Where Is Team China When You Need Them?

The EXST Giants smacked 14 hits off four EXST Cubs pitchers, en route to an 8-2 stomping of the Cubs at Indian School Park Field #2 this morning in Scottsdale.

Bryan Jost blasted a solo HR over the RF fence and Nelson Perez and Junior Lake belted back-to-back doubles to plate the only EXST Cubs runs. Josh Vitters also doubled. 

The biggest cuplrits in the loss were the four Cubs pitchers (none of whom escaped unscathed), most of the starting lineup (only four hits total), back-up catcher Roberto Sabates (0-4 CS plus one error trying to throw out base-stealers--and that was in just three innings behind the plate!), and 2B George Matheus (who made an ill-advised unnecesary relay throw to 3rd base that resulted in an error and a run, after he had earlier been thrown out by a mile trying to score from 1st base on a one out double by Vitters in the top of the 1st). 

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

LINEUP:
1a. Cesar Salazar, LF: 0-3 (GIDP)
1b. Marwin Gonzalez, PH: 0-1
2a. George Matheus, 2B: 0-2 (BB)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-1
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 1-3 (2B, R)
5a. Junior Lake, SS: 1-3 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jose Made, SS: 0-0  
6. Kyler Burke, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, K)
7. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-3 (K)
8. John Contreras, DH #2: 0-3
9. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-3 (SOLO HR)
10a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1 (BB)
10b. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-1

PITCHERS:
1. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
2. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
3. Jon Mueller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
4. John Muller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K

ERRORS (2):
1. George Matheus, E-4: Errant throw trying to put out batter-runner at 3rd base on RBI triple, ball caromed off batter-runner into dugout and batter-runner scored.
2. Roberto Sabates, E-2: Bounced throw into CF on SB attempt, runner advanced to 3rd base.

OUTFIELD ASSIST:
Nelson Perez, threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF 

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Roberto Sabates: 0-4 CS, plus the E-2 throwing error

WEATHER: Hot with temperatures in the 90's, clear skies, gentle breeze

ATTENDANCE: 1 

Comments

Phil -- Two quick questions. 1) Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise? 2) A little bird mentioned that two pitchers were cut. One could be Scott Taylor. Have you heard? Did I miss one of your columns (naw)?

Alex, Scott Taylor and Chris Shaver were cut.

Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?

Submitted by Raisin101 on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:40pm. Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?

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

RAISIN: Vitters is looking much better with the bat since he returned to the lineup. I would think this is the Josh Vitters the Cubs expected to see when they drafted him.

In today's game, Vitters had only two defensive chances at 3B, one a 5-3 put-out where he made a strong, accurate throw to 1st base on a play where he had no time to think, and the other a line drive hit right at him.

It seems like the more time Vitters has to make a throw, usually the worse throw he makes. Like it's probably mainly a mental thing, because he has a decent arm and he is capable of making accurate throws. Again, it's similar to David Kelton's throwing problem a few years ago that resulted in Kelton eventually being moved to OF (although by the time the move was made his confidence was shot).

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:32pm.

Phil -- Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise?

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

ALEX: Not yet.

More will be known next week after the Cubs make their selections in the Rule 4 Draft and sign some NDFA college players. Who they sign and what positions they play will help to shape the Boise roster.

Thank you, Phil. Makes sense. Just getting anxious.

I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?

BTW, Kevin Kreier never was actually sent down to EXST from Peoria. He was told on Friday that he was supposed to leave for Arizona the next day, but then the Cubs changed their minds before he left and told him to stay put in Peoria.

I believe this had something to do with Todd Blackford getting promoted from Peoria to Daytona.

Also, Iowa RHP Jim Henderson is back at Fitch Park. He had a back priblem in Spring Training, and now he has a sore arm.

You're right, AZ Phil. Kreier is back with Peoria and Blackford is up to Daytona per the Chiefs web site. And Robert Hernandez was great in his season debut with Peoria.

Thanks for the update on Vitters. I hope he gets to Peoria soon!

AZ PHIL:

Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:28pm. I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?

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ALEX D: I don't know why the Cubs released Chris Shaver. He was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa as a temporary replacement when they needed another lefty in the bullpen there, but then he got released when he was no longer needed.

Shaver had shoulder surgery last year and his velocity never really came back, but it's still a bit of a surprise that the Cubs would release him in mid-season.

Submitted by The E-Man on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:31pm.

AZ PHIL: Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?

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

E-MAN: The Tribune Company offered to sell me the EXST Cubs, but they didn't have change for a twenty so the deal fell through.

I think the primary reason for the drop in attendance at EXST games this week is that a lot of the half-year residents who stay in Arizona through May just so they can attend EXST games leave for back east on June 1st.

Tomorrow is the final game for the EXST Cubs, and it's supposed to be "Fan Appreciation Day" at Fitch Park. (And if you're wondering who that fan is, well...)

Sorry if 3/44, but Hart up, Hoffpauir down.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

Recent comments

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  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    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.

    Rob G. 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 19 hours 42 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    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.

    Rob G. 19 hours 47 min ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 19 hours 59 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 20 hours 10 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 20 hours 36 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 21 hours 16 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 22 hours 28 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 22 hours 45 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 22 hours 49 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 23 hours 34 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 7 hours ago view