First Star – Aramis Ramirez (.550)
Second Star – John Danks (.263)
Third Star – Kerry Wood (.142)
Turd of the Game – Scott Linebrink (-.358)
I need some feedback from you guys on this. Is it just me or is this team boring you right now. I know they just won the game on a walk off home run, which is always exciting. However, if you take away just that from yesterday’s game and look at the last four we’ve played, I’ve been incredibly bored with this team. Am I alone on that or are you feeling the same way. I’ve been trying to get amped up for this Sox series and the Rays series, but I just can’t seem to do it.
CHICAGO — Big Z’s shoulder pain might not be a big problem for the Chicago Cubs.
Star right-hander Carlos Zambrano has a minor strain in his right shoulder but no major structural damage, a team spokesman said after the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. – (Source )
I love those words. They help my boredom and overall apathy right now.
Matty Murton picked up a pair of hits and no outfield issues. We’ll see if they give him a start in game two.
Ted Lilly was OK, but not outstanding. What I can’t understand about him and other pitchers like him is this. What would anyone want to be a high fastball pitcher. It just seems like a recipe for disaster. Why not be a low fastball pitcher?
Mark DeRosa deserves some props for covering a lot of ground on a running catch in RF in the first for the third out. If we’re going to be critical of his defense, we need to praise as well.
Very nicely turned double play by Alexi Ramirez & Orlando Cabrera in the bottom of the 2nd. Ramirez did a sort of hot potatoesque flip to Cabrera, who probably would not have been in the play had he not been paying attention and getting to the bag.
Props to Ted Lilly for getting as deep into the game as he did after throwing 60 pitches through three innings.
I’ve decided that Hawk is the worst announcer for a visiting team to watch in the game today. Does that mean he’s a bad announcer? I don’t think it does. He’s just not fun to watch if you’re not a Sox fan. Then again, if you’re watching the game on a local broadcast, isn’t that OK?
The Savages divx
Des Moines, IA – The Cubs six-run ninth-inning rally was not enough to hold off New Orleans as they fell 12-8 in front of 11,395 people at Principal Park Friday night. After being down 12-2 in the top of the ninth, Iowa came to bat swinging. Josh Kroeger led off the inning with a home run to start the six-run rally. Felix Pie doubled to drive in Casey McGehee and Koyie Hill and up Iowa’s total, 12-6. Bobby Scales then scored off Ben Broussard’s singled. Jason Dubois drove in Pie before the inning would end, for the 12-8 final.
New Orleans scored six runs in the first inning before Iowa starter Rich Hill left the game with two outs in the inning after allowing three hits and four walks. Greg Reinhard came in and pitched 3.1 innings of relief and allowed three runs on five hits.
The Zephyrs had a 6-0 lead after the first inning and added another three runs in the second, two thanks to Jesus Feliciano’s triple.
Dubois, who was 2-for-4, hit his third home run in as many games in the second inning, to get the Cubs on the board. McGehee upped Iowa¹s total in the fourth inning when he drove in Josh Kroeger for his team-leading 42nd RBI. Kroeger, Dubois, Luis Figueroa and Scales each had two hits. Hill (2-4) was tagged with the loss while New Orleans Ruddy Lugo (5-6) picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits over seven innings.
Sevierville, TN – The Tennessee Smokies offense slammed to a halt tonight as the visiting Mobile BayBears took down the Smokies by a score of 6-2. The loss sent the Smokies to 2-2 in the early portion of the second half of the season in front of a boisterous crowd of 5,130 fans.
Starting pitcher James Russell (2-2) ran into trouble in the early going and never really recovered. The BayBears scored two runs in the top of the first inning, thanks largely in part to a two-run homer by Mobile second baseman Rusty Ryal. The BayBears increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third as Ryal hit his second home run of the night, this one a solo shot to left center field. Ryal had a huge game tonight, going 5-5 with three RBI and scoring three runs for the visiting BayBears.
