Blackhawks

On The Farm: McNutt Keeps Daytona Close To First

On The Farm: McNutt Keeps Daytona Close To First

Thursday Aug. 19, 2010
Posted: 8:45 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS Daytona A
The Cubs blew by host Dunedin Wednesday night, 9-3, picking up a game on first place Tampa in the FSL North Division in the process. Tampa lost at home to Clearwater and now leads Daytona by a game.

Trey McNutt 4-0 was the dominant force for Daytona, pitching six shutout innings while allowing only one hit. He fanned six to improve to 10-0 on the year after starting out by going 6-0 at Peoria. McNutt has pitched shutout ball in three of his last four starts.

Casey Lambert added two scoreless innings of relief before the Jays touched up Oswaldo Martinez for three ninth-inning runs.

Ryan Flaherty had four hits, including a homer, and three RBIs while Rebel Ridling added four hits. D.J. LeMahieu had three hits.

Boise Short-Season A
The Hawks went deep three times in a 4-1 victory over visiting Everett at Memorial Stadium. The outburst marked the first time since July 15, 2007 that Boise hit more than two homers in a game.

Richard Jones gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the third inning but broke out the big lumber in the fourth as Ryan Cuneo and Jeff Vigurs each hit solo homers. For Vigurs, it was the first of his career. Jones added a solo homer in the fifth.

Austin Kirk allowed a run on four hits over five innings to pick up his fourth win of the year,
Peoria A
The Chiefs stretched their winning streak to four games Wednesday night, topping Burlington, 5-2, at OBrien Field.

Peoria scored three times in the seventh inning to break open what had been a close game. Anthony Giansanti and Logan Watkins had RBI singles in the inning. Nick Struck picked up his eight victory and is 6-0 in his last seven appearances after allowing two runs in five innings. Justin Bour drew his seventh intentional walk of the year, tying him for fourth all-time on the Chiefs single-season list with several players, including Albert Pujols. Daric Barton holds the franchise record with 10.
In other action, Eric Duncans RBI single in the 10th inning gave Mississippi a 7-6 victory over Tennessee at Smokies Park. The Braves had scored four eight-inning runs, tying the score at 6-6. Brandon Guyer had a pair of hits, including a homer and two RBIs, to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Hes batting .471 33-for-70 with five homers and 24 RBIs during the streak. Iowa dropped its second straight at Sacramento, losing a 4-2 decision at Raley Field. Austin Bibens-Dirkx had his first Triple-A setback, giving up four runs on 10 hits in six innings to take the loss. Brad Snyder drove in his 88th run, extending his career high. The AZL Cubs dropped an 8-1 decision to the Padres.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Rain wrecked havoc with the Dash again on Wednesday but they did manage to finish one game, earning a victory in the process. Winston-Salem topped Salem, 4-3, in 14 innings, which was the completion of a Tuesday night washout.

The second and regularly scheduled game was stopped in the fourth inning because of the weather with the Red Sox leading, 1-0. That game will be finished on Thursday followed by a seven-inning affair.

Ozzie Lewis drew a one-out walk in the 14th and then went to third on a Logan Johnson single. Andrew Garcias sacrifice fly then brought Lewis home to end the marathon. Hector Santiago pitched 1 13 scoreless innings for the win.
In other action, Durham handled Charlotte, 5-1, at Knights Stadium, stretching the hosts losing streak to five games. The Bulls magic number for clinching a division title is four. Carlos Torres allowed four runs on eight hits over 5 23 innings. Brent Morel went 2-for-4 and is hitting .421 over his last nine games 16-for-38. Birmingham reached new lows in an already dismal season, dropping a 17-4 decision to visiting Huntsville. The 17 runs and 22 hits allowed were season highs while the 13-run loss was the worst of the year for the Barons. Josh Phegley was 2-for-5 in his Birmingham debut. Orem exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning Wednesday night to stun visiting Great Falls, 12-3. Mike Blanke was 3-for-4 and is hitting .412 over his last nine games. Mother Nature and Hickory got the best of Kannapolis as the Crawdads earned a 7-4 victory at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium. The game, which lasted more than three hours, also included a lengthy rain delay. Ryan Buch suffered his first Sally League loss after giving up four runs on seven hits in four innings. Tyler Saladino had a solo homer for the Intimidators.

