Bears

Jackson Stays Red Hot In Leading Tennessee To Twinbill Sweep

Jackson Stays Red Hot In Leading Tennessee To Twinbill Sweep

Saturday April 16, 2011
Posted: 9:40 p.m.
CUBS Tennessee AA
Brett Jackson continued his torrid start to the season Saturday in helping pace Tennessee to a doubleheader of sweep of Montgomery at Smokies Park. Jackson got hits in both ends of the twin bill as the Smokies ran their winning streak to four games with 11-7 and 3-1 victories, respectively.

Jackson went 2-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and a pair of walks, pushing his batting average to .467. While Jackson has been scintillating, he did have some help. Ryan Flaherty had two homers and five RBIs in the opener. Josh Vitters added a homer and three RBI.

It all made it easier for Alberto Cabrera, who picked up his first victory after allowing three runs in six innings.

The nightcap was a bit tighter with Ty Wright connecting for a solo homer. Josh Vitters also added a hit and is batting .367. Ryan Buchter earned the win, pitching a scoreless sixth inning before David Cales tossed a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Iowa AAA
The I-Cubs rallied for three seventh-inning runs Saturday night with what would prove to be the winning run scoring on a wild pitch in a 4-3 victory over Memphis at Principal Park.

Fernando Perez capped the rally by scoring when Victor Marte uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Bryan LaHair had three hits for the I-Cubs, pushing his average to .406.

The Iowa bullpen tossed three shutout innings with Justin Berg 2-0 earning the victory. J.R. Mathes started and went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six.
Daytona A
The Cubs began the season with a six-game winning streak but on Saturday night they lost their fourth in a row, dropping a 9-6 decision to Lakeland at Joker Marchand Stadium.

Brent Ebinger 1-1 was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits in his three innings. He allowed five runs in the second inning and the Cubs could not recover. Matt Cerda had three hits for the Cubs, including a homer and two RBIs. Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits and an RBI. Both he and Cerda are hitting .400.
Peoria A
Peorias Saturday afternoon game against Wisconsin at Fox Cities Stadium was rained out and will be made up when the Timber Rattlers visit OBrien Field in either May 24-26 or June 14-16. The Chiefs and Wisconsin will play a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 1:05 to make up Fridays game, which was also rained out.
WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
The Barons split a doubleheader with visiting Chattanooga, taking the opener, 2-0, before dropping the nightcap, 3-2.

Charlie Leesman pitched six innings of one-hit ball in the opener, striking out six and walking two. He took a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing a leadoff single. Greg Infante pitched the seventh to pick up his second save. The Barons collected only three hits, one of which was a Justin Greene two-run homer in the fifth.

Brad Coons RBI double in the top of the seventh snapped a 2-2 tie in the nightcap. Shane Lindsay took the loss. Justin Edwards had started and allowed a run on two hits over five innings. Andrew Garcia had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI for the Barons.
Kannapolis A
Matthew Heidenreich got hit hard early Saturday night at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium and Kannapolis never recovered, dropping a 9-5 decision to Hickory.

Heidenreich 0-1 allowed six runs and never made it out of the first inning, giving up four hits and walking one. Paul Burnside then allowed three runs in 5 13 innings, giving Hickory a lead from which the Intimidators couldnt recover.

Kannapolis managed only five hits with Ryan Hamme collecting one of them. He had two RBIs. Ross Wilson drew three walks for the Intimidators.
Winston-Salem A
Justin Tooles two-run double highlighted a three-run 11th inning, lifting Kinston to a 5-2 victory over the Dash at BB&T Park Saturday night. It was just the second victory in 23 games at Winston-Salem for the Indians.

Orlando Santos surrendered all three runs and took the loss. Andy Wilkinshad a pair of hits for the Dash.

Charlotte AA
The Knights and Tides were rained out Saturday at Harbor Park. No makeup date has been scheduled.

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

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Dry humping and second-guessing: Joe Maddon defends his Game 2 bullpen decisions

Joe Maddon has no easy decisions.

