8/18: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Saturday’s trip through the minors.  The AZL Cubs and Daytona were both postponed on Saturday, August 18.

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It was a nice night all around for Boise as they beat Tri-City 8-2.  Boise’s pitchers only gave up two hits and one earned in the win.  Jose Arias got the start and was brilliant pitching five strong innings not giving up a run and allowing only one hit.  He also struck out five and walked one in getting the win.  Hayden Simpson had been struggling, but pitched better tonight giving up two runs, one earned on one hit in four innings.  He also struck out five on the night and got the save.  Not only did the pitchers do their job, but the offense did as well.  Stephen Bruno was great once again ending the night 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  He is now hitting .332 with Boise this year.  Rock Shoulders had only one hit, but it was a big one, a grand slam in the third inning.  Marco Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a run and Gioskar Amaya had one hit, two walks, and scored three runs.  Dan Vogelbach only had one hit in this one, but did have an RBI.  Albert Almora was 0-for-5 in this one, hitting into some tough luck.  Boise continues to roll and this team is getting more fun by the day.

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Peoria got back on track Saturday beating Wisconsin 9-2.  The offense pounded out 14 hits to go along with those nine runs to back Michael Jensen.  Jensen pitched well going five innings allowing two runs, one earned one three hits, while striking out seven.  Pete Levitt pitched well in relief pitching three shutout innings before giving the ball to Sheldon McDonald who recorded the last three outs of the game.  Jorge Soler was outstanding in this one going 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Timothy Saunders and Jacob Rogers also had good games as each went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Yaniel Cabezas had a nice game of his own going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.  Zeke DeVoss didn’t have a hit, but he walked four times, scored a run, drove one in, and stole his 35th base of the season.  It was good to see the Chiefs come back after a rough stretch.

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Tennessee won 2-1 in a rain shortened game.  Austin Kirk pitched a five inning complete game giving up one run on three hits.  In his first start with Tennessee he got his first win.  The offense did just enough for the win in this one led by Junior Lake.  Lake was 2-for-3 at the dish with two doubles and a run scored.  Michael Burgess and Justin Bour each had a hit and drove in a run a piece.  Matt Szczur also contributed to the victory with a double and a run scored.  A win is a win anyway you can get it, even if it only lasts five innings.

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Iowa made it two in a row beating Memphis 3-2 on Saturday.  Ryan Rowland-Smith got the start and the win giving up one run on five hits in five innings.  Blake Parker continued his rehab assignment pitching 1.2 innings and allowing one run.  After a scoreless 1.1 innings Marcus Hatley turned things over to Jairo Asencio who notched his third save of the year.  After a big day yesterday, Dave Sappelt did it again as went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.  Alfredo Amezaga, Jeff Frazier, and Brian Esposito all had two hits a piece.  Tony Campana also had a hit and scored a run in the Cubs win.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/16: Around the Cubs Minor League System

A quick recap of the Cubs minor league system on August 16.

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The AZL Cubs only gave up three hits on Thursday beating the Reds 9-1.  Anthony Prieto started and pitched three quality innings allowing no runs on one hit while striking out three.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino got his fifth win of the year pitching five nice innings in relief.  He gave up one run on two hits while striking out seven in five innings.  Jin-Young Kim threw a scoreless ninth striking out one.  The pitching wasn’t the only highlight of the night as the Cubs scored nine on 11 hits.  Shawon Dunston was really good going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.  Yasiel Balaguert had a nice offensive night as he had two hits, a homer and a double.  Trevor Gretzky continued his great run going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Garrett Schlecht, Carlos Penalver, and Alberto Mineo all drove in one run.  It was good to see the offense get going again on Thursday night.

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Boise put up five runs through the first four innings of this one and that was more than enough as they beat Tri-City 7-2.  We will start with our Albert Almora watch.  Almora went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.  Carlos Escobar had two hits, including a double and three RBIs.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Dan Vogelbach and Wilson Contreras each drove in a run with Contreras going 3-for-5 with a double.  Giosakar Amaya added a triple and walked three times.  The other story of the night was Pierce Johnson who was just great striking out five of the six outs he recorded.  Felix Pena got the win as he went the next five innings allowing two run on five hits.  Nathan Dorris picked up his third save of the year striking out three batters in two innings.  Boise had a very nice night all around.

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Peoria only gave up three hits, but couldn’t plate a run as they lost to Burlington 4-0.  Willengton Cruz got the start for Chiefs and took the loss giving up two runs in two innings of work.  Luis Liria and Sheldon McDonald each gave up an unearned run as they combined to pitch the next five innings.  Larry Suarez struck out four and pitched the final to innings for Peoria.  Dustin Geiger and Timothy Saunders each had a really nice game at the plate recording two hits a piece.  Oliver Zapata, Zeke DeVoss, and Pin-Chieh Chen all had a hit to round out the offense for the Chiefs.  Once again the defense was an issue as Peoria committed three errors, and allowed two unearned runs to score.

