That game lived up to the hype that has surrounded this series. I actually expected it to be moved to ESPN, but it wasn’t. It was important for us to jump all over CC Sabathia early as he was clearly the favorite in the matchup with Ted Lilly. We did just that and appeared to be off to a semi-easy win before Lilly ran out of gas in the 6th. I was leaning toward Lou pulling Lilly after the back to back homers by Hardy and Bruan, but he stuck with him. Lilly was able to get out of the inning, but not before coughing up the lead. Sometimes you have to be proactive in games like this one and I don’t think Lou took that approach. Here were some other notes.
Bobby Howry must go. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, but he has no business being in the back end of a ballgame that matters at this point. You simply can’t trust him right now. Obviously I’m not calling for his release, but rather a different use for him. Last night we pulled back in front, gaining back the momentum in the 7th only to see Howry give it right back on a solo home run.
Derrek Lee comes away the “hero” yesterday with a double that scored the winning runs in the 9th, but I go back to the 7th when he again essentially grounded into a double play in a key situation. If it wasn’t for a great slide by Reed Johnson at second that forces a bad throw, Lee grounds into an inning killing double play. I’m tired of the DP’s by Lee. It needs to stop.
Big props to Chad Gaudin who came in and was lights out in the 8th, striking out the side. Between him, Samardzija, and Marmol, the end of the game is sufficient right now, but not as dominating as I’d like. Then again, at least we’re not forced to bring in Eric Gagne.
Mark my words right now. Alfonso Soriano is going to explode in August. Watch for him to win the player of the month. Just watch.
Around the Internet
Lou Piniella mentioned that Kerry Wood is still a bit of time away from returning to action for this team by saying “‘I wouldn’t say [he's] close. I’ve been saying all along and we’ll leave it at that. When he’s ready, he’ll let us know.”
Jason Stark mentioned on his blog that the Cubs are looking to move Scott Eyre before the deadline. With the success of Neal Cotts and Sean Marshall being moved to the pen, the Cubs have three lefties in that pen. Eyre becomes expendable, but I’d hate to see him go.
Tennessee 7, Mobile 1 – The Tennessee Smokies (47-59, 20-17) got a gem of a start from Grant Johnson and used it to beat the Mobile Baybears (46-59, 17-18) 7-1, at Hank Aaron Stadium Monday night in front of 1,802. The win helps Tennessee stay one game behind Carolina for first place in the Southern League North.
The Smokies scored twice in the top of the first for an early lead. Doug Deeds doubled high off the rightfield wall and scored on a line drive double from Jake Fox. Tyler Colvin then followed with a two-out hit of his own and the single scored Fox.
Tennessee then plated two more in the fourth frame. After one was retired Kyle Reynolds drew a walk and moved to third on a Matt Camp single. Pitcher Grant Johnson then faked a bunt to draw in the corner infielders and then quickly took a full swing. Johnson bounced the ball into right field scoring Reynolds. Nate Spears used a bunt single with two outs to score Camp for a 4-0 lead.
Kyle Reynolds smashed a solo homerun in the sixth inning which gave Tennessee a 5-1 lead.
Mobile also scored a run in the sixth. Bryan Byrne singled home Guillermo Reyes with Gerardo Parra gunned down behind him on a throw from Fuld in centerfield.
Jake Fox slammed a solo homerun in the seventh to make it 6-1.
The Smokies then added another score in the ninth on a Colvin double making it a six run lead.
Iowa 11, Las Vegas 9
Daytona 8, Palm Beach 5
Peoria 2, Fort Wayne 4
Boise 9, Salem-Keizer 7
AZ Cubs 0, AZ Mariners 4
DSL Cubs 6, DSL Yankees 4
~ View the complete breakdown courtesy of First Inning
Minor League Player Tracker