The All-Star parade continues. The Double A Southern League named their All Stars yesterday, and there will be some Tennessee players enjoying the game in their home park. Only four Smokies made the list, but two of them should be encouraging for Cub fans.
James Adduci and Justin Bour will take the field for the North Division, and relievers Frank Batista and Kevin Rhoderick will be available in the bullpen. Given the troubles the Cubs have had in Chicago, it is good to see relief pitching prospects doing well enough to earn this sort of recognition. The best bullpens tend to be home grown, and both of these guys could be part of a pretty good Chicago pen in a year or two.
Fans in the Eastern Tennessee area might want to take a trip to Smokies Park on June 19 to watch the All-Star game. The Smokies have a great stadium, and I can’t think of many better places to be in the summer than watching great baseball in the mountains.
AAA – Iowa Cubs. 25 – 33
The Iowa Cubs were off on Wednesday. They will be home for their next three series, though, starting tonight. And this first series is a tough one. Nashville comes in for six games, all to be played in just four days. Make up games have forced a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday. Since the Cubs’ next off day is not until June 18, I would not be surprised if some emergency pitching help was shipped into to Iowa from elsewhere in the farm system.
AA – Tennesse Smokies. 27 – 33
Tennessee is starting to string wins together. It’s probably too late to get into the first half hunt, but the Smokies could be players in the second half of the season. They won last night 3-2.
Trey McNutt threw 94 pitches, but thanks to four walks that only got him through five and two thirds innings. He allowed three hits and struck out three in his scoreless outing. Jeffry Antigua allowed one run to score in his two thirds of an inning of work. Kevin Rhoderick pitched another scoreless inning, although he did allow two hits and a walk. Frank Batista allowed a run to score, but still picked up his eighth save by recording the final five outs.
The Smokies had just five hits in this game, and two of them came off the bat of Justin Bour. Logan Watkins did not have a hit, but he did have two walks and scored a run. Rebel Ridling also had two walks. Once again, the Smokies used their speed to make the most of their offense. James Adduci, Ridling, and Watkins all had a stolen base in this game.
Matt Loosen continues to impress. He picked up his fourth win of the season by shutting down Bradenton over five and two thirds innings. Loosen allowed just three hits while striking out six. Eduardo Figueroa struck out three while preserving the shut out through another two and a third, and Scott Weismann was flawless in the ninth. Combined, the Cubs pitchers allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out ten.
John Andreoli led the offense with three hits, including his second triple of the season. Taylor Davis doubled. The Cubs did not have a lot of opportunities, but they were 2 for 3 with runners in scoring position.
Great pitching. Timely hitting. I think I can get used to this kind of baseball.
Gerardo Concepcion won for the second time in his young career. He pitched five and two third innings, struck out four, walked four, and allowed just two hits. All in all, he had a very nice game. So did Starling Peralta, who finished off the sixth and pitched the seventh. Austin Reed came in for the eighth, but he got into trouble in the ninth. Fortunately Yao-Lin Wang was able to collect his sixth save and preserve the shut out in the process.
Javier Baez had three hits, as did Tawinan Easterling. Baez tripled (his first); Paul Hoilman and Zeke DeVoss both doubled in the game. DeVoss had just that one hit, but thanks to a walk he was able to score twice.