Bulls

On The Farm: Iowa Hanging On In PCL American North Division

On The Farm: Iowa Hanging On In PCL American North Division

Sunday Aug. 29, 2010
Posted: 7:25 p.m.By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
The Barons banged out 20 hits and took out a seasons worth of frustration Sunday evening, trouncing Tennessee, 16-1, at Smokies Park. Birmingham scored seven runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to break open what had been a 2-1 game.

Tyler Kuhn had four hits, including a homer, and five RBIs. Cole Armstrong had two hits, including a fifth-inning grand slam, and five RBIs. Josh Phegley added two hits and an RBI.

Matt Long 7-8 picked up his first victory since Aug. 13, allowing a run on six hits over six innings.
Winston-Salem A
Drew Garcias RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning gave Winston-Salem a 5-4 victory over Myrtle Beach at BB&T Ballpark. Seth Loman slid home and beat the tag, which catcher Braeden Schlehuber couldnt apply because he dropped the ball. The victory gave the Dash a series sweep.

Charlis Burdie picked up the victory after the Pelicans tied the score with a run in the top of the ninth. Nick Ciolli had a pair of hits, including his first Carolina League homer, and an RBI. Jon Gilmore also had a homer and drove in two. RHP Taylor Thompson was promoted to Winston-Salem from low-A Kannapolis. The former Auburn Tigers was 0-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 19 appearances between the Intimidators and Great Falls.
Bristol Rookie
The Sox swept a doubleheader at Kingsport, taking the opener, 4-3, at Hunter Wright Stadium before topping the Mets in the nightcap, 3-1.

Bristol scored four times in the seventh inning to rally in the opener. The Sox parlayed back-to-back walks to lead off the inning into four runs. Drew Lee brought in a run with a sacrifice fly, Daniel Black doubled in a run, Rangel Ravelo tripled in a run before Robert Cummings closed things off with a run-scoring single.

Spencer Arroyo 7-2 went the distance, striking out five. He allowed all three runs in the fourth inning.

Spencer Shelton 2-1 tossed six shutout innings in the nightcap. He struck out five and gave up only three hits. Jeffer Patino had two hits and drove in a run.

In other action, Durham outlasted Charlotte, 8-5, at Knights Stadium. Chris Richards three-run homer in the seventh inning off Greg Aquino was the difference for the Bulls. Dayan Viciedo had a pair of hits while Brent Morel had a solo homer. The victory was Durhams franchise record 84th at the Triple-A level. ... Ryan Hamme and Andy Wilkins each drove in a pair of runs to propel Great Falls to a 9-5 victory over visiting Ogden. Charlie Delk 6-3 won his second consecutive start.
CUBSIowa AAA
The I-Cubs maintained their slim lead in the PCLs American North Division on Sunday with an 8-7 victory at Omaha. Iowa remains a half game ahead of Memphis, which also won on Sunday. The I-Cubs have nine games remaining in the regular season and finish with four games at home against Memphis.

Iowa rallied for four ninth-inning runs in Sunday to remain in first. Brad Snyders two-run, two-out single was the rallys first big hit before Jason Dubois two-run double finished off the rally and pushed Omaha 3 games back of the I-Cubs. Snyder and Dubois each had three hits.

Despite giving up three runs in 1 13 innings, Jeff Gray picked up the victory.
Daytona A
The Cubs gained some ground in the Florida State Leagues North Division race on Sunday with a 6-1 victory over Lakeland at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Brooks Raley 8-6 allowed a run over 6 23 innings to pick up his second consecutive victory. He hasnt lost since July 10. Evan Crawford had a triple and two RBIs.

In other action, Tennessee got trounced by visiting Birmingham, 16-1. TyRelle Harris allowed seven runs in four innings before Jeremy Papelbon gave up six runs in 13 of an inning. Still, the Smokies wrapped up the second half Southern League North Division title. They also won the first half and will host four games in the opening round of the playoffs as a result. Peoria split a doubleheader with Clinton, rallying for a 2-1 victory in the nightcap to salvage a split at OBrien Field. Clinton won the opener, 6-2. Anthony Giansantis RBI single in the seventh provided the margin of victory in the second game. Brett Wallach took the loss, allowing two runs in four innings of the opener to fall to 0-3 since coming over from the Dodgers. He had been 6-0 with Great Lakes.

