Bears

Birmingham Rallies After Peavy Goes Down

Birmingham Rallies After Peavy Goes Down

Monday April 18, 2011
Posted: 10:55 p.m.
WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
The Barons capped a three-run, ninth-inning rally Thursday night by scoring the game-winning run on a wild pitch as they bested visiting Mississippi, 6-5.

Christian Colonel led off the inning with a walk and went to second on Justin Greenes one-out single before Luis Avilan uncorked the Braves first wild pitch, which put runners in scoring position. Tyler Kuhn then tripled to tie the score at 5-5. Billy Bullock came on to replace Avilan but walked Andrew Garcia, letting loose with a wild pitch in the process, allowing Kuhn to score the winning run.

The ninth-inning effort capped a comeback that saw the Barons rally from a 3-0, first-inning deficit. Jake Peavy had started in a rehab assignment and lasted only 23 of an inning. He gave up all three runs on four hits before leaving the game with what the White Sox termed discomfort. Peavy threw only 15 pitches.

Nate Jones pitched a scoreless ninth to eventually get the win but Dylan Axelrod deserves much of the credit, stepping in for Peavy and allowing only two runs over 7 13 innings.
Kannapolis A
Hickory roughed up opening-day starter Ryan Buch and the Intimidators couldnt respond, dropping a 6-1 decision Monday at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.

Buch 1-2 allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks in 5 13 innings. While Steve Upchurch pitched 3 23 innings of one-hit ball in relief, it wasnt enough to spark Kannapolis.

Brady Shoemaker had a pair of hits while Mike Blanke drove in the lone Intimidators run. In other news, Jacob Petricka was named as Sally League pitcher of the week after going 1-0 with 16 strikeouts in 11 innings over two starts. He didnt allow an earned run.
Winston-Salem A
Travis Adairs run-scoring single in the seventh inning provided the winning margin as Myrtle Beach downed Winston-Salem, 2-1, in the opening game of a three-game series at BB&T Coastal Field.

Adair then threw out Andy Wilkins at the plate in the ninth to end the game. Wilkins was attempting to score from second on Austin Younts second hit of the game. Yount had driven in the first Dash run.

Justin Collup 0-1 took the loss despite pitching well in his three-inning stint. Joe Serafin started and allowed a run in five innings.
Charlotte AAA
Norfolk wouldnt stay in the park Monday night and that proved to be problematic for Charlotte, which dropped a 10-5 decision at Harbor Park. The Tides blasted four home runs, three of which came off starter and loser Brandon Hynick, who lasted only four innings.

Dayan Viciedo had three hits and drove in a pair for the Knights.
CUBSIowa AAA
Lou Montanezs two-run double fueled a four-run seventh inning Monday afternoon to lead the I-Cubs by Memphis, 5-2 at Principal Park.

Montanezs double gave Iowa the lead and Brad Snyder added to it with a two-run single that scored Montanez and Fernando Perez. The outburst made a winner of John Gaub 1-0, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Thomas Diamond started and fanned seven over six innings while allowing two runs. Scott Maine earned his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Bobby Scales walked in his only plate appearance to end his hitting streak at nine games.
Daytona A
Nick Struck couldnt contain Clearwater in the early going and Daytona was never able to fully recover, dropping a 7-4 decision Monday night at Bright House Field.

Struck 1-1 allowed six runs on seven hits over four innings, surrendering a crippling three-run homer to Travis Mattair in the third. Jae-Hoon Has three-run homer in the eighth cut into the Threshers lead but it wasnt enough as Justin Friend recorded the final five outs to record his fifth save. Matt Cerda added three hits for the Cubs.
Tennessee AA
Jake Kahaulelios 10th-inning homer Monday night gave Carolina a 5-4 victory over the visiting Smokies.

Tennessees offense, which has been tearing up the Southern League all season, was held in check. The Smokies managed only three hits with three of the runs coming on Ryan Flahertys sixth-inning homer. Brett Jackson went hitless, snapping his season-long hitting streak.

David Cales took the loss. Chris Rusin started and gave up a pair of runs in six innings before Kyle Smit allowed two runs in the bottom of the sixth to negate Flahertys homer.
Peoria A
Hayden Simpsons indoctrination to pro ball continued Monday night in Quad Cities and the Cubs top pick in last years draft continued to struggle through it as Peoria dropped a 4-2 decision at Modern Woodman Park.

Simpson 0-1 allowed all four runs in four innings, scattering six hits and walking two. He surrendered three first inning runs, allowing the River Bandits to snap what had been a 28-inning scoreless streak. Simpson has a 4.26 ERA through three starts and has allowed 14 hits in his last nine innings.

Peoria managed to score twice in the seventh inning but could draw no closer. Rubio Silva had a pair of hits and now has five multi-hit games this season. Greg Rohan singled in the seventh to run his hitting streak to 10 games. Smaily Borges was 0-for-5 with five strikeouts. The opposition has stolen 18 bases without being thrown out after Quad Cities swiped two bases Monday.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

2017 Bears position grades: Inside Linebacker

2017 Bears position grades: Inside Linebacker

2017 grade: B+

Level of need: Low

Decisions to be made on: Christian Jones (free agent), John Timu (free agent), Jonathan Anderson (free agent); Jerrell Freeman has reportedly been cut

Possible free agent targets: Demario Davis, Preston Brown, Anthony Hitchens, Avery Williamson, Navorro Bowman, Derrick Johnson

How the Bears rate Nick Kwiatkoski will be the key to figuring out what this unit will look like in 2018. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio thought Kwiatkoski finished last season strong, but strong enough to rely on him in 2018 as the starter next to Danny Trevathan?

The thing with the Bears’ inside linebackers, though: Trevathan makes whoever is playing next to him better. The problem is Trevathan hasn’t been able to stay on the field — he missed time in 2017 with a calf injury and a one-game suspension, and missed half of 2016 after rupturing his Achilles’. Trevathan hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2013, so durability is an issue for the soon-to-be 28-year-old.

So that leads to this question: Do the Bears need to find someone in free agency, regardless of how they value Kwiatkoski, who’s also missed time due to injuries in his first two years in the league?

Free agency could provide a few options. Demario Davis had a career high 97 tackles for the New York Jets last year and has never missed a game as a pro. Preston Brown had some decent production in Buffalo and also hasn’t missed a game since being drafted in 2014. Avery Williamson may not be a world-beater but has only missed one game in his four years in the NFL.

The Bears could also opt for someone who fits more of a rotational mold, like Dallas’ Anthony Hitchens, or try to lure a veteran linebacker like Navorro Bowman (who played for Vic Fangio in San Francisco) or Derrick Johnson (who Matt Nagy knows from his Kansas City days) to play next to Trevathan and/or Kwiatkoski.

The Bears could opt to keep the status quo and re-sign Christian Jones and John Timu for depth, and enter 2018 with Kwiatkoski and Trevathan as the team’s starters (Jerrell Freeman, who suffered a season-ending injury and then was hit with his second PED suspension in as many years, was cut on Tuesday). Signing a starting-caliber free agent isn’t out of the question, either, but there is a third option for the Bears if they appear to stand pat in free agency: Draft an inside linebacker in April. If that’s the route they go, Georgia’s Roquan Smith could be the guy. But again, those more pressing needs at other positions could mean the Bears don’t burn a first-round pick on an inside linebacker.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?