At The Plate – The Cubs built an early lead but once again had trouble holding it as they dropped to 3-9 on the season. Darwin Barney had a huge game in his last rehab appearance, he was 4-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored. Ryan Sweeney continues to mash the ball, he went 2-for-4 with a home run (3), three RBI’s and a run scored. Brett Jackson was 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
On The Mound – The Cubs were beat up from start to finish in this one. Drew Carpenter got the start, he went 4.1 innings giving up five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one. Emailin Caridad went 1.2 innings out of the pen giving up one run on three hits while striking out three. Both Jensen Lewis and Jaye Chapman continued their horrendous 2013 as Lewis gave up two runs, and Chapman gave up three.
At The Plate – Jae-Hoon Ha continued his red-hot start going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Rubi Silva has been the hottest hitter in the Smokies lineup, he was 3-for-4 with a home run (2), four RBI’s, a double, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .394 on the season. Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4 in the loss.
On The Mound – Dallas Beeler put together a quality start and was in line for the win before the bullpen lost it. Beeler went six innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking three and striking out four. Tony Zych went 1.1 innings out of the pen giving up two runs on two hits while walking one. Trey McNutt had a rough go of it as he not only blew the save but got the loss, he went 1.1 innings giving up three runs on three hits while walking two.
At The Plate – The D-Cubs continued to pound the ball in a 8-1 victory over Clearwater to move one game above .500 on the season. Zeke DeVoss was very productive from the lead-off spot going 2-for-4 with a walk, a triple, and three RBI’s. John Andreoli was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, he’s now hitting .341 on the season. Ben Carhart went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Stephen Bruno (2-for-4) and David Bote (2-for-3) each had two hits in the win as Daytona pounded out thirteen total.
On The Mound – Ben Wells was outstanding as he found his command in this one. Wells went six scoreless innings to earn his first win, he gave up five hits while walking one and striking out four. Yeiper Castillo went two scoreless innings out of the pen, he gave up one hit while striking out two. Sheldon McDonald worked the ninth inning, he gave up one run on three hits while striking out one.
NOTES: Kane County was snowed/rained out….again, shocking.
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At The Plate – The I-Cubs were looking pretty good through four innings, then the bottom fell out, and that’s putting it nicely. Logan Watkins continues to embody everything that Theo Epstein wants, as he was 0-for-2 from the lead-off spot but had three walks. Ryan Sweeney was 1-for-4 with his second home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Brian Bogusevic, and J.C. Boscan each had two hits in the loss. Edwin Maysonet only had one hit on the night, but he was productive as he had three RBI’s.
On The Mound – Nick Struck did just fine tonight, I know the final score doesn’t indicate that but he was solid. Struck went four innings giving up two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out three. That was the end of the good news for the Iowa pitching. Esmailin Caridad was hung with the loss, he worked one inning giving up five runs, four earned, on three hits while walking three and striking out one. Jaye Chapman was even worse as he gave up five runs on six hits while walking one and striking out one in just two-thirds of an inning. Cory Wade had an odd stat line, he went three innings giving up two runs on NO hits while walking three and striking out five. The I-Cubs are now 1-8 on the season.
At The Plate – The Smokies could only manage four hits and two runs but that was just enough for the victory. Matt Szczur continued his strong start to the season from the lead-off spot going 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, two stolen bases, and a run scored. Jae-Hoon Ha was 1-for-3 with the only other RBI for the Smokies. Rubi Silva, and Jonathan Mota tallied the only other hits for the Smokies in the win.
On The Mound – Outstanding work all night for the Smokies pitchers. Eric Jokisch got the start and also the victory as he went six strong innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out three. Tony Zych, Zach Rosscup, and Trey McNutt all tossed scoreless innings to shut the door on the Lookouts. Trey McNutt earned his first save of the season and has yet to give up a run in 2013.
At The Plate – The D-Cubs didn’t need much in this one, but they were able to score five times on just six hits. Taiwan Easterling had another solid game going 2-for-5 with a double, three RBI’s and a run scored. Javier Baez was 1-for-4 with a walk, and an RBI, much better approach from Baez in this one. Stephen Bruno was 1-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Austin Kirk was outstanding despite fighting his command early. Kirk went five scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking four and striking out two, he improves to 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Yao-Lin Wang was just as good out of the pen going four scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out five to earn the rare four inning save.
