Results tagged ‘ Albert Almora ’

Riding the Bus: April 13, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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MONDAY • APRIL 13, 2015

Iowa Cubs 4-13 Final

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The Iowa Cubs struggled with runners in scoring position tonight (0-for-10), but were able to scratch across four runs to take the series opener against New Orleans.  A big reason for the victory was the Iowa pitching, only one unearned run tonight on six hits.

At the Plate:

  • Kris Bryant continued his hot start to the season, he was 3-for-5 with three singles (weird), and a stolen base, but did make two errors.
  • Junior Lake had a solid game, he was 2-for-5 with a run scored in the win.
  • Rafael Lopez is on fire, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .364 on the season.
  • Mike Baxter is unconscious right now, not literally, he was 2-for-2 with two walks, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Yoanner Negrin started this one, and was solid, he worked 4.2 innings, giving up one run, unearned, on five hits while striking out five.
  • Gonzalez Germen got the win in this one, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.
  • James Russell, yes ‘that’ James Russell, worked two scoreless innings while striking out one.
  • Joe Ortiz picked up the save tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth inning allowing one hit.

Tennessee Smokies 4-13 Final

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The Smokies have a knack for the big inning, today it was in the third as they scored six times and batted around, again.  That was more than enough for Frank Batista and company as the Smokies won the series (3-2) with a 10-4 victory.  An alarming stat, in a good way, the Smokies walked eight times today, EIGHT, you should probably score a lot of runs when that happens.

At the Plate:

  • Albert Almora had another solid game, he was 2-for-6 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  He also had an outfield assist, he does it all.
  • Christian Villanueva was the hero today, he went crazy, he was 2-for-3 with two dingers, two walks, two RBI’s, and three runs scored, yikes.
  • Dan Vogelbach continued his torrid start, he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .444 on the season.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen had a big hit in this one, he finished the day 1-for-5 with a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Frank Batista got the start in this one, his first at the MiLB level since 2013, and was dominant.  He worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out three to pick up the win.
  • Fernando Cruz struggled mightily today, he worked two innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking three, and striking out one.
  • Andres Santiago made this one official by working a scoreless ninth inning, he walked one.

South Bend 4-13 Final

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Tough one for South Bend tonight as they just couldn’t get much going offensively in a 6-1 loss to Dayton.  Although the Cubs had eight hits, they only had two opportunities with runners in scoring position, station to station baseball.  Trevor Clifton had all sorts of issues finding the plate which led to an early deficit that South Bend could not recover from.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Trevor Clifton got the start and struggled, he worked just two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits while walking four, and striking out one.
  • Jordan Minch was brilliant in relief, he worked 3.1 innings, giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while striking out two.
  • James Farris found some trouble but put in solid work, he tossed four innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out four.

** Myrtle Beach was postponed, because rain is stupid.

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Riding the Bus: April 12, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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SUNDAY • APRIL 12, 2015

South Bend 4-12 Final

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An odd scheduling quirk as the SB Cubs open a series with Dayton on a Sunday, minor league baseball at it’s finest.  The Cubs jumped out to a quick three run lead in the third, and by the time the inning was over the game was tied at three.  The SB Cubs pitching held Dayton down the rest of the game allowing the bats to wake up and score five times en route to a 8-3 win.

At the Plate:

  • Gleyber Torres is hitting his stride, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI’s, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Jason Volser was all over the place, he went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and a stolen base.
  • Rashad Crawford had a solid game from the nine spot, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, three RBI’s, and three runs scored.

On the Mound:

  • Zach Hedges got the start and picked up the win, he worked five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Jasvir Rakkar was good once again, he worked two scoreless innings, surrendering zero hits while walking one, and striking out three.
  • James Norwood was outstanding as well, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up two hits while striking out two.
  • Tommy Thorpe closed things out, he worked a scoreless inning, surrendering zero hits, while walking one, and striking out one.

Myrtle Beach 4-12 Final

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One night after a thrilling comeback win, the Pelicans couldn’t find any offense as they could only muster three hits in a shutout loss.  The Pelican pitching was solid, but that doesn’t mean much if you can’t score.

