Blackhawks

On The Farm: Charlotte Literally Walks Off With A Win

On The Farm: Charlotte Literally Walks Off With A Win

Friday, Aug. 20, 2010
Posted: 12:05 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXCharlotte AAA
Charlotte snapped its five-game losing streak Thursday night at Knights Stadium, topping Gwinnett, 4-3, with a pair of ninth-inning runs.

The Knights were down to their last out when Braves closer Craig Kimbrell fanned Rob Hudson for the final out. He reached first, however, on a dropped third strike. Alejandro De Aza then drew a walk to tie the game before Buck Coats worked out a game-winning walk in a 10-pitch at-bat.

Randy Williams earned the victory after throwing a scoreless ninth inning. He was one of four relievers who kept the Braves off the board after Brandon Hynick allowed three runs in five innings.
Birmingham AA
Christian Marreros RBI single in the eighth inning lifted the Barons to a 4-3 victory over Huntsville Thursday night.

Marrero had two hits and two RBIs but the latter of the two put Greg Infante in position to win his second game. Anthony Carter pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.
In other action, Bristol at Bluefield was postponed because of weather, Hickorys game at Kannapolis was postponed because of weather and Winston-Salems twinbill with Salem was post-poned because the field was deemed unplayable as a result of rain. Orem scored twice in the bottom of the ninth and defeated Great Falls, 8-7. Nelson Curry not only blew the save but took the loss after allowing both runs. Mike Blanke had a hit and an RBI for the Voyagers.
CUBSIowa AAA
Matt Camps two-run double capped a ninth-inning rally Thursday night as Iowa squeaked by Sacramento, 7-5, at Raley Field.

Robinson Chirinos negotiated a two-out walk and then went to third as Marquez Smith reached on an error. Camp then doubled them home off Justin James to break a 5-5 tie. Camp finished with four RBIs. Brian Schlitter earned the victory after tossing two no-hit innings. He also extended his scoreless inning streak to six over his last four appearances.
Tennessee AA
Russ Canzler brought home Tony Thomas in the bottom of the 10th on a fielders choice Thursday night to lift Tennessee past Mississippi, 5-4, at Smokies Park.

The Braves held a 4-0 lead before the Smokies rallied for four runs in the sixth. Matt Spencers two-run homer capped the outburst and set the stage for the 10th inning action. Brandon Guyer saw his hitting streak come to an end at 18 games.

Kyle Smit, whom the Cubs picked up from the Dodgers at the trading deadline, improved to 3-0 with Tennessee by pitching three hitless innings. TyRelle Harris, whom Chicago acquired earlier in the week from the Braves, pitched two scoreless innings in his Cub debut.

In other action, Peoria saw its four-game winning streak fall by the wayside as Burlington earned a 7-2 victory at OBrien Field. Justin Bour had three hits and an RBI, snapping a 28 at-bat streak without driving in a run. Despite a big effort on the mound from Brooks Raley, Daytona dropped a 3-1 decision at Dunedin, dropping the Cubs two games behind Tampa in the Florida State Leagues North Division. Raley allowed four hits over 5 13 scoreless innings and left with a 1-0 lead before the pen allowed three seventh-inning runs. Mark Reed had a pair of hits for the Cubs. Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits and two RBIs to lead the AZL Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Athletics. Alvaro Sosa tossed 3 13 scoreless, no-hit innings to pick up the win.

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

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.

The Cubs are in a way better spot than they were a year ago

The Cubs are in a way better spot than they were a year ago

ST. LOUIS — It's night and day watching the 2018 Cubs compared to the 2017 version.

Even with the injury to Javy Baez Sunday night, the Cubs are in a way better spot now than they were a year ago.

On June 17 of last season, the Cubs sat at 33-34 with a run differential of just +6.

They looked flat more often than not. "Hangover" was the word thrown around most and it was true — the Cubs really did have a World Series hangover.

They admit that freely and it's also totally understandable. Not only did they win one of the most mentally and physically draining World Series in history, but they also ended a 108-year championship drought and the weight of that accomplishment was simply staggering. 

The 2018 iteration of the Cubs are completely different. 

Even though they didn't finish off the sweep of their division rivals in St. Louis Sunday night, they're still only a half-game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central and for the best record in the league. A +95 run differential paced the NL and sat behind only the Houston Astros (+157), Boston Red Sox (+102) and New York Yankees (+98) in the AL.

Through 67 games, the Cubs sat at 40-27, 13 games above .500 compared to a game below .500 at the same point last summer.

What's been the main difference?

"Energy," Joe Maddon said simply. "Coming off the World Series, it was really hard to get us kickstarted. It was just different. I thought the fatigue generated from the previous two years, playing that deeply into the year. A lot of young guys on the team last year.

"We just could not get it kickstarted. This year, came out of camp with a fresher attitude. Not like we've been killing it to this point; we've been doing a lot better, but I didn't even realize that's the difference between last year and this year.

"If anything, I would just pinpoint it on energy."

Of course the physical component is easy to see. The Cubs played past Halloweeen in 2016 and then had so many demands for street namings and talk shows and TV appearances and Disney World and on and on. That would leave anybody exhausted with such a shortened offseason.

There's also the mental component. The Cubs came into 2018 with a chip on their shoulder after running into a wall in the NLCS last fall against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have a renewed focus and intensity.

But there's still plenty of room for more. The Cubs aren't happy with the best record and run differential in the NL. They know they still haven't fully hit their stride yet, even amidst a 24-13 stretch over the last five weeks.

"I think we've been pretty consistent," Jon Lester said. "We've had some ups and downs on both sides of the ball as far as pitching and hitting. But the biggest thing is our bullpen and our defense has been pretty solid all year.

"That's kept us in those games. When we do lose — you're gonna have the anomalies every once in a while and get blown out — we're in every single game. It's all we can do. Keep grinding it out.

"Our offense will be fine. Our defense and the back end of our bullpen has done an unbelievable job of keeping us in these games. And if we contribute as a starting five, even better. 

"You have the games where our guys get feeling sexy about themselves and score some runs. That's where the snowball effect and we get on that little bit of a run. I feel like we've been on a few runs, it just hasn't been an extended period of time. I don't have any concerns as far as inside this clubhouse."

Lester hit the nail on the head. The Cubs sit at this point with only 1 win from Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood struggling with command and low power numbers from several guys including Kris Bryant.

Throw in the fact that Joe Maddon's Cubs teams always seem to get into a groove in August and September when they're fresher and "friskier" than the rest of the league and this team is currently in very good shape for the remainder of the year. 

If they can get 3 wins away from the World Series after going 33-34, the sky should be the limit for a 2018 squad that's in a much better position 67 games in.