NOTES: Kane County was scheduled to play a double header in Wisconsin today but for the second straight day they were snowed out. They are planning on playing a double header tomorrow and Saturday to make up for the last two days. Ronald Torreyes is back! He was a week late in arriving to camp and stayed about a week late to make up for it. He has now been assigned to AA Tennessee.
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At The Plate – Things have not gone well for the Iowa Cubs, that is reflected in their now 0-5 record. Logan Watkins led off today as was great going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .368 on the season. Brett Jackson had a solid game going 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s. Newcomer Donnie Murphy went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the loss.
On The Mound – Really rough go of it for the I-Cubs pitchers. Barret Loux got the start and was beat up giving up six runs on three hits while walking three walks and striking out two in only one inning of work. Jaye Chapman worked 2.2 innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking three without a strike out. Cory Wade got roughed up giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out one in three innings of work. Blake Parker worked 1.1 scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two.
At The Plate – Matt Szczur continued his solid work out of the lead-off spot going 2-for-3 with a run scored, and a stolen base. Arismendy Alcantara who was hitting in the two hole was 2-for-4, but also made two errors. The rest of the Smokies lineup could only manage one hit in the 2-1 loss.
On The Mound – Really solid effort from the Smokies pitchers in this one. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was decent, he struggled a bit with his command in 4.1 innings of work giving up one run on two hits while walking three and striking out one. Brian Schlitter was the tough luck loser in this one, he worked 1.2 innings giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while walking one. Zach Rosscup and Trey McNutt each worked a scoreless inning to keep things close.
At The Plate – Finally a win for the Cougars, they did plenty offensively but had to work overtime after a blown save, more on that in a bit. Gioskar Amaya broke out today after a slow start to the season, he was 3-for-5 with a triple, a stolen base, and a run scored. Chadd Krist was 3-for-5 with two doubles, ans two runs scored. Bijan Rademacher did most of the damage today going 3-for-5 with three RBI’s. Rock Shoulders stayed red hot at the plate going 2-for-5 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .455 on the season.
On The Mound – Lendy Castillo who is transitioning to a starting role was fantastic in his 2013 debut. Castillo went five strong innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out four, unfortunately he had a win snatched from him. Brian Smith was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one. Justin Amlung blew the save but also got the win, he worked three innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.
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At The Plate – Logan Watkins had an excellent day at the top of the order, he was 3-for-3 with a triple, two runs scored, and two walks. Four different Cubs had two hits in the loss, Brian Bogusevic, Brad Nelson, Luis Flores, and Edwin Maysonet. Brad Nelson supplied the power today, both of his hits left the yard, he added a walk, and had three RBI’s.
On The Mound – Nothing good at all from the Iowa Cubs pitching today. Drew Carpenter got the start and was lit up, giving up five runs on six hits while walking three and striking out one in four innings of work. Jaye Chapman worked one inning giving up two runs on three hits while walking none and striking out one. Cory Wade worked 1.2 innings, he gave up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out one. Blake Parker gave up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out three in 1.1 innings.
At The Plate – The Smokies did some major work at the plate in this one as eight of the nine starters had at least one hit. Jae-Hoon Ha was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Christian Villanueva was awfully productive going 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI’s. Justin Bour was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. The Smokies had six doubles in the victory.
On The Mound – Alberto Cabrera was outstanding tonight, he went six strong innings giving up two runs on four hits, he didn’t walk anyone and struck out nine. Zach Rosscup was inspired by Cabrera and tried to one up him, Rosscup went two innings and only gave up one hit and struck out five. Trey McNutt tossed a scoreless frame to close things out.
At The Plate – The D-Cubs mashed the ball all over the place tonight, something this team most definitely can do. Zeke DeVoss had a big night at the top of the order going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, a walk, two RBI’s, a stolen base and a run scored. Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored. John Andreoli, and Ben Carhart each had three hits, and Jorge Soler was 1-for-5 in the victory.
On The Mound – Quite the combo on the mound for the D-Cubs tonight. Starling Peralta got the start and went 4.1 scoreless innings, he gave up only one hit while walking three and striking out five. Ryan Searle followed that up with 4.2 scoreless innings, he gave up two hits, walked no one, and struck out six. The final line for D-Cubs pitching, nine innings, three hits, no runs, three walks, and eleven strikeouts.
