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!)?

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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?

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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...

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 49 min ago view
  • 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 13 hours 47 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 13 hours 59 min 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 14 hours 8 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 14 hours 13 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 14 hours 32 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 15 hours 8 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 15 hours 26 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 15 hours 27 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 15 hours 45 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 53 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 16 hours 48 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 17 hours 6 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 17 hours 11 min ago view