Riding the Bus: May 7, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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THURSDAY • MAY 7, 2015

Myrtle Beach 5-7 Final

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Walk-off!  The Pelicans improved to a seasons best seven games over .500 with a 2-1 win over Salem thanks to a Billy McKinney walk-off dinger!  You can also thank Duane Underwood for dominating on the mound.

At the Plate:

  • Mark Zagunis is an on base machine, he was 0-for-2 with three walks in the win.
  • Billy McKinney is similar to Zagunis in regards to being one of those on base machines, he was 1-for-1 with FOUR walks, said walk-off dinger, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Jacob Rogers, and Trey Martin each had one hit, both singles.

On the Mound:

  • Duane Underwood Jr. got the start tonight, and was brilliant.  He worked seven innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking one, and striking out four.
  • Juan Paniagua was solid out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings while striking out one.
  • Michael Heesch picked up his second win of the season, he worked a scoreless inning in doing so.

Tennessee Smokies 5-7 Final

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A tough loss for the Smokies as they saw an early 4-0 lead slip away in a 5-4 loss.  The Smokies scored four times in the first inning and couldn’t find anymore offense the rest of the way.

At the Plate:

  • Albert Almora has picked up where he left off before the injury, he was 1-for-4 with a run scored, he’s hitting .310 on the season.
  • Kyle Schwarber was solid in this one, he went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
  • Bijan Rademacher had the big hit for the Smokies, he was 1-for-4 with a double, and three RBI’s.
  • Elliot Soto was the best of the bunch tonight, he was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

On the Mound:

  • Corey Black got the start, and he struggled with his command, he worked five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking four, and striking out seven.
  • Fernando Cruz was outstanding out of the pen, he worked three scoreless innings, giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while striking out four.
  • Stephen Perakslis picked up the loss in this one, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up one run on three hits.

South Bend 5-7 Final

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Things got a little close late in this one but the South Bend Cubs hung on to beat Bowling Green 3-2.  Not many teams can say that as Bowling Green boasts a 17-11 record on the year, tonight the Cubs had just enough.

At the Plate:

  • Charcer Burks has been great this year, it continued tonight, he was 1-for-3 with two walks, and two RBI’s.
  • Justin Marra found some extra base magic, he was 1-for-3 with a double, and a walk.
  • Jesse Hodges was solid as well, he went 1-for-3 with his fifth double of the year, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Jeffrey Baez had a nice game, he went 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored, maybe that will get him going.
  • Gleyber Torres continues to get on base, he was 1-for-4 with a walk in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Zach Hedges got the start, and he does what he usually does, put up zeroes.  He worked five scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking two, and striking out four.
  • Ryan McNeil was decent out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out two.
  • Jordan Minch was touched up, he worked 1.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit while walking one, and striking out two.
  • James Farris had his shortest outing of the year, but it was all he needed to pick up his third save of the year.  He worked a third of an inning to shut the door.

Iowa Cubs 5-7 Final

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The Iowa Cubs didn’t have much going in this one, but found a way to push four runs across the plate in the seventh for a 4-1 victory in Nashville.

At the Plate:

  • Arismendy Alcantara has been flashing the power in Iowa, he was 1-for-4 with a walk, his fourth dinger, two RBI’s, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Mike Baxter has been solid all year, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .314 on the season.
  • Jonathan Mota was right in the middle of the action, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win.
  • John Andreoli, Chris Valaika, and Taylor Davis all had one hit tonight.

On the Mound:

  • Tsuyoshi Wada got the start, and continues to make a push to be promoted, he worked 5.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking two, and striking out six.
  • Gonzalez Germen has been awesome in Iowa, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings to pick up his third win, he struck out two in the process.
  • Blake Cooper worked a scoreless inning to pick up his second hold of the year.
  • Brian Schlitter worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

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Riding the Bus: May 4, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

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MONDAY • MAY 4, 2015

Iowa Cubs 5-4 Final

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Not much offense in this one as the Cubs and Sounds combined for three runs on just thirteen hits.  The right team had more as the Cubs were able to tightrope their way to a 2-1 victory on the road.

At the Plate:

  • Arismendy Alcantara is heating up, he was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Matt Szczur showed off his power, he was 1-for-2 with two walks, a dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Javier Baez had another good night, he was 1-for-2 with a walk, and stolen base.
  • Taylor Davis was solid, he went 2-for-4, he’s now hitting .333 on the season.
  • Mike Baxter and John Andreoli each had one hit in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Eric Jokisch got the start and was outstanding, he worked six innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Brian Schlitter was good out of the pen tonight, he worked a scoreless inning while giving up one hit, and striking out one.
  • Justin Grimm is working his way back, hooray.  He worked a scoreless inning, surrendering one hit while walking one, and striking out two.
  • James Russell is also doing some good things, he worked a scoreless inning as well to pick up his third save of the season.

