Archive for June, 2008

Smokies Bomb West Tenn 11-5

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Jackson, TN – All nine Smokies starters had at least one run batted in as The Tennessee Smokies (34-45, 7-2) won for a season best fifth straight game on route to blowing out West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (44-35, 3-5) at Pringles Park, 11-5 Wednesday Night.

Tennessee broke out to an early seven run lead with four in the first, and a three run second. Tyler Colvin tripled home Nate Spears making it 1-0. Matt Craig sent home Colvin with a single and moved Jake Fox, who drew a walk down to second. Doug Deeds then doubled home Fox setting up a Kyle Reynolds Sacrifice Fly and a 4-0 lead.

The second inning got going with a leadoff single by Matt Camp and Sam Fuld reaching on a fielders choice. Spears doubled to centerfield scoring Camp and moving Fuld to third. Colvin and Fox then would both collect run producing sacrifice flies making it 7-0 Smokies.

West Tenn broke threw against Tennessee starter Mitch Atkins with a run in the second. Johan Limonta doubled to start the inning and scored on a throwing error on third baseman Kyle Reynolds.

The Smokies scored three more in the fifth for a 10-1 lead. West Tenn reliever Craig James walked the first four batters of the frame forcing home a run. Matt Camp then ground into a fielders choice scoring the second and Sam Fuld doubled in the third.

Matt Mangini doubled home three runs with two gone in the sixth to knock Atkins out of the game making the score, 11-4.

Mitch Atkins (7-6) pitched 5.2 innings in the start allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Atkins recorded his third straight win in as many starts.

Mark Holliman pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief retiring all six batters he faced with three strikeouts.

The Smokies continue their series Friday Night in Jackson, TN. Lefthander Donnie Veal (4-5) will start against the Diamond Jaxx righthander Ryan Katchner (6-2).

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Boise Hawks Win 10-1 over Everett

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Three Boise pitchers combined on a two-hitter and Ryan Flaherty knocked in three runs as the Hawks topped the Everett AquaSox 10-1, before 3,022 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Casey Coleman went the first four innings, allowing just a Nate Tenbrink solo home run, striking out four, with Mike Perconte scattering a lone single in four relief innings, striking out seven to notch the win.

The Hawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, keyed by a two-run Michael Brenly single.  Flaherty would add a solo home run in the fifth to make it 6-1, then cap the scoring with a two-run double in the eighth.

Josh Vitters had an RBI single in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to nine games, while Ryan Keedy went 3-for-3. The Hawks return home tomorrow to open a three-game series with the Yakima Bears, with Marcus Hatley getting the start for Boise.

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Ho Hum, another win

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

First Star – Jay Payton (.210)

Second Star – Geo Soto (.189)

Third Star – Jim Edmonds (.146)

Turd of the Game – Lance Cormier (-.207)

  • Ted Lilly look so so. It seems to me that this year he tends to pitch to the competition. When the Cubs get him runs, Lilly relaxes a little bit and isn’t as sharp. When he needs to allow very few, he’s gotten that done of late. I’m not OK with that when it comes to playoff time.
  • Jim Edmonds hit another home run and I’m slowly begining to fall in love with him. You always see other teams sign guys and find them resurrect their career, if only for a season, but never us. This year we may have found one in Edmonds.
  • Carlos Marmol had a positive outing yesterday. Does that have you encouraged or are you still apprehensive. I know I’m still nervous.
  • Eric Patterson in the leadoff spot didn’t work last night. Ideally, I’d like to see him in the # 2 spot, but with Fukudome in the leadoff spot, that would essentially mean Theriot is bumped to 8th. That seems like a waste of how hot Theriot has been this year.

Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Radhames Liz worked through the second-shortest start of his career in his last outing, when he lasted just two-plus innings and gave up five earned runs. Liz has given up two home runs in each of his last two starts after not allowing any through his first two outings. The right-hander has gotten more than twice as many fly outs (28) as groundouts (12).

  • His lanky frame, long arms and great stuff help him crank the ball into the upper 90’s. He also throws a curve, slider and change.
  • He gives up far too many walks. For a pitcher with such a live arm, he also gets hit too much. His mechanics lead to wildness and might lead to arm trouble.
  • A mid-rotation starter with ace stuff.
  • 0-0, 9.72 in last 8.1 IP
  • Pitch Usage – Fastball (71%), Slider (13%), Changeup (12%) Curveball (3%), Other (2%)

Jason Marquis is coming off a win against the White Sox. He gave up five runs on eight hits over seven innings last Saturday, and benefited from a nine-run fourth inning. He’s now won four in a row. Marquis also is 2-0 so far against American League teams. However, he doesn’t have much history against the Orioles. Marquis has totaled three innings against them over two games.