At the Plate:

  • Chris Denorfia, who is rehabbing from an injury, went 1-for-2 with a double.
  • Mark Zagunis was out in right field today, he went 1-for-4 in the loss.
  • Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-3 tonight, he’s now hitting .250 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Tyler Skulina got the start, and was outstanding, he worked five innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking three, and striking out five.
  • James Pugliese had a rough go of it, he worked two innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out one.
  • Matt Brazis had a similar effort, he worked two innings, giving up two run on three hits while walking one, and striking out three.

Tennessee Smokies 4-12 Final

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The Smokies made some noise early on, then couldn’t push anymore runs across the plate the rest of the game.  By the second inning it was 6-1 Smokies then that was it as far as scoring runs goes.  The Braves were able to score once in the 4th, and once in the 9th to make it close but they still fell to the Smokies 6-3.

At the Plate:

  • Elliot Soto got things done at the top of the order tonight, he was 2-for-6 with a run scored.
  • Albert Almora had another solid game, he was 2-for-5 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.
  • Christian Villanueva had a productive day, he was 2-for-5 with three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach continued his hot start today, he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Rob Zastryzny got the start, he worked 3.1 innings giving up two runs, one earned on three hits while walking three, and striking out five.  Unfortunately he was hit by a batted ball in the foot and had to leave the game.
  • Stephen Perakslis was outstanding, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking one.
  • Michael Jensen was solid today, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking one, and sriking out one.
  • Hunter Cervenka struggled in this one, he worked 1.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Andres Santiago earned the save by retiring one hitter, he worked a third of an inning, while walking one.

Iowa Cubs 4-12 Final

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Another outstanding effort from the Iowa Cubs today as they pounded Memphis 7-2 to earn a series split.  The long ball was on display all day as Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, and Jonathan Mota all went deep, dingers!  The Cubs pitching held their own and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli did his job at the top of the order today, he went 1-for-3 with two walks, a double, and a run scored.
  • Addison Russell is on fire right now, he hit 3-for-5 with a dinger, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  He’s now hitting .389 on the season.
  • Kris Bryant did it again, he was 1-for-4 with his second homer in as many days, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Jonathan Mota had a huge day, he went 3-for-4 with a homer, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Adron Chambers had another solid game, he went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a double.

On the Mound:

  • Barret Loux got the start for Iowa and was erratic for the most part, he worked 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits while walking three, and striking out three.
  • Drake Britton was brilliant today, and picked up the win, he worked 2.1 scoreless innings, surrendering zero hits while walking one.
  • Zac Rosscup, Armando Rivero, and Blake Parker all worked a scoreless inning in relief to close out the Redbirds.

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Riding the Bus – April 9, 2015 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

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THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015

South Bend 4-9 Final (1)

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So far so good as the South Bend Cubs make their Cubs affiliate debut with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bowling Green.  Jake Stinnett got the start for South Bend and was pretty good, he worked five innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking two, and striking out four.  The game was very much in doubt until Cael Brockmeyer crushed a walk-off dinger to the delight of the South Bend faithful.

At the plate:

  • Jeffrey Baez went 1-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Cael Brockmeyer had a huge night, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a dinger, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the mound:

  • Ryan Williams came on in relief of Stinnett and was spotless, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out one.
  • James Farris was equally as good and picked up the win, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out four.

Myrtle Beach 4-9 Final (1)

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Talk about a grand entrance to the Cubs organization.  The Myrtle Beach Pelicans exploded this evening, not literally, putting up nine runs on fifteen hits in the victory.  Seven of the nine Pelican hitters had hits, five of them had a multi-hit game.  Duane Underwood was solid, but he could have been throwing underhand and would have picked up the win, but he was really good.

At the plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann did his job at the top of the order, he went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and a run scored.
  • The other Jacob was pretty good too, Jacob Rogers went 3-for-4 with a double, a dinger, two RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Victor Caratini, thanks Braves.  Caratini was 2-for-4 with two RBI in the win.
  • Both Shawon Dunston Jr., and Daniel Lockhart each had a triple in the win.
  • Carlos Penalver was brilliant as a second lead-off man of sorts from the nine spot, he was 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base.

