Organizational Recap – Cubs get bling, blanked, *bleeps* from strong Lackey outing
Maybe it was the 214 diamonds that blinded the Cubs hitters. No, wait. That credit goes to Brandon McCarthy. It seems the Cubs offense has picked up where it left off in the 2016 MLB playoffs – going through stretches of silence before clicking in when needed and finding a groove.
On banner night Monday, some late heroics (and only 2 runs) saved the night, and on ring night, the only thing brilliant in Wrigley were the 5.5 karat monstrosities that will reside on the Cubs’ ring fingers.
As previously shown in the 2016 NLCS against the Dodgers (Cubs went 21 consecutive innings without scoring a run) and the World Series against the Indians (two total runs in three losses), a lull has come over the bats as they mustered only five base hits off McCarthy, Ross Stripling and Kenley Jansen.
Honestly, they seemed flat – especially Kyle Schwarber who struck out three times.
“Old” Lackey Pitches a Gem on Ring Night
Curses! What a waste of a Lackey-of-old outing. It looked like he was 26 again, as he struck out 10 over six strong innings. He had some serious movement on his pitches and allowed only the leadoff home run to Josh Toles. These are performances the Cubs have to take advantage of (or face the wrath of a profanity-laced tired from Lackey). He came here for the jewelry … more jewelry.
Can Mike Montgomery pitch in a game that doesn’t leave sweat stains under the armpits of Cubs fans? After a good seventh frame, Montgomery loaded the bases in the eighth only to induce a nice Russell-to-Zobrist-to Rizzo double play. It didn’t have all that jazz that Javy spins, but it was adequate. My thought is that Montgomery is settling into a long relief role after everyone dubbed him starter No. 5. He had high expectations entering this year and has now been handed a different role.
Hector Rondon is going to be sore after covering the plate in the eighth, when a run scored on several gaffes by the Cubs defense. Hopefully, rest and ice can avoid a DL stint.
AAA – Iowa Cubs 18, New Orleans Baby Cakes 5
SP – Alec Mills W (2-0), 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K
3B – Jeimer Candelario 4-4, 3 (2B), 5 RBI
2B – Ian Happ 2-5, HR, 3 RBI
RF – Chesny Young 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI
LF – Mark Zagunis 2-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI
1B – Taylor Davis 2-5, HR, 3 RBI
Recap: Mills looked strong, perhaps establishing himself as the strongest rotation MLB-ready option in the farm system. He kept the ball down and his pitch count low. Candelario and Happ are going to be fun to watch, especially if Jeimer keeps compiled 5-RBI games (his third of the year). Footnote: Rough night for Rob Zastryzny – 5 ER in 2.2 innings pitched.
AA – Mississippi Braves 6, Tennessee Smokies 2
SP – Zach Hedges L (0-2), 5 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
2B – David Bote 2-3, RBI
C – Ian Rice 1-4, R, 2B
Advanced A – Buies Creek Astros 5, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1
SP – Thomas Hatch L (0-1), 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB 5 K
C – Tyler Alamo 2-4, 2B
LF – Daniel Spingola 1-4, RBI, R
Recap: Hatch pitched well until a three-run fifth inning, all the damage coming with two outs. Baseball America reports he sat a 92-93 miles per hour and topped 94 with his fastball. Sounds like he had a nasty slider going tonight. Better nights on the horizon for the Cubs’ top 2016 pick.
Low A – South Bend Cubs 4, Fort Wayne TinCaps 2
SP – Tyson Miller ND, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
3B – Wladimir Galindo 2-4, RBI, R