Question of the Day
Which team that currently trails us scares you more? Milwaukee or St. Louis? Why? For me, I’ve maintained that it’s Milwaukee, who appears to be going all in. They know they can’t resign CC Sabathia or probably even Ben Sheets. They just added Ray Durham, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make another move for the bullpen. St. Louis doesn’t appear to be looking into anything, which has Tony LaRussa frustrated. All that considered, I look for the Cards to begin to fall off as the year wears on into August. Milwaukee is the team to catch us in my opinion. What do you think?
News & Notes
- Apparently A.J. Burnett has slowed on his trade demands and no longer wants to leave Toronto, let alone come to the Cubs. – (Source)
- Kerry Wood appears to be headed to the DL, which would be the 12th time in his career. The good thing is that it’s just due to a blister and not arm trouble. In addition, because the Cubs haven’t used him in a few days, the DL stint can be back dated, which shortens the trip if needed.
- Rich Hill mentioned that he seems to have figured out what has caused the control issues. He blames it on back pain, which I can attest can mess you up big time. I don’t pitch, but I’ve tweaked my back on two separate occasions and they’ve been quite painful and debilitating for a few days. I really hope that’s the issue because that would be a great insurance addition if Rich Harden were to flop down the stretch. At the same time, if Hill starts to come back strong, does that mean Dempster is gone after this season?
- Alfonso Soriano is set to play the first game of his rehab stint tonight for the Arizona Cubs. My fear is that he hits a home run tonight and thinks he’s back for good. Rookie league is a lot different that big league pitching. Please be patient and get your cuts in and come back for the Florida series this weekend.
Iowa 2, Nashville 1 - Jeff Samardzija tossed six solid innings as the Iowa Cubs defeated the Nashville Sounds 2-1 at Principal Park Sunday afternoon.
Samardzija (4-1) allowed just three Sounds to reach base in his six innings of work, including two hits, to pick up the win.
After striking out two in the top of the first inning, Samardzija worked
with a 1-0 Cubs lead when Andres Torres roped a lead-off home run to left field off Nashville starter Chris Narveson.
Third basemen Casey McGehee made it a 2-0 lead with a solo home run to right field. Originally ruled a triple, umpires later overturned the call.
That was all Samardzija needed, as the right-hander went on to retire eight in a row from the third to fifth inning. He allowed hits to Brendan Katin in the first and pinch hitter Mel Stocker in the sixth. Stocker would score the Sounds lone run that inning after stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Vinny Rottino brought Nashville to within one when he drove Stocker in with a two-out sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
Narveson took the loss (3-12) giving up the two runs on four hits, while
striking out seven in five innings on the mound. Iowa reliever Michael Wuertz pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Samardzija, Hector Carrasco, and Wuertz combined to strike out 12 on the day. Samardzija’s nine strikeouts tied a season-high for the right-hander.
Peoria 7, Great Lakes 1 – The Peoria Chiefs bounced back to beat the visiting Great Lakes Loons 7-1 in the middle game of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at O’Brien Field. The win improves the Chiefs to 20-10 in the second half and will give them at least a two game lead over second place Beloit in the Western Division. Peoria jumped on Great Lakes starter Bryan Morris to claim a first inning lead. Jonathan Wyatt hustled his way into a double on a ball blooped into center field. Nate Samson followed with an opposite field double to score Wyatt from second and put the Chiefs in front 1-0. After Samson stole third base and Jovan Rosa struck out, Rebel Ridling hit a ball back up the middle to score Samson to make it 2-0. Samson helped spark the Chiefs offense in the third inning after drawing a one-out walk against Morris. He picked up his second stolen base of the game when he swiped second to move into scoring position. Rosa’s league-leading 31st double of the season scored Samson from second to extend the Chiefs lead to 3-0.
Kreier retired the first ten batters in the Loons batting order before giving up a one out double to Erik Kanaby in the fourth inning. A fly out to the warning track in center field by Andrew Lambo moved Kanaby to third base, but Kreier got Eduardo Perez to fly out to left field to end the inning.