Tennessee Smokies 5-4 Final

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 A long one early this afternoon saw the Smokies comeback then blow a lead late in a tough loss.  The Smokies only gave up six hits in thirteen innings, unfortunately that was just enough for Birmingham.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen was seeing the ball well today, and that’s an understatement.  Chen was 2-for-2 with FIVE walks, a dinger, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.  That’s right, he reached base SEVEN times.
  • Willson Contreras was solid, he went 3-for-5 with a walk, and two doubles.
  • Stephen Bruno has been really good, he was 2-for-6, he’s now hitting .293 on the season.
  • Ryan Dent had a good game from the nine spot, he was 1-for-5 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

On the Mound:

  • Felix Pena got the start and struggled with his command, he tossed 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on just two hits while walking five, and striking out four.
  • Fernando Cruz bounced back today, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, surrendering just one base hit.
  • Michael Jensen was also really good, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three.
  • Stephen Perakslis was brilliant, and I thought he was going to get the win, he worked three scoreless innings, surrendering zero hits while striking out three.
  • Zach Cates picked up the blown save, and loss, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one.

Myrtle Beach 5-4 Final

 Final Box Score

Things got a little out of hand in this one as Myrtle Beach fell behind early before racing in front late.  Trailing 2-0, the Pelicans charged ahead with six runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-6 lead.  The Pelicans didn’t stop there as they finished the night with fourteen runs, and seventeen hits.

At the Plate:

  • Mark Zagunis was 2-for-6 with two doubles, and two runs scored.
  • Wes Darvill was 1-for-3 with two walks, a triple, three RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Billy Mckinney was 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Jacob Rogers was 3-for-5 with a dinger, four RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-6 with a double, and a run scored.
  • Kevin Brown was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored.
  • Daniel Lockhart was 2-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Carlos Penalver was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.
  • Alberto Mineo was 0-for-3 but walked twice, and scored three runs.

On the Mound:

  • Jen-Ho Tseng got the start was oddly erratic, he worked three innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while walking two.
  • Josh Conway was touched up as well, he worked one inning, giving up three runs on three hits while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Michael Heesch was outstanding, and he picked up the win.  Heesch worked three scoreless innings, surrendering two hits while striking out three.
  • Jasvir Rakkar was solid once again, he worked two scoreless innings to notch his third save of the year.

South Bend 5-4 Final

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 Two quick runs from Great Lakes was the extent of the scoring in this one as South Bend could not get anything going in a 2-0 loss.

At the Plate:

  • Charcer Burks continued his hot 2015, he was 1-for-4 with a stolen base, he’s now hitting .313 on the season.
  • Chesny Young is also swinging it, he went 1-for-4 in the loss.
  • Jason Volser, Justin Marra, and Rashad Crawford all finished the day with one hit.

On the Mound:

  •  Jake Stinnett wasn’t too bad, he worked five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Francisco Carrillo was dominant, he worked three scoreless innings, surrendering one hit while striking out one.
  • Tyler Ihrig was also good, he worked a scoreless inning to keep the Cubs in it late.

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Riding the Bus: April 18, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

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SATURDAY • APRIL 18, 2015

Myrtle Beach 4-18-Game One Final

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Duane Underwood Jr. was brilliant in the first game of the double-header tonight, in fact, he was almost perfect.  Underwood Jr. took a no-hitter into the seventh (last inning of a DH) before giving up a couple hits, so very close.  The Pelicans had six hits in the victory, three of which were of the extra base variety.

At the Plate:

  • Shawon Dunston Jr. had a big game, he was 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
  • Jacob Rogers continued his strong year at the plate, he was 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Victor Caratini had a similar night, he was 1-for-3 with a double, and an RBI in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Duane Underwood Jr. got the start and the win in this one, he worked six innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out four.
  • Starling Peralta came on in relief of Underwood Jr. and shut the door, he worked a scoreless inning while walking one.

