Cubs

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.

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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