Archive for June, 2008

Minor League Roundup

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Iowa 7 – Albuquerque 5 – (Box Score) – Jeff Samardzija picked up his first triple-A win as the Iowa Cubs defeated the Albuquerque Isotopes 7-5 at Principal Park Sunday afternoon.

Samardzija (1-1) lasted six innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out four. The right-hander worked out of trouble early and often beginning in the first inning. After allowing a two-out RBI single to Dallas McPherson, Samardzija settled down and induced a groundout by Jason Wood to strand McPherson and end the inning.

Iowa tied it at one in the first when Andres Torres came around to score on a Ben Broussard groundout.

The I-Cubs took the lead for good in the second on an RBI double by Micah Hoffpauir to make it 2-0. Jason Dubois made it a 3-0 game with a home run in the third inning. Bobby Scales added to the lead with a towering solo home run in the fourth. Iowa would score in each of the first five innings, including a two-run fifth, when Samardzija laced a bases loaded single to right field to make it 6-0.

Samardzija got out of the sixth without allowing a run when he worked around a pair of walks to open the inning by getting Jason Wood to ground into a double play. He ended the inning by striking out Chase Lambin. Samardzija finished the afternoon throwing 101 pitches, including 57 strikes.

Albuquerque pinch hitter Tagg Bozied connected on a two-run home run in the seventh off Iowa reliever Blake Parker to make it 6-3.

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Hoffpauir made it a 7-3 game with an RBI single in the eighth. He finished the game 2-for-4 as every Iowa starter had a hit.

I-Cubs reliever Jim Brower allowed back-to-back doubles to John Baker and Bozied in the ninth. Jai Miller made it a 7-5 game with an RBI single to center field. Brower got Wood to groundout to end the game, stranding two Isotope runners.

Isotopes starter Gaby Hernandez (2-7) took the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits in four plus innings of work.

Peoria 4 – Kane County 3 – (Box Score) – The Peoria Chiefs made it three straight wins over Kane County and six in a row overall with a 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon at O’Brien Field. The win improves the Chiefs to 6-5 in the second half and 36-43 overall. Kane County got on the board in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Chiefs starter Dae-Eun Rhee walked leadoff man Adam Klein who then stole second base. After Justin Frash struck out, Larry Cobb grounded out to move Klein to third base with two outs. Rhee then balked allowing Klein to score to make it 1-0. Peoria responded in their half of the first inning against Cougars starter Scott Hodsdon. Jonathan Wyatt walked to start the frame but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Elvis
Lara blooped a base hit that landed just fair down the right field line, and Marquez Smith followed with a base hit to left. Josh Donaldson got the third consecutive hit in the inning for the Chiefs to load the bases with only one out. Jovan Rosa collected the fourth straight hit off Hodsdon with a double down the line in left to plate both Lara and Smith and give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead. Bautista drove in a run with a groundout that scored Donaldson to increase the Chiefs lead to 3-1. Rhee could not hold the lead as Kane County tied the game in the third. Corey Brown singled into right field with one out, and Greg Dowling followed a batter later with a base hit of his own. Todd Johnson drilled a single off the right field wall to score Brown and make it a 3-2 game. Shane Keough picked up the second straight RBI hit with an opposite field single to left to score Dowling and tie the game 3-3. The Cougars threatened to take the lead in the fourth against the Chiefs bullpen. Zach Ashwood walked Klein to start the inning, followed by a single off the bat of Frash. Cobb was walked to load the bases with no outs before Corey Brown struck out for the first out in the frame. Ashwood then got a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Jake Smith to get out of the jam with the scored still tied. Peoria used a two-out rally to regain the lead in the fourth inning against Hodsdon. Wyatt picked up a single and moved into scoring position with a steal of second base. Lara delivered a base hit to score Wyatt and put the Chiefs back in front 4-3. Kane County got the tying run to third base in the eighth inning, but Frash struck out looking against Jordan Latham to end the frame and preserve the lead for the Chiefs. Rhee worked three innings but did not factor in the decision. He allowed three runs on five hits while walking a season-high four batters, and he also struck out two. Ashwood worked two scoreless innings while walking two and striking out one and picked up his third win. Craig Muschko tossed two scoreless frames while recording three strikeouts. Latham worked the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.