The Smokies offense was slow to get anything going tonight as Mobile’s starting pitcher Hector Ambriz (4-9) was on top of his game. Tennessee did manage to score a run on Ambriz in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI ground out by Jake Fox to score Matt Camp. That would be all that the Smokies could muster against Ambriz, whose final line was seven innings pitched giving up one run on four hits and three strikeouts.
Tennessee then managed just one more run in the bottom half of the eighth inning, but by that time were already down by the score of 6-1. Camp scored his second run of the game as Kyle Reynolds smashed an RBI double down the right field line to pull the Smokies to within four runs. But with two out and two men on, Welington Castillo was unable to deliver the big hit the Smokies needed to get back in the contest. Mobile closed out the rest of the game with a scoreless ninth inning. Camp went 2-4 on the night and scored both of the Smokies runs. He was the only Smokies player with multiple hits on the night
Vierra, FL – The bats were flying all around Space Coast Stadium, both literally and figuratively, tonight as the Cubs pounded the Manatees on their home turf, 11-3.
The Cubs hit three, three-run homeruns tonight in the process of dismantling the Brevard County pitching staff. The first of those three came in the third inning off the bat of Blake Lalli. With two outs, Lalli took full advantage of the situation. He drove a pitch off Manatees starter Josh Butler out to right field to put the Cubs on top 3-0. There was no looking back from that point.
Russ Canzler remained hot when he hit the second three-run shot of the game. Tony Thomas led off the inning with a double, and was followed up by a Jim Adduci walk. The next two men were retired, which brought Canzler to the plate. He turned on a fast ball and knocked it out of left field. Ironically, the first two homeruns both came with two outs in the inning.
Thomas no doubt had the most exciting play of the game in the sixth inning. Jonathan Mota and Darwin Barney were on base when Thomas lined a pitch down the third base line. He turned on the super jets and didn’t stop running. Thomas somehow made it all the way around to score for an inside-the-park homerun to make the score 9-0.
Billy Muldowney was nothing short of spectacular tonight. He pitched five innings of shutout baseball. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out two as he picked up his second win, while lowering his ERA to 1.26.
More runs came in the seventh. Four singles in the inning produced two runs. Lalli was the first man to reach base and was followed by Yusuf Carter who singled as well. Jonathan Mota singled next, and then it took Mark Reed’s singled to bring the two runs in the inning.
The bullpen had a huge lead to work with and they were able to make it stick. Three relievers combined to pitch four innings of six hit, three run baseball.
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Chiefs fell to the Beloit Snappers 5-1 in the second game of their four-game series on Friday night in front of 4,606 fans at O’Brien Field. The loss puts the Chiefs at 0-2 in the second half and 30-40 overall.
Two scoreless innings started the contest before the Chiefs jumped on board first in the bottom of the third. With two down, Luis Bautista came to the plate against Snappers starter David Bromberg and hit a solo home run off the foul pole in right field to put the Chiefs up 1-0. Jovan Rosa followed with a double to left center, and Josh Donaldson put runners at the corner when he reached on an infield single. The Chiefs chance for more runs ended when Dylan Johnston flew out to center, leaving the Chiefs ahead by one run.
The Snappers wasted no time responding in the fourth off Chiefs starter Hung-Wen Chen. Kelly began the inning with a single before being thrown out as Chris Parmelee reached on a fielders choice. Deibinson Romero doubled to left center, and both runners were driven in on a single from Ozzie Lewis. Lewis reached third on a stolen base and an error by Chiefs catcher Donaldson before Chen struck out the next two batters to end the inning with the Snappers up 2-1.
For the second time in the game, the Chiefs lost a runner at third and missed their chance at reaching the Snappers. The team led off their half of the seventh with a single from Elvis Lara off Snappers reliever Brian Kirwan. He moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Nate Samson, his fourteenth of the season. Lara was thrown out in an attempt to steal third before Rosa ended the inning with a fly out to right, with the Chiefs still trailing 2-1.