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It started out as a good night, but turned into a tough one as they gave up four runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to lose 7-6.  Javier Baez had his best night since moving to Daytona going 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.  He ended the night with three RBIs and two runs scored as well.  Rebel Ridling was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.  Taylor Davis also had a double and drove in two for the Cubs.  Christian Villanueva had been quiet for a while, but he added a hit and an RBI of his own.  Robert Whitenack pitched the first four innings allowing one run on four hits.  Matt Spencer threw two really nice innings in relief and was in line to get the win, but the Cubs bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.  First Scott Weismann recorded just two outs and gave up four runs and then after the Cubs took the lead again Jeff Lorick gave up two more runs and took the loss.  On a positive it was nice to see Baez have a nice night, hope that is the beginning of a tear.

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Tennessee only go four hits in this one, but made them count beating Birmingham 4-3.  What else is there to say about Justin Bour.  He hit his 16th home run of the season, a three run shot in the third bringing his RBI total to 105.  Jae-Hoon Ha was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Elliot Soto drove in a run.  Michael Burgess and Dustin Harrington each had a hit as well, with Burgess having a double.  Eric Jokisch started, but only lasted 4.2 innings allowing two runs on six hits.  Tony Zych came in in relief and got the win pitching a scoreless two innings.  After Kevin Rhoderick allowed an unearned run Frank Batista closed the door pitching the final 1.2 innings in recording his 22nd save.

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Iowa lost to Tucson 7-6.  Seth McClung‘s first start with Iowa didn’t go as planned allowing seven runs, four earned on seven hits in 3.1 innings.  Ryan Searle threw 2.2 scoreless innings and Jay Jackson pitched two scoreless.  After getting down by six early Iowa’s offense got to work, but it just wasn’t enough.  Alfredo Amezaga was 4-for-5 witha double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Tony Campana had two hits and stole a base.  Blake Lalli also had two hits driving in one run and Greg Rohan was 1-for-4 with an RBI.  Diory Hernandez and Matt Tolbert each had two hits and Jeff Frazier drove in a run.  After two wins in a row it’s back to the “L” column for Iowa.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/14: Around the Cubs Minor League System

It was not a very busy day for the minor leagues on Tuesday as the AZL Cubs and Peoria were both off and Daytona was cancelled once again.

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Boise got a great outing from Tayler Scott and the rest of the staff as they defeated Salem-Keizer 5-0.  Scott was great once again pitching five scoreless innings giving up four hits and striking out one.  He got the win and is now 5-1 on the season with a 1.88 ERA.  Tyler Bremer and Eduardo Orozco completed the shutout combing to not allow a run over the final four innings.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and Xavier Batista hit his fourth home run of the season.  Daniel Vogelbach got back on track knocking in his 22nd run since going to Boise.  Trey Martin and Gioskar Amaya each had two hits, with Martin driving one run in.  After a couple of losses it was nice to see Boise get back in the win column.

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In a scoreless game until the sixth, Tennessee’s offense came to life beating Birmingham 8-2.  Jae-Hoon Ha hit his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth to get the scoring started.  Junior Lake went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Logan Watkins had two hits and an RBI as did Rubi Silva who played his first game since being promoted from Daytona.  Matt Szczur had another hit, this one a double and Elliot Soto knocked in a run of his own.  The Smokies used five pitchers to get this win.  Dallas Beeler started, but only lasted three innings.  Austin Kirk threw one scoreless inning and Casey Harman gave up two runs in 2.2 innings.  Trey McNutt got the win and Kevin Rhoderick closed things out tossing the ninth.

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Iowa exploded for 12 runs on Tuesday defeating Tucson 12-7.  This game was all about the offense as every starting position player had at least one hit, including the first six who had two a piece.  Greg Rohan had two more hits and two more RBIs, he is now hitting .346 with 17 RBIs while in Iowa.  Blake Lalli, James Adduci, and Dave Sappelt all had two hits and drove in one run.  Tony Campana led things off and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base.  Juan Apodaca had an RBI and Nate Samson went 3-for-5 with an RBI of his own.  Marcus Hatley got the win in relief pitching two scoreless innings.  Scott Maine and Jairo Asencio combined to toss the last three scoreless innings.  Ty’Relle Harris started and struggled giving up seven runs on nine hits in four innings.  Iowa hasn’t had one like this in a while, it was nice to see the offense come around.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/13: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a look at the Cubs minor league affiliates on Monday, August 13.  Daytona and Tennessee each had the night off.

