Cubs

St. Francis' Bosch commits to Michigan

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St. Francis' Bosch commits to Michigan

Kyle Bosch, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman from Wheaton St. Francis, has become the first member of what is being characterized as one of the most talented classes in the history of high school football in Illinois to make an oral commitment.

During a campus visit on Saturday, Bosch announced he will attend Michigan. He had 23 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Stanford, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Missouri, Miami, Illinois and Northwestern. In the end, he said, he chose Michigan over Michigan State and Stanford.

"It felt so right," Bosch said. "I visited several schools and I was all over the place. The recruiting began to be a little overwhelming. It was time to make a decision. I had to put my foot down. I finally decided that I wanted to be a Michigan Man.

"The coaches, staff, academics, football, tradition, everything they have to offer. I didn't get that gut feeling anywhere else in the country. In the end, it came down to academics. It just felt so right. I'm so excited to be a Michigan Wolverine. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else."

"Michigan did the best job of recruiting him," said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. "He is a legitimate four-star plus player. He is consistent, athletic, versatile, technically sound and has great feet. He impressed everyone when he went their college camps."

Bosch was recruited by Michigan receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski, a former quarterback at Palatine who was USA Today's Player of the Year in 1992, and offensive line coach Darrell Funk, who made 17 visits to Wheaton St. Francis over the past year.

"They have recruited Bosch for a year," Lemming said. "Why did he decide to commit so early? He got overwhelmed. There was a lot of pressure on him. He committed to a school while attending an event. But I don't think anyone would say that he made a bad decision. He is a Big 10 player."

Bosch is the first member of the class of 2013 in Illinois to made a commitment. Curiously, he is one of three nationally ranked offensive linemen from the state to be offered by Michigan. The others are Lemont's Ethan Pocic and Peoria Manual's Logan Tuley-Tillman, who has made five visits to the Ann Arbor campus.

Lemming ranks Bosch as one of the top five prospects in the Chicago area. He is ranked No. 44 in the country by one recruiting service and No. 60 by another. One service compared him to former Michigan All-American tackle Jeff Backus. Bosch already has been invited to participate in the second annual Semper Fidelis all-star football game next January in Phoenix,
Arizona.

A year ago, Lemming called Bosch "the best sophomore lineman he had seen since Chance Carter," the former Loyola star who currently is at Northwestern. Lemming and long-time observers of high school football in Illinois said Bosch, as a freshman, was the best young prospect since Evanston's Howard Jones.

"He is the best young offensive lineman I've had in 30 years," said Wheaton St. Francis coach Greg Purnell. "He has the most big-time potential of anyone I've seen. He has an intensity level that I have never seen in a big guy. He plays with an edge. He can play on Sunday."

At the Junior Rank camp in Chicago in January, recruiting analyst Allen Trieu of Scout said Bosch stood out among all underclass linemen. "He is ahead of the curve and really impressive. He has excellent technique, is strong and plays mean and physical," Trieu said.

Recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt of Rivals said Bosch "stood out because he is well ahead of his years technically." He reportedly went undefeated in one-on-one pass blocking drills at the Junior Rank camp.

Hecklinski and Funk liked what they saw early on. Michigan extended an offer last October. Bosch visited the campus in September for the MichiganNotre Dame game and was very impressed with what he experienced.

"Ann Arbor is beautiful," he said at the time. "Their academics are among the best in the country."

Bosch isn't the only Illinois product that Michigan is recruiting. Pocic, Tuley-Tillman, running back Ty Isaac of Joliet Catholic and wide receiver LaQuon Treadwell of Crete-Monee also have been offered.

Isaac, Illinois' Player of the Year in 2011, has more than 20 offers, including Michigan, Ohio State, USC, Auburn, Tennessee, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arkansas.

Kris Bryant's injury looms large as Cubs finish home stand in underwhelming fashion

Kris Bryant's injury looms large as Cubs finish home stand in underwhelming fashion

There are 162 baseball games in a season and some days, you’re just not going to have it. On Sunday afternoon, in a 10-2 loss to the Reds, the Cubs just didn’t have it. 

“It’s already in the trash can...” Maddon said. “... so let’s flush it out and move on.” 

Things were bleak from the very first at-bat of the game, when Kyle Schwarber took a 3-2 fastball looking for one of his three strikeouts on the day. Anthony Rizzo was the only starter not to strike out at least once, as the Cubs’ finished with 11. Reds starter Tanner Roark was responsible for 9 of them, his season-high. 

Things weren’t much better on the basepaths or in the field. Besides making two errors, Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at the plate in the 2nd inning and David Bote got doubled-up at first after drawing a walk in the 6th. The Cubs were playing playing their 13th game in 13 days, and it showed.

“I feel really good about how we’ve been playing until today,” Maddon said. “This whole month we’ve been in almost every game except for this one, and maybe the [7-0 loss on May 10th] against Milwaukee. There’s not a whole lot to be upset about, and I’m not. I just want to make sure everyone’s well moving forward.” 

There was a scary moment in the 6th inning, as Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward collided in the right field gap while trying to make a play on a fly ball from Eugenio Suarez. Bryant was slow to get up and eventually had to leave the game. He’s still being evaluated for a head/neck injury, and the Cubs don’t yet know if he’ll go into concussion protocol. For what it's worth, Bryant was cleared to fly with the team. 

“He’s doing okay,” he said. “He’s still under evaluation. We don’t know exactly what we’re doing with this whole thing yet, but we’re trying to talk with the doctors and find out exactly where we’re at.”

“We collided, and I called for the ball,” Heyward added. “We were both going hard to make a play and ran into each other.”

The loss dropped starter Jose Quintana to 4-4 on the season. Quintana went 5.1 innings while allowing six runs on 12 hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Despite relatively weak contact, the Reds hit well all weekend. Their 42 hits over three games was the most for them in a three-game series at Wrigley since 1976, and they finished the weekend with a .404 BABIP. 

“Yeah, I just had to keep pitching, you know?” Quintana said. “Keeping my focus. It was really tough - too many base hits. In some contests that happens. I just try to stay close in the game.” 

The Cubs finished their 7-game homestand at 3-4, and now hit the road for a two-city trip. Up first comes the 35-19 Astros, who are 20-7 at home. This season Houston ranks first in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, and third in home runs. Their closer, Ryan Pressley, has the lowest ERA of all qualified relievers and is fresh off a streak of 40 straight scoreless appearances.

“I’m excited,” Joe Maddon said before Sunday’s game. “Let’s get by today, but I’m excited for the whole week. Look at our schedule - it’s been pretty firm, and it continues to be pretty firm. And that’s the way it should be. I’m looking forward to it.” 

Kris Bryant leaves Sunday's game after outfield collision with Jason Heyward

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Scott Chagnon/NBC Sports Chicago

Kris Bryant leaves Sunday's game after outfield collision with Jason Heyward

Add injury to insult for the Cubs. 

In the top of the 6th inning, with the Cubs already down 6 runs, right fielder Kris Bryant left the game after colliding with Jason Heyward in the outfield.

You can check out the video right here. 

It's possible that the move was simply precautionary. The Cubs are on their 13th game in 13 days, and being down six runs in the latter half of a getaway game isn't the time to roll the dice. That said, Bryant missing time would be a significant blow, as the Cubs' star is in the midst of a stellar season. Through 49 games, Bryant's slashing .288/.411/.576 with a .987 and a 160 wRC+. As of Sunday afternoon, only Javy Baez has a higher WAR (2.5) than Bryant (2.4). 

There's been no further announcement on the extent of Bryant's injury.