The ninth inning had a promising start for the Chiefs when Jon Mueller came in and struck out the first two batter but, Greg Yersich doubled to left, and Allan de San Miguel reached on an error by Bautista. A triple by Estarlin De Los Santos to right-center drove both runners home, extending the Snappers lead to 4-1. Joe Benson reached on a throwing error by Rosa at third base allowing De Los Santos to score making it a 5-1 deficit.
Chen took the tough luck loss by tossing six innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter for the second straight start. Craig Muschko allowed one hit in two scoreless innings of work. Mueller allowed three unearned runs on two hits in his only inning of work.
Player of the Game – Cliff Andersen (CF) – Andersen reached base all four times he came to the plate. He finished the night 3-for-3 with a double and a pair of infield singles and also drew a walk.
Notes… Marquez Smith left the game after the second inning due to hamstring tightness…The Chiefs are now 11-35 when scoring four runs or less…Samson is tied for first in all of Minor League baseball in sacrifice hits with 14… He moved into a tie for sixth place on the Chiefs single season history list…This was Chen’s second game in a row in which he had a quality start with no run support… Tonight was the seventh straight night the Chiefs have scored three runs or less…The last game with more than three runs was an 8-5 loss to Quad Cities on June 10…The Chiefs are 2-2-1 on nights when wearing special jerseys to be auctioned off…The Chiefs are 2-for-12 in the series with runners in scoring position…The Chiefs are 12-4 over the last 16 games at O’Brien Field… The series continues on Saturday evening at 6:30 pm…Saturday will be Faith and Family Night at O’Brien Field…The Christian rock band Rush of Fools will be the featured post-game concert presented by Berean Bookstore and 91.5 WCIC…Peoria will send RH Kevin Kreier (2-1, 3.96) to the mound against RH Santos Arias (2-3, 2.22) for Beloit
Boise, ID – Ryan Keedy laced a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning, capping a four-run rally, as the Boise Hawks evened their Northwest League series with Eugene at two games apiece with a 7-6 victory over the Emeralds before a sellout crowd of 3,586 at Memorial Stadium.
After the Emeralds took a 4-2 lead on a Sawyer Carroll three run homer in the fifth, the Hawks rallied, getting a single run in the bottom of the frame, then the outburst in the seventh. Josh Vitters led off with a single off reliever Matt Means, followed by walks to Kyler Burke and Rebel Ridling. Keedy hit the first pitch he saw past the drawn in infield to make it 5-4. Marwin Gonzalez added a two-run single to make it 7-4.
The Ems would battle back, closing within 7-6 on a Daniel Robertson RBI single in the eighth. However, John Muller struck out Jeudy Valdez with the tying run at second to end the threat, then worked a scoreless ninth to get the save. Harol Tolentino pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first win.
Vitters and Keedy each had two hits for the Hawks, with Gonzalez knocking in three runs. Angel Mercado and Robbie Blauer each had two hits for the Ems.
The rubber game of the series is tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m. with Mike Perconte meeting Tom Davis.
Minor League Player Tracker
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Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers
Jose Contreras – looked sharper Sunday than he did in his six-run outing against the Tigers, but it still wasn’t good enough to get the win. He threw 6 2/3 innings against the Rockies, allowing four runs — three earned — and striking out only three. He was pulled from the game after Brad Hawpe homered to break the 3-3 tie. It’s the first time he’s lost back-to-back starts this season. He faced the Cubs once last year, surrendering two runs on 10 hits, earning him the loss. He’s 8-5 in 18 career Interleague starts.
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, 6.39 in last 12.2IP
Pitch Repertoire (Usage) – Fastball (56%), Other, (18%), Slider (16%), Changeup (6%), Curveball (4%)
Jason Marquis – Facing the Blue Jays in his last start, Marquis dominated the Toronto hitters for most of his seven-plus innings. He allowed just one run on four hits while striking out one and walking two. As well, the seven innings tossed by Marquis matched his longest outing this season. Over his last three starts, Marquis is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA. In his 10 starts before that, however, the pitcher was inconsistent, going 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA. In three career starts against the White Sox, the right-hander is 1-1 with a 10.06 ERA.
All scouting information provided by MLB.com, TSN.ca, and ESPN.com