Player of the Game – Elvis Lara (2B) – Lara picked up his first three hit game of the season as he went 3-for-4 with the game winning RBI in the fourth inning and a run scored.

Notes…The Chiefs last six game winning streak came July 15-22, 2007 when the Chiefs won seven in a row…The four walks issued by Rhee was the most allowed by a Chiefs starter since he walked three on June 19 against Beloit…Brandon Guyer had his five game hitting streak come to
an end…The Chiefs turned their league-leading 83rd double play of the season…Latham becomes the seventh Chiefs pitcher to record a save this season…Chiefs pitchers have balked nine times this season…Rosa picked up his team-leading 22nd double in the first inning…Nate Samson had
Sunday afternoon off and is second to Marquez Smith (76) in games played with 74…Josh Donaldson left the game with an apparent injury in the fifth inning…The win guarantees the Chiefs will have their first winning month of the season as they improved to 13-11 in June…The two teams will complete the series and the homestand on Monday evening at 6:30… Since it is the last home game before the Fourth of July, there will be special Fourth of July fireworks show presented by Methodist Medical Center…Monday will not be included as a half price Monday due to the fireworks show…There will be another Pitch-In for Charity prior to the fireworks show…Fans can purchase tennis balls for $1 with the proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois…Peoria will send LH Chris Siegfried (1-6, 7.10) to the hill against RH Scott Deal (5-3, 3.84) for Kane County.

Tennessee 4 – West Tenn 1 – (Box Score) – The Tennessee Smokies (36-46, 9-3) knock off the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (45-37, 4-8), 4-1 at Pringles Park Sunday Evening to win for a fifth time in the six game series. The win keeps Tennessee in first place by two games in the Southern League North in the second half.

The Smokies scored the games first run in every game of the six game series by crossing home in the fourth. Matt Craig was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to third on a long single by Doug Deeds. Craig then scored on an error to make it 1-0.

Smokies starter Esmailin Caridad lost his strike zone control to start the fifth which lead to the games tying run. He walked the first two batters of the inning Jon Nelson and Jose Yepez. Matt Mangini bounced a sacrifice bunt to third which turned into an error that loaded the bases with no outs. Jeff Dominguez drove home the run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

The contest stayed tied at one until the Smokies seventh. Mark Reed started the frame with his first Tennessee hit which was a solo homerun. Fuld then singled and scored on a Nate Spears double. Jake Fox finished the scoring by doubling home spears for a 4-1 Smokies lead.

Rocky Roquet would enter the ball game in the bottom of the seventh for the starter Caridad. He inherited runners at first and third with one out. Roquet struck out the first hitter up. He then used his shoe to stop a would be two-run single up the middle. Roquet deflected the grounder and recovered it to retire the batter Brent Johnson and end the threat.

Jose Ceda pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to record his third save and preserve the Tennessee win.

Boise 5 – Yakima 4 – (Box Score) – Ryan Sontag’s second walk-off winner in two nights, tonight a fielders choice to score Ryan Flaherty from third in the bottom of the ninth, lifts the Boise Hawks to a 5-4 victory over the Yakima Bears before 1,801 fans at Memorial Stadium.

After a Brendan Duffy RBI single in the top half of the inning gave the visitors a 4-3 lead, the Hawks rallied against closer Bryan Woodall. A one-out fly ball to right by Rebel Ridling was lost in the evening sky by Roberto Rodriguez, giving the slugger a gift double. After Flaherty walked, pinch hitter Ryan Keedy laced a ball into right to score pinch runner Jake Opitz to tie the game. Sontag followed, hitting a 1-0 pitch to second baseman Joe Ayers, whose throw home was dislodged by the sliding Flaherty, scoring the winning run.

