Blackhawks

On The Farm: Archer Shoots Down Suns

On The Farm: Archer Shoots Down Suns

Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010
Posted: 9:15 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBSTennessee AA
Chris Archer had a dominant season at two levels this year, easily handling the Florida State League before earning a mid-season promotion to the Southern League, where his efforts were even more impressive. Though it appeared as if the opposing teams on the Double-A circuit were starting to get a better scouting report on him towards the end of the regular season, Jacksonville obviously wasnt privy to a copy.

Archer looked like the pitcher that blistered the Southern League upon his arrival in July when he took the mound Tuesday night for the championship series opener at Smokies Park. He led a quartet of pitchers that shut down and shut out the Suns, 5-0, giving Tennessee the early advantage in a rematch between the 2009 finalists.

Jacksonville took home last years crown but if the Smokies continue to get pitching like they did on Tuesday, there wont be a repeat. Archer scattered four hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking only one. It marked the seventh time in 14 Southern League starts that he didnt allow an earned run.

Aaron Shafer, Blake Parker and Esmalin Caridad each followed with a no-hit inning of their own, adding four more strikeouts without walking a batter.

Robinson Chirinos had the big hit for the Smokies, connecting for a three-run homer in a four-run fourth inning. Brandon Guyer added a solo homer in the sixth but, because of how the Tennessee staff was performing, the shot proved to be merely window dressing.

In other news, Tennessee was nominated for the 2010 Larry MacPhail Award on Tuesday, emblematic of the organization exhibiting the most outstanding promotional work during the regular season.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Potomac evened the Mills Cup championship series at a game apiece Tuesday night, topping Winston-Salem, 5-3, at BB&T Ballpark.

The Nationals scored three eighth-inning runs off Brandon Kloess, who allowed a pair of hits and issued a walk. His meltdown spoiled what was another fine effort from starter Dylan Axelrod, who left with a lead after allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings.

Seth Loman had two hits, including a homer, and an RBI for the Dash. Joe Martinez also had two hits and an RBI. Kenny Williams added a double and an RBI. The series will resume Thursday night at Potomac.

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

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

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USA TODAY

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

It’s official: The Blackhawks are headed back outdoors.

The NHL announced that the 2019 Winter Classic will be held at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1.

"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."

It's the sixth time the Blackhawks will be playing outdoors, and their league-leading fourth Winter Classic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-0 in outdoor games, and are winless in three Winter Classic games.

Chicago's only outdoor win came against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series Classic, a 5-1 victory at Soldier Field.

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

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USA TODAY

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

The wait to find out which players have their options picked up or declined by the Fire might still be a couple weeks, but the first news of a player move in the Fire's offseason came via Twitter.

Defender Joao Meira announced he won't be returning to the club in 2018.

Meira signed with the Fire just before the start of the 2016 preseason after being out of contract in Europe. The Portuguese center back signed a one-year deal with a club option for the second year.

After he played 28 matches with 26 starts in 2016, the Fire picked up his option. He became even more of a fixture at center back in 2017, beating out Jonathan Campbell for the other starting spot alongside Johan Kappelhof. Meira played in 30 regular season matches and made 27 starts, finishing fourth on the team in minutes played (2,412).

That Meira won't be back isn't a major surprise for a few reasons. First, he was out of contract. He was one of two players, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, on the Fire's roster that the team had no control over for 2018. On top of that, the 30-year-old had made it clear that he wanted to be closer to his home and family in Portugal.

Meira's departure leaves a gap at the center back position for the Fire. Kappelhof, who enters the third year of a three-year guaranteed deal in 2018, and Campbell, who will likely have his club option picked up, enter as the only healthy center backs in 2018. Christian Dean was added in August via trade, but is coming off a broken foot, an injury that has plagued him before. His status for the start of the 2018 season is unclear.

Grant Lillard, a potential homegrown signing and a senior at Indiana, could compete for time at center back next season. He is one of the top rated players in the country for the Hoosiers, which are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While Lillard could step in from a numbers perspective and would add size to the Fire's back line (Lillard is 6-foot-4), he wouldn't be able to replace Meira's ability on the ball. Meira wasn't as effective of a defender as Kappelhof, but was arguably the best passer among the Fire's center backs and helped alleviate pressure at times.

This also opens up an international spot on the Fire's roster. The Fire went over the alloted total last season, but were able to put John Goossens and Jorge Bava on the disabled list to clear room. Meira's exit gives a bit more flexibility in that department.