All Scouting Info taken from,, and

News & Notes

  • Hung-Wen Chen only allowed one run in 6.0 innings pitched
  • Rebel Ridling hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Luis Bautista hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Clifford Andersen was 3-for-4
  • James Russell struck out 5 batters and only allowed 3 earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched yesterday

Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – No Game

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Won vs. West Tenn (6-3)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – No Game

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs. Burlington (3-1)

(SS) – Boise Hawks – Won vs. Everett (4-3)

(RK) – Arizona Cubs – No Game

(RK) – Dominican Summer League Cubs – Won vs. Yankees (8-4)

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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This Loss Gets Chalked Up To Lou Piniella

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

First Star – Luke Scott (.224)

Second Star – George Sherrill (.181)

Third Star – Ryan Theriot (.133)

Turd of the Game – Sean Marshall (-.212)

Honorable Mention Turd – Lou Piniella

How can you make all that money and then strikeout? – I’ve been reading “Where’s Harry” by Steve Stone lately. I’ve read it before, but it’s such a nice and easy read that adds so much humor to my bathroom time and I wholeheartedly recommend it if you have never read it. I bring it up because I know that would’ve been something Harry would say in the situation we were in last night in the 9th. We load the bases, look to be charging back and taking no prisoners only to see three straight hitters strikeout with the bases loaded. Ronny Cedeno, I can see that one and accept it. Fukudome striking out in that situation surprises me and disappoints me a lot. Then, in a curious move, Lou pulls Eric Patterson in favor of pinch hitter supreme, Henry Blanco? What the heck? Blanco gets at bats so seldomly because he’s a backup catcher that bringing him in in a situation like that is like forfeiting the game. Why not leave Patterson in? He had reached base twice that game and has been hitting the ball well in the last three. I blame this loss I Lou.

Sean Marshall…Good or Bad? Revenge of the Creature ipod – I can’t make up my mind on this one. If you watched the game last night, Marshall was outstanding in the first few innings and was in command of every one of his pitches. His curveball, though not as knee buckling as Rich Hill, was working well and snapping right over the plate to get guys looking. There were several times when I would think the ball was going to be high and outside only to see it snap over the plate at the last second. At the same time, you look and see that when all was said and done, his line showed four runs allowed in less than five innings of work. Obviously he’s not Carlos Zambrano, despite taking his spot in the rotation, but Marshall is a guy that I think can be a consistent, back of the rotation guy. Take a look at how he’s done in his career in the majors and you’ll see a guy that has been, at the very least, consistent in keeping the team in the game. He’s not going to go 7+ on a night in and night out basis, but he’s got good stuff.

The trade that wasn’t – All offseason we heard that the Brian Roberts deal to the Cubs was just about finished and would be done before the end of spring training. I mentioned in December that Roberts would not be a Cub. The question then becomes if that lack of trade was a blessing or a mistake. I pose the question to you. Rich Hill was one of the pitchers mentioned in the deal and we’ve seen what he’s done this year. Mark DeRosa has been a stable option at second base and has provided versatility when needed. Ryan Theriot has stepped up at SS, which was a place that some said Roberts could fill in at to keep DeRosa in the lineup. Even CF has been acceptable. So I pose the question to you. Do you wish the trade would’ve gone down?

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Matt Murton Needs To Go

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

First Star – Ryan Dempster (.298)

Second Star – Eric Patterson (.119)

Third Star – Derrek Lee (.109)

Turd of the Game – Javier Vazquez (-.174)



I took two things away from this game last night and both were encouraging to me.

  1. Ryan Dempster is legit – Not only has he been great this year as a converted starter, which a way more than anyone could’ve asked for, but he understands that going back to the rotation takes a ton of preparation on his part. I’ve heard from several sources, including Dempster last night on the broadcast that he was doing immense amounts of training to assure his body is ready for 200+ innings of work this year. Teammates have said that when they called him in the off-season, he would not be able to hang out because he was always in the gym. Lou Piniella has said that he runs like a mad man. All of these things coupled with the fact that, according to Dempster, he understands how to watch film now after hanging with Greg Maddux, seems to have transformed him into a completely different pitcher than he was when he was with Florida and Cincy. He’s not that guy anymore and I’m completely invested.
  2. Eric Patterson needs to get the nod – On Tuesday, the Cubs have already made it clear that Sean Marshall will be the guy that gets the call to replace Zambrano in the rotation. That being said, someone has to be optioned back to AAA. There are a few choices: Micah Hoffpauir has options remaining, but with Daryle Ward still on the shelf, it seems more valuable to keep his versatility on the roster to be able to spell Derrek Lee at first or give you a lefty bat off the bench. Eric Patterson usually gets the boot when these things come up, but after the two games he’s had in the Sox series, how can you possibly demote the guy? That really only leaves Matt Murton. It seems like a raw deal, especially when you want to showcase Murton for a trade, but ultimately someone has to go and it seems like it should be Murton. What are your thoughts?
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