Boise took an early 3-0 lead in the fourth on a Ridling three-run home run, but Yakima rallied, tying the score on a two-run shot by Andrew Fie in the sixth.

Ridling and David Macias each had two hits in the win, with Josh Vitters extending his hit streak to 12 games with a fourth-inning single.

The Hawks head to Tri-City for a three-game set with the Dust Devils, beginning tomorrow night.

Daytona 2 – Lakeland 3 – (Box Score)

Arizona Cubs 18 – Arizona Royals 1 – (Box Score)

Minor League Player Tracker

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Good News & Bad News

Monday, June 30th, 2008
  • Carlos Zambrano appears ready to go for Friday against the hated Cardinals and the news couldn’t come at a better time. He threw off the mound this weekend at U.S. Cellular and felt just fine after airing it out 100%. According to the Daily Herald, Zambrano will throw once more out in San Francisco before coming off the disabled list. I’m interested in seeing what the roster move that accompanies the return by Z is. I mentioned the other day that I felt like Sean Marshall’s start last night was a big one for him. Not only was it on national TV, but it was against the city rivals and trying to avoid a sweep. I was quite pleased with what we got from him in the outing, despite the fact that he picked up the loss. Seven innings and just three runs allowed is good baseball. Sometimes I think we lower the bar a little when we classify a quality start as one that a pitcher goes six. I’d like to see that stat changed to seven or more innings with three or less given up. Marshall gave us that and that’s all we could ask. One thing I know is that I really hope that Jim Hendry doesn’t get the idea putting Marshall in the bullpen on a temporary basis would be a good idea. He just stretched himself out to start and to throw him back in the bullpen because of Eyre’s injury would be stupid. If you’re going to stick with Jason Marquis, then send Marshall down to AAA, but please don’t put him in the pen.
  • Aramis Ramirez is set to be out for the next three games so that he can return to the Dominican Republic to take care of some business with his family. Apparently he had asked to take off the entire Giants series, but was told he could only take three days. Why not let the guy take the four days? If he needs the four, give him the four. If nothing else, it helps him rest. He doesn’t take many days off already and we need him to be sharp over the next few months. We can’t afford for his back to flair up and give him issues. According to Gordon Whittenmyer of the Sun Times, Lou will use Mark DeRosa and Ronny Cedeno at third base in Ramirez’s absence. I’m all about some DeRosa at third. I think that’s one of his best defensive positions.
  • The Cub Reporter mentions that Felix Pie might not have been sent to Mesa for the sole reason of rehabbing a thumb injury. If it truly is an attitude adjustment that was needed, maybe this will help wake Pie up and help him produce at the big league level. It’s time for him to show his stuff. I’m tired of waiting.
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Eric Patterson in LF, Jim Edmonds hurting, Jeff Samardzija Promoted

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

I decided to comment on some of the things I’ve noticed about the team over the last few days.

Eric Patterson as a left fielder is over – ”We’ll put somebody else out there, We’ll make some changes and go from there.” ~ Lou Piniella. E-Pat had a bit of a tough day out there with two tough breaks on plays that involved Orlando Cabrera. The first came in the 1st inning after Cabrera singled. With Pierzynski hitting a fly ball to left, Cabrera knew enough about Patterson’s arm to take second on the tag. When was the last time you saw a runner take second on a tag. It just doesn’t happen that often. Had Patterson gotten the ball in quicker, Cabrera doesn’t have a chance to advance. Instead, he took for granted the fact that it rarely happens and didn’t get the ball in as quickly as he should have. The second came at the hands of Cabrera who messed with him in the first and then stretched for a double. Patterson charged it with urgency this time, but didn’t get the glove down to field the sharp grounder and had it go right past him.

I’m a big fan of E-Pat, but I think he’s going to turn into a guy without a position. He hasn’t been the most consistent fielder at second and the experiments in the outfield seem to be fruitless because of his arm strength. If that’s the case, what can we do with him? I made the case that he should be our second baseman in the beginning of the season, but I think I have to take that back. E-Pat may best serve this team by what he can bring in return.

