Cubs

On The Farm: Archer stays sharp for Tennessee

On The Farm: Archer stays sharp for Tennessee

Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010
10:40 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Tennessee (AA)
Chris Archer continued to his magnificent run Tuesday night, pitching Tennessee by Huntsville, 7-1, at Smokies Park.

An apropos score considering Archer improved to 7-1 with Tennessee after going 7-1 with Dayton earlier this season. He allowed only a run in seven innings while striking out eight, leaving his Southern League ERA at a microscopic 0.58 in 46 13 innings.

Archer remains within striking distance of a 20-win season despite only having five starts remaining. Depending on weather or any relief appearances, he could become the first 20-game winner since John Fritz won 20 games for Quad Cities 1992.

Ryan Buchter and Jeremy Papelbon each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the victory. Brandon Guyer had a pair of hits and three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hes batting .472 (25-for-53) with 19 RBIs during the streak. Russ Canzler had two hits and drove in a pair.

In other action, Tampa romped past Dayton, 8-3, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Jake Optiz had three hits and an RBI. Portland upended Iowa, 13-3, at Principal Park. Jeff Samardzija took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings. Micah Hoffpauir took his 18-game hitting streak to Chicago, having been called up when the Cubs placed Derrek Lee on the bereavement list. Hoffpauir, who is the reigning PCL Player of the Week, was hitting .413 (31-for-75) during the streak.

WHITE SOX

Charlotte (AAA)
Lucas Harrell bounced back from his worst Triple-A performance of the season on Tuesday, putting for a strong effort as Charlotte defeated Durham, 5-4, at Durham Athletic Park.

Harrell (10-9) allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings after allowing four runs in two innings of his last start on Aug. 5. He had considerable help from the pen as a trio of pitchers preserved the victory with Ryan Braun earning his 17th save despite allowing a ninth-inning run.

Brent Morel had three hits and drove in a pair while Jeremy Reed knocked in two with a two-run homer in the fourth inning.

Winston-Salem (A)
Brandon Shorts two-run triple in the sixth inning provided the margin of victory as the Dash downed Wilmington, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium.

The scored had been tied 3-3 when Short picked up his second triple in as many games. Jose Martinez also had a pair of hits and an RBI to make a winner of Charlis Burdie, who allowed a run in three innings.

Kannapolis (A)
The Intimidators closed out their homestand on a positive note Tuesday, defeating Hagerstown, 8-2, at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium. Kannapolis went 6-2 on the stand to draw to within four games of .500.

Brady Shoemaker had a pair of hits and drove in three. Hes hitting .412 over his last 109 games. Nick Ciolli added a pair of hits and drove in two allowing Andre Rienzo to pick up his eight win of the year and fifth in his last seven outings.

In other action, Bristol banged out 16 hits and romped by Danville, 8-3. Jeffer Patino had four of the hits and drove in one. He also scored three times. Chase Blackwood and Mike Schwartz (three RBIs) had three hits apiece. Jamaal Hollis improved to 3-0 after tossing three shutout innings. Sal Sanchezs second-inning grand slam paced Birmingham to a 7-3 victory over visiting Mississippi. Great Falls and Missoula were postponed due to weather with no makeup date set.

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

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

0217-addison-russell.jpg
USA TODAY

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

High School Lites had five matchups between top-25 teams on Friday night as the Public League Playoff semifinals and big matchups in the CSL South, Catholic League Blue and SouthWest Suburban Blue took shape.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Palatine's Eduardo Orozco

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Maine West girls basketball

Highlights

No. 1 Simeon holds off No. 4 Whitney Young

No. 2 Orr gets revenge on No. 3 Curie

No. 9 New Trier takes down No. 6 Evanston

No. 8 Fenwick handles No. 10 Loyola Academy

No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor rallies past No. 18 Bolingbrook

Oswego East upsets No. 20 Joliet Central

Andrew shuts down Thornridge

Sandburg tops Lockport in OT

Richards runs by Shepard

Maine West captures second straight girls basketball regional title