A's Extenze Rally to Defeat Cubs at Fitch Park

Marcus Hatley retired the first 11 men he faced, Mark Pawelek threw 2.1 innings of shutout ball, and Dwayne Kemp belted his team-leading third home run, but the EXST A's rallied to defeat the EXST Cubs 7-5 in Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

The Cubs got on the scoreboard right away in the bottom of the first, as Cesar Salazar and Gian Guzman hit back-to-back singles, putting the Cubs in business with runners at 1st and 3rd and nobody out. Matt Craig followed with an F-8 sac fly to score Salazar.

Guzman then stole two bases (second and third), before scoring on a one-out RBI ground out. The Cubs added a third run in the bottom of the 3rd on a lead-off solo HR by Kemp that was hit over the LF fence and onto 8th Street. (For a guy who is maybe 5'6, Kemp is built like a Muscle Beach body builder).

Meanwhile, Hatley was mowing down the A's, striking out five and pitching perfect baseball into the 4th inning. But with two outs and nobody on base, the A's strung together two singles and a two-run triple (a line drive that was misplayed by Cesar Salazar, who is a butcher in CF, BTW) to get to within one run at 3-2.

The Cubs added another run in the 5th on a lead-off double off the LF fence by Junior Lake, a sac bunt, and a wild pitch that plated Lake with the Cubs 4th run of the day.

But RHP Jon Mueller (who has been rehabbing at Fitch Park since the start of minor league camp in March) surrenderd two hard-hit doubles and three-run HR (the fourth HR he has allowed in his last four outings) in the top of the 7th, as the A's took a 5-4 lead. (Pitching like has has been lately, Mule might not ever get out of Fitch Park!).

The Cubs came back in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at 5, as Guyer worked a lead-off walk, advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt, and scored on a two-out RBI single lined to left by Salazar. 

But then the A's scored two in the 9th off reliever Rogelio Carmona, capitalizing on a single, a FC sac bunt, two walks, and a sac fly. 

The Cubs then went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, Jeffrey Rea (quad) and Matt Craig (bruised thigh) played in today's EXST game, both at the plate and in the field (Rea at 2B and Craig at 3B). Then Craig left to rejoin AA Tennessee after the game (actually he left amidst the usual hugs & kisses after the 6th inning). 

Rea will apparently be remaining on his rehab assignment at Fitch Park a while longer.

And RHP Kevin Kreier (who has thrown the ball very well in his last three outings) has been promoted to Peoria, but based on the way they pitched today and in their recent outings, Marcus Hatley and Mark Pawelek could be following Kreier to Peoria very soon. While Kreier has looked good lately, Hatley and Pawelek have been every bit as good, if not better.   

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

LINEUP:
1. Cesar Salazar, CF: 2-4 (RBI, R)
2. Gian Guzman, SS-3B: 1-3 (R, BB, K, 2 SB)
3a. Matt Craig, 3B: 0-1 (RBI, SF, BB, K, SB)
3b. George Matheus, SS: 0-1
4a. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1 (RBI, BB)
4b. Kevin Soto, RF: 1-2 (SB)
5. Carlos Perez, 1B: 0-3 (BB)
6. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 0-4 (2 K)
7. Junior Lake, DH #1: 1-3 (2B, R, 2 K)
8. Brandon Guyer, DH #2: 0-1 (R, BB, SH, K)
9. Dwayne Kemp, LF: 1-2 (HR, RBI, R, SH, K)
10. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-3 (K)

PITCHERS:
1. Marcus Hatley - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K (2/4 GO/FO)
2. Mark Pawelek - 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (1/2 GO/FO)
3. Jon Mueller - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR (1/3 GO/FO)
4. Rogelio Carmona - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K
5. John Muller - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

ERRORS (1):
Gian Guzman, E-5 missed catch

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Roberto Sabates - 0-1 CS

WEATHER: Game-time temperature around 80, mostly cloudy, and far less breezy than it was yesterday

ATTENDANCE: 9 

Comments

Ahhh.. scenery is improving around here. I feel better already

I was pretty excited when I saw Kreier mentioned as one of the starters at the Chiefs' web site.

I'm guessing Alberto Cabrera staying in Peoria is pretty dependent on his start with the Chiefs today.

Any thoughts on Salazar? He's one of the recently added guys at Fitch, correct?

