Bears

Tennessee Puts On Another Hit Parade

Tennessee Puts On Another Hit Parade

Wednesday April 13, 2011
Posted: 11:10 p.m.
CUBSTennessee A
The Smokies used another big night at the plate, this time to offset a weak effort on the mound, to pound out 16 hits and out-slug visiting Montgomery, 12-10.

Brett Jackson three runs scored and an RBI, Marwin Gonzalez a homer and three RBIs and Matt Spencer a run scored and an RBI each had three hits. Blake Lalli, who had two hits and three runs scored, also had a homer and three RBIs. Tennessee continues to lead the Southern League in hitting, batting .360 through six as a group following Wednesday nights affair. Mobile was second at .302.

The Smokies needed another big offensive night. Starter Chris Rusin allowed six runs on nine hits in four innings while Marco Carillo gave up three runs on two hits and a pair of walks in his inning of work. Blake parker allowed a run in his two innings but earned his first victory of the season.
Daytona A
Clearwater knocked the Cubs from the ranks of the unbeaten Wednesday night, earning a 2-1 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Joe Saverys RBI single in the eighth inning was the difference .

Nick Struck started for Daytona and had his second consecutive strong outing. He allowed a run on six hits in 5 23 innings. He fanned three and has a 1.63 ERA through two outings. Jordan Latham was tagged for the loss, allowing Saverys hit and three others in 1 23 innings.

Mike Brenly had a pair of hits for the Cubs while Logan Watkins drove in their run.
Peoria A
Austin Kirk did not enjoy the same success Wednesday night at Burlington that he did in his season-opening effort last week at OBrien Field. The Bees roughed up the former third-round pick, ran up his pitch count and chased him en route to an 8-7 victory.

Kirk 0-1, who allowed five first-inning runs three earned, gave up two homers and walked a pair before departing following a three-inning stint.

The Cubs eventually battled back, scoring in the top of the ninth to close to within 8-7. But it wasnt enough as a fine effort from Smaily Borges four hits, three runs scored went for naught. Fellow Cuban Rubio Silva had two hits and two RBIs, extending his hitting streak to a season-long seven games. Richard Jones missed his third straight game after being hit by a pitch in the right ankle on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs allowed two stolen bases and they have not thrown out a base stealer in 12 attempts this season. Peoria has turned eight double plays in its last three games and lead the MWL with 11 turned.
Iowa AAA
The I-Cubs lost their third straight contest and for the fourth time in five games Wednesday night, this time dropping a 10-7 decision in Albuquerque.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx 0-1 got hit hard, allowing nine runs on nine hits three homers in four innings.
WHITE SOXKannapolis A
The Intimidators ran their winning streak to five games Wednesday night, downing Delmarva, 8-3, behind a strong effort from starter Ryan Buch.

Buch 1-1 fanned a career-high eight over six innings, during which he allowed two runs one earned. Addison Reed tossed two scoreless innings before Phil Negus closed things out.

Dan Black had a homer and two RBIs to pace the Intimidators. It was the first homer and RBIs of the season for the 2009 14th-round pick who has struggled thus far. He had three hits overall as did Brady Shoemaker.
Charlotte AAA
Jake Peavy made a rehab start for Charlotte Wednesday night and took the loss after an up and down outing in which Durham emerged with a 5-2 victory at Knights Field.

Peavy went six innings and allowed only two runs. But he scattered eight hits. Former Cub Brandon Guyer and Jose Lobaton each had three hits off Peavy while Russ Canzler launched a monstrous homer off the center-field scoreboard in the fifth inning to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. Lucas Harrell then allowed three runs in three innings.

Jordan Danks had three hits and an RBI while Jim Gallagher had two hits, including a homer, and an RBI.
Winston-Salem A
The Dash split a doubleheader, taking the opener, 3-2, in 10 innings before dropping the nightcap, 3-2.

A trio of relievers tossed six shutout innings in the opener after starter Joe Serafin allowed two runs on two hits in four innings. One of the hits he allowed was a homer and he walked three. Orlando Santos struck out three over three shutout innings to pick up the victory before Taylor Thompson earned the save.

Daniel Wagners RBI single in the 10th proved to be the difference. Ian Gacs two-run homer in the sixth set the stage for Wagners 10th-inning heroics.

Terry Doyle 0-1 pitched a complete game in the nightcap, scattering eight hits and striking out two. The Dash managed just four hits in his support.
Birmingham AA
Dylan Axelrod tossed shutout ball in his first outing of the season but had no such effectiveness on Wednesday as Birmingham dropped a 6-2 decision to visiting Chattanooga.

Axelrod allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings before Kyle Cofield gave up two runs in 1 13 innings. Brandon Short had a double 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?