Why have we shorted ourselves in CF? – With Reed Johnson going on the DL, we’re left with one true CF and one player with a strained calf that can play CF. Jim Edmonds, our lone CF, is on his last legs and really shouldn’t be in the lineup on an everyday basis because of his health. We’ve been blessed with the bat that Jim has brought over from the Padres, but we’re pressing our luck thinking he can hold down the fort until we have another CF. Why not call up Felix Pie and send down Patterson at this point? You can get him at bats in CF and in LF and even RF if Fukudome’s calf continues to bother him. It gives him consistent ML at bats, strengthens the defense and allows us to continue to reap the benefits of a rested Jim Edmonds. Besides, do we really want Daryle Ward in RF? Really?

Jeff Samardzija Promoted to AAA, but why? – I missed this yesterday, but I wanted to make you aware of it. What makes me laugh about his situation is that every time he’s had a promotion, he’s never had the numbers to justify it. I don’t look much into 2006, because of the abbreviated number of games he appeared in. Looking at 2007 he was struggled in Daytona with an ERA of 4.95 and a WHIP of 1.65. He was allowing base runners like they were going out of style and all of a sudden gets promoted to AA where he figures it out and does much better. This year he starts in AA and struggles and is now promoted to AAA. You can keep petting the kid’s ego if you want to, but unless he can throw strikes consistently and keep the walks down, he’s not going to be a big league pitcher that can help. He hasn’t show he can do that yet, so quit promoting him.

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Iowa sweeps doubleheader againt Albuquerque

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

The Iowa Cubs swept the doubleheader against the Albuquerque Isotopes Friday night at Principal Park, 8-6 and 7-0.
In his first start of the season, Hector Carrasco shutout the Isotopes, striking out 10 batters in six innings of work. The Cubs backed up Carrasco with stellar offense. Casey McGehee and Micah Hoffpauir each homered in the win.
Andres Torres singled and was driven in when Jason Dubois doubled to left field. The Cubs would go on to score two more in the inning when Ben Broussard hit a sacrifice fly to score Bobby Scales and Dubois scored on Casey McGehee¹s double.
Iowa would take their 3-0 lead and add another run in the third on a McGehee home run.
The I-Cubs added three more runs in the seventh on a three-run home run by Hoffpauir for the 7-0 finale. Chris Michalak (0-3) took the loss for
The Iowa Cubs got of to a good start in game one as the team batted around and scored six runs in the first inning. Torres started things off with a double and Josh Kroeger hit a three-run homer that scored Broussard and McGehee. Koyie Hill drove in a run with a triple to center for an early 6-0 Iowa lead.
Dallas McPherson homered in his seventh consecutive game, setting a new Albuquerque record, to get the Isotopes on the board, 6-1.
Kroeger finished the first game 2-for-2 with four RBI. Iowa¹s starter Justin Berg (3-4) threw six solid innings to earn the win. He struck out four and allowed three runs on three hits in the Cubs¹ 8-6 win.
Bobby Keppel (7-7) was tagged with the loss for Albuquerque.A Sex, Liesnd Videotape release

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Tennessee Rips West Tenn 12-6

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Jackson, TN- For the second game in the series the Tennessee Smokies (35-45, 8-2) pounded out 20 or more hits in the process of a third blowout win in the series beating the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (44-36, 3-7) at Pringles Park, 12-6 Friday Night. The win marked the teams sixth straight which is a season long.

Tennessee scored first for fourth consecutive game at Pringles Park. Sam Fuld and Nate Spears both singled in the top of the first. Diamond Jaxx starter Ryan Ketchner balked the pair to second and third for Jake Fox. Fox then hit a deep pop-fly to right field that scored Fuld.

Mike Wilson evened the score at 1-1 with deep double in the bottom of the first. His blast was played off the fence by Fuld who relayed it in time to catch Wilson in between second and third base. The running blunder shortened the inning as West Tenn could not add another score.

