Bulls

On The Farm: Harris Starting Something New In Tennessee

On The Farm: Harris Starting Something New In Tennessee

Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
Posted: 10:30 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBSTennessee AA
Despite starting for much of his career at The University of Tennessee, TyRelle Harris has been coming out of the bullpen for much of his brief professional career. Prior to Tuesday, he had appeared in 44 games and in only one of those games did he start.

Harris, whom the Cubs acquired from the Braves last week, made his second career start Tuesday night for Tennessee and the results were impressive as the Smokies downed West Tenn, 9-6. The right-hander threw three-hit ball over five shutout innings to pick up his first victory since the trade.

The bullpen didnt fare as well, allowing six runs in 3 23 innings before Marco carillo came on to record the final out and pick up the save.

Tony Thomas and Marwin Gonzalez each had three RBIs for the Smokies. Steve Clevenger went 2-for-4 and is hitting .516 over his last nine games.

Daytona A
The Cubs continued their push to make the Florida State League playoffs Tuesday night with an 8-2 victory over Clearwater at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win leaves Daytona 2.5 games back of first-place Tampa in the North Division with 11 games to play. The Yankees were idle for the second consecutive night because of rain.

Daytona explode for eighth third-inning runs. Kyler Burkes grand slam was the big blow in the inning, capping the rally. It was Burkes second slam of the year and seventh homer overall.

Brooks Raley allowed an unearned run over six innings to improve to 7-6. He fanned three and didnt walk a batter to earn his first victory since July 27. Raley has a 1.83 ERA in his last 10 starts.

In other action, Chris Carpenters Triple-A debut didnt go as planned as the Nashville downed Iowa, 6-4, at Principal Park. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks over three innings. Brad Snyder had a homer and two RBIs, extending his career high to 91 runs batted in. Vancouver bested visiting Boise, 5-1. Micah Gibbs had a pair of hits and scored a run for the Hawks. Peorias playoff hopes took another hit at Clinton on Tuesday as the LumberKings earned a 10-2 victory at Alliant Energy Field. The Cheifs committed four errors, surrendered three homers and left the bases loaded in the seventh en route to the loss. Nelson Perez was 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Brett Wallach started and took the loss, allowing five runs in five innings. Peoria is 0-5 in Wallachs five starts since he was acquired from the Dodgers in a deadline deal. Carlos Silva will rehab with the Chiefs on Friday and pitch against Cedar Rapids. ... The AZL Cubs scored three first-inning runs and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Angels.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
The Barons stunned host Carolina with a four-run eighth inning on Tuesday and squeaked out a 5-4 victory at Five County Stadium.

C.J. Retherfords two-run double was the big blow in the inning and made a winner of Henry Mabee, who pitched two scoreless innings. Anthony Carter pitched a scoreless ninth for his Southern League-leading 22nd save.
Bristol Rookie
The Sox dropped a heartbreaker to visiting Johnson City on Tuesday, losing 1-0 at Boyce Cox Field.

Reggie Williams one-out homer off Spencer Shelton in the eighth inning was the difference. Bristol put runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings but couldnt push across the tying run. Spencer Arroyo started for the Sox and allowed two hits over seven innings. He fanned seven and didnt walk a batter.
In other action, Greensboro bested visiting Kannapolis, 7-1, in an afternoon affair. The Intimidators scored their run in the ninth inning on a Juan Silverio single. Matt Wickswat, who pitched a no-hitter in his previous start, took the loss after allowing two runs in five innings. He walked five and scattered three hits. Winston-Salem and Lynchburg were rained out and will play a doubleheader on Wednesday. Gwinnett erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning to rally past Charlotte, 9-5. Matt Zaleski didnt record an out and allowed six of those runs on two walks and four hits, including a homer. Brandon Hynick started and allowed two runs in 5 13 innings. Brent Morel was 1-for-5, extending his hitting streak to eight games. ... Ryan Hamme had three hits and two RBIs to lead Great Falls past visiting Orem, 11-3.

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

It's Bobby's World in Bulls' lottery-improving loss to 76ers

It's Bobby's World in Bulls' lottery-improving loss to 76ers

The final 25 games was supposed to be all about the development of the Bulls’ recent acquisitions and securing a record worthy of one of the last three envelopes at the NBA Draft Lottery.

Only Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn seemed to matter, with Cameron Payne and Cristiano Felicio being the perfect window dressing for development as opposed to just saying a team is tanking.

But Bobby Portis is making a case that he isn’t to be forgotten in the big picture, that his worth is more than just being a punchline to the jokes that followed his incident with Nikola Mirotic.

The only thing Portis didn’t do right in the Bulls’ 116-115 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers was missing a point blank shot that would’ve given the Bulls an improbable and unwanted win, and it would’ve given him 40 points.

Instead he had to settle for a career-high 38 as Joel Embiid was bearing down on Portis when he caught a diagonal pass from Dunn with 1.1 seconds left, having the shorter T.J. McConnell on him and taking a power dribble to gather himself.

“If I could go back I would’ve just went up the first time off the glass like I always do,” Portis said. “We just have to try to close out games better.”