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

Lauri Markkanen's struggles are a daily storyline, but the solve isn't simple

Lauri Markkanen's struggles are a daily storyline, but the solve isn't simple

MILWAUKEE — When Thad Young played for the Pacers, this was, according to Young, that team’s scouting report on Lauri Markkanen:

“He’s a guy who can score in different levels of the game. He can shoot the midrange. He can take you off the dribble and do his hanging fade to get his shot off. Or he can step behind the line and tee up some 3s,” Young said. “So we tried to keep him seeing bodies so he wouldn’t take the ball from one side to the other.”

Markkanen’s struggles — and the Bulls’ usage of him — is becoming an almost daily storyline. It certainly dominated Monday’s postgame questioning after the Bulls dropped to 1-18 versus winning teams with a 111-98 loss to the Bucks.

For the second time in three games, Markkanen failed to score in the second half. Seven of his 11 attempts came from 3-point range — all of which he missed. His eight points came from two putbacks and four free throws.

That’s it.

“He missed some shots he normally makes. That happens,” coach Jim Boylen said. “I thought he was moving well. He had a couple great cuts to the basket, opportunities at the rim. That’s what we want from him — inside, outside.”

But that’s not happening enough. Fifty-three percent of Markkanen’s attempts this season have been 3-pointers. That’s up 11.5 percent from last season and 4.1 percent from his rookie season.

Too often, Markkanen is being relegated to playing as a stationary, 3-point shooter and not the dynamic, multifaceted scorer for whom Young’s Pacers teams prepared.

“Yeah, I think I can do a lot of good things besides just shoot threes,’’ Markkanen said. “Haven’t really been able to do that lately. Just have to figure out the way I can attack the rim more and get to the free-throw line. I need to figure out my spots.”

This is not meant to fully absolve Markkanen, who has indeed missed open looks consistently this season. For the second straight game, Markkanen joked about how Boylen called a play for him on the first possession, only for Markkanen to turn it over.

Markkanen also again acknowledged the sore left ankle he is playing through as he tries to reach his well documented goal of playing all 82 games. Markkanen called the ankle “not normal but getting there” and also shook off banging knees with Donte DiVincenzo that left him running hobbled for a few possessions.

Markkanen said he has no problem talking to Boylen about his usage and, as is his nature, looked inward.

“We’ve talked about it. He ran some plays for me. I turned it over. He does run some stuff for me. I just have to make the plays,” he said. “If you shoot the ball like [I have], you don’t really deserve touches. Can’t really complain.

“When you’re feeling it and actually making shots, it would be good to get closer to the rim and kind of keep it going. A lot of our plays I screen and pop.’’

The Bulls tied their franchise record with 48 3-point attempts. Boylen said that was the gameplan since opponents averaged 40 3-point attempts and 17.5 makes in the Bucks’ mere six losses.

Never mind that even if the Bulls hadn’t gone ice cold in the second half to finish with 14 makes that adding 3.5 more makes would’ve still left them on the losing end. The Markkanen problem is bigger than a math problem.

“I think the system complements him to the point where he has a lot of freedom to do different things,” Young said. “If he’s open, he takes a 3. If he’s not, he tries to make a play. He’s doing the best he can, just like me and any other guy on this roster. He has to continue to believe in what we’re doing.”

Markkanen now has nine single-digit scoring games after posting just four last season. He has nine 20-point games after registering 22 last season.

This is a huge season for Markkanen not only because his success is tied into the success of the Bulls’ rebuild but also because he’ll be eligible for an extension of his rookie contract following this season.

“I know he’s going to work. And he cares. He has high character,” Boylen said. “I believe in him. And our team believes in him.”

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Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich puts Nolan Arenado trade talks to bed

nolan_arenado.jpg
USA TODAY

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich puts Nolan Arenado trade talks to bed

Were you hoping the Cubs could pull off a miraculous deal for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado? If so, at ease.

In an interview with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich squashed any chance of Arenado getting dealt this winter.

“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that,” Bridich told Saunders. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.

“So, we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that.”

There you have it.

The chances of the Cubs swinging an Arenado deal were always slim-to-none. The 28-year-old signed a lucrative contract extension with Colorado last February and is still owed $234 million through 2026. The Cubs have money coming off the books each of the next few seasons, but they would have had to clear payroll to acquire Arenado this offseason.

Furthermore, it’s questionable if the Cubs would have put together an enticing enough package for the Rockies. Chicago's farm system has grown barren through the years, and now that it’s slowly improving, it wouldn’t have made sense to trade prospects away.

Monday’s news isn’t completely bad for Cubs fans. The Cardinals were also reportedly interested in Arenado, and Bridich’s statement means St. Louis won’t be acquiring Arenado anytime soon, either.

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