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Tracey Myers and Jamal Mayers join Pat Boyle to discuss the teams wins over the Rangers and Penguins.  Have they figured some things out and what is the identity of this team after 20 games?

Jammer weighs in on Artem Anisimov’s big week and are there enough Hawks committed to net front presence?  They also discuss the surging play of the blue liners and did the Hawks fail to send a message to Evgeni Malkin, after he kneed Corey Crawford in the head?

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

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USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

It'd be a stretch to say that any rookie is having a better or more impactful season than Philadelphia's Ben Simmons. The Sixers are 9-7, and Simmons looks like a 10-year veteran with his decision making, athleticism and all-around feel for the game. He's the frontrunner for MVP, but there are two other rookies vying to catch Simmons and win that title. And they'll face each other tomorrow night in Los Angeles.

Lonzo Ball was the second pick in June's NBA Draft, and fellow Pac-12 freshman standout Lauri Markkanen went five picks later to the Bulls, who had traded up as part of the Jimmy Butler trade. Both players were drafted to rebuilding franchises - the Lakers still working out the kinks in the post-Kobe era, and the Bulls beginning their rebuild after dealing Butler - and were expected to make immediate impacts on their franchises.

Ball's was more pronounced, as the Lakers dealt D'Angelo Russell to the Nets on draft night to free up space at the point for their prized No. 2 pick. Markkanen's came more abruptly, as the 20-year-old was thrust into the starting lineup after Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic's fight put Mirotic in the hospital and Portis on paid leave. However they got there, both players have been impressive in their early NBA careers.

Starting with Markkanen, the Bulls knew the 7-foot stretch forward was a perfect build for the modern NBA. He set freshman 3-point and rebounding records that, since 1992, only some guy named Kevin Durant had reached. After a successful summer in Eurobasket he was set for a large role with the Bulls, and he's succeeded in just about every aspect. His 15.6 points per game are third only to Simmons and the other Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, and his 8.1 rebounds are second to Simmons. And his 2.6 made 3-pointers per game are most among rookies, and well past No. 2 on the list (Utah's Donovan Mitchell, 1.9 per game).

In fact, Markkanen would become the only rookie in NBA history to average at least 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 3-pointers per game. The 2.5 3-pointers would break a rookie record currently held by Damian Lillard (2.3 per game). The closest a rookie has ever come to reaching those marks was Stephen Curry, who averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 3-pointers per game as a rookie. Allen Iverson also met the 4/2 threshold, but that's a far cry from Markkanen's 8/2.5 mark. Paul Pierce's rookie season saw him average 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers.

But that's not all. If he kept those averages up he would be just the fifth player EVER to accomplish those thresholds. The others are James Harden, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Antonie Walker, who naturally did it twice.

So, yeah, Markkanen is having quite a rookie year.

So, too, is Ball. While he's had some real issues with efficiency, slashing .313/.228/.462 and has committed 2.6 turnovers per game, his counting stats have been outstanding. Ball is averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists, and that puts him in equally impressive company.

Simmons has reached those numbers this season, too, averaging 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists. You may have heard of the other two players, named Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

The two future Hall of Famers averaged these numbers:

Robertson: 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 9.7 assists (missing averaging a triple-double for the season by 20 assists)

Johnson: 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists

Ball is also averaging 0.9 blocks, and no other rookie guard has ever accomplished that. It might not always look pretty for Markkanen and Ball as they feel their way out in the NBA, but just remember watching these two that they're in the midst of making history in the new era of the NBA.