First AAA HR for Javier Baez (VIDEO)

The first of many.  Off balance, and it looked like he got it off the end of the bat.

View from the seats

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Cubs Down Right Offensive Once Again

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Full Box Score

Scoring runs in the Major Leagues is hard, it’s really hard for this Cubs group.  So far the 2014 season has featured outstanding pitching and horrendous clutch hitting, today Shark 4-5-14 picturewas no exception.  Jeff Samardzija was solid for the second straight time this year, and for the second straight time he walked away without a win.  Shark worked seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out eight as he took the loss.

I can’t really say that the Cubs were totally inept with the bats because they were able to get a number off hits against Cliff Lee.  Ten hits to be exact, but that’s ten hits with no runs, mind numbing right now.  One bright spot today was Starlin Castro who has been having better at bats as of late, he went 3-for-4 in the loss.  The Cubs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position today, and are 4-for-40 on the season, I’m sorry that I had to spell out the disaster that is the Cubs offense, it will get better, it has to.

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Game Highlights:

MLB.com has no Cubs highlights, seems about right.

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Kris Bryant’s First Smokies HR (VIDEO)

Sorry for the quality, this is the only video of Bryant’s HR from last night that I can find.  Still looking for video from tonight’s HR, and better quality.  Thanks for reading!

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Riding the Bus; Minor League Reports for April 4, 2014

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Friday, April 4, 2014

 ** Kane County was postponed, they will play a DH tomorrow

Daytona 4-4-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Still not much going on for the Daytona offense in game two, but it was nice to see them come back from a 3-0 deficit to force extra innings.  Pin-Chieh Chen had a solid game from the lead-off spot, going 3-for-5 with a double, and RBI, and a run scored.  The middle of the order came up empty again tonight, but the bottom of the order was productive.  Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, and was caught stealing.  For the second straight game Gioskar Amaya was solid, he went 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

Jose Rosario got the start for Daytona, and struggled with his command for most of the night.  Rosario worked four innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while walking three, and striking out five.  Michael Jensen, and Andrew McKirahan each worked two scoreless innings out of the pen to get the game into extra innings.  Austin Reed took the loss for Daytona, he worked two innings, giving up one run on one hit, while walking one, and striking out three.

Tennessee 4-4-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Not a lot of offense in this one, but just enough for the Smokies to win their first game of the season.  It was Kris Bryant once again, Bryant went 1-for-4 with his second home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger was able to get his first hit of the season, he went 1-for-4 with a single in the win.

On The Mound:

The other big news of the night was C.J. Edwards making his double A debut, and he didn’t disappoint.  Edwards worked four scoreless innings giving up one hit, while walking one, and striking out four, outstanding.  The rest of the Smokies staff was untouchable as well, P.J. Francescon took over for Edwards and took home the win.  Francescon worked three scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out two.  Armando Rivero was just about perfect in the late innings of this one, as he earned his first save of the season, Rivero worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit, while striking out four.

Iowa 4-4-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Iowa Cubs are mirroring the big league club with the bats, and that’s not a good thing, they came up empty in a 9-0 loss to Memphis tonight.  Matt Szczur lead-off for Iowa and was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.  That was it, Iowa only had two hits in the loss, they did draw five walks but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

On The Mound:

Three bad innings, that’s all it took tonight as Memphis scored once in the fourth, three times in the fifth, and five times in the sixth.  Carlos Pimentel got the start for Iowa, and also took the loss, he worked five innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out six.  Jonathan Sanchez was much worse, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on one hit (ONE HIT), while walking three, and striking out three.  Marcos Mateo, Blake Parker, and Zac Rosscup all had scoreless appearances out of the pen, but it was too little too late.

Thanks for reading!

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Bats Cold as Cubs Open Wrigley with a Loss

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Full Box Score

It was a day where all you had to do was “get the ball in the air, and it would go” — the problem with that is you Castillo Picture 4-4-14actually have to, you know, hit the ball.  That’s the one part of the equation the Cubs haven’t figured out yet this season.  Anyone that follows this team religiously, like I do, knew that scoring runs would be difficult for this group, but yikes.  Today’s hard to look at numbers?  Two runs on three hits, that’s it, three hits today for our boys in blue.

