Bears

On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010
10:15 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOX
Winston-Salem (A)
Seth Loman closed out July on a hot streak and has opened August in the same fashion. He had yet another big evening on Tuesday as Winston-Salem defeated Wilmington, 8-5, at BB&T Ballpark.

The victory was the Dashs 37th at home this season, tops in the Carolina League and tied for second-best overall in the minor leagues. Loman helped pad that mark by going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Loman has 71 RBIs and is the owner of a five-game hitting streak during which he is batting .450 (9-for-2) with nine RBIs.

Brandon Short hit his 15th homer of the season and drove in his 72nd run. Joe Serafin picked up his first Carolina League victory in five starts, allowing four runs on nine hits over six innings.

Bristol (Rookie)
The Sox received a brilliant pitching performance from trio of hurlers Tuesday night as they blanked Burlington, 3-0.

Matt Heidenreich started and earned the victory, allowing three hits in seven innings while fanning four. Josh Billeaud and Kevin Moran (sixth save) each pitched a scoreless inning. Drew Lee had three hits and an RBI, giving Bristol all it would need with a run-scoring double in the third.

Kannapolis (A)
The Intimidators scored a pair of eighth-inning runs as a result of a Greenville throwing error and that was the difference in their 6-4 victory at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium.

Ryan Hamme and Miguel Gonzalez scored on an Arquimedes Caminero error. Jose Vargas paced the offense the rest of the evening with three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs. Zach Piccola earned the win, his first of the season.

In other action, Birmingham dropped a 5-0 decision at Jacksonville. The Barons managed only six hits as they remain on course to challenge many of the Southern League records for futility. They need to win 11 of their final 32 games to avoid tying the 1967 Knoxville Smokies (47 wins) for the fewest wins in a Southern League season. They need to win 12 games to avoid equaling Carolinas 1992 mark for most losses in a season (92).

CHARLOTTE (AAA)
The Knights saw Carlos Torres get promoted to the White Sox on Tuesday and it threw their whole rotation into flux. The result was six pitchers taking the mound for Charlotte in a 12-10 loss to Rochester at Knights Stadium.

Freddy Dolsi started and allowed four runs on two hits in an inning. Miguel Socolovich then allowed two runs in two innings before Randy Williams stabilized everything by throwing three shutout innings. The Wings, however, touched Jhonny Nunez for three runs in an inning and Jon Adkins for three runs in an inning to complete their offensive outburst.

The Knights did manage 10 runs on 11 hits, scoring five times in both the third and seventh innings. Brent Morel hit a seventh-inning grand slam while Stefan Gartrell had a three-run homer in the third. Fernando Cortez was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. ... Torres was returned to Charlotte following his start for the Sox on Tuesday.

CUBS

The Cubs top four affiliates struggle Tuesday night with each coming out on the losing end. Daytona was bested by Bradenton, 11-5, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Robert Whitenack took the loss in his Florida State League debut, allowing six runs in four innings. DJ LeMahieu had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games. Peoria was on the losing end of a 5-1 decision at Wisconsin. The Chiefs managed only three hits. Outfielder Matt Szczur was placed on the temporarily inactive list while he returns to Villanova for his senior season of football. Outfielder Anthony Giansanti was moved up from mesa while infielder Brandon May joined the team from Boise. Oklahoma City scored four fifth-inning runs and topped Iowa, 5-1, at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. J.R. Mathes allowed all five runs. Jake Muyco, who was bumped up from Tennessee prior to the game, pitched two scoreless innings. The Smokies activated LHP Ryan Buchter off the DL prior to their 3-2 loss at Montgomery.

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.