On the mound:

  • Duane Underwood was steady as usual in this one, he worked five innings, giving up one run, unearned, while walking two, and striking out five.
  • Jonathan Martinez took over and tossed a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.
  • James Pugliese was outstanding, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one.
  • Starling Peralta cleaned things up in a mop up role, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while striking out two.

Tennessee Smokies 4-9 Final

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The Smokies were extremely efficient in this one as they managed to score seven times on just seven hits, not terribly easy to do.  You know what makes it much easy?  Taking walks, the Smokies earned six walks in the win, that’s how you play winning baseball.  The one-two punch of Corey Black, and C.J. Edwards shut the door on the Braves, Black started, and Edwards came out of the pen to pick up a hold.

At the Plate:

  • Albert Almora got things off on the right foot, he went 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs…. wait, a walk!!?  I like it.
  • Kyle Schwarber gave Smokies fans a glimpse of what he beings to the table, he was 1-for-3 with two walks, a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach also joined the fun, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Corey Black got the start and picked up the win, he worked five innings, giving up one run on four hits, while walking three, and striking out four.
  • C.J. Edwards made his debut out of the pen tonight, and he was okay, he worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Hunter Cervenka was tasked with shutting this one done, and that’s exactly what he did, Cervenka worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out two.

Iowa Cubs 4-9 Final (1)

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This was a tough one, the excitement of opening day, and a really good lineup was erased this morning when we found out that Javier Baez‘s sister Noely had passed away, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Javy.  To the game, the Cubs were able to create some two out magic in the third as they scored four times to take a 4-2 lead, it was short-lived however.  Memphis scored twice in the fifth, and then three times in the seventh en route to a 7-4 victory.

At the plate:

  • Addison Russell got off to a great start tonight, he was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Kris Bryant didn’t hit a dinger, let that sink in, he finished the night 1-for-4 with an RBI, and a stolen base.
  • Junior Lake was productive, he went 1-for-4 with two RBI in the loss.

On the mound:

  • Donn Roach got the start, and found too many Redbird bats, he worked 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Drake Britton was handed the loss in this one, he worked 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out one.
  • Armando Rivero didn’t get much work in this one, he worked a third of an inning, giving up one run on one hit.
  • Gonzalez Germen did some solid work out of the pen, he worked a scoreless inning, he walked one, and struck out one.

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Tennessee Smokies Roster is Set

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The Smokies open up the 2015 season on Thursday as well, with a twist.  C.J. Edwards will be starting in the bullpen, a surprising move as I thought he would for sure be the opening day starter.  Corey Black gets the nod for opening day, and he will be backed by some talented position players that Cubs fans should keep an eye on.

Pitchers:

Jeffry Antigua (LHP)
Frank Batista (RHP)
Corey Black (RHP)
Zach Cates (LHP)
Hunter Cervenka (LHP)
Fernando Cruz (RHP)
C.J. Edwards (RHP)
P.J. Francescon (RHP)
Michael Jensen (RHP)
Felix Pena (RHP)
Stephen Perakslis (RHP)
Ivan Pineyro (RHP)
Andres Santiago (RHP)
Rob Zastrynzy (LHP)

Catchers:

Erick Castillo (S)
Willson Contreras (R)
Kyle Schwarber (L)

Infielders:

Stephen Bruno (R)
Ryan Dent (R)
Dustin Geiger (R)
Elliot Soto (R)
Christian Villanueva (R)
Dan Vogelbach (L)

Outfielders:

Albert Almora (R)
Pin-Chieh Chen (L)
Anthony Giansanti (R)
Bijan Rademacher (L)

Players to watch?  C.J. Edwards, Kyle Schwarber, and Albert Almora.  I’m expecting big things from all three guys, and would love to see all of them make the jump to Iowa this year, but would settle for health, and domination in Tennessee.

