iowa cubs mascotJuly 4th celebrations generally include fireworks, but for me fireworks is one of those things that is just better with baseball any time of the year.

The best fireworks shows I have seen have been in minor league stadiums, and I say that as a guy who has watched the giant display from the lawn on Capitol Hill. Minor league ball parks are the only place where I have sat so close to the launching rockets I could feel the heat from their explosions. Looking up at such a steep angle can get a little rough on the neck, but the total experience of being that close to the fiery action is worth it.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Three consecutive home runs in the fourth were not enough in this one. The Cubs lost 6-5.
Tennessee – It was a low scoring battle in the Southern League, but the Smokies pulled away late for the 3-1 win.
Daytona – For six and a half innings this game was scoreless, and then it most definitely wasn’t. The Cubs allowed five to score in the seventh as they lost 5-1.
Kane County – It was a close one in Wisconsin, but the Cougars took the 4-2 loss.
Boise – This game was a blowout after the second inning. Boise mounted little resistance as they were overwhelmed 11-3.
Arizona – Arizona had the day off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] The third inning power surge came from Brad Nelson (his 15th), Junior Lake (his 3rd), and Ty Wright (his 2nd). For all three hitters that home run was their only hit of the game.
  • [Iowa] Jae-Hoon Ha also homered in this game (his 1st with Iowa), and doubled as well.
  • [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad and Michael Bowden both pitched well in relief for Iowa. Bowden, in particular, struck out three while allowing just one hit over two scoreless innings.
  • [Tennessee] It was A.J. Morris who pitched six scoreless innings for the Smokies. He gave up six hits and a walk while striking out two.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Szczur and Jonathan Mota both doubled and finished with two hits. Szczur also stole his 19th base.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour hit his 6th home run in the eighth inning of this one, one inning after Christian Villanueva hit his 10th.
  • [Daytona] The scoreless innings in Daytona’s game came from Matt Loosen. The right hander struck out 6 over 5 innings while walking two and allowing four hits.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez singled, walked, and scored the Cubs only run.
  • [Kane County] First baseman Dan Vogelbach had a nice game. He finished 3 for 4 with a double (his 16th). And a Caught Stealing (his 3rd).
  • [Kane County] The only walk of the day came from Albert Almora. He also singled.
  • [Boise] Jacob Rogers, the Cubs 40th round pick from a year ago, picked up two more hits and a walk.

Other News

  • Despite their general lack of offense, Daytona finished with four walks and an even four strikeouts. That’s not too shabby.
  • Baseball photographer Dylan Heuer was at the Iowa Cubs’ game, and as always the photos he is sharing with us are outstanding (even if some of them do feature Cardinals). Want to see what a home run swing looks like in the instant before bat meets ball? Click, scroll, and enjoy.
  • Dave

    What’s the latest on Gerardo Concepion? Seems like for so much spent on him, it’s awfully quiet…

    • Grant

      Rehabbing an injury in Mesa, if memory serves.

  • Deacon

    What’s the view on Christian Villanueva? Has his relative ‘power surge’ put him back in the prospect discussion? Or is he a downgrade from Valbuena?

    • Crockett

      I’m a fan of Villanueva. Plus defender at 3B with decent pop (that seems to be developing more and more). His issue will be contact and then k/bb. His power “surge” has come at the cost of worsening k/bb rates.

      I think his likely outcome is a 2B/3B utility guy with a plus glove. With a ceiling of an average major leaguer at 2B and a floor of a AAAA player.

  • Believe in 2015

    I’m going to the Cougars game tonight! Anyone have a scouting report on Felix Pena? He is pitching tonight and I was curious if he was a “prospect”

  • Cubs_Questions

    Really hoping to see Alberto Cabrera, Kyle Hendricks and/or Frank Batista starting at AAA this season. I think these guys could be a part of a competitive 2014/2015 Cubs team.

  • chirogerg

    Look at the hard, wide, and extremely late slide by the Cardinals runner in the 4th picture down. Classic classy Cards.

  • baldtaxguy

    Tall dude, that Junior Lake

  • Tobias

    In two days, I’m heading over to the ballpark in Surprise, Arizona to see the Rangers/Cubs game in the AZL.

  • Michael

    I expect a callup of Junior Lake at some point this year. We need to see what we have to know who’s a keeper, and who is trade fodder for other places of need.

  • Beats By Dre

    Your best bet is an all-in-one bodyshaper that will slim your middle and give you a lovely smooth silhouette.