7/19: Around the Cubs Minor League System

All teams back in action on Thursday July 19.

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Jorge Soler made his much anticipated debut on Thursday night, but the AZL Cubs fell to the AZL Mariners 4-3 in 12 innings.  It was not quite the debut we were looking for from Soler as he went 0-3, grounding out twice and lining into a double play.  The Cubs got RBIs from David Bote, Daniel Lockhart, and Justin Marra.  Marra also had two hits on the evening.  Paul Blackburn got the start on Thursday and pitched three innings allowing one runs on three hits.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino struck out five in four innings out of the pen and Daniel Adrian struck out four in three scoreless innings.  Chad Martin took the loss giving up the winning run in the 12th inning.  Not the type of game we become accustomed to from the Cubs in Arizona.

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The pitching for Boise did their job on Thursday, but the Hawks still lost to Eugene 2-1.  Ian Dickson got the start and took the tough loss.  He gave up two runs, one earned in five innings.  He also struck out five, his record now stands at 1-3.  Hunter Ackerman was outstanding in relief striking out four and allowing only one hit in three innings pitched.  All of the Hawks offense came off the bat of Stephen Bruno who had the only two hits for Boise.  He also drove in Gioskar Amaya who reached on a walk.  This is a tough one to swallow as the pitching did so well, unfortunately the hitting did not.

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Peoria dropped another to West Michigan losing 4-2.  Yao-Lin Wang started and took the loss allowing three runs in the second inning, one earned in just 1.2 innings pitched.  Josheph Zeller pitched well in relief allowing one unearned run on seven hits in 5.1 innings.  He struck out three and lowered his ERA to 1.69.  Javier Baez did it again going 2-for-4 hitting his ninth home run of the season and stealing his 17th base.  Chadd Krist only was able to muster up one hit tonight as his average dropped to .462.  Dustin Geiger added a hit and scored the only other Chiefs run of the day.  Peoria will look to get back on track tomorrow.

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It is tough to win when you allow four runs in one inning and then a single run four innings in a row.  Daytona didn’t disprove this losing 8-3 to Jupiter.  Austin Kirk took the loss allowing five runs in five innings pitched.  His ERA stands at an impressive 2.88.  Hunter Cervenka, Scott Weismann, and AJ Morris all gave up a run in their inning of work out of the bullpen.  The good news came from one of the Cubs top prospects Matt Szczur.  He was 3-for-4 with a triple, run scored, RBI and his 33rd stolen base of the year.  Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.  Elliot Soto added two hits driving in one run and Rubi Silva also had an RBI.  Not a good loss all the way around for the Cubs.

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After giving up three in the first Tennessee tried to mount a comeback, but it ultimately came up short losing 4-3 to Chattanooga.  Eric Jokisch took the loss allowing three runs on six hits in five innings.  Kevin Rhoderick hopefully got back on track Thursday striking out all four of the outs he recorded.  Marcus Hatley pitched a scoreless inning giving up three hits, but striking out one.  Juan Apodaca hit a double and drove in two runs.  Jae-Hoon Ha was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Logan Watkins drove stole his 19th base of the season and drove in his 36th run of the season.  It was a good comeback attempt, but turned out to be another disappointing loss.

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Casey Coleman got scratched from his start so Ryan Rowland-Smith took his place and struggled giving up five runs, three earned in just four innings pitched.  All of those runs came in the second and Iowa could never rebound losing 9-1.  Offensively Brett Jackson was 2-for-4 with the Cubs lone RBI.  Dave Sappelt and Blake Lalli each had two hits and both had a double.  Adrian Cardenas and Welington Castillo had doubles as well.  Other than that not much excitement coming from Iowa on Thursday night.