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Spring Fever – March 26, 2015 (Cubs Lineup, Broadcast Info)

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Bright lights for the Cubs tonight as they battle the Angels on ESPN tonight, first pitch is at 6:05 PM CST.  The lineup the Cubs are trotting out tonight is worthy of the National media, and I’m sure there will be endless talk about how the Cubs are handling Kris Bryant, so tune in…  Eric Jokisch gets the ball for the Cubs, he will face off against veteran right-hander Jered Weaver, and a pretty regular season looking Angels lineup.  The Cubs made cuts earlier today, no surprises really (Almora, and Schwarber included), the roster now stands at 40.

1. Baez – 2B
2. Russell – SS
3. Bryant – LF
4. Soler – RF
5. Rizzo – 1B
6. Olt – 3B
7. Castillo – C
8. Jokisch – SP
9. Szczur – CF

Impressions?  Kris Bryant is getting his first start in LF this spring, and Joe Maddon is once again hitting the pitcher 8th, obviously something he likes to do. Also of note, Chris Denorfia is battling a hamstring issue that will most likely keep him off the opening day roster, so Matt Szczur has another great opportunity to get noticed tonight.

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Cubs Rally to Pound White Sox

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Nothing was going right for the Cubs early on as Travis Wood couldn’t keep the ball down, and the Sox took advantage.  A three spot for the Sox in the first put the Cubs in a hole but they successfully dug out with the long ball.  On the day, the Cubs “B” lineup cracked four dingers, turning that 3-0 deficit into a 10-7 victory.  Back to Wood, he worked in and out of trouble all day, he tossed 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on eleven (!) hits while walking none, and striking out two.  Back to the dingers, David Ross, Arismendy Alcantara, Taylor Teagarden, and Anthony Giansanti all left the yard, tasty.  It was another strong game from Albert Almora, no he didn’t take a lot of pitches, but finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .381 on the spring.

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Spring Fever – March 20, 2015 (Cubs Lineup, Broadcast Info)

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It’s the first taste of the 2015 Cubs/White Sox rivalry today at 3:05 PM CST on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  Travis Wood gets the ball for the Cubs as he closes in on the 5th spot in the rotation, if his arm doesn’t fall off today then I think he’s announced as said 5th starter shortly.   A number of regulars are on the bench today after playing last night against the D-Backs, still some exciting players to watch.  One of those players is Albert Almora, he’s having a tremendous spring and looks to be healthy and ready to break out this year.

1. La Stella – 3B
2. Alcantara – 2B
3. Sweeney – RF
4. Lake – LF
5. Baxter – 1B
6. Almora – CF
7. Ross – C
8. Herrera – SS
9. Wood – SP

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Cubs Outlast Dodgers For Another Win (VIDEO)

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You would think a five run lead with Jake Arrieta on the mound would be safe, it almost wasn’t.  The Dodgers knocked around Arrieta in the second inning as they scored four times to cut a five run deficit to one.  To Arrieta’s credit he battled and was able to work four innings, giving up said four runs on seven hits while walking two, and striking out five.  The bullpen did the job today as C.J. Edwards, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Joe Ortiz combined to work five scoreless innings, giving up five hits while walking one, and striking out four.

A lot of good swings from the Cubs today as they pounded out thirteen hits while scoring seven times.  Chris Coghlan made some loud noises with his bat, he finished the day 1-for-3 with a two-run blast, three RBI, and a run scored.  Jorge Soler, and Albert Almora both continued their strong springs this afternoon with two hits each.  Almora finished the day 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .353 on the spring.  After starting the spring 1-8-1, the Cubs have now won six of seven, and are playing all around better baseball.

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Albert Almora Ready to Make an Impact

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What were you doing when you were 20 years old?  Some of you might not be able to answer in a public forum, but Albert Almora is gearing up for his 4th year as a professional baseball player.  That’s right, he’s only 20 years old, feels like he has been around forever.  I also stopped short of saying “4th FULL year” as a pro because Almora has only really had one true full season.  Injuries are the devil.

