Just pure excitement, this has been a long time coming, and finally we Cubs fans are being rewarded with talent on the field. It didn’t take Soler long to make an impact, he launched the fourth Major League pitch he saw 432 feet for his first career home run.
Solid pitching? Check. Just enough hitting? Check.
It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight. Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five. The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out. Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.
Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed. Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive. Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win. Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.
Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!
Note: Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.
All teams back in action on Thursday July 19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,