Bears

Sometimes You Feel Like A McNutt, Sometimes You Don't

Sometimes You Feel Like A McNutt, Sometimes You Don't

Tuesday April 26, 2011
Posted: 10:00 p.m.

CUBS
Tennessee AA
The Smokies have been getting recognition all season for their bats but Tuesday night Trey McNutt deserved some attention for the way he gutted through five innings for his first victory of the season in a 6-1 victory at Jacksonville.

McNutt 1-1 allowed only one run in his five innings of works but surrendered seven hits and issued a walk, skating in and out of trouble on more than one occasion before the bullpen locked up the Suns with four scoreless innings.

Tennessee broke the game open with a four-run third inning. Matt Spencer and Rebel Ridling had RBI doubles before Steve Clevenger and Blake Lalli added RBI singles. Ridling extended his hitting streak to seven games and pushed his average to .424 in the process. Hes 14-for-31 .452 on the current road trip, which concludes Wednesday afternoon.
Iowa AAA
Memphis scored three times in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday afternoon at Auto Zone Park to rally past Iowa, 4-3. Nick Stavinohas RBI single brought in the winning run, making a loser of John Gaub.

Lou Montanez had two hits and an RBI. Hes hitting .435 and has driven in 26 this season. He has reached base safely in 17 of 18 games.
Peoria A
Arismendy Alcantara stayed hot and Austin Kirk had his second consecutive solid outing Tuesday night as Peoria bounced Clinton, 10-1, at Alliant Energy Field.

Alcantara extended his hitting streak to six games with a pair of hits. He also drove in four runs as did Tony Giansanti. Alcantara his hitting .500 11-for-22 during the streak with 12 RBIs. Rohan was 3-for-5 and has eight hits in his last 15 at-bats, pushing his average to .358.

Kirk 2-1, meanwhile, allowed a run and struck out six over six innings, his longest outing of the season.

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash have struggled through much of the latter half of April but found some solace Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark, topping Frederick, 3-2, for just their second victory in the last nine games.

Winston-Salem scored three seventh-inning runs to take the lead. Jared Mitchells two-run single tied the score at 2-2 before he was thrown out attempting to steal second. Ian Gac walked and then went to third on an Andy Wilkins double before Jason Bour brought him home with a fielders choice.

Jose Martinez finished with a pair of hits and is hitting .397. Addison Reed, making his second appearance of the season with the Dash after coming up from Kannapolis, pitched two scoreless innings for his first victory. Taylor Thompson went 1 13 innings for his first save.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators had their biggest offensive output of the season Tuesday night, pounding host Lexington, 13-6.

Kannapolis jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings with Trayce Thompsons three-run homer in the second providing the big blow. It was his team-leading sixth of the season. Kyle Eveland added a three-run homer of his own in the seventh. Jake Petricka improved to 2-0 after allowing four runs in five innings.

In other action, Charlotte saw its losing streak stretch to five games as it dropped an 8-5 decision to ScrantonWilkes-Barre at Knights Stadium. Dayan Viciedo had a homer and three RBIs for the Knights. Huntsville bested Birmingham, 7-3, at Joe Davis Stadium. Charlie Leesman struck out eight over six shutout innings before Nate Jones surrendered seven runs in a third of an inning to take the loss and waste Leesmans effort.

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.