Injuries have held Almora back almost from the first day in the Cubs organization.  Almora was drafted in 2012 by the Cubs, he was the sixth pick overall, hence the expectations.  It was the 2012 Boise Hawks playoff run that I truly began to understand what kind of ballplayer Almora was, go hard 100% of the time even if a wall is in the way, oops.  The wall took a toll on Almora, literally, and he has never really been able to recover as it’s been one injury after another.  In three seasons with the Cubs organization Almora has played in 219 games across five levels, that’s not enough games for such a young player to actually work on his game.  2014 saw a rebound of sorts health wise for Almora as he was able to play in 125 games combined with Daytona and Tennessee.

We finally got a glimpse of Albert Almora the baseball player, and we realized one thing, he needs to be more patient at the plate.  In 529 plate appearances Almora walked 14 times, wrap your head around that for a second, that’s almost impossible.  Improved approach at the plate is important for Almora if he wants to remain with the Cubs as he will be expected to be that guy who can get on base in front of the mashers in the powerful Cubs lineup of the future.  If the injury bug can ignore Almora this year I totally expect him to break out in Tennessee, which is where he will start the 2015 season.  I feel like Almora really tried to do too much with the bat last year, sure in 2013 he only walked 17 times, but that was in half the number of plate appearances as 2014 (272).  Defensively the kid has some serious skills in centerfield, he can go get the ball with the best of them, and probably has the best defensive tools in the Cubs system.  For that reason he can be a difference maker on a contending team, if he can stay healthy, and find a way to improve his approach at the plate then he becomes more than just a “guy.”  His natural ability to lead, and his History of winning could do this group a lot of good down the road.

Definitely watch for this during spring training, lets see if Almora can see more pitches, and make pitchers work to get him out.  So far this spring he is 2-for-2, hasn’t seen a lot of pitches, but he’s picking on strikes, I expect big things in 2015.

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Cubs Falter Late (Twice) but Dingers Everywhere!

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The young Cubs provided the fireworks early against the Giants before the bullpen couldn’t find away to get outs, and blew a 5-0 lead en route to an 8-6 loss.  It was a lineup that had Cubs fans buzzing, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber, oh my.  It was Schwarber who did the heavy lifting as he jacked a grand slam in his first at bat, giving the Cubs an early 4-0 lead.  The Cubs pitching made that hold up early on as Jacob Turner, and Pierce Johnson were on top of their game, Johnson was particularly impressive.

At the plate:

  • Kyle Schwarber was the star at the plate going 1-for-3 with said grand slam.
  • Jorge Soler hit a number of balls hard, he finished the day 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Billy McKinney came on late and went deep, he finished the day 1-for-1 with an RBI.
  • Kris Bryant went 0-for-2 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Addison Russell was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Albert Almora didn’t start but finished the day 2-for-2, good to see.

On the mound:

  • Jacob Turner got the start, and battled command early, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Pierce Johnson was outstanding, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Corey Black struggled, he worked one inning, giving up one run on one hit while walking two, and hitting Hunter Pence, breaking his forearm, ouch.
  • Hunter Cervenka was worse, he was only able to register one out, he gave up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two.

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A tie.  The Cubs and A’s tied today.  Mike Olt got the offense off and running early as he blasted a two-out, two-run bomb.  Unfortunately that was all the Cubs could muster as they went scoreless the rest of the way while scratching out only five hits.  The pitching was outstanding as Travis Wood, Neil Ramirez, and Drake Britton, among others, shut down the Athletics offense.

At the plate:

  • MIKE OLT!  Olt finished theday 1-for-2 with a home run, and two RBI.
  • Chris Coghlan was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
  • Newcomer Miguel Montero was 1-for-2 in the tie.

On the mound:

  • Travis Wood got the start, and was flawless.  Wood worked two scoreless innings giving up no hits, walking none while striking out two.
  • Neil Ramirez was stupid good per usual.  Ramirez worked one scoreless inning while striking out two.
  • Drake Britton was pretty good in his first audition for a bullpen spot.  Britton worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
  • Gonzalez Germen had the plate jump around a bit, but he was fairly effective.  Germen worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out two.

 

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