Triple A – Iowa 2, Round Rock 7
The Iowa Cubs are off to a start similar to their ML counterparts, beginning the year 1-2. On the bright side, Brett Jackson continued his hot start with a 2-for-4 performance that included a double, walk and two runs scored out of the second spot in the lineup. Chris Rusin made his first start of the season. He split time last season between Iowa and Tennesse and pitched respectable, though not dominant at either location. He left after five and a third, surrendering four earned runs and taking the loss. The Cubs will try to earn a series split on Sunday. For you folks in the area, it is Casey’s Family Day, with four tickets, four Cokes, four slices of pizza and four caps for $44. It is also DMARC Food Pantry Day. Fans who bring three canned goods will receive a general admission ticket to the game. And it’s Easter, with the first 500 kids receiving an Easter egg bag of goodies. And all fans can get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny — and Cubbie Bear! And after the game, kids can run the bases.
Double A – Tennessee 2, Chattanooga 10
Did you enjoy the big inning the Nats put up yesterday on our pen? Well then you’ll surely enjoy the nine spot given up by the Smokies pen in the 6th. The majority of the runs (8 of 9) were credited to Daniel Berlind who now sports an ERA of 108.00 in one outing. There is always something amusing about ERA’s that high. They look foreign. The only one I enjoy more is the infinity ERA. Berlind’s final line: 0.2 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, BB, 0 K. Before he came in, the Smokies starter Dallas Beeler went five innings and allowed just one run on six hits, striking out two without issuing a walk. An interesting note, Jonathan Mota, who started in right field for the Smokies, came on to pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning and retired the Lookouts in order. In five career appearances on the mound, Mota has allowed one run in 4.2 innings.
High A – Daytona 0, Brevard County 1
This game featured former 1st round pick, Hayden Simpson, making his 2012 debut. You might remember that he was hampered by mono after he was drafted in 2010 and didn’t pitch. In 2011 he had an injury to his elbow and wasn’t pitching well as a result. Now that he’s healthy it’s time for him to begin to show why the Cubs fell in love with his arm and selected him a lot higher in the draft than people felt he should go. He went 4.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and a run on a solo homer and was tagged with the loss due to a lack of offensive support by the Cubs offense. The odd thing about the start, and I put a call in to the media relations department to confirm this, is that the box score lists that he threw just 29 pitches, 26 of them for strikes. I have a feeling that is incorrect. It’s not worrisome to see guys go shorter innings this early, as spring training is shorter for the minor leagues, but 29 innings seems odd. As you can imagine at the plate there wasn’t much to speak of. Matt Szczur hit out of the leadoff spot and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s hitting .083 early in this campaign.
Low A – Peoria 6, Beloit 2
The Chiefs took the series with a win on Saturday thanks to an early offensive output in the first three innings. Eduardo Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and he was hit by a pitch. His single started the three run rally in the second inning and his homer leading off the fifth was the first this season for the Chiefs. Jose Rosario got the start for the Chiefs and went 5.1 innings, giving up the only two Beloit runs of the game. He picked up the win after the pen supported him (take note ML team) to lock it down over 3.2 innings of work. Starters allowed three runs on six hits over 15 innings in the series for the Chiefs, while picking up both wins. The Chiefs have their home opener Monday at 6:30 p.m. against the Quad Cities River Bandits. To kick off the home portion of the 30th Anniversary Season the Chiefs are turning the clock back to 1983 with $3.50 Club box and $2.50 Lawn tickets. The players will also wear 1983 Peoria Suns throwback jerseys which will be auctioned online to raise money for charity.