Finally, after a horrible stretch of bad defense, iffy pitching, no extra base hits, and some general bad luck, the Daytona Cubs had a game in which almost everything came together perfectly. It’s good to see the High-A Cubs get the weekend started on a high note.

The good times will continue through Saturday. In case you have somehow forgotten, Peoria’s amazing blend of sugar and aerial machinery is today. It’s an early game, so you best get your tickets now.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 7 – 9
Iowa tacked on a run in the eighth and another in the ninth to make things interesting, but they ultimately fell 5-4.

With scheduled starter Randy Wells serving as insurance in Chicago, the Iowa Cubs had to cobble together this game out of the bullpen. Frankie De La Cruz pitched three innings and gave up three runs for the loss. Esmailin Cardid pitched four innings, his longest outing of the season, and gave up another two runs. Blake Parker was perfect in the ninth.

The Cubs took advantage of what chances they had (they left just three on base), but with only five hits chances were few. Edgar Gonzalez and Alfredo Amezega each had two hits (including a double a piece). Other notable efforts included Josh Vitters drawing another walk; he’s now on pace to walk 40 times this year. Brett Jackson had the strangest night. He collected two more RBIs despite going 0 for 3. Since he accounted for half the runs scored by Iowa, I think we have to call that a good game. Jackson has now gone three straight games without a strikeout.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 8 – 8
Brooks Raley pitched six strong innings and the Smokies’ offense scraped together just enough run support as Tennessee won 3-2.

Raley had a good night (3H, 1BB, 3K), and he did it by generating plenty of ground ball outs. If he can continue to force hitters to put the ball on the ground, he could have a bright future ahead of him. Kevin Rhoderick actually got the win with his five scoreless outs. Alberto Cabrera collected the final four outs for his first save of the season.

Smokie batters accumulated 13 hits, but they were only able to push across three runs. Nate Samson and Logan Watkins both doubled, but those were the only extra base hits Tennessee had. Jae-Hoon Ha reached base three times by means of two hits and a walk. Even starter Brooks Raley picked up a hit in support of his own cause. Surprisingly, given the score, the Smokies were a very impressive 7 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Typically a ratio that high suggests a blow out, but in baseball there are no guarantees.

With the win, the Smokies are back to .500.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 3 – 11
Austin Kirk pitched seven good innings (5H, 1BB, 3K) and the offense scored eight runs in the first three innings as the Cubs’ won their third game of the season by a final of 9-2.

The Cubs did commit another two errors (Rohan and Torreyes), but for once the offense scored enough it just didn’t matter.

Ronald Torreyes had a 3 for 3 day, including two doubles and a triple. Greg Rohan contributed a grand slam as part of his memorable 5 RBI day. Richard Jones also had three hits. As a team the Cubs collected six extra base hits. That is easily one of their best offensive showings of the season.

When Kirk left the game, Brett Wallach got through a slightly shaky eighth before Casey Harmon pitched a perfect ninth, holding his ERA at 0.00.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 6 – 9
Peoria rallied late, but they could catch up to the Loons in the ninth. The Chiefs lost at home 7-5.

Willengton Cruz gave up two home runs in his five and two thirds innings of work. The young lefties’ ERA now stands at a less than encouraging 8.04. Bryce Shafer was also rough in his two and third innings, but once again Yao-Lin Wang was perfect in relief.

Pin-Chieh Chen had the Chiefs’ only extra base hit and drove two of their five runs. Oliver Zapata, now batting fifth, had one of his worst games as a professional. Even so, his 1 for 5 night was enough to extend his hitting streak to six games. Eduardo Gonzalez and Brad Zapenas both drew two walks. The Chiefs’ had plenty of chances, but they were just 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

Peoria’s Awesome Promotion Today
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, today is the day when the Peoria area fans will taunt the rest of us because they can go to the Peoria Candy Drop and we can’t. In case you missed our drooling over this event earlier in the week, those who attend the candy drop will get spend an afternoon in a great ballpark, eat great food, drink great drinks, watch the future of the Chicago Cubs play (hopefully) great baseball, and, to top it off, witness clouds of candy being dropped from a helicopter onto a mob of happy children after the game. I’m sure dentists are aghast. Me, I’m just agog.

[Brett: If you’re there and get some pictures, we’d all love to see them. And if you snag some extra candy and figure out how to email it, I’d love that, too.]

  • Kyle

    Something relevant to this post? /ninja

    • Luke

      I’m sure the Angels could pay the salaries for all the players in the Cubs’ farm system.  I’m just not sure why they would…

      Edit: Ah, a comment that wound up in a different article from it’s discussion.  For a minute there I thought Anaheim was planning to be irrationally generous or something.

      • college_of_coaches

        Ha! I was going to make a comment about the Angels using that money to hire more helicopters.

      • Brett

        Ha, you guys had me confused, too.

  • Mrp

    Jackson had a similar day to what Ian Stewart had yesterday. He hit the ball hard almost every time up but it was either right at someone or someone made a diving catch. No strikeouts again, very nice to see.

  • ShootTheGoat

    I’m finally going to be able to get down to a Smokies game tonight….will update!

  • ty

    Wait til Thanksgiving Peoria fans. Frozen turkeys.

    • college_of_coaches

      “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

  • chode

    isn’t that a reds promotion?

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder who the Cubs promote to AAA to take Wells spot in the rotation

    • Brett

      Struck, maybe? Doubt it’s McNutt.

      • Luke

        Struck, Raley, or Searle would make the most sense.  I wouldn’t rule out Rhee, but that’d be fairly rapid promotion.

        • Luke

          Actually, Iowa is down to just two true outfielders.  I’d not be surprised to see Rebel Ridling called up to replace Campana.  Iowa could still add another arm in Maine’s slot.

  • nkniacc13

    Yeah I wonder who would take Wells spot in the rotation.

  • Njriv

    Dump DeWitt, Cardenas is killing it