The Chicago Cubs are winning, and so are the Iowa Cubs and the South Bend Cubs. And the Tennessee Smokies and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for that matter.
In fact, as this joyous sun dawns over a delightful Monday morning, the worst winning percentage in the Cubs organization is .500. Of course it is early and there is no telling what tomorrow may bring, but for now the entire organization is playing quality baseball. And with the Chicago team coming home with the front of the rotation scheduled and a chance to claim first place, how could this not be a happy Monday?
Cubs fans in the New Orleans area might have the best day of all of us, though, since the Bryant Minor League Road Show is rolling into town starting today, just when Bryant has gotten hot. If I am reading the map right, it looks like there is a highway about 600 feet from home plate past the left field fence of the ballpark in New Orleans. I doubt he can hit one that far, but, well, just be careful out there.
Scores From Friday
Iowa – Iowa fell behind early and lost to Memphis 8-1.
Tennessee – Tennessee opened an early lead, but ultimately lost despite a late rally. The final was 8-7.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans never could stop Wilmington from scoring in this 8-3 loss.
South Bend – South Bend adopted the philosophy of scoring early and often in this 7-4 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Addison Russell and Chris Valaika both doubled in this one. That accounts for all the Cubs extra base hits.
- [Iowa] Junior Lake singled, walked, and stole his first base of the season.
- [Iowa] Carlos Pimentel had a rough day on the mound, giving up 7 of the Redbirds 8 runs in just 3.2 innings, but on the good side both Zac Rosscup and Blake Parker pitched a pristine inning of relief. Rosscup struck out a pair in the process.
- [Tennessee] Bijan Rademacher doubled and finished this game 3 for 5. Willson Contreras also had 3 hits.
- [Tennessee] Second baseman Stephen Bruno came in as part of a double switch when starting pitcher Ivan Pineyro was lifted and went on to single in both of his at bats.
- [Myrtle Beach] By finishing 2 for 5 with a double, Jacob Hannemann had both only multi-hit game and one of two extra base hits for the Pelicans.
- [Myrtle Beach] Ben Carhart, playing behind the plate in this game, also doubled.
- [Myrtle Beach] It turns out that these Pelicans might be a lot of fun to watch on the bases. In just this game Hannemann, Mark Zagunis, and Shawon Dunston all had a stolen base.
- [Myrtle Beach] Josh Conway got lit up in his 1.1 innings of relief (3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K), but Gerardo Concepcion was very effective (2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K).
- [South Bend] Third baseman Jesse Hodges led the Cubs with a double and a 2 for 4 game. Jeffrey Baez and Chesny Young also had a pair of hits.
- [South Bend] Cael Brockmeyer did not have quite as fantastic of a night as he did in the opener, but he did smack another double.
- [South Bend] Rashad Crawford walked, singled, and picked up his first steal of the season.
- [South Bend] Jeremy Null looked very good in his debut. Working quickly and attacking the bottom of the strike zone he fanned 7 while allowing just 2 hits over 5 innings.
Scores From Saturday
Iowa – The Iowa offense roared to life in this 13-0 blowout win in Memphis.
Tennessee – The Smokies gave up a big seventh inning, and it resulted in this 6-2 loss.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach scored three in the bottom of the tenth to walk away with the 4-3 win.
South Bend – South Bend rallied to get the game into extra innings, but lost in twelve by a final of 7-5.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Let’s get the big one out of the way early. Kris Bryant doubled, homered, and finished 3 for 4 with a walk.
- [Iowa] Chris Valaika also homered and finished with 3 hits.
- [Iowa] Other multi-hit games went to Adron Chambers (who doubled twice), Rubi Silva (who also stole a base), and Mike Baxter.
- [Iowa] Rafael Lopez, Chicago’s presumptive catcher-if-needed stashed in Iowa, doubled and then stole third during the next at bat.
- [Iowa] Eric Jokisch allowed 3 hits and 3 walks in his 4.2 innings on the mound. He did not strike out anyone. Blake Cooper then pitched 2.1 flawless innings of relief, striking out 4.
- [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber finished 2 for 4 with a homer that he obliterated onto the roof of the building beyond the right field fence.
- [Tennessee] Felix Pena was extremely efficient in his 6 inning start. He gave up just 3 hits and a walk while striking out a pair.
- [Tennessee] On the downside, the Smokies committed 5 errors in this game. Then again, they also turned 4 double plays.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario doubