We always hear the excuse that cold water shrinks a penis. We hear the excuse that cold weather curbs hitting. How do you explain not being able to hit in a hot weather environment? The Cubs wasted a gem of an outing that I really felt had the making of a no-hitter. So much, in fact that I set the Tivo in the 5th so I could record the last few innings and have them on DVD. Rich Harden was that good last night. Unfortunately, Randy Johnson got it done and the Cubs went down 2-0.

If you throw out the 9 run explosion in Houston on Sunday, the Cubs have put up the following numbers over the last few games: 0, 1, 1, 2. That’s not gonna get it done. It’s become very clear that this team, specifically this offense, sorely misses the bat of Alfonso Soriano. Now the key is to try to get some offense over the next few days in his absence and try to keep this lead in the division.

News & Notes

  • Cubs draft corp. gets fined – According to ESPN.com, MLB has fined the Cubs for “failure to notify the League office prior to signing a player.” Seriously, if this is really that big of a deal that MLB has to fine a team, they’ve got to get out more. Why not try to figure out a better solution to the All Star game fiasco that almost turned into a complete farce. Fix things like that rather than fine teams for forgetting to let you know they signed a player. (Source)
  • No DL for Kerry Wood? – I’m crossing my fingers that this is the case, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like maybe it would almost be the best scenario for Woody to go on the DL and let the blister fully heal. If you’ve ever had a blister, and who hasn’t, it’s hard to do anything without aggravating it. It might be a better idea to have him let that thing really get better and then come back around August 1st. That would give him, essentially, 2+ weeks of heal time.
  • Rehab Start # 1 for Soriano – Alfonso Soriano played yesterday with the AZ Cubs and went 0-2 with a walk. The most amusing part was that he was brushed back off the plate in his first at bat. I wonder if the pitcher did that on purpose or if he really had a lack of control. You’ve got to wonder with a kid that low facing a guy that big.
  • The One That Got Away?Brian Dopirak, one of the most talked about prospects in the system over the last few years is currently playing DH in the Toronto organization in Dunedin (A+). He’s finally having the kind of breakout year in the power and overall offensive area that many believed he was capable of when he was with the Cubs. The only problem is that it’s in an area that’s lower than AA and he’s 24. It’s nice to see him doing well, but I’m not quite sure why Baseball America keeps highlighting it every time he hits a HR.

Farm Recaps

Peoria 7, Great Lakes 1 - The Peoria Chiefs won the final game of their three-game series with Great Lakes today with a score of 7-1 in front of 5,607 fans at O’Brien Field. The win puts the Chiefs at 21-10 in the second half and at 51-48 overall.

The Chiefs put up the first run of the game in the second inning off Loons starter Josh Lindblom. Lindblom walked Jovan Rosa to lead off the inning, and after Rebel Ridling flew out to left, Luis Bautista singled. Brandon Guyer doubled to left to score Rosa and put the Chiefs up 1-0.

Great Lakes matched the Chiefs with a run of their own in the fourth. With one out, Andrew Lambo hit a solo home run to right field off Jay Jackson to tie the teams 1-1.

The game didn’t stay tied for long as the Chiefs answered back in their half of the fourth with two more runs to again take the lead. Bautista singled with one down off Loons reliever Justin Miller, and Guyer reached on an error by Great Lakes third baseman Brandon Taylor. Luis Flores added a base hit to score Bautista and put the Chiefs ahead 2-1. Elvis Lara then reached on a fielders choice as Flores was thrown out, and Guyer scored to extend the lead to 3-1.

Peoria pulled even further ahead in the sixth thanks to a three-run homer from Guyer. Rosa was put into scoring position courtesy of Miller, as he walked and then moved to second on an error by the pitcher. Ridling followed with an infield single, and Bautista advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Guyer hit a three-run homer, his eighth of the season, over the left field wall and out to the street to make it 6-1.

Bautista led off the eighth inning with a solo home run, his 11th of the season, to left field off Loons reliever Miguel Ramirez to extend the Chiefs lead to 7-1.

Jose Pina started for the Chiefs and threw three innings, keeping the Loons scoreless and allowing only one hit. Jackson (2-0) came in to throw four innings and allow one run on four hits while striking out seven. Ashwood pitched one inning, giving up one hit and no runs.

Boise 9, Everett 5 - A six-run third inning helped guide the Boise Hawks to their eighth victory in nine games and their sixth-straight home win, knocking off the Everett AquaSox, 9-5, before 2,187 fans at Memorial Stadium.

Ten men came to plate in the third, as the Hawks got an RBI fielders choice from Josh Harrison, a bases loaded walk from Ryan Keedy, and RBI infield single from Carlos Perez, a Kyler Burke sacrifice fly, and a Drew Rundle RBI double to build the big lead.

Everett would make it tight late, as Welington Dotel’s second homer of the night in the ninth made it 9-2, with the Frogs closing to 9-5 on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning. However, John Muller got Nate Tenbrink to ground out to first with the tying run on deck to end the game, notching his eighth save.

Harol Tolentino got the win, throwing five shutout innings, becoming the first Hawk pitcher to win as a starter this season. Marwin Gonzalez and Keedy each had three hits in the game, while Harrison drove in three. Dotel went 4-for-4 in the loss for Everett.

Game 3 of the series is tomorrow night, with James Leverton of Boise meeting Steven Hensley of Everett.


While I’m thinking about it, if you haven’t had a chance to watch the ESPY’s, which I never do, you missed this courtesy of Justin Timberlake, who I now have new respect for.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail