Cubs

On The Farm: Iowa Loses Marathon, Will Need To Win Finale To Reach Playoffs

On The Farm: Iowa Loses Marathon, Will Need To Win Finale To Reach Playoffs

Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
8:50 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

CUBSIowa AAA
The I-Cubs made a mighty comeback and almost pulled off a stunning victory Sunday at Principal Park but in the end, dropped an 8-7 decision in 15 innings to Memphis. The loss leaves the Redbirds a game back of Iowa with one game remaining in the regular season. That game will be played Monday with the winner clinching a berth in the Pacific Coast league playoffs.

Allen Craigs RBI single in the 15th off Jeff Gray gave Mondays game meaning. The Redbird had battered I-Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija, scoring four times in the first and three more in the third. Iowa rallied in the middle innings, though, tying the score at 7-7 on a Brad Snyder RBI single.

Iowa had a chance to win it in the ninth when Jason Dubois lined a one-out double to right. Bryan LaHair struck out, though, and after an intentional walk to Bobby Scales, Chris Robinson struck out to end the inning. The I-Cubs also had men on in the 10th, 12th and 15th innings but each time the rally fizzled.

Dubois was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. The Cubs used seven pitchers even after Samardzija gutted his way through six innings. Jay Jackson 11-8, 4.58 will face Evan MacLane 8-7, 4.35 in Mondays finale.
Daytona A
The Cubs finished out the regular season Sunday afternoon with a 6-0 victory over Lakeland at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Daytona, which was in the hunt for a playoff spot until the final week of the season, received a stellar effort on the mound from Robert Whitenack, who pitched his finest game in seven Florida State League outings. Whitenack went seven innings and allowed only two hits while striking out three.

Whiteknack finished the season on a 17-inning scoreless streak, ending with a 3-1 record and a 2.04 ERA with Daytona. Overall, he was 11-8 with a save and a 4.15 ERA while splitting time between Daytona and Peoria.

Ryan Flaherty was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. DJ Lemahieu added a pair of hits and finished with a .314 average and a six-game hitting streak. ... The Cubs finished with an overall record of 75-64 but were 41-28 in the second half.

In other action, playoff-bound Tennessee eked out a 3-2 victory over Carolina, scoring the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning on a fielders choice. Brett Jackson and Brandon Guyer each had a pair of hits. Guyer is batting .342, second in the Southern League. Chris Archer started and pitched two scoreless innings in his final playoff tuneup. James Leverton picked up the win.

WHITE SOXCharlotte AAA
Charlotte, looking to finish the regular season on a positive note, earned a victory in its penultimate game by defeating visiting Gwinnett, 5-1, at Knights Stadium.

Stefan Gartrell and Luis Rodrigues each had a homer and two RBIs. Gartrells homer was his 27th while Rodriguez went yard for the 15th time. Buck Coats drove in the other Charlotte run.

Freddy Dolsi 3-7 picked up his first victory since July 10 after allowing a run on five hits through six innings.

In other action, Winston-Salem saw its winning streak come to an end at nine games after it was swept in a twinbill by Sale, 3-0 and 8-1. The Dash magic number for winning the second half Southern Division title remains one with Mondays finale looming. The opener was played in 1:28, the shortest game for either team this season. Josh Phegley had a homer and three RBIs to lead Birmingham by Mississippi, 9-2. Justin Greene and Sal Sanchez also had homers while Henry Mabee pitched two scoreless innings for the win. ... Jose Vargas' two-run single in the 10th inning gave Kannapolis a 4-2 victory over playoff-bound Lakewood. Jordan Cheatham had three hits, including a pair of doubles. Orlando Santos earned the victory. ... Stephen McCray allowed a run over 5 23 innings to pick up the victory as Great Falls defeated Billings, 3-1.

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

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

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They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

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Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

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Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

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