Thanks for reading,
Mark

July 20 – 22, 2012; @ Cardinals – Series Preview

St. Louis Cardinals Logo - Two cardinals perched on a black bat between script in red

The Cubs try to keep it rolling in St. Louis this weekend amid reports that Ryan Dempster is on the verge of being traded.  Because of the trade being imminent, at least per reports, Ryan Dempster has been pulled from his start tomorrow.  From the sound of it Casey Coleman will take Dempster’s start tomorrow as he was scratched from his Iowa Cubs start tonight.  The report of Dempster being pulled is coming from MLB Network, but has not been confirmed by any of the local media or the Cubs themselves at the time of this preview.  So, aside from all of that, the Cubs continue to be the hottest team in baseball since late June.  They come into this series with the Cardinals on the heels of a 5-1 home stand, and a series win over the Marlins.  Conversely the Cardinals come into this series limping as they are 4-6 in their last 10 games and have fallen into third place in the Central division, five full games out of first.  The Cardinals have led the NL in runs scored for quite some time, but they are struggling as of late, only scoring 51 runs in July (14 games), which is good for 12th in the NL over that time.  By comparison the Cubs have scored 63 runs in July, good for 6th in the NL.  The only reason the Cardinals have kept their head above water this month has been their pitching, they boast a staff ERA of 2.65 in July, the best in the National League.  The Cubs have been really good as well with a 3.19 ERA in July, good for 4th in the National League.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

Continue reading “July 20 – 22, 2012; @ Cardinals – Series Preview”

7/14: Around the Cubs Minor League System

A look at the Cubs minor leaguers on Saturday.

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The AZL Cubs did it again on Saturday beating the AZL Padres 13-3.  After a couple rough nights, Timothy Saunders got back on track going 4-for-6 with a double, home run, three runs scored, and five RBIs.  He raised his average back up to .493.  Equally as impressive has been Dan Vogelbach, and he didn’t disappoint on Saturday.  He had two hits, including a double and drove in four.  The Cubs got three hits out of Daniel Lockhart and Jacob Rogers and they combined to score five runs on the night.  Shawon Dunston Jr. and Garrett Schlect each added two hits a piece and Carlos Penalver hit a triple and drove in two.  One of this year’s supplemental picks Paul Blackburn got his first start of the year.  He pitched one inning and allowed a run, but it was good to see him pitch.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino recorded his third win of the season striking out four and allowing only one hit in three innings.  The Cubs have been really impressive so far.

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Two four run innings was plenty for Boise beating Vancouver 9-3.  The Hawks were led offensively by Trey Martin and Marco Hernandez.  Martin was 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run.  He also scored two runs and knocked in four.  Hernandez also had two, including two doubles and driving in three.  Lead-off hitter Gioskar Amaya did his job well on Saturday going 2-for-3 with a walk.  One of his hits was a triple and he scored three runs.  Hawks got an RBI a piece from Stephen Bruno and Bijan Rademacher.  Ian Dickson got the start, but did not factor in the decision as he only pitched 4.1 innings.  Pete Levitt picked up his first win in relief pitching 1.2 scoreless innings.  Michael Hamann and Rafael Diplan combined to pitch the last three innings of the game securing the Boise win.

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In a back and forth game Peoria was able to come out on top 9-8 in ten innings.  Chadd Krist played the role of hero winning the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth.  He ended the night 3-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI.  Javier Baez had his best night as a professional going 3-for-5 with a home run and a triple.  He also scored a run, drove in four and stole his 16th base.  He now has a ten game hitting streak and his batting average now stands at .319.  Taiwan Easterling and Paul Hoilman each had two hits and Easterling drove in two.  Michael Jensen got the start giving up six runs in 5.1 innings of work.  Yao-Lin Wang got the win pitching a scoreless tenth inning.

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Daytona watched a six two lead slip away late when Palm Beach scored seven times in the last two innings to win 9-6.  Despite walking five and allowing six hits starter Austin Kirk was in line for the win, but was let down by his bullpen.  Kirk left only allowing two run, one earned in six inning of work lowering his ERA to 2.59.  After a dominate one inning of work by Eduardo Figueroa, Jeffrey Lorick and Brian Schlitter really struggled combining to give up seven runs, five earned over the next 1.1 innings.  There were a few bright spots from the offense on Saturday for the Cubs.  Ronald Torreyes was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.  John Andreoli, Rafael Lopez, and Elieser Bonne all had two hits with Bonne driving one in.  Matt Szczur and Rebel Ridling each had an RBI a piece and Taylor Davis drove in two.  Another tough loss for Daytona on Saturday.