Myrtle Beach 4-18-Game One two

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The Pelicans came out swinging in game two as they scored four times in the top of the first en route to an 8-4 win, and a double-header sweep.  The seven inning game saw the Pelicans pound out twelve hits, once again they went heavy on the extra base hits with five.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann was solid at the top of the order, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Mark Zagunis is a joy to watch at the plate, he was 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored, and two more walks.
  • Billy McKinney had a big game two, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Jeimer Candelario has been good so far this year, he was 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored in the win.
  • Ben Carhart supplied the power, he was 1-for-2 with a dinger, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Paul Blackburn didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled and got the win, he worked five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits while walking one, and striking out four.
  • Josh Conway was brilliant in picking up the save, he worked two scoreless innings while striking out one.

Tennessee Smokies 4-18 Final

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The Smokies are rolling, they took care of Pensacola tonight to run their record to 6-3 on the season.  Everything was working in this one for the Smokies, they pounded out twelve hits, and scored seven times in the win.  The pitching was on point as well tonight giving up just one run on five hits while striking out ten.

At the Plate:

  • Elliot Soto got the job of leading off tonight, and he did it well.  Soto was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
  • Albert Almora have a game, he was 5-for-5 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Stephen Bruno came up big in this one, he was 1-for-4 with two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .385 on the season.
  • Willson Contreras with a huge contribution off the bench, he was 1-for-1 with a dinger, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Felix Pena got the start tonight, and was stellar, he worked six innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking two, and striking out six.
  • Fernando Cruz was outstanding out of the pen to pick up his first save of the year, he worked three scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out four.

South Bend 4-18 Final

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The South Bend Cubs have a disturbing trend of blowing saves, today was their fourth one of the season already.  Things looked very much in hand late as the Cubs led Great Lakes 4-1 heading to the ninth, four runs later and the Cubs saw their record fall to 4-6 on the season.

At the Plate:

  • Trey Martin, and Chesny Young were a solid one-two punch at the top of the order in this won.  Martin went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Young went 1-f0r-4 with a triple  an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Jeffrey Baez had a solid game, he went 1-for-4 with a double, his third of the season.

On the Mound:

  • Zach Hedges was brilliant tonight, he worked five scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three,
  • Tommy Thorpe did a fine job out of the pen, he worked tow innings, giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • James Farris took the brunt of it in this one, he worked two innings, giving up four runs, two earned, while striking out five.

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Riding the Bus: April 13, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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MONDAY • APRIL 13, 2015

Iowa Cubs 4-13 Final

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The Iowa Cubs struggled with runners in scoring position tonight (0-for-10), but were able to scratch across four runs to take the series opener against New Orleans.  A big reason for the victory was the Iowa pitching, only one unearned run tonight on six hits.

At the Plate:

  • Kris Bryant continued his hot start to the season, he was 3-for-5 with three singles (weird), and a stolen base, but did make two errors.
  • Junior Lake had a solid game, he was 2-for-5 with a run scored in the win.
  • Rafael Lopez is on fire, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .364 on the season.
  • Mike Baxter is unconscious right now, not literally, he was 2-for-2 with two walks, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Yoanner Negrin started this one, and was solid, he worked 4.2 innings, giving up one run, unearned, on five hits while striking out five.
  • Gonzalez Germen got the win in this one, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.
  • James Russell, yes ‘that’ James Russell, worked two scoreless innings while striking out one.
  • Joe Ortiz picked up the save tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth inning allowing one hit.

Tennessee Smokies 4-13 Final

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The Smokies have a knack for the big inning, today it was in the third as they scored six times and batted around, again.  That was more than enough for Frank Batista and company as the Smokies won the series (3-2) with a 10-4 victory.  An alarming stat, in a good way, the Smokies walked eight times today, EIGHT, you should probably score a lot of runs when that happens.

At the Plate:

  • Albert Almora had another solid game, he was 2-for-6 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  He also had an outfield assist, he does it all.
  • Christian Villanueva was the hero today, he went crazy, he was 2-for-3 with two dingers, two walks, two RBI’s, and three runs scored, yikes.
  • Dan Vogelbach continued his torrid start, he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .444 on the season.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen had a big hit in this one, he finished the day 1-for-5 with a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Frank Batista got the start in this one, his first at the MiLB level since 2013, and was dominant.  He worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out three to pick up the win.
  • Fernando Cruz struggled mightily today, he worked two innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking three, and striking out one.
  • Andres Santiago made this one official by working a scoreless ninth inning, he walked one.