Embiid showed he’s worth all the trouble with his health problems, scoring 30 with 13 rebounds and five rebounds while Ben Simmons put up 32 with 11 assists and seven rebounds as the 76ers improved to 31-25, good enough for seventh place in the East.

In a game that featured remarkable resolve from a purposely undermanned Bulls team as they sat Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, they put themselves in position to win after trailing by 18 early. After leading by five courtesy of a LaVine walk-down triple with 1:02 left, they made a couple critical errors that allowed the 76ers to steal a game the Bulls won’t mind them taking at the end of 82.

Denzel Valentine’s inbounds pass with 5.9 seconds left was intended for LaVine, but Embiid stepped in front for a steal as they were in position to make it a free-throw game the rest of the way.

Similar to the Bulls’ unlikely win over the Orlando Magic before the All-Star break, they returned the favor as 76ers rookie Ben Simmons made free throws after the steal to give the visitors a one-point lead, setting the stage for the final play.

If learning lessons is what the last 100 quarters of basketball is supposed to be about, the Bulls got a big-time lesson in a game that ultimately means nothing.

“These are learning opportunities for our team,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I couldn’t be happier, the way we went out and competed. We dug ourselves an 18-point hold and (fought) our way back—have complete control of the game.”

Control was wrestled from the 76ers by Portis’ able and quick hands. Taking more of a scoring posture since Mirotic’s departure, Portis has never been shy about being aggressive.

But now he’s being encouraged in that department, playing a big part in the Bulls’ tying their franchise record of 18 triples with six of his own, scoring 21 in the first half and not backing down one step from the massive Embiid.

“I kind of struggled from (three) in the last six, seven games,” said Portis, who didn’t take much time off during the All-Star break. “I think I’ve shown this entire year, trying to stay consistent and be a spark off the bench.”

Counting the last two games before the break, Portis has been on the best scoring binge of his career—cementing his place in the league when just a few months ago, many were questioning if the Bulls should’ve actually picked up his player option following the Mirotic incident.

His 25.0 points in the last three, along with scoring in double figures for seven straight games are career-bests. With every flex, every energetic plea to the crowd and resourceful score underneath the rim, Portis is becoming a player the Bulls can’t afford to plan without.

The stage was set for a Portis breakout shortly after the incident, when he was serving his suspension to start the season. When the Bulls traveled to Miami and Orlando, he flew on his own to Orlando for dinner with his mentor, former NBA veteran and Magic assistant coach Corliss Williamson.

Williamson, a player who was not to be trifled with during his career, told Portis essentially, “this too shall pass”.

“Just play your game,” Williamson told NBCSportsChicago.com recently. “Don’t put any pressure on yourself about what’s gonna happen after this year. What’s got him here is hard work, how hard he plays in the game. He continues to do that, he’ll be successful.”

Portis recalled the dinner where he was finally able to confide and unleash after weeks of frustration. Calling Williamson a father figure dating back to their Arkansas roots, where Portis played on Williamson’s AAU teams in middle school, Portis put his trust in him and came back reinvigorated.

“We talked for hours about the whole situation,” Portis told NBCSportsChicago.com “He told me when I come back to come 10 times harder. When people play this game and play the right way, they forget about the other stuff. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Scoring 38 tends to remake a narrative.

“Bobby just continues to improve,” Hoiberg said. “He’s a confident kid that goes out and plays with a ton of swagger and toughness. You need that, to go out and play with that type of effort. He’s tenacious on the glass. He’s getting the crowd into the game.”

When speaking of Portis, Hoiberg’s face went from flush to beaming, knowing how far Portis has come in his three years—being a player who wouldn’t take 3-pointers with confidence to now unleashing them whenever a defender’s feet shows the slightest hint of leaning back.

No hesitation.

“Regardless if I’m making shots, I try to leave it all out on the floor,” Portis said. “It felt good making shots, being able to help the team. I wanted the win tonight.”

Portis helped make up for the Bulls not getting their usual production from Dunn, who struggled guarding the bigger Simmons and Lauri Markkanen, who missed all five of his 3-pointers and made just one field goal in 32 minutes.

“You can put he and Lauri together,” Hoiberg said. “It gives you two guys that can stretch the floor and space it, two guys that can rebound, two that can put it on the floor. It’s exciting to think about when Kris gets his rhythm back.”

And now, Williamson’s words have proven to be prophetic for his pupil, because if the Bulls aren’t seeing Portis as a key part of their future, there’s about 25 other teams who’ll be lining up for his services this summer.

“I told him don’t even worry about it,” Williamson said. “Let your game speak for itself. People who really know you, know what type of person you are. You start producing people will forget about it and love you for what you do on the court.”

His game is talking, even if the Bulls’ loss was one they’d rather have taken in silence.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Projecting the Bulls’ future

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Projecting the Bulls’ future

In the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill recap the Bulls’ 116-115 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, look at the continued growth of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn, and discuss if Bobby Portis is part of the Bulls’ long term future.

They also check in on LeBron James and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, discuss whether or not the Golden State Warriors can make another title run and the latest on the status of San Antonio Spurs guard Kawhi Leonard. The guys also discuss how Oklahoma guard Trae Young could look in a Bulls uniform if he’s available for them in the draft.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.