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Michael Burgess and Juan Apodaca‘s power was on display Saturday leading Tennessee to a 4-2 win on Saturday.  Apodaca hit a three-run homer and Michael Burgess hit a solo shot, his tenth of the season.  That was all the offense the Smokies would need as Dae-Eun Rhee and the bullpen would do all the rest.  Rhee gave up two runs on five hits in five innings.  He struck out six in route to his sixth win of the year.  Tony Zych pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three and Marcus Hatley came in to shut it down.  That he did striking out three in two innings of work recording his fourth save of the season.  It is nice to see Tennessee come out on top of a well-played game from both teams.

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A seven run second from Omaha was all they needed beating Iowa 7-1.  Randy Wells got the start and was terrible allowing seven runs on six hits in just 1.2 innings pitched.  As bad as Randy Wells was the offense couldn’t get much going either.  James Adduci had two hits and scored a run, the only Cubs player with a multi-hit game.  Dave Sappelt drove in the Cubs lone run.  Josh Vitters had his 27th double of the season and Brett Jackson also added a hit.  Other than that there wasn’t much to the game at the plate.  Casey Coleman pitched 5.1 good innings in relief not allowing a run and striking out three.  Alberto Cabrera had another nice outing out of the pen striking out one in one inning of work.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

7/6: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Cubs minor league recaps for Friday July 6.

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The AZL Cubs scored two runs in each of the first three innings and they continued to add beating the AZL Giants 10-3.  Daniel Vogelbach only had one hit today, but made it count connecting on his third home run of the season.  He was also the only Cub to drive in more than one run on the day.  Timothy Saunders was 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Carlos Escobar had two doubles and drove in a run.  Cubs also got RBI’s from Justin Marra, Carlos Penalver, and Izaac GarsezRyan Hartman got his first win of the season in relief.  He gave up two runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work.  Matt Ianazzo was outstanding in his two innings of relief as he struck out four in two scoreless innings.

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Boise lost a tough one on Friday night falling to Tri-City 5-4.  James Pugliese got the start and gave up three runs, two earned on six hits in five innins.  Pete Levitt couldn’t hold the lead giving up a run in the seventh.  Michael Heesch then came on to strike out four in two scoreless innings.  Bryce Shafer who has been really good for Boise gave up a run in the eleventh which proved to be the game winner.  At the plate Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.  Chadd Krist was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-5 with double and an RBI.  Wilson Contreras also had two hits and drove in two.  It was a tough loss for the Hawks as they had a lead for most of the game.

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Burlington scored two in an inning four different times to beat Peoria 8-3.  Offensively Dustin Geiger stayed hot hitting his fourth home run in three days, he drove in two on the night.  Taiwan Easterling had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI and Javier Baez was 2-for-4.  Starling Peralta got the start and took the loss, but was let down by his defense giving up six runs, only two earned on four hits in five innings.  Sheldon McDonald pitched well in relief striking out four in 2.1 innings of work.

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Daytona had a nice win on Friday beating Dunedin 5-1.  Matt Loosen got the start and very impressive improving his record to 7-3.  He struck out 10 while only giving up three hits and allowing no runs in seven innings of work.  Matt Spencer and Scott Weismann each pitched a scoreless inning in relief to preserve the win.  At the plate the Cubs had some really special nights.  Arismendy Alcantara was a single a way from the cycle.  He ended the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI’s.  Rubi Silva also was impressive going 4-for-5 with an RBI.  Ronald Torreyes and Taylor Davis each drove in a run and John Andreoli had a triple and also scored a run.

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Game one of the double header belonged to Eric Jokisch and the Smokies beating Jacksonville 5-1.  Jokisch pitched six inning allowing one run on five hits while striking out two and walking one.  Marcus Hatley threw a scoreless seventh to close the game out.  Offensively Justin Bour and Michael Burgess each recorded a hit and two RBI’s.  Greg Rohan also drove in a run and scored one ending the game 1-for-3 with a double.  Nelson Perez and Michael Brenly each had a hit and Brenley scored a run.

