About Last Night – April 17, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Highlights) (VIDEO)

Here are the minor league highlights from last night.

Bijan Rademacher wins it for the Smokies!

Dan Vogelbach with his third hit of game two.

Shawon Dunston Jr. drives in a run.

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Riding the Bus: April 17, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

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FRIDAY • APRIL 17, 2015

 Tennessee Smokies 4-17 Final

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The Pelicans didn’t get much in this one, but thanks to Daury Torrez it was enough for a win.   Trailing 1-0, the Pelicans scored three times in the second inning to take a 3-1 en route to a 3-2 victory.  There were chances all over the base paths in this one, but the Pelicans could only go 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, hurts less when you win though.

At the Plate:

  • Billy McKinney is off to a slow start this year, but had a solid game, he was 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Jeimer Candelario was a big factor in the win, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored.
  • Jacob Rogers has been really good this year, he was again tonight, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Daniel Lockhart continues his hot start, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and an RBI, he’s now hitting .368 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Daury Torrez got the start and was pretty good despite some command issues, he worked five innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking three, and striking out four.
  • James Pugliese turned in a solid relief effort, he tossed 2.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out two.
  • Matt Brazis worked the final inning and two-thirds to pick up his first save of the season, he walked two, and struck out one.

South Bend 4-17 Final

 

Full Box Score

Offensive explosion for South Bend in this one as they pounded out fourteen hits, and scored eleven run to take care of Fort Wayne 11-3.  Four different Cubs had multi-hit games, and they were 5-for-21 with runners in scoring position, if you get twenty one opportunities with runners in scoring position you should win.  It was 11-0 in the 5th inning so Cubs pitchers had an easy go of it, and cruised through the rest of this one.

At the Plate:

  • Chesny Young had an interesting night, he was 1-for-2 with FOUR walks, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Gioskar Amaya had a solid game, he was 1-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Cael Brockmeyer is on fire right now (not literally), he went 3-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .467 on the season.
  • Jason Volser had a productive day, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Jeffrey Baez and the bottom of the order did some work tonight, Baez was 3-for-5 with a run scored.
  • The eight hitter Charcer Burks finished the night 2-for-5 with two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • The ninth hitter Rashad Crawford was 2-for-5 with two RBI’s, and two runs scored in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Erick Leal got the start, and was pretty solid.  Leal worked five innings, giving up one run on six hits while walking two, and striking out three.
  • Jordan Minch was knocked around a bit out of the pen, he tossed two innings, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Tyler Ihrig cleaned things up in this one, nicely.  He worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out two.

Tennessee Smokies 4-17 Final Game One

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Pitching dominated game one in Tennessee as neither team could scratch across a run until the Smokies were able walk-off in the bottom of the 7th (Minor league DH’s are seven innings).  The Smokies only had one chance with runners in scoring position, and they capitalized.  The pitching was outstanding for Tennessee as they kept Pensacola off the board, and only allowed two hits in the win.

At the Plate:

  • Kyle Schwarber was back in the lineup tonight, he went 0-for-1 with two walks, he’s hitting .308 on the season.
  • Dan Vogelbach continues to be the story of the minor league season so far, he was 2-for-3 in this one, which raised his average to .500, that’s on the season.
  • The lone RBI came from Bijan Rademacher, who was 1-for-3 in game one.

On the Mound:

  • Ivan Pineyro got the start and was about as good as he could be, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while walking none, and striking out three.
  • Hunter Cervenka earned his first save of the year, he worked a scoreless inning while walking one.

Tennessee Smokies 4-17 Final Game Two

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Much of the same for the Smokies in game two as they were only able to score once while registering six hits in a 4-1 loss.  The defense didn’t do much to help out the pitching staff in this one, they committed four errors rendering three of the four runs unearned.  Other than that the pitching was outstanding once again, just a sloppy defensive effort.

At the Plate:

  • Bijan Rademacher had another solid game, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored in the night cap.
  • Dan Vogelbach is a man possessed right now, he was 3-for-3 in game two, he is now hitting .556 on the season.
  • Stephen Bruno, who did not start game two, went 2-for-2 but did make two costly errors.

On the Mound:

  • Jeffry Antigua got the game two start and was pretty good, he worked 3.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out four.
  • Stephen Perakslis was tremendous out of the pen, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, surrendering no hits, and striking out two.
  • Andres Santiago bounced back with a nice outing, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.
  • Zach Cates was the hard luck loser in this one, he worked two innings, giving up three runs, all unearned, on three hits while walking one, and striking out one.

Iowa Cubs 4-17 Final

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Rough night for the Iowa Cubs as they played their first game AB (After Bryant), and could only manage two runs on five hits in a 3-2 loss.  The Cubs really had no answer for Oklahoma City pitching all night, and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  On the bright side, the Cubs pitching got a healthy Tsuyoshi Wada back tonight, and he threw the ball well.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Tsuyoshi Wada made his 2015 debut tonight after some lingering injuiries that lasted through camp.  Wada worked 4.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking two, and striking out six.
  • Yoanner Negrin was knocked around in this one, he worked 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Drake Britton was outstanding out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings, surrendering no hits while striking out two.
  • Blake Cooper kept this close late, he worked a scoreless inning, giving only one hit in doing so.