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The AZL Cubs just exploded pounding out 25 hits and scoring 17 runs beating Reds 17-7.  I don’t even know where to start with this one, except make sure to look at the full box score because I won’t be able to mention all the awesome things that happened in this one.  Albert Almora led the way going 5-for-6 with a triple, three runs scored, and three RBIs.  Garrett Schlect had two doubles and drove in three and Daniel Lockhart hit his first home run and drove in three as well.  Carlos Penalver was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and Yasiel Balaguert was the only Cub to not have a multi-hit game, but he did knock in three of his own.  Trevor Gretzky, Shawon Dunston, and Justin Marra all had three hits a piece, with Dunston adding two RBIs and Marra driving in one.  David Bote also had two hits.  There I think I got through all of the offensive numbers.  Paul Blackburn started, but did not have his best outing allowing four runs, three earned in two innings.  On a positive Dillon Maples was spectacular pitching three scoreless innings allowing only two hits while striking out five.  Chad Martin and Ryan Hartman also pitched in this landslide victory.

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A nine run eighth was way too much for Boise to overcome losing 11-4 on Monday night.  Jose Arias pitched six innings allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out four.  He left in line for the win and after Willengton Cruz pitched a scoreless seventh things were looking good.  Good turned to really bad when Hayden Simpson came on in relief.  He had a terrible outing giving up eight run, six earned on six hits all the while only recording one out.  He obviously took the loss as there was no way the Hawks were going to come back from that.  Offensively speaking there were some good things to come out of the Monday nights loss.  Jeimer Candelario was 3-for-4, raising his average to .294.  Marco Hernandez had two hits of his own, including a triple and an RBI.  Stephen Bruno and Wilson Contreras had a hit and an RBI a piece while Gioskar Amaya added two hits from the leadoff spot.

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Peoria tied the game at two in the top of eighth, but gave one up in the bottom half and lost 3-2 to Beloit.  Yao-Lin Wang started and pitched pretty good going six innings allowing two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out four.  Austin Reed took the loss allowing one unearned run in his two innings of work.  Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  Oliver Zapata added a double and an RBI on the evening.  Zeke DeVoss, Chadd Krist, and Bijan Rademacher all had one hit a piece in the Chiefs loss on Monday.

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Iowa’s pitchers struggled big time in this one as the Cubs lost 14-7.  Ryan Rowland-Smith started and took the loss giving up five runs in four inning.  Jaye Chapman, Seth McClung and Brian Esposito all pitched and gave up multiple runs each.  Jay Jackson was the only Cubs pitcher to come out unscathed recording two outs.  Offensively speaking Tony Campana had a nice night going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases.  Greg Rohan and Dave Sappelt each had a hit and two RBIs in the loss to Las Vegas on Monday night.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/10: Around the Cubs Minor League System

All teams were back at it on Friday.  Here is a quick recap of each game.

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The AZL Cubs lost to the Rangers 7-3 on Friday.  Duane Underwood got the start not allowing a run, but walking two in his one inning of work.  Brian Smith then came in to pitch two scoreless innings.  The next three innings decided the game as the Cubs defense let down Ethan Elias and Daniel Adrian who combined to give up all seven runs, but only two earned.  Elias took the loss.  Alvido Jimenez pitched the last three innings striking out three and not allowing a baserunner.  Shawon Dunston had a nice night going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.  Albert Almora had a hit and drove in one on the evening.  Daniel Lockhart, Justin Marra, and David Bote all had a hit a piece, but it wasn’t enough for the Cubs tonight.

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Boise scored a bunch early and held on to win 11-8.  Daniel Vogelbach was once again the story in this one hitting two more home runs.  He now has seven in the last five games and has hit at least one in those five games.  He ended the night 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs.  Jeimer Candelario also had a really nice night going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored.  Stephen Bruno and Marco Hernandez each added two hits with Bruno knocking in one and Hernandez two.  Ian Dickson started and gave up six runs in only three innings.  He also walked four, but struck out five.  Hunter Ackerman and Rafael Diplan combined to throw the next four innings allowing one run each.  Nathan Dorris closed out the game recording his second save giving Diplan his second win of the season.

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Peoria lost to Burlington in Jorge Soler’s first game with the Chiefs.  The story that everyone wants to know is how did Soler do?  He went 1-for-4 with two RBIs hitting in fifth spot in the order.  Chad Krist had quite a night going 2-for-4, including two doubles and three RBIs.  Yaniel Cabezas also had two hits to go along with a run scored.  Dustin Geiger, Wes Darvill, and Pin-Chieh Chen each had a hit a piece with Chen scoring two runs.  Michael Jensen who has been good most of the year struggled giving up six runs on eight hits in five innings pitched.  Justin Berg struggled giving up four runs, one earned in two innings and Bryce Shafer pitched a scoreless ninth.  This was not quite the way Peoria planned things to go with Soler in the lineup, but tomorrow is a new day.

