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)

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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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