Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

albert almora cubsAfter few days off in the land where internet is slow and hard to come by, I return to find that Brett pretty much nailed everything on the minor league front while I was away (like always).

And in addition to being awesome in that regard, he also kicked off the 2015 edition of the Blogathon in support of Make-A-Wish. This is an awesome annual tradition, and the awesomest part about it (other than it being for Make-A-Wish (which is really awesome)) is that it is purely driven by the community. I don’t know of too many websites that have a community of readers willing to donate a large amount of cash to a great cause on an annual basis, but I am really happy I write for one of those websites.

This might be a good time to mention that Brett and I sort of signed ourselves up for a midnight Live Stream during the Blogothon. That would be the night before Friday, July 31, so go ahead and let your bosses know you’ll be sleep deprived and babbling about cats when you come to work that Friday.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa’s two big innings were enough to secure an 8-3 win.
Tennessee – Excellent pitching carried the Smokies to this 3-1 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans fell behind in the ninth and lost this one 3-1.
South Bend – In another well pitched game, South Bend came away the 2-1 winners.
Eugene – The Emeralds jumped to an early lead that held up for a 6-4 win.
Arizona – A five run third inning secured this 9-2 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Yoervis Medina pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in this one. He allowed one hit and struck out a pair.
  • [Iowa] Kyle Schwarber hit 2 doubles and his second homer in Triple A as part of his 3 for 5 game. With this game he raised his Iowa OPS (sample size alert) to 1.055.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara also had 3 hits, but all his were singles. He did, however, tack on his 12th steal.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur homered (number 5), doubled, and walked to finish 2 for 4.
  • [Tennessee] Pierce Johnson needed just 88 pitches to throw 7 innings. He allowed a run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.

  • [Tennessee] Corey Black sailed through the 8th inning in hitless fashion using just 7 pitches. P.J. Francescon struck out 2 in a hitless ninth.
  • [Tennessee] Cael Brockmeyer, playing at his third level this season, doubled and finished 2 for 4 as the DH in this one. Bijan Rademacher and Willson Contreras matched those numbers.
  • [Tennessee] Elliot Soto went one better. He doubled and finished 3 for 5.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Brad Markey struck out 2 and allowed a run on 4 hits over 6 innings (83 pitches) in his first start in High A.
  • [Myrtle Beach] I expected Dave Berg, the Cubs’ 6th round pick this summer, to move fast, and he has. The side-arming reliever made his first appearance in High A in this game (just his 3rd game as a professional) and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk.

  • [Myrtle Beach] In between Markey and Berg, David Garner struck out 3 over 2 flawless innings.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis doubled and finished 2 for 5. Jacob Rogers also doubled.
  • [South Bend] Zach Hedges pitched 8 innings and allowed just one run to score on a total of 7 hits and a walk. He struck out 2. Tyler Ihrig struck out 2 more as he finished the game without allowing anything.
  • [South Bend] The Cubs had only 4 hits in this game, but one of them was a 2 run run homer off the bat of Yasiel Balaguert (his 5th of the year).
  • [Eugene] Justin Steele allowed just one earned run in 5 innings on the hill, but gave up 4 altogether. Those runs came on 5 hits and a walk. He struck out 6.
  • [Eugene] Greyfer Eregua struck out 7 and walked one in 3 brilliant innings of no-hit relief.
  • [Eugene] Frandy Delarosa doubled, walked, and finished 2 for 4. Ian Rice and Adonis Paula also doubled as part of 2 hit games.
  • [Eugene] Ian Happ had no hits in this one, but he did pick up 2 more walks and another RBI.
  • [Arizona] James Norwood was effective in his rehab start. Over 2 innings he allowed a hit, a walk, and struck out a pair.
  • [Arizona] Jesus Camargo pitched the next 4 innings. He allowed just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 7.
  • [Arizona] Jose Paniagua homered (his 2nd) and finished with 2 hits. Robert Garcia and Alex Bautista both tripled as part of their 2 hit days.

Other News

  • Don’t forget that three Cubs’ prospects are absent from their regular teams because they will be participating in the Pan Am games starting this weekend. On Saturday Albert Almora and Dan Vogelbach (if healthy) will join the rest of the United States squad in facing Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, that same day, Jasvir Rakkar and the Canadian team will play the Dominican Republic.
  • A great Pan Am baseball match to watch comes up early in the schedule. On Sunday, the US plays Cuba. I have no idea if that game will be televised or not (the CBC is the official broadcaster, and they generally aren’t available in much of the US), but if it is it may be well worth watching. Given that Cuban players have been defecting at a rapid pace lately, and with the added factor of the Cubs willingness to spend beyond the penalty limits on International Free Agents this year, it is possible that there could be future Cubs on both sides of the diamond in that contest.
  • Speaking of defecting Cuban players, Vladimir Gutierrez is now a free agent. According to Baseball America, Gutierrez is a right handed pitcher with a good frame, good stuff, and at only nineteen he has plenty of room for improvement. He is also subjected to the spending limits, and that means the Cubs are one of very few teams who will realistically have a shot at him.
  • Remember Respect Bald, the head-shaving, pediatric-cancer-awareness-raising event that took place during spring training? It has spread from the Cubs spring training facility in Mesa to their Short-Season A affiliate in Eugene. Here to talk about it, and to get his head shaved (with the ‘help’ of the Emeralds’ mascot) is Eugene’s General Manager Allan Benavides.

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