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Daytona took a 5-1 lead after three, but saw the lead slip away losing to Dunedin 8-5.  Just like with Jensen, Matt Loosen had pitched well most of the season, but did not have his best stuff on Friday allowing five runs on seven hits in just 4.1 innings.  Eduardo Figueroa pitched well in 2.2 relief innings, but Scott Weismann took the loss allowing the last three runs in his two innings of work.  Micah Gibbs and Rafael Lopez each had two hits, with Gibbs driving in two and Lopez one.  Elieser Bonne also drove in two runs for Daytona.  John Andreoli had a hit and stole a base, bringing his total on the season to an impressive 50.  Javier Baez continues to struggle going 0-for-5 and Christian Villanueva contributed with a hit and scored a run.  Really looking to see Baez get going here, he is obviously going to have to adjust and I think he will sooner than later.

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Tied at two going to the ninth Huntsville scored two off of Kevin Rhoderick and held on to beat the Smokies 4-3.  Erick Jokisch got the start and pitched well pitching six strong innings allowing one run on five hits and striking out six.  Trey McNutt gave up one unearned run in two innings of relief.  Matt Szczur is starting to figure things out at the next level going 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored, and an RBI.  Logan Watkins and Nelson Perez each added two hits of their own with Watkins scoring and driving in a run.  Jae-Hoon Ha and Justin Bour each contributed with a hit and Matt Cerda drove in a run.

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Greg Rohan delivered a big two run single in the ninth to tie the game, but Jaye Chapman gave up a run in the bottom half as Iowa dropped a tough one to Las Vegas 4-3.  Chris Rusin got the start pitching 5.2 innings allowing three runs on eight hits in a no decision.  Michael Bowden pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Chapman took the loss allowing the winning run.  Blake Lalli drove in the other Cubs run ending the night 1-for-4 with a double.  Tony Campana had two hits, including a double and Matt Tolbert had a hit of his own.  Both Campana and Tolbert scored a run as did James Adduci.  It was a nice comeback for Iowa, but still took the loss on Friday night in Vegas.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Cubs Finally Win a One-Run Game, Thanks to Tigers Defense

The last 12 one-run games have ended with the Cubs coming up short, not tonight as the Cubs rallied in the 8th inning to break a 3-3 tie and beat the Tigers 4-3.  The Cubs held the Tigers down for most of the game and built a 3-0 lead by the 7th inning but once again the Cubs bullpen couldn’t hold it.  The Tigers strung together hits for the first time all game and managed to plate three runs in the top of the 7th inning to tie the game at three.  The tie didn’t last long as the Cubs were able to push across a run in the bottom of the 8th inning, with help from the Tigers.  Two different times the Tigers looked like they got out of the inning but both times Jhonny Peralta made terrible throws to pull guys off the bag.  Upon further review, it actually looked like both plays could have gone the other way as they were very, very close, but I’m not going to apologize, it’s about time the Cubs got some breaks.  In both instances speed is what caused Peralta to rush his throws, both times it was Tony Campana causing havoc.

Paul Maholm didn’t get the win tonight but he was tremendous on the mound going six innings, allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven.  Tony Campana was 2-for-5 at the plate, but it was his speed that was the killer.  As I mentioned it was Campana’s speed that caused the Peralta throwing errors, he also stole three more bases giving him 21 on the season.  Darwin Barney had a productive day at the plate going 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI’s.  That’s two wins in a row, doesn’t seem like much, but the Cubs only have 21 on the season, okay, it’s really not a lot, here’s to three in a row tomorrow.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

Continue reading “Cubs Finally Win a One-Run Game, Thanks to Tigers Defense”

Not So Great 8, Cubs Lose Again

Apparently it’s going to get worse before it gets better as the Cubs are quickly becoming the worst team in baseball.  The number now stands at 59, it has been 59 innings since the Cubs have held a lead in a game.  Process that for a second, and watch out Orel Hersheiser, one more inning and you no longer hold a record…oh wait, not the same thing.  It’s almost impossible that a team can go almost seven full games without accidentally scoring first, but the Cubs have done it in spectacular fashion.  The Cubs actually had a shot at winning the game on Tuesday night, but they couldn’t get a clutch hit or clutch out if their life depended on it and they fell to the Astros 2-1 for their 8th straight loss.

Travis Wood was surprisingly good on the mound for the Cubs.  He went 5 and 2/3rds of an inning only allowing two runs on two hits.  Wood left in the sixth with a guy on first and two outs.  Shawn Camp entered and played hero for the Astros as he committed a throwing error for no reason to allow the runner to get to second then just like that it was 2-1 and a dejected Cubs team limped their way home after that.  The Cubs had nothing going offensively once again as they only managed one run on six hits.  The lone run coming on a mammoth solo home run from Alfonso Soriano which tied the game at one in the fourth, that was exciting.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

Continue reading “Not So Great 8, Cubs Lose Again”