The Smokies would post four runs between the second and third innings. Sam Fuld batted home two in the third inning with his bases loaded single. Matt Craig singled and Welington Castillo doubled to set the table in the fourth. Deeds sacrifice fly scored Craig, then Josh Lansford drove Castillo across the plate with a base hit to make it 5-2.

Matt Craig lifted a homerun off the top of the left-center field sixteen foot fence and over. The three-run shot was followed by a solo homerun by Castillo for a 9-2 Smokies lead.

The Diamond Jaxx went deep twice in the bottom of the fifth off Smokies starter Donnie Veal. First Greg Holliman then three batters later Adam Moore which made the score 9-6.

The Smokies would add another three runs between the seventh and eighth innings to ice the game. Matt Matulia got the seventh going with a drag bunt single. He would then move to second on a throwing error, and scored when Spears grounded out. Tyler Colvin tripled home Spears to make it 11-6. Spears drove home Lansford in the eighth which added a twelfth Tennessee run.

The Smokies continue their series Saturday Night in Jackson, TN. Alex Maestri (0-0) will make his Tennessee debut start against the Diamond Jaxx left hander Justin Thomas (5-5).

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Chiefs win wild one 8-7

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Peoria, IL – The Peoria Chiefs found themselves trailing by two runs headed into the bottom of the ninth inning but rallied for three runs in the final frame to beat the visiting Kane County Cougars 8-7 at O’Brien Field on Friday evening. The win is the fourth in a row by the Chiefs to bring them to 4-5 in the second half and 34-43 overall.

Trailing 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Chiefs put together one more rally against Kane County reliever Justin Friend. Brandon Guyer started the inning with a smash single past the third basemen. Cliff Andersen singled back up the box with Guyer running on the play to give the Chiefs runners at the corners with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Elvis Lara moved Andersen to second, and a wild pitch from Friend scored Guyer to make it 7-6. Down to their final strike, Samson blooped a base hit into right field to tie the game 7-7. Marquez Smith hit a ground ball that looked like it would send the game into extra innings, but the third baseman Justin Frash’s throw got away from first baseman Greg Dowling. Samson, who was running on the play, scored the winning run all the way from first base to give the Chiefs an 8-7 win.
The Chiefs offense picked up right where they left off at the end of the road trip in the first inning against Kane County starter Jamie Richmond. Jonathan Wyatt lined an opposite field single to left to start the frame. Samson followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run that gave the Chiefs two runners in scoring position with no outs. During Marquez Smith’s at-bat, Richmond fired a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Wyatt to score from third to make it 1-0. Josh Donaldson grounded out to third, but Samson scored to give the Chiefs a 2-0 advantage.
Kane County answered back in the second inning against Peoria starter Robert Hernandez. After retiring the leadoff man, Hernandez surrendered a solo home run beyond the berm in left-center to Jake Smith to cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1. Hernandez gave up a double to Todd Johnson before striking out Shane Keough looking to end the inning.
Peoria got back on the board in an adventurous third inning. With one out Samson hit his second home run of the season that just cleared the wall in left field to extend the Chiefs lead to 3-1. Kane County manager Aaron Nieckula protested the call and was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Justin Sassman. Marquez Smith was the next batter to the plate and was drilled in the arm by a pitch from Richmond that caused both benches to empty but only words were exchanged.
The Cougars got on the board via the long ball again, this time in the fourth inning against Hernandez. Larry Cobb hit a home run to start the inning into the berm in left field to make it a 3-2 game. The next batter, Corey Brown, homered to the Pepsi Picnic Plaza in right-field to tie the contest 3-3.
Kane County homered for the fourth time on the night in the fifth, again off Hernandez. Matt Ray led the inning off with a base hit, and Adam Klein followed with a two-run blast to right-field to put the Cougars in front 5-3. Justin Frash followed with a double into the left field corner to chase Hernandez from the game. Chris Siegfried came out of the bullpen and gave up a double to Cobb that scored Frash to make it a 6-3 Cougars lead. Jake Smith drove in a run with a sacrifice fly that allowed Cobb to score and extend Kane County’s advantage to 7-3.
It was the Chiefs use of the home run ball in the fifth inning to climb back into the game. Lara reached on an infield single to start the inning and quickly stole second base to get into scoring position. Wyatt hit a no-doubt two-run shot off Richmond beyond the Pepsi Picnic Plaza in right field to pull the Chiefs to within 7-5.
Hernandez worked four innings and did not retire a batter in the fifth. He allowed six runs on eight hits, including four home runs. He struck out a pair and did not walk a batter. Siegfried allowed one run in 1 1/3 of work while striking out one and did not issue a walk. Jon Mueller pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen while allowing one hit and striking out a pair. Steve Vento worked two scoreless frames to pick up the win in relief for the Chiefs.

