substance suspension, threw four shutout innings (70 pitches, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K), but RHP Harol Tolentino surrendered a game-winning three-run walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th, as the EXST A's defeated the EXST Cubs 6-3 at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix this morning.

Whenever Hernandez's 50-game suspension is over (and barring rain-outs, that should be May 26th), he certainly looks like he will be ready to step right back into the Peoria Chiefs starting rotation. He was outstanding again today.

In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Jeffrey Rea (quad) and LF Brandon Guyer (elbow) have completed their rehab assignments at Fitch Park and have been assigned to Peoria, and C-1B Luis Bautista (brother of Pirates 3B Jose Bautista) was also promoted from EXST to Peoria.

Coming down to the EXST Cubs from Peoria are RF Kyler Burke (acquired frrom SD for Michael Barrett last June) and infielders Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Made. The three are supposed to report to Fitch Park tomorrow morning 

Burke was hitting just .206/278/305 at Peoria, with 34 K in 142 PA. He was a highly-regarded LHP prospect in HS (some MLB scouts supposedly even had him rated higher as a pitcher), so maybe the Cubs will make him a pitcher at Fitch Park. And Burke does have one of the best OF arms in the organization.

Speaking of OF arms, maybe the Cubs will make Ryan Harvey (recently demoted from Tennessee to Daytona) a pitcher too, one of these days. Because he has THE best OF arm in the Cubs organization, and, like Burke, was a combination P-OF in high school. 

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

1. Cesar Salazar, RF: 2-4 (RBI, K, GIDP)
2. Gian Guzman, 2B: 1-4 (R, K, GIDP)
3. Drew Rundle, CF: 2-3 (R, 3B, K, SH)
4a. John Contreras, 3B: 0-3 (CS)
4b. Roberto Sabates, PH: 1-1 (2B, RBI)
4c. Nelson Perez, PR: 0-0
5. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-3 (BB, 2 K)
6. Carlos Perez, DH #1: 0-3 (RBI, SF, K)
7. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-2 (BB, 2 K)
8. Junior Lake, DH #2-3B: 0-3 (K)
9. George Matheus, SS: 1-3 (R, K) 
10. Kevin Soto, LF: 1-3 (K)

1. Robert Hernandez - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (2/3 GO/FO)
2. Israel Camacaro - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR (1/1 GO/FO)
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K (3/1 GO/FO)
4. Harol Tolentino - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR (2/2 GO/FO)


Alvaro Sosa: 1-2 CS

WEATHER: Mostly sunny and very breezy, high in the 80's




I don't like Z batting for no particular reason other than to save a position player either. But if he must, I'd rather see him bat against lefties so his pitching arm is not a sitting duck like when he bats against righties. Or just bat right handed all the time.

Robert Hernandez' suspension is a joke. He still gets experience in a professional game against professional players with professional pitching coaches to help him improve.

Talk about a rule without teeth! Players should be banned from all activity except a privately paid fitness trainer.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.