With the way his tattered bullpen has pitched this postseason, there's a very real possibility that any guy he calls on to pitch is the "wrong" guy or the right guy in the "wrong" spot.

For everybody wanting Maddon to ride Wade Davis as a workhorse this fall — something the Cubs skipper has already done just to get to this NLCS — remember how much flak he took for overusing Aroldis Chapman a year ago at this time.

Davis also hasn't been superhuman this postseason, allowing a pair of runs (including a homer) and seven baserunners in 4.1 playoff innings, good for a 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

So when Maddon sat in the dugout late Sunday evening watching helplessly as John Lackey served up a walk-off homer to Tormund Giantsbane Justin Turner, the "Madd Scientist" immediately found himself in the crosshairs of Cubs fans and the media.

The first question he fielded in his postgame press conference was about not using Davis and there were several follow-ups. That and the offensive futility is about all anybody wanted to talk about after the Cubs fell down 0-2 in the NLCS.

Maddon explained Davis was available only in a save situation due to workload issues — the Cubs closer was in uncharted territory Thursday night/Friday morning, throwing the most pitches (44) and innings (2.1) he's thrown since Aug. 24, 2013 when he was still working as a starter. That's a span of 1,511 days.

"Wade knew that going into the game, it was going to be with the say," Maddon said. "We caught the lead, he's in the game. So whatever the narrative was, it's really a false narrative. He was not coming into that game until we grabbed the lead. He was not going to pitch more than three outs. That's it."

How does Maddon respond to his second-guessers?

"Doesn't matter," Maddon said. "First of all, social media, the moment I start worrying about that, I really need to retire. Second of all, that was all predetermined [Sunday] night again."

Davis also has a recent history of arm troubles (he was on the disabled list twice in 2016 for a forearm issue) and also saw his workload jump in September just to help the Cubs get to the postseason. In the final month of the regular season, Davis threw 237 pitches, 42 more than he threw in any other month of 2017. The last time he topped 200 pitches in any month was May 2015.

TV cameras showed Davis throwing in the Cubs bullpen alongside Lackey at one point in the ninth inning, leading to surprise by a huge faction of the (*looks around and whispers*) social media fanbase when the game broadcast resumed after commercials and the pitching change was to bring Lackey — not Davis — into the game.

"Wade was not warming up to come in that game," Maddon said. "Wade was probably just testing his arm at that point. We had talked about it before the game — up and in. 

"For those that aren't involved in Major League Baseball and professional baseball in general, when a guy's throwing too much, it's very important to not dry hump him, as the saying goes. Get him up and put him back down and bring him back in later. So I wasn't going to do that."

(Wow, really was not expecting to hear or write the phrase "dry hump" regarding this story.)

Maddon insists health is not the problem with Davis.

"Yes [he's healthy]. Oh yeah," Maddon said. "Listen, this guy just did yeoman kind of work — I love that word — in Washington and was not prepared to go more than three outs. I don't understand why that's difficult to understand.

"And furthermore, you have to also understand it wasn't the last game of the year or the second to last game. It was about winning eight more games. All these things are factors."

Maddon has a point. This isn't a Buck Showalter case where the Baltimore Orioles manager failed to use his best reliever — Zach Britton — in a non-save situation in a winner-take-all American League wild card game because he wanted the closer to be ready for a save.

The Cubs went down in a game that was tied 1-1 with their best reliever failing to get in the game even though he hadn't pitched in the last two days. 

But Davis can't cover every inning in relief, especially when the Cubs' two starters (Jose Quintana and Jon Lester) lasted just 9.2 innings against the Dodgers, leaving the Cubs bullpen to account for the other 8+ innings somehow.

The rest of the Cubs bullpen has to step up, too, which they did before the ninth inning of Game 2.

Still, Maddon couldn't resist getting one more defensive shot in before putting the matter to bed:

"I really hope you all understand that social media doesn't count at all," he said. "Twitter doesn't count at all. And really, as sportswriters, you should do a better job than relying on Twitter to write a story, quite frankly."

Well then.