Players of the Game – Nate Samson (SS)- Samson finished the night 4-for-5 including his second home run of the season and scored the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The four-hit performance was the second by a Chiefs player this season.

Notes…The first two hitters in the Chiefs line up (Wyatt and Samson) were a combined 7-for-10 with two home runs, five runs scored and four RBI…Tonight marked the 15th come from behind win by the Chiefs this season…The walk off win was the five this season for the Chiefs…Peoria scored two runs in the first inning for the second straight game…The four home runs allowed by Hernandez brings his career total to 16, which moves him into 10th all-time in Chiefs history…The Chiefs pitching staff has allowed a league-high 61 home runs this season…In the last 22 innings Chiefs starting pitchers have walked only three batters…Samson’s home run was the second of his career and first since hitting a walk-off homer against West Michigan on April 16…Peoria has homered 27 times at O’Brien Field this year and 51 times overall which is third best in the league…Over the last 10 days, Luis Bautista is hitting 10-for-31 with five home runs and nine RBI… The two teams will continue their four-game series on Saturday evening at 6:30…Following the contest will be the first of two fireworks shows on the homestand…Saturday night’s spectacular fireworks show will be presented by Heart Technologies…Prior to the fireworks there will be another Pitch-In for Charity presented by Aquatech Pool and Spa and Little Caesar’s Pizza, tennis balls can be purchased for $1 during the game with all proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois…Peoria will send RH Audy Santana (0-4, 3.72) to the mound against RH Tyson Ross (0-0, 0.00) for Kane County

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Boise Clips Yakima 7-6

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

BOISE, Idaho – Ryan Sontag blooped a safety squeeze over Yakima reliever Bryan Woodall’s glove, allowing Jake Opitz to score from third, lifting the Boise Hawks to a 7-6 win over the Bears before a sellout crowd of 3,485 at Memorial Stadium.

After Yakima struck for five runs in the top of the ninth on five straight singles – tying the game on a Josh Vitters fielding error, allowing Brendan Duffy to score the tying run with two outs, the Hawks rallied. A one-out double by Carlos Perez put the winning run at second, with Opitz running for the catcher. A Drew Rundle single to right put runners at the corners, with Sontag squeezing home the game-winner on Woodall’s first pitch.

Boise jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on Vitters’ first professional homer, a long three-run shot to left center. They cruised through eight innings, thanks to four shutout innings from Marcus Hatley and four quality innings from Jay Jackson in relief, striking out seven.

Ryan Flaherty went 3-for-5 for the Hawks, part of a season-high 15-hit attack, while Andrew Fie had three hits for the Bears.

Game 2 of the series is at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow night with Mark Pawelek meeting Houston Summers.

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Smokies Win in Dramatic Fashion

Friday, June 27th, 2008

 From the Smokies Media Dept:

Sevierville, TN – Down at one point by a score of 7-1, the Tennessee Smokies rallied with seven runs in the last two innings to steal a win from the visiting Carolina Mudcats by the score of 8-7. Most of the crowd of 1,785 was treated to a stunning comeback, thanks largely in part to a grand slam by Kyle Reynolds, which tied the game in the bottom of the eighth.

