Cubs

On The Farm: McNutt Keeps Daytona Close To First

On The Farm: McNutt Keeps Daytona Close To First

Thursday Aug. 19, 2010
Posted: 8:45 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS Daytona A
The Cubs blew by host Dunedin Wednesday night, 9-3, picking up a game on first place Tampa in the FSL North Division in the process. Tampa lost at home to Clearwater and now leads Daytona by a game.

Trey McNutt 4-0 was the dominant force for Daytona, pitching six shutout innings while allowing only one hit. He fanned six to improve to 10-0 on the year after starting out by going 6-0 at Peoria. McNutt has pitched shutout ball in three of his last four starts.

Casey Lambert added two scoreless innings of relief before the Jays touched up Oswaldo Martinez for three ninth-inning runs.

Ryan Flaherty had four hits, including a homer, and three RBIs while Rebel Ridling added four hits. D.J. LeMahieu had three hits.

Boise Short-Season A
The Hawks went deep three times in a 4-1 victory over visiting Everett at Memorial Stadium. The outburst marked the first time since July 15, 2007 that Boise hit more than two homers in a game.

Richard Jones gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the third inning but broke out the big lumber in the fourth as Ryan Cuneo and Jeff Vigurs each hit solo homers. For Vigurs, it was the first of his career. Jones added a solo homer in the fifth.

Austin Kirk allowed a run on four hits over five innings to pick up his fourth win of the year,
Peoria A
The Chiefs stretched their winning streak to four games Wednesday night, topping Burlington, 5-2, at OBrien Field.

Peoria scored three times in the seventh inning to break open what had been a close game. Anthony Giansanti and Logan Watkins had RBI singles in the inning. Nick Struck picked up his eight victory and is 6-0 in his last seven appearances after allowing two runs in five innings. Justin Bour drew his seventh intentional walk of the year, tying him for fourth all-time on the Chiefs single-season list with several players, including Albert Pujols. Daric Barton holds the franchise record with 10.
In other action, Eric Duncans RBI single in the 10th inning gave Mississippi a 7-6 victory over Tennessee at Smokies Park. The Braves had scored four eight-inning runs, tying the score at 6-6. Brandon Guyer had a pair of hits, including a homer and two RBIs, to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Hes batting .471 33-for-70 with five homers and 24 RBIs during the streak. Iowa dropped its second straight at Sacramento, losing a 4-2 decision at Raley Field. Austin Bibens-Dirkx had his first Triple-A setback, giving up four runs on 10 hits in six innings to take the loss. Brad Snyder drove in his 88th run, extending his career high. The AZL Cubs dropped an 8-1 decision to the Padres.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Rain wrecked havoc with the Dash again on Wednesday but they did manage to finish one game, earning a victory in the process. Winston-Salem topped Salem, 4-3, in 14 innings, which was the completion of a Tuesday night washout.

The second and regularly scheduled game was stopped in the fourth inning because of the weather with the Red Sox leading, 1-0. That game will be finished on Thursday followed by a seven-inning affair.

Ozzie Lewis drew a one-out walk in the 14th and then went to third on a Logan Johnson single. Andrew Garcias sacrifice fly then brought Lewis home to end the marathon. Hector Santiago pitched 1 13 scoreless innings for the win.
In other action, Durham handled Charlotte, 5-1, at Knights Stadium, stretching the hosts losing streak to five games. The Bulls magic number for clinching a division title is four. Carlos Torres allowed four runs on eight hits over 5 23 innings. Brent Morel went 2-for-4 and is hitting .421 over his last nine games 16-for-38. Birmingham reached new lows in an already dismal season, dropping a 17-4 decision to visiting Huntsville. The 17 runs and 22 hits allowed were season highs while the 13-run loss was the worst of the year for the Barons. Josh Phegley was 2-for-5 in his Birmingham debut. Orem exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning Wednesday night to stun visiting Great Falls, 12-3. Mike Blanke was 3-for-4 and is hitting .412 over his last nine games. Mother Nature and Hickory got the best of Kannapolis as the Crawdads earned a 7-4 victory at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium. The game, which lasted more than three hours, also included a lengthy rain delay. Ryan Buch suffered his first Sally League loss after giving up four runs on seven hits in four innings. Tyler Saladino had a solo homer for the Intimidators.

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

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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