Cubs

On The Farm: Great Win For Great Falls

On The Farm: Great Win For Great Falls

Monday, Aug. 23, 2010
Posted: 10:10 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXGreat Falls Rookie
The Voyagers ended their road trip with a second consecutive victory on Monday, topping Missoula, 10-6, in 10 innings. It was the third victory in four games for Great Falls, which began the road trip by getting swept in a four-game set at Orem.

Michael Blankes two-out, bases-loaded triple sparked a four-run 10th inning. He then scored on an error to give the Voyagers a four-run bulge. He finished with three hits. Dusty Harvard added two hits and an RBI.

Nelson Curry pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first victory.
Birmingham AA
John Shelbys sixth-inning grand slam powered the Barons to a 9-5 victory over Carolina on Monday night. The one-out blast was his ninth-homer of the season.

Sal Sanchez, who had two hits, also homered and drove in a pair. The power surge allowed Kyle Bellamy to pick up his second Southern League win of the season and second in as many appearances.

In other action, Greensboro edged Kannapolis, 4-2. Trayce Thompson was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ryan Buch took the loss, allowing four runs in five innings. Host Lynchburg bnlanked Winston-Salem, 5-0, in a game that was called after seven-plus innings because of rain. Stephen Sauer allowed all five runs in six innings. The Dash managed only four hits. Cody Stanleys RBI single in the 12th inning lifted Johnson City to a 3-2 victory at Bristol. Richard Marshall suffered the loss. Dan Black had a pair of hits for the Sox. Gwinnett downed visiting Charlotte, 5-2. Brent Morel had a pair of hits, including a homer and an RBI, to push his average to .321. Hes riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he is batting .500 13-for-26.
CUBSDaytona A
The Cubs split a doubleheader with Brevard County, dropping the opener, 7-3, before rallying to win the nightcap, 4-2, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Having lost Trey McNutt to a promotion over the weekend, the Cubs acted quickly to replace the ace by promoting RHP Nick Struck from Peoria on Monday. Struck, a 39th-round pick in 2009, was 8-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 25 games 18 starts for the Chiefs. He was 6-0 in his last seven appearances for Peoria and had a 1.97 ERA in his last 13 appearances.

Struck suffered the loss in the opener after allowing four runs in 4 23 innings in the completion of Sundays suspended game.

The Cubs used a four-run sixth inning to decide the nightcap. Greg Rohans two-run single was the deciding blow.
Peoria A
The Chiefs dropped a 3-1 decision at Clinton, managing only five hits at Alliant Energy Field. The loss puts Peoria four games back of the LumberKings in the race for the playoffs with 16 games remaining.

The Chiefs added LHP Austin Kirk from Boise on Monday. Kirk, a third-round pick in 2009, was 4-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 12 games 10 starts for the Hawks. He took the loss, allowing two runs in four innings though he did strike out seven. Kirk also picked a pair of runners off first.

RHP Daniel Keefe was also added from Boise while LHP Jeff Antigua shoulder and RHP Su-Min Jung right shoulder were placed on the disabled list. Keefe was with Peoria from mid-July until last week, going 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a save in 11 appearances before moving back to Boise. He made an appearance for the Hawks over the weekend and overall is 0-1 with a save, posting a 3.94 ERA in 10 Northwest League appearances.
In other action, Nashville did all its scoring in the first two innings and downed Iowa, 8-6, at Principal Park. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed all eight runs on 10 hits over five innings. Brad Snyder was 1-for-3 and drove in his 89th run of the year. ... Trey McNutt made his Southern League debut and was roughed up as West Tenn bounced the Smokies, 7-4. McNutt allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 23 innings to suffer his first loss of the year. Steve Clevenger, who was named as the Southern League hitter of the week on Monday, had a pair of hits but saw his consecutive hit streak end at nine at-bats.

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

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

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USA TODAY

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

MESA, Ariz. — Tom Ricketts sure doesn’t sound like the guy who met his wife in the bleachers during the century-long tenure of the Lovable Losers.

“Everyone knows that this is a team that has the capability to win the World Series, and everyone will be disappointed if we don’t live up to that capability.”

Yeah, the Cubs have been among baseball’s best teams for three seasons now. That curse-smashing World Series win in 2016 was the high point of a three-year stretch of winning that’s seen three straight trips to the National League Championship Series and a combined 310 wins between the regular season and postseason.

But it’s still got to come as a strange sound to those who remember the Cubs as the longtime butt of so many baseball jokes. This team has one expectation, to win the World Series. The players have said it for a week leading up to Monday’s first full-squad workout. The front office said it when it introduced big-time free-agent signing Yu Darvish a week ago. And the chairman said it Monday.

“We very much expect to win,” Ricketts said. “We have the ability to win. Our division got a lot tougher, and the playoff opponents that we faced last year are likely to be there waiting for us again.

“I think at this point with this team, obviously that’s our goal. I won’t say a season’s a failure because you don’t win the World Series, but it is our goal.”

The confidence is not lacking. But more importantly, success drives expectations. And if the Cubs are going to be one of the best teams in baseball, they better keep winning, or they’ll fail to meet those expectations, expectations that can sometimes spin a little bit out of control.

During last year’s follow-up campaign to 2016’s championship run, a rocky start to the season that had the Cubs out of first place at the All-Star break was enough to make some fans feel like the sky was falling — as if one year without a World Series win would be unacceptable to a fan base that had just gone 108 without one.

After a grueling NLDS against the Washington Nationals, the Cubs looked well overmatched in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that sparked plenty of outside criticism, as well as plenty of offseason activity to upgrade the club in the midst of baseball’s never-ending arms race.

“I think people forget we’ve won more games over the last three years than any other team. We’ve won more playoff games than any other team the last three years. And we’ve been to the NLCS three years in a row,” Ricketts said. “I think fans understand that this is a team that if we stay healthy and play up to our capability can be in that position, be in the World Series. I don’t blame them. We should have high expectations, we have a great team.”

On paper, there are plenty of reasons for high expectations. Certainly the team’s stated goals don’t seem outlandish or anything but expected. The addition of Darvish to a rotation that already boasted Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana makes the Cubs’ starting staff the best in the NL, maybe the best in the game. There were additions to the bullpen, and the team’s fleet of young star position players went untouched despite fears it might be broken up to acquire pitching.

“I think this is, on paper, the strongest rotation that we’ve ever had,” Ricketts said. “I think that being able to bring in a player of (Darvish’s) caliber reminds everyone that we’re intending to win our division and go all the way.

“We’ve kept a good core of players together for several years, and this year I think our offseason moves have really set us up to be one of the best teams in baseball.

“Just coming out of our team meeting, the vibe feels a lot like two years ago. Everybody’s in a really good place. I think everyone’s really hungry and really wants to get this season off to a great start and make this a memorable year.”

There should be no surprise that the team and its players and its executives and its owners feel the way they do. The Cubs are now expected winners, even if that’s still yet to sink in for the longtime fans and observers of the team they once called the Lovable Losers.

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.