The picture looked like the same old story and very bleak for the Smokies in the early going, as Carolina struck for five runs in the first three innings. Smokies pitcher Tanner Watson rejoined the starting rotation tonight, and struggled through three innings of work giving up five runs on seven hits. Mark Holliman came on in relief of Watson to pitch four innings, but also gave up a couple of runs in the fifth to stake Carolina to a 7-1 lead.

The Smokies offense remained cold through the seventh innings, as Mudcats starting pitcher Chris Volstad was virtually untouchable through seven innings. Volstad gave up just one run on five hits, and the Smokies looked to suffer another home loss tonight.

The eighth inning was when the tide finally turned in the Smokies favor. With Volstad out of the game, the Smokies battered the Mudcats bullpen. Jacob Marceaux walked both Matt Camp and Tyler Colvin to lead off the inning, with Mudcat killer Matt Craig continuing his hot hitting with a run scoring double to right field. With one out, Nate Spears walked to put runners on first and third. Steve Clevenger then ripped a single to left field to score another run, and the Smokies had pulled to within 7-3.

With the bases loaded and one out, Carolina put relief pitcher Carlos Martinez (1-1) into the game to face Kyle Reynolds. Reynolds proceed to deposit Martinez’s first pitch over the right field wall for a game tying grand slam that brought the remaining crowd to its feet. The Smokies had erased a six run deficit in one inning to tie the game at seven going into the ninth inning.

After Greg Reinhard (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth, the Smokies mounted another rally in the ninth. Camp drew another leadoff walk, and moved to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Colvin. Craig was then intentionally walked, followed by a Doug Deeds groundout to first base, which moved Camp over to third. After a walk issued to Spears to load the bases, Clevenger delivered his biggest hit of the season with a line drive single to right field to score the winning run. With the win, the Smokies improved to 20-32 on the season and won their fourth game in a row.

The Smokies return to action at Smokies Park on Wednesday night for game three against the visiting Carolina Mudcats. Tennessee will send right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija (3-4, 6.14) to the mound to square off against Mudcats right-hander Daniel Barone (0-0, 0.00).

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Previewing the Sweet – Part II

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Ryan Dempster nearly notched his second complete game in three starts in his last outing. He went eight-plus innings against the White Sox, giving up one run on 10 hits for the win. The right-hander improved to 9-0 at home, and pitching on the South Side will be as close to home as he can get. Dempster has 10 quality starts this season, and is making the transition from closer to starter look very smooth. His game plan? Attack the hitters, and let his defense do the work.

Jose Contreras got lit up by the Cubs in the fourth inning Sunday. After allowing just one Cubs run to that point, Contreras got touched up for eight more via three home runs, four singles and a walk. It was Contreras’ third-straight loss and by far the worst start of the season for the right-hander. His ERA has risen more than a point since his last win, which came on June 5 against Kansas City. In five career starts against the Cubs, Contreras is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA.

  • Contreras brings an impressive arsenal highlighted by a hot dancing fastball and a wicked splitter. All his pitches have excellent movement.
  • The great movement on his pitches can be a downside, in that he too often loses command and the strike-zone. Gets rattled, and then gets hit hard.
  • Streaky mid-to-late rotation starter.
  • 0-2, 10.80 in last 10 IP
  • Pitch Usage – Fastball (56%), Other (18%), Slider (16%), Changeup (6%), Curveball (4%)
All Scouting Info taken from,, and

News & Notes

  • Kevin Kreier pitched 6.0 scoreless innings
  • Ryan Flaherty hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Ryan Keedy was 3-for-3
  • Luis Bautista hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Micah Hoffpauir hit 2 extra-base hits



Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Lost vs. Albuquerque (6-9)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Won vs. West Tenn (11-5)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – No Game

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs. Burlington (10-3)

(SS) – Boise Hawks – Won vs. Everett (10-1)

(RK) – Arizona Cubs – Lost vs. Brewers (7-11)

(RK) – Dominican Summer League Cubs – Lost vs. Reds (3-6)

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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