Bears

On The Farm: Daytona Sweeps To Stay Alive In FSL Race

On The Farm: Daytona Sweeps To Stay Alive In FSL Race

Wednesday Sept. 1, 2010
Posted: 9:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS Daytona A
The Cubs playoff chances, seeming to have faded over the past few days, were sparked once again on Wednesday as they swept a doubleheader from Clearwater while first-place Tampa was busy losing to Brevard County.

The sweep, by scores of 2-0 and 5-2 at Bright House Field, pulled Daytona to within two games of the first-place Yankees in the Florida State Leagues North Division. The Cubs have four games remaining in the regular season one more at Clearwater and a three-game series at Lakeland. The Yanks close out their series at home against the Manatees on Thursday before hosting Dunedin for three games.

Alberto Cabrera tossed a complete-game, five-hitter in the opener. He struck out six and didnt walk a batter.

The Cubs scored both their runs in the sixth. Evan Crawford scored on a DJ LeMahieu fielders choice while Junior Lake took an extra base as Clearwater second baseman Fidel Hernandez made an error on the play. The miscue proved costly because Ryan Flahertys sacrifice fly brought home Lake on the next play.

Daytona overcame a 2-1 deficit in the nightcap, scoring twice in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Cubs took a 3-2 lead when pitcher Jacob Diekman threw a ball away on a Lake grounder back to through the box. Both runners scored. Jake Opitz had an RBI triple in the sixth and then scored on a Diekman wild pitch.

Chris Siegfried went 2 13 scoreless innings for the win.
In other action, Kane County blanked visiting Peoria, 7-0, pushing the Chiefs 3 games back of the Cougars in the race for the wild-card berth in the Midwest League. The Chiefs managed only five hits. The rehabbing Carlos Silva took the loss, allowing five runs in 4 23 innings. RHP Steven Grife was added from Boise while RHP Luis Liria was sent to Boise.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
A trio of pitchers combined on a one-hitter Wednesday night as Birmingham blanked visting Carolina, 5-0.

Jake Kahaulelios fifth inning single off was the only base hit the Mudcats would get off Charlie Leesman as the Barons faced only one batter over the minimum. Leesman 5-2, who struck out five, walked Felix Perez to lead off the game and he was quickly erased on a doubleplay. Deunte Heath and Anthony Carter each pitched perfect innings after Leesmans seven-inning stint.

Cole Armstrong had a solo homer and Josh Phegley had a double and an RBI for the Barons.
Winston-Salem A
The Dash won their sixth consecutive game Wednesday, topping Lynchburg, 10-2, at BB&T Ballpark. The victory allowed Winston-Salem to maintain its one-game lead over Kinston in the Carolina Leagues Southern Division with five games remaining.

Jason Bour had a double and three RBIs to pace the Dash while Nick Ciolli had three hits and an RBI. Hes hitting .444 in four games since coming up from Kannapolis. Jon Gilmore had two hits and two RBIs while Seth Loman had a pair of doubles and an RBI.

Dylan Axelrod went seven innings, scattering eight hits and giving up both runs.
In other action, Kannapolis dropped a 1-0 decision at Delmarva. Justin Collop 9-11 pitched a complete game, striking out seven over eight innings. Durham defeated Charlotte, 4-3, at Durham Athletic Park. The Bulls scored all four runs in the eighth inning. Ryan Braun took the loss and was also charged with a blown save. Jeff Marquez started and pitched three-hit ball over six shutout innings. Dayan Viciedo had a homer and two RBIs while brent Morel had two hits and an RBI.

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?