The Chiefs chased Morris from the game in the fifth inning. Jake Opitz walked to start the inning, and Wyatt followed with his second hit of the day to put two on with no outs. Samson moved bother runners into scoring position with his 19th sacrifice bunt of the season. With two outs, Ridling dropped a base hit into left field that scored both Opitz and Samson and give the Chiefs a 5-0 lead.
Peoria broke the game open in the sixth inning against Loons reliever Miguel Sanfler. Opitz reached on a fielders choice and stole second base to move into scoring position with one out. Wyatt collected his third hit of the afternoon with a single up the middle to score Opitz and make it a 6-0 Chiefs advantage. After a walk to Samson, Rosa laced a single into left field to score Wyatt and make it a 7-0 game.
Great Lakes broke up the shutout in the ninth inning against Chiefs reliever Jordan Latham. Kanaby got his third hit of the game with a leadoff base hit and moved to second on a ground out by Andrew Lambo. A passed ball moved Kanaby to third base, and Eduardo Perez grounded out to score Kanaby and make it 7-1.
The 20-year old Kreier tossed six scoreless innings for the second time this season. The right-hander allowed just two hits, both to Kanaby, while striking out one and walking just one as he notched his fifth win of the season. Jake Muyco worked two scoreless innings out of the Chiefs bullpen while allowing just one hit. Latham allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning on one hit, and he struck out one.
Player of the Game – Kevin Kreier (P) – Kreier held the Loons scoreless for his six innings pitched, completing this feat for the second time this season. He allowed only two hits while striking out one and walking one as he took the win, his fifth of the season.
Tennessee 7, Huntsville 3 – The Tennessee Smokies (45-58, 18-12) snapped a three game slide to the Huntsville Stars (58-42, 17-13), by winning 7-3 at Joe W. Davis Stadium Sunday night in front of 1,532. The win gives Tennessee a one game lead for first in the Southern League North division over the Stars. The Smokies tagged a pair of two-run homeruns in the third inning for an early 4-0 advantage. Sam Fuld followed a Mark Holliman single by launching a missile of the right field wall. Jake Fox then singled with two outs and Blake Lalli crushed another ball to right and out of the park.
Mark Holliman was fantastic in the start going 5 innings of shutout baseball. He would issue a walk along with four strikeouts. Tennessee added to their lead in the sixth. Fuld singled with two outs and scored on a Nate Spears double. Lorenzo Cain helped get Huntsville on the board. He tripled past a diving leftfielder Jake Fox. Cain scored on an Alcides Escobar groundout to short. The Stars took advantage of four walks in the eighth inning which plated two more runs to make the score 6-3. Fox then celebrated his 27th birthday in style by connecting on a solo homerun in the ninth.
Boise 9, Everett 6 – Drew Rundle gapped an RBI triple in the seventh inning to break a 6-6 tie, as the Boise Hawks won their fifth straight home game with a 9-6 victory over the Everett AquaSox before 1,891 fans at Memorial Stadium. The win for the Hawks was their seventh in eight games and pulled Boise within five games of first-place Spokane in the Northwest League’s Eastern Division. The Hawks scored three in the second inning to take an early lead, as RBI doubles from Michael Brenly and Josh Harrison, along with a Kurt Calvert RBI single gave Boise the 3-0 lead.
The AquaSox would rally, getting back-to-back RBI doubles from Luis Nunez and Kevin Reynolds in the third to cut the lead to 3-2, then take the lead in the fifth on a Nunez RBI single, building a 5-3 advantage. Boise would retake the lead in the sixth on a bases loaded walk to Kyler Burke and a Harrison two-run single, but a Reynolds RBI single in the seventh re-tied the game, setting up Rundle’s heroics. Luke Sommer got the win for the Hawks, tossing three innings of two-hit relief, retiring the final seven men in order. Calvert went 3-for-4 in the win, with Harrison, Rundle, and Burke each recording two hits. Nunez went 3-for-4 in the loss for the Frogs.