Bears

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.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

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AP

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

Don't tell Wendell Carter Jr. the center position is a dying breed.

The 19-year-old rookie hasn't exactly been able to ease into the NBA, finding himself up against a handful of All-Stars and powerful frontcourts just five days into his career.

It culminated Monday night with a date against Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, and once again the seventh overall pick held his own. It was much of the same as it was against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Detroit's Andre Drummond last week (and Nikola Jokic in the preseason finale): some good, some bad, plenty of poise and zero backing down. The NBA is unforgiving, but this could very well be the toughest stretch Carter faces all season.

"He’s playing against top level centers now," Fred Hoiberg said before Monday's game. "It’s a great experience for him. He’s going to learn and get better and he plays within himself, we will continue to look for him to be more aggressive."

He was as aggressive as the Bulls have seen him against Jordan and the Mavericks. He blew by the 20 and 18 minutes he played in the first two games of the year, totalling 32 minutes. His final line won't tell the story - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block - of a Carter who defended well at the rim, picking and choosing his spots on when to attack shots and when to simply use his verticality.

He wasn't credited for a block but he contested a Jordan dunk that turned into a Bobby Portis dunk on the other end. Plus-minus isn't always a good indicator of a player's worth, but Carter was a +5 in a 14-point Bulls loss. He even attempted a corner 3-pointer early in the shot clock, showing no hesitation. Carter's had his moments, but it's also apparent he's got a 19-year-old body going up against veterans each night. That'll come with time in the weight room. For now the experience is 

"I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early in my career," Carter said after the loss to the Pistons. "What I need to work on is I have to get stronger; that’s the first thing I recognize; just being up against the best. I love the competition. It’s always a great feeling going against the best."

What the Bulls are finding out is they have a player mature beyond his years. As he progresses he'll continue to get more difficult assignments. He had his rookie moment late in Monday's loss, committing a turnover in the backcourt after the Bulls had cut the deficit to five with 35 seconds left. The fouls are also an issue, as Carter has committed 10 in three games (after committing 17 in five preseason games).

That doesn't necessarily seem important for a Lottery-bound team, but considering the continued struggles of Robin Lopez (and Cristiano Felicio is entirely out of the rotation) it is. Lopez had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes while committing five personal fouls. In three games he has 11 personal fouls and 11 points, and also has more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four). If the Bulls are going to compete until Lauri Markkanen returns, Carter will need to hover around the 32 minutes he played Monday.

He'll get a much easier test on Wednesday when the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town. Cody Zeller doesn't exactly have the credentials of a Jokic or Embiid, meaning Carter may have a little more room to work. 

The Bulls know they have something in Carter. It'll be abother month until they can deploy him alongside Markkanen, but if the first three games are any indication, Carter won't have any problems matching up with some of the league's best.