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Padres @ Cubs – Series Preview (April 17 – April 19, 2015)

Series Preview HOME Padres

The Padres come to town for a three game set this weekend, and look who will great them…. KRIS BRYANT!!  That’s right, it’s Bryant time on the Northside as the phenom will make hi major league debut today.  Both teams come into this series playing solid baseball as the Padres sit at 6-4 on the season and just took two out of three from the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs have played one of the toughest schedules in baseball, and have yet to lose a series, the Padres are another great test.

Broadcast Information:

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 – 1:20 PM – ABC 7 Chicago
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – CSN Chicago
  • Sunday, April 19, 2015 – 1:20 PM CST – WGN 9 Chicago

Pitching Matchups:

Who is Hot:

  • Padres:  Newcomer Justin Upton is paying dividends right away for the Padres.  Over the last seven games Upton has been unreal, he’s hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a double, two dingers, and four RBI’s.
  • Cubs:  The Cubs are starting to swing the bats much better, and it’s Jorge Soler leading the charge.  Soler has been pounding the ball as of late, he’s hitting .360 (8-for-22) over his last seven games, during that span he has two dingers, and seven RBI’s with an OPS of 1.081, loud noises!

Who is Not:

  • Padres:  Jedd Gyorko is still terrible, sorry.  Gyorko has been really bad again this year, and he’s only hitting .091 (1-for-11) over his last seven games with zero walks, and four strikeouts.
  • Cubs:  Miguel Montero is still looking for some solid footing on his new club as he has struggled out of the gate.  Montero is hitting .143 (2-for-14) over his last seven games with just two RBI’s.

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Kris Bryant’s Last Dinger in Iowa (VIDEO)

Bryant Dinger

Sorry Iowa fans, Kris Bryant is on his way to Chicago.  But before he departed, he crushed his third dinger of the season, boom!

 

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Per Reports, Kris Bryant is Chicago Bound

Bryant Dinger

Kris Bryant is coming….  at least according to Jesse Rogers.  Per Rogers, Bryant will be called up to join the Cubs tomorrow afternoon against the Padres.  I want to freak out, I want to.

Bryant crushed his third dinger of the year earlier tonight for Iowa, and now is apparently being added to the 40 man roster, and the Cubs tomorrow.  Time to get really excited, nothing official yet, just per Jesse’s source.

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It’s Early, But Cubs Making Strides at the Plate

Rizzo 5-24

A popular narrative the last couple of years has the been the Cubs ability, or inability to take walks, or make contact.  It was absolutely true, the Cubs were a team that would belt a dinger, but no one would be on base.  When someone was on base, the Cubs just couldn’t make contact, it wasn’t hard to see why they were 26th in the Majors in runs scored last year.  For the past few years the organization preached a “Cubs Way” that would see the team grind out at bats, make more contact, and be a general pain in the you know what for opposing pitchers.  While it’s early, we are starting to see glimpses of what an offense built around the “Cubs Way” will look like.

The Cubs organization was definitely targeting guys this off-season that could help push the club in this new direction.  What impresses me are the guys that were here last year have been so much better in their approach this year.  Arismendy Alcantara is only hitting .091 on the season, but he has an OBP of .259, he’s walked five times already this year.  We haven’t seen OBP numbers like this in what seems like forever, Chris Coghlan (.385), Jorge Soler (.382), Anthony Rizzo (.429), even Starlin Castro has contributed in this way (.364).  These are the kind of numbers that turn solo home runs into two run shots to tie the game in the eighth, kind of like Soler on Monday Night.  The importance of getting on base really can’t be understated, it really doesn’t matter how, just do it.

Let’s look at a comparison between 2014 and 2015, I know it’s a super small sample size, but the improvement in the numbers is striking.

Walk rates

Let’s extrapolate that out for a full 2015 season, the Cubs are on pace to walk 607 times, and strikeout 1,316 times.  That would mean that the Cubs would have 165 more guys on base via the walk over the course of the season compared to last year.  In regards to the strikeouts, the Cubs are on pace to strikeout 161 fewer times, that means those K’s turn into walks, or balls in play that the other team has to account for.  You couple this kind of turnaround at the plate with a lineup that has some additional power in it (Kris Bryant), and the Cubs aren’t going to be 26th in the Majors in scoring for very long, and that should mean more victories on the Northside.

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Wood Dazzles in Win Over Reds

Cubs Final 4-15

Full Box Score

Travis Wood was dominant all night long as the lefty shut down the Reds, and led the Cubs to a 5-0 victory to take the series.  It didn’t take long for the Cubs to grab a lead as Anthony Rizzo blasted his first home run of the season in the first, a majestic two-run shot to right.  The Cubs flashed the leather all night behind Wood, Starlin Castro in particular, he made two outstanding plays to help preserve the shut out, and the lead.  The only bad news in this one was an injury to Neil Ramirez, the right-hander left after just three pitches in the ninth inning.  Ramirez will go for an MRI tomorrow, the initial diagnosis is right shoulder discomfort, that doesn’t sound great.  First place!

