Bulls

On The Farm: Archer stays sharp for Tennessee

On The Farm: Archer stays sharp for Tennessee

Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010
10:40 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Tennessee (AA)
Chris Archer continued to his magnificent run Tuesday night, pitching Tennessee by Huntsville, 7-1, at Smokies Park.

An apropos score considering Archer improved to 7-1 with Tennessee after going 7-1 with Dayton earlier this season. He allowed only a run in seven innings while striking out eight, leaving his Southern League ERA at a microscopic 0.58 in 46 13 innings.

Archer remains within striking distance of a 20-win season despite only having five starts remaining. Depending on weather or any relief appearances, he could become the first 20-game winner since John Fritz won 20 games for Quad Cities 1992.

Ryan Buchter and Jeremy Papelbon each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the victory. Brandon Guyer had a pair of hits and three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hes batting .472 (25-for-53) with 19 RBIs during the streak. Russ Canzler had two hits and drove in a pair.

In other action, Tampa romped past Dayton, 8-3, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Jake Optiz had three hits and an RBI. Portland upended Iowa, 13-3, at Principal Park. Jeff Samardzija took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings. Micah Hoffpauir took his 18-game hitting streak to Chicago, having been called up when the Cubs placed Derrek Lee on the bereavement list. Hoffpauir, who is the reigning PCL Player of the Week, was hitting .413 (31-for-75) during the streak.

WHITE SOX

Charlotte (AAA)
Lucas Harrell bounced back from his worst Triple-A performance of the season on Tuesday, putting for a strong effort as Charlotte defeated Durham, 5-4, at Durham Athletic Park.

Harrell (10-9) allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings after allowing four runs in two innings of his last start on Aug. 5. He had considerable help from the pen as a trio of pitchers preserved the victory with Ryan Braun earning his 17th save despite allowing a ninth-inning run.

Brent Morel had three hits and drove in a pair while Jeremy Reed knocked in two with a two-run homer in the fourth inning.

Winston-Salem (A)
Brandon Shorts two-run triple in the sixth inning provided the margin of victory as the Dash downed Wilmington, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium.

The scored had been tied 3-3 when Short picked up his second triple in as many games. Jose Martinez also had a pair of hits and an RBI to make a winner of Charlis Burdie, who allowed a run in three innings.

Kannapolis (A)
The Intimidators closed out their homestand on a positive note Tuesday, defeating Hagerstown, 8-2, at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium. Kannapolis went 6-2 on the stand to draw to within four games of .500.

Brady Shoemaker had a pair of hits and drove in three. Hes hitting .412 over his last 109 games. Nick Ciolli added a pair of hits and drove in two allowing Andre Rienzo to pick up his eight win of the year and fifth in his last seven outings.

In other action, Bristol banged out 16 hits and romped by Danville, 8-3. Jeffer Patino had four of the hits and drove in one. He also scored three times. Chase Blackwood and Mike Schwartz (three RBIs) had three hits apiece. Jamaal Hollis improved to 3-0 after tossing three shutout innings. Sal Sanchezs second-inning grand slam paced Birmingham to a 7-3 victory over visiting Mississippi. Great Falls and Missoula were postponed due to weather with no makeup date set.

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

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen’s celebration for his 21st birthday coincided with another major honor, being selected to the All-Rookie First team.

Markkanen received 76 of 100 possible first-team votes to join Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma on the first team. Mitchell and Simmons were unanimous selections and Tatum was one vote short of joining Mitchell and Simmons.

Markkanen, acquired on draft night in the package of players for Jimmy Butler, showed he was far more advanced than many expected. His 15.2 points per game ranked third among rookies and his 7.5 rebounds were first.

Markkanen was a constant in a topsy-turvy season for the Bulls, scoring 30-plus twice and hitting the 25-point plateau another three times. As a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg’s offensive system, Markkanen had eight games where he hit four triples or more, including a game in New York where he drilled eight 3-pointers against the Knicks.

Only 15 rookies have hit more than 140 triples in NBA history, with Markkanen accomplishing the feat in 68 games—he was joined by Mitchell and Kuzma from this year’s star-studded class.

As the season progressed and Markkanen took hold of the power forward position, the Bulls began maneuvering personnel around him, trading disgruntled forward Nikola Mirotic and making a concerted effort to put Bobby Portis at center to pair Portis with Markkanen as a spread-shooting duo.

As the most impressive rookie the Bulls have employed since Derrick Rose, he’s also the first rookie since Taj Gibson in 2010 to make All-Rookie First Team.

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

The Chicago Bears have a really good problem in their backfield. Both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will demand touches in 2018 and are each starting-quality running backs. Howard is the more traditional first and second-down back while Cohen offers top-tier playmaking ability.

The duo is so talented that they were recently ranked the fourth-best backfield in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears' Jordan Howard has emerged as one of the NFL's top rushers. He finished his rookie season with 1,313 yards, second-most in the NFL. Last season, he rushed for 1,122 yards and 4.1 yards per carry even though Chicago had the league's least threatening passing attack (175.7 yards per game).

Howard isn't the only standout back on the roster, though. Tarik Cohen is a supremely talented runner and receiver and a perfect complement to Howard. Last season, he amassed 370 rushing yards, 53 receptions and 353 receiving yards.

The Bears' backfield was behind only the Rams, Saints and Chiefs.

Howard set Chicago's rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016 and became the first Bears running back to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He should be the Bears' primary back, but coach Matt Nagy expressed genuine excitement over Cohen's skill set which suggests he plans on getting him the ball quite a bit this season.

Regardless of how the touches play out, the Bears will present opposing defenses with one of the most challenging ground games in the NFL.