South Bend 4-13 Final

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Tough one for South Bend tonight as they just couldn’t get much going offensively in a 6-1 loss to Dayton.  Although the Cubs had eight hits, they only had two opportunities with runners in scoring position, station to station baseball.  Trevor Clifton had all sorts of issues finding the plate which led to an early deficit that South Bend could not recover from.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Trevor Clifton got the start and struggled, he worked just two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits while walking four, and striking out one.
  • Jordan Minch was brilliant in relief, he worked 3.1 innings, giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while striking out two.
  • James Farris found some trouble but put in solid work, he tossed four innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out four.

** Myrtle Beach was postponed, because rain is stupid.

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Riding the Bus: April 10, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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FRIDAY APRIL 10, 2015

South Bend 4-10 Final

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The South Bend Cubs moved to 2-0 on the young season tonight as 2014 15th round draft pick Jeremy Null was brilliant.  Null got the start and worked five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out seven, not a single walk.  That was more than enough for the SB Cubs offense as they pounded out ten hits en route to a 7-4 victory over Bowling Green.

At the Plate:

  • Trey Martin provided the production from the top of the order in this one, he was 1-for-5 with three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Chesny Young has had a good start to the season, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.
  • Jeffrey Baez was solid yet again tonight, he went 2-for-4, and is now hitting .375 on the season.
  • Jesse Hodges and the bottom of the order were noticeable in this one, Hodges went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.
  • Charcer Burks, and Rashad Crawford each had a hit, and a walk in the eight and ninth spots respectively.

On the Mound:

  • The pen didn’t fair as well as Null in this one, Jasvir Rakkar worked two innings, giving up two runs, one earned on five hits while striking out one.
  • Tommy Thorpe closed things down, he worked two innings, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out three.

Myrtle Beach 4-10 Final

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Not a whole lot went right for the Pelicans tonight as they fell behind Wilmington 6-0 in the fourth on their way to an 8-3 loss.  If was a rough night on the mound for Pelicans starter Daury Torrez, he could only get through 4.2 innings as he picked up his first loss of the season.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann is doing good things early on, he was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base.
  • Ben Carhart had a solid 2015 debut, he went 1-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored.
  • Mark Zagunis has been impressive, he was solid in the loss tonight, he went 1-for-4 with a walk, and a stolen base.

On the Mound:

  • Daury Torrez got knocked around in this one, he worked 4.2 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • I’m excited about Josh Conway, he just didn’t have it tonight, he went 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Gerardo Concepcion is on the comeback trail, he was great tonight, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Tayler Scott finished this one off, he worked one scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out two.

Tennessee Smokies 4-10 Final

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 A weird one in Mississippi as the Smokies jumped out to a 5-0 lead only to see it vanish in an 8-7 loss.  The Smokies attempted to mount a comeback in the 8th, but could only close the gap to one run.  A tough night for the Smokies pitchers as the Braves worked six walks, and registered nine hits.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen provided some production at the top, he was 1-for-4 with a walk, and two RBI’s.
  • Bijan Rademacher is red-hot, he went 3-for-5 with a double, and three RBI’s.
  • Dan Vogelbach had a solid game, he finished the night 1-for-3 with two walks.
  • Willson Contreras smacked the ball all over tonight, he was 3-for-5 in the loss.
  • Stephen Bruno came off the bench to have a good game, he went 2-for-2 with a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Ivan Pineyro got the start and struggled with command, he worked four innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking three, and striking out four.
  • Andres Santiago wasn’t much better, and was hung with the loss, he worked just two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Michael Jensen was the lone bright spot tonight, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, surrendering no hits while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Fernando Cruz was roughed up as well, he worked two innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out three.

Iowa Cubs 4-10 Final

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It hasn’t been the start that the Iowa Cubs, and Cubs fans were expecting.  For the second straight night the Memphis Redbirds took it to Iowa, it was especially bad tonight as Iowa trailed 7-0 after two.  Some of the big league club’s struggles are rubbing off on Iowa as they can’t seem to find any offense yet.

At the Plate:

  • Junior Lake is displaying his new approach, he was 1-for-3 with a walk in the loss.
  • Addison Russell is one guy that is swinging it well, he went 1-for-4 with a double, he’s hitting .375 so far this season.
  • Chris Valaika, Mike Baxter, and Jonathan Mota were the only other I-Cubs to register a base hit, one each.

On the Mound:

  • Carlos Pimentel didn’t have it tonight, he worked 3.2 innings, giving up seven runs, five earned while walking four, and striking out five.
  • Jeffry Antigua was okay out of the pen, he worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Zac Rosscup, and Blake Parker were able to stop the bleeding as each guy worked a scoreless inning.

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