Phil, any ideas or guesses on who the Cubs might be interested in with the 19th pick in next month's draft? Are there any players who might fall to the Cubs' slot because they're Boras clients? Thanks.

Submitted by Raisin101 on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 4:46pm.

I was pretty excited when I saw Kreier mentioned as one of the starters at the Chiefs' web site.

I'm guessing Alberto Cabrera staying in Peoria is pretty dependent on his start with the Chiefs today.

Any thoughts on Salazar? He's one of the recently added guys at Fitch, correct?

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

RAISIN: Cesar Salazar is one of three Venezuelans who arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Venezuelan Baseball Academy a couple of weeks ago. (RHP Israel Camacaro and SS George Matheus are the other two). All three came to Arizona together on the same flight. Catcher Jose Bracho and RHP Gregorio Rodriguez were supposed to come to EXST too, but for some reason they did not come with the other three. I don't know whether Bracho and Rodriguez will be coming to Fitch Park or not.

As for Salazar, he is a 23 year old switch-hitter, and I believe he was once property of the Giants(?), although I don't think he ever played in the U. S. (I could be wrong)

Although he is a pretty good offensive player/lead-off hitter (he does this thing where he runs forward like he's going to drag bunt and then he slaps the ball hard to the opposite field like Ichiro does), he is one lousy defender in CF.

He generally sort of tries to surround fly balls by running in circles until the ball comes down (hopefully somewhere near where he ends up), and he can't track line drives at all.

To paraphrase what Dennis Lamp once said about Luis Polonia...

With Cesar Salazar, it's a Catch-22... hit him a hundred fly balls, and he'll catch 22.

In summary, being that he's 23 he better start moving quickly up the ladder. But the way he plays defense, that might be problematic. Maybe he can improve his play in in CF. For his sake, he'd better. We'll see.

Submitted by Timmer on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 5:42pm.

Phil, any ideas or guesses on who the Cubs might be interested in with the 19th pick in next month's draft?

Are there any players who might fall to the Cubs' slot because they're Boras clients?

Thanks.

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

TIMMER: Last year, 22 of Tim Wilken's first 24 picks were college players. I believe that had something to do with the change in Rule 4 that eliminates the opportunity to Draft & Follow a HS player if he goes to a JC, and the fact that the Cubs drafted several high risk/high reward high school players in 2006 (Huseby, Rundle, Andersen, Kreier, Samson, and Rosa) who were likely to advance relatively slowly, plus the increased emphasis on signing inexperienced players out of Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and Europe.

But I don't know what the plan is this year. Maybe it will be just like last year (heavy emphasis on college players), or maybe it will be more like 2006 (taking risks on high school kids).

But if I had to guess (and obviously I don't know which players will be selected before the Cubs get to make their selection), I would say the Cubs will most-likely select a college pitcher (more likely an advanced power closer than a rotation starter) or college position player (high-quality hitter or highly-rated shortstop).

Somebody like maybe (listed alphabetically):

Gordon Beckham, SS (Georgia)
Andrew Cashner, RHP-CLOSER (TCU)
Ike Davis, 1B-RF (Arizona State)
Joshua Fields, RHP-CLOSER (Georgia)
Reese Havens, SS (South Carolina)
Ryan Perry, RHP-CLOSER (Arizona)
Brett Wallace, 1B-3B (Arizona State)

As I mentioned here the other day, Cashner was selected by the Cubs out of Angelina JC in the 29th round of last year's draft, but opted to transfer to TCU instead of sign with the Cubs. So we know they liked him last year, and they probably like him even more now. Too bad they couldn't sign him as a Draft & Follow.

Recent comments

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  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 24 min 37 sec ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 57 min 9 sec ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 58 min 52 sec ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.

    That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 4 min ago view
  • On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!

    Eric S 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.

    Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?

    Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.

    billybucks 16 hours 28 min ago view
  • Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.

    So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?

    billybucks 16 hours 43 min ago view
  • Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.

    billybucks 16 hours 43 min ago view
  • Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.

    billybucks 16 hours 44 min ago view
  • Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?

    The E-Man 16 hours 57 min ago view
  • Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?

    The E-Man 16 hours 58 min ago view
  • Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.

    billybucks 17 hours 2 min ago view
  • Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?

    billybucks 17 hours 3 min ago view