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Game two was a different story as Jacksonville came out on top beating Tennessee 3-1.  Nicholas Struck took the loss, but didn’t pitch that bad as his defense let him down.  He struck out six in five innings pitched and gave up three runs, only one earned in five innings.  Tony Zych who struck out three and Frank Batista each pitched a scoreless frame.  Offensively there wasn’t too much to talk about Logan Watkins, James Adduci, Juan Apodaca, and Nate Samson were the only Smokies to recored hits.  Apodaca drove in Adduci for the only Smokies run in game two.

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Alfredo Amezaga played the part of the hero on Friday delilvering a base hit in the 11th inning to give Iowa a 5-4 win.  The unsung hero’s in this game were the bullpen.  Casey Coleman got the start, but only lasted three innings and gave up three runs.  Frankie De La Cruz pitched four solid innings of relief allowing no runs on three hits.  Jay Jackson followed suit pitching a scoreless inning.  Michael Bowden did blow the save, but was able to pitch a scoreless tenth and eleventh inning in route to his second win.  Offensively Dave Sappelt was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.  Blake Lalli also had two hits including a double.  Welington Castillo hit his third home run of the season and had two runs scored and two RBI’s.  Josh Vitters kept his average at the .300 mark going 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  Adrian Cardenas also added a hit and an RBI on Friday.  Brett Jackson missed his second game in row.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

Cubs Bid For Sweep Ends In Disaster

Certain games you just forget and move on, I think losing 17-1 would be one of those games.  Nothing went right for the Cubs as the Mets turned a 1-1 game into a laugher in just a matter of three innings.  Entering the fourth inning the game was tied at one, then the Mets went on an offensive binge, scoring three in the 4th, six in the 5th, and six in the 6th, and just like that it was 16-1, yikes.  Jeff Samardzija was god awful, and Casey Coleman was probably worse.  Samardzija gave up nine runs on six hits in 4.1 innings while walking four and striking out one.  Talk of a possible all-star appearance has officially been thrown out the window as Samardzija falls to 5-7 on the year with a 5.05 ERA.  Coleman came in to put out the fire, instead he doused it with gasoline.  He lasted only 1.2 innings, giving up seven runs on six hits while walking two and striking out one. 

The Cubs were not much better at the plate as they only managed nine hits and one run against Jonathan Niese and the Mets pen.  Anthony Rizzo was 1-for-4 with a double, nice to see him swing the bat well against a lefty as that was his big stumbling block last year.  Darwin Barney also had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.  These games happen, the good news is that it only counts as one loss.  Still a good series for the Cubs, taking two out of three from a solid team is definitely a positive.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

Continue reading “Cubs Bid For Sweep Ends In Disaster”

5/7: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is your nightly recap for the Cubs minor league system, enjoy.

FULL BOX SCORE 

Paul Hoilman extended his hitting streak to 20 games in grand fashion by launching a grand slam en route to a 3-for-4 day with five RBI’s.  Patrick Francescon was once again brilliant on the mound for Peoria going six strong innings to get the victory, he improved to 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA on the season.  Jeffery Lorick shut the door for the Chiefs, recording his 4th save of the year.

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Eric Jokisch was nearly untouchable Monday night against Jupiter.  Jokisch went seven stellar innings, only allowing four hits while striking out 11 on his way to his second win of the season.  Matt Szczur continued his torrid pace going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Nelson Perez also had a solid night at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple and an RBI. 

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Nicholas Struck was solid on the mound for the Smokies as they took care of Brimingham Monday night 4-2.  Struck improved to 4-2 on the season by going six strong innings, while only giving up two runs.  The Smokies made the most of their hits as they only had six on the night to go with their four runs scored.  Junior Lake was 1-for-4 in his second game with the Smokies.  Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 on the evening with a solo home run, his first of the season.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Another barn burner in Iowa last night as the I-Cubs squeaked out another 1-0 victory over New Orleans.  Casey Coleman was outstanding going seven innings and only allowing two hits while striking out nine on his way to a no decision.  Iowa didn’t fare too much better at the plate as they were only able to manage two hits on the day.  Brett Jackson drew a lead-off walk in bottom of the 8th and would eventually come around and score the game winning run in a 1-0 I-Cubs victory.

Thanks for reading,
– George