At The Plate – The Cougars pounded out ten hits, unfortunately they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Rock Shoulders was 1-for-4 with a double, and an RBI. Chadd Krist was 2-for-3 with a walk, and Wes Darvill was 3-for-4 with a double. The Cougars made three errors on the night, and all were costly.
On The Mound – I mentioned the costly errors, here’s the proof. Tayler Scott got the start and was really good going six innings giving up one run, unearned on four hits while striking out six. Jeffry Antigua was solid out of the pen in three innings of work, he gave up three runs, all unearned, on three hits while walking two and striking out two.
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Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant. The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.
Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored. Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.
As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome. Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one. Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run. Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.
Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan. Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.
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Every time the Cubs fought back in this one the Giants would tack on a couple of insurance runs to keep the Cubs at bay, the Cubs final push came in the ninth inning as they scored twice, but ran out of outs as they fell to the Giants 9-7. Carlos Villanueva made his second appearance of the Spring, and had a much better performance. Villanueva was able to make it through three innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out two. It was nice to see Villanueva find the strike zone repeatedly in this one, I’ll take giving up hits over walks any day, and he was able to work around the hits for the most part. Barret Loux came on in relief and didn’t have it today, he tossed two innings, giving up four runs, all earned on three hits while walking one and striking out one, Loux was hung with the loss. Jaye Chapman also struggled today as he surrendered two runs on two hits in his inning of work. After having a rough Spring debut, Robert Whitenack bounced back nicely today as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.
The Cubs were once again productive at the plate as they scored seven runs while pounding out ten hits. Brian Bogusevic got the start in right field today and was stellar at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Dioner Navarro only had one hit but he had a productive day, he ended the day 1-for-3 with a walk, and two RBI’s. Steve Clevenger got the start at first base today, yes first base, and he did his best Anthony Rizzo impersonation going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, Clevenger is having a solid Spring at the plate, hitting .500 (4-for-8) in the early going. Brett Jackson didn’t start, but had an eventful day nonetheless going 1-for-1 with a double, and a stolen base. Jackson is having a resurgent Spring, and a lot of that can be contributed to a new swing, and new-found confidence, he his slated to start 2013 in Iowa, but is doing everything he can to make that decision anything but a given, he’s hitting .375 (3-for-8) with two triples, and a double this Spring.
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Now THAT is an early Spring Training game if I’ve ever seen one, and I didn’t even see this one. It was a long, messy game that ended with the Cubs on the losing end of an 11-7 final, and holding their breath about a potential injury to their franchise shortstop, more on that later. It was a tale of two games for both teams really as seventeen of the eighteen runs scored in the game crossed the plate in the first five innings. Cubs pitching finally had a rough day, and it started with Brooks Raley. Raley was really knocked around, he was able to go one plus inning giving up four runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one. Thanks to an early surge by the Cubs offense Raley wasn’t on the hook for the loss, that honor went to Trey McNutt. McNutt didn’t pitch terribly in his outing, but he was hung with the loss as he couldn’t bail out Raley after he left and allowed an earned run of his own in an inning of work on two hits. Jaye Chapman, and Alberto Cabrera were also beat up pretty bad today as they combined to give up five runs, four earned, on six hits over three innings. Chapman was particularly bad as he only lasted a third of an inning giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking two. The foursome of Michael Bowden, Hisanori Takahashi, Shawn Camp, and James Russell stopped the bleeding but it was too little too late.
As I mentioned the Cubs bats were alive and well early this afternoon as they held a 4-1 lead and pushed across seven runs in the first four innings. Both Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney had two hits, and they were productive as Schierholtz knocked in one with Barney driving in two. Javier Baez drew some oohs and aahs with a screaming line drive base hit that almost decapitated the Dodgers shortstop, the hit had twitter abuzz, and drew comparisons to Gary Sheffield after the game from Dale Sveum. Back to the Cubs holding their breath, Starlin Castro was 1-for-3 on the day, but had to leave the game after pulling up lame crossing first base after grounding out. Castro said after the game that he was worried when he first felt it, but he is confident it’s more tightness then a pull, he’s feelings were echoed by Sveum as well after the game, fingers crossed.
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