With the lack of scoring comes the increased pressure on the pitching to not make a mistake, because one run could be it.  Travis Wood pitched just fine today given the howling out wind, but made a few too many mistakes, and took the loss.  The Cubs pen was also a little ragged as well, both Wesley Wright, and Brian Schlitter gave up runs to make the final score a little more ugly.  Good news friends, it’s early, I think that’s a good thing.

Cubs 4-4-14 Box

Game Highlights

Travis Wood’s Outing
Castillo’s Long Home Run
Castro’s RBI Single
Bonifacio Makes a Tough Catch

* Photo Credit – Andrew Nelles/AP

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Philadelphia Phillies @ Chicago Cubs – Series Preview (3 Games)

Series Preview Opening Week 2014

 

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– Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL –

Friday, April 4, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: MLBN, WGN) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV: CSN) (RADIO:  WGN 720)

Sunday, April 6, 2014 – 1:20 PM CST
(TV:  WGN)  (RADIO:  WGN 720)

 

– Series Vitals –

 

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Preview-Cubs-Phillies

 

– Pitching Matchups –

 

Game One: Roberto Hernandez  (0 – 0; 0.00)  vs. Travis Wood  (0 – 0; 0.00)

Hernandez (Career vs. Cubs) (4 - 0; 1.95 ERA, 7 appearance, 7 starts)
Wood (Career vs. Phillies) (0 – 0; 2.11 ERA, 3 appearances, 3 starts)

***

Game Two: Cliff Lee   (1 – 0; 14.40)  vs. Jeff Samardzija  (0 – 0; 0.00)

Lee (Career vs. Cubs) (6 – 2; 3.19 ERA, 10 appearances, 10 starts)
Samardzija (Career vs. Phillies) (1 – 3; 10.80 ERA, 9 appearances, 3 starts)

***
Game Three: A.J. Burnett  (0 – 0; 1.50)  vs. Carlos Villanueva   (0 – 2; 13.50)

Burnett (Career vs. Cubs) (7 – 2; 2.99 ERA, 11 appearances, 11 starts)
Villanueva (Career vs. Phillies) (2 – 0; 1.71 ERA, 14 appearances, 1 start)

 

Let’s go Cubs!

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Riding The Bus; Minor League Recaps for April 3, 2014

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Welcome to “Riding the Bus” —  How about that graphic, eh??  We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night.  Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.

 

Kane County 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits.  Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored.  Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s.  The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight.  2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss.  Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three.  The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances.  Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.

Daytona 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees.  The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers.  Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss.  Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single.  Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.

On The Mound:

Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.  Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three.  Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Tennessee 4-3-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Grumble, grumble, grumble.  A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late.  Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI.  Kris Bryant!  Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat?  Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.

On The Mound:

Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group.  Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him.  Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four.  Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five.  Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.

Iowa 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring.  Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error.  A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound:

Not so good.  Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled.  Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two.  Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar.  Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one.  Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.

Thanks for reading!

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Hammel Gets Cubs into Win Column with a Gem

Cubs 4-3

FULL BOX SCORE

One job for Jason Hammel today, go deep into the game and save the bullpen after last nights marathon, job well done.  Hammel worked 6.2 innings giving up one run on just two hits while walking one, and striking out five to earn his first victory as a member of the Cubs.

The Cubs offense continued to sputter along in this one, but they were able to push across single runs in each of the first three innings.  Emilio Bonifacio, the every man, went 2-for-4 with a double , and two runs scored, his average dropped to .688 on the season, yeah.  Mike Olt showed why he should be the every day third baseman as he drilled his first Major League home run in the second inning, an opposite field job that just got out.  As a whole the Cubs offense is still struggling, but they were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position today, a step in the right direction.  The pitching on the other hand has been nothing short of brilliant, and today was no exception.  With Jose Veras unavailable today, Pedro Strop shut the door in the ninth for his first  save of the season, a much needed victory.

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GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Jason Hammel goes 6.2 strong innings
Mike Olt’s First ML Home Run
Strop makes the catch, almost kills Baker
Strop turns two to win it!

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Mike Olt’s First Career HR (VIDEO)

Mike Olt showed off some of his power earlier today.  Cubs lead 3-0, bottom of the 6th in Pittsburgh.

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The Cubs Are Still Tired From Last Night

It was a long night, and early morning….  Oops…

 

Cubs oops

 

I laughed.

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