At the Plate:

  • Dexter Fowler is proving to be a solid lead-off hitter for the Cubs, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.
  • Anthony Rizzo finally got on the board with a dinger, he was 1-for-4 with said homer, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Jorge Soler continued his production, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.
  • Starlin Castro had an outstanding game, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored.

Rizzo goes way back!

On the Mound:

  • All Travis Wood tonight, stellar.  He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits while walking two and striking out seven.
  • Phil Coke worked a solid scoreless inning in relief.
  • Neil Ramirez got hurt in the ninth, so Brian Schlitter had to close it out, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.

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Riding the Bus: April 15, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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WEDNESDAY • APRIL 15, 2015

Iowa Cubs 4-15 Final

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It’s definitely hit or miss for the Iowa Cubs in the early going as they were only able to register eight hits, and two runs in a 3-2 loss this afternoon.  That would have been just fine if the Cubs bullpen could have closed the door late, but poor command did them in, as it usually does late in ballgames.  The Cubs got a great effort from starter Donn Roach, but couldn’t cash in when they needed to as they were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

 At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli had another nice game, he was 1-for-4 with a double, and a walk.
  • Chris Valaika snapped out of a funk today, he was 2-for-4 with a double, his second of the season.
  • Jonathan Mota has been red-hot as of late, he continued that today, he was 2-for-4 with an RBI, he’s now hitting .462 on the season.
  • Adron Chambers, and Addison Russell each had one hit in the loss.

On the Mound:

  • Donn Roach deserved better today, he was brilliant.  Roach worked six scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out three.
  • Blake Cooper was just okay out of the pen, he worked 1.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits, but did pick up a hold.
  • Blake Parker had nothing today, he worked 1.1 innings, giving up one run on one hit while walking three(!).
  • Drake Britton took the loss in this one, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up one run on two hits while walking one.

South Bend 4-15 Final

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Well, that didn’t go so well.  The South Bend Cubs didn’t have much of an opportunity in this one as they trailed 9-0 by the third inning en route to a 10-7 loss.  It was nice to see the Cubs make a come back in this one, but there isn’t much you can do when you are chasing that many.  Jake Stinnett just didn’t have anything tonight, he couldn’t find the plate, and the Cubs made three errors behind him, that’s a recipe for disaster.

At the Plate:

  • Trey Martin has been doing a pretty solid job at the top of the South Bend lineup, he was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  He also had an outfield assist.
  • Gioskar Amaya went 2-for-3 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.
  • Cael Brockmeyer continued the doubles binge that he is one, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, his sixth double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Chesny Young had a solid game, he was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Stinnett got the start and as I said, struggled with his command.  He worked 2.1 innings, giving up eight runs, five earned, on three hits while walking seven (see?), and striking out two.
  • Jasvir Rakkar came on in long relief and did a nice job, he worked 3.2 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out four.
  • David Bote, the infielder, saved the bullpen from further work in this one, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up three hits, while striking out two, go figure.

Both Tennessee, and Myrtle Beach were postponed.

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Cubs GameDay: April 15, 2015 (Lineups, Broadcast Info)

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First Pitch:  7:05 PM CST
TV:  WPWR-50
Radio:  WBBM Newsradio 780
Weather:  Partly Cloudy, 56 degrees

Cubs Lineup:

1. Fowler – CF
2. Rizzo – 1B
3. Soler – RF
4. Montero – C
5. Coghlan – LF
6. Castro – SS
7. Alcantara – 2B
8. Wood – SP
9. Herrera – 3B

Reds Lineup:

1. Hamilton – CF
2. Votto – 1B
3. Frazier – 3B
4. Phillips – 2B
5. Byrd – LF
6. Bruce – RF
7. Pena – C
8. Cozart – SS
9. Marquis – SP

Money line:  Cubs -142
Over/Under:  7 runs

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One Bad Inning Does in Cubs

Cubs Final 4-14

Full Box Score

Jake Arrieta had his typical no hit stuff against the Reds once again, at least until the fourth inning.  The Reds scored three times on five singles in the fourth inning en route to a 3-2 victory to even up the three game series.  The Cubs didn’t exactly go quietly, that seems to be their thing this year.  Welington Castillo smacked a pinch hit homer in the 8th inning to bring the Cubs to within one, but they couldn’t get any closer.  The Cubs had two more guys on base in the eighth and the ninth, but couldn’t come up with a big hit, this time.  Being able to come back in games is a nice thing to be able to do, you just don’t want to be doing it every night.

At the Plate:

  • Welington Castillo didn’t start but probably had the best game, he was 1-for-1 with a pinch hit dinger, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Matt Szczur, also coming off the bench, had two plate appearances, and walked each time.
  • Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and Starlin Castro had the other hits, one each.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta got the start, and was just fine except for that fateful fourth inning, he worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Zac Rosscup made his 2015 debut, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked one, and struck out two.
  • Pedro Strop worked a scoreless inning to give the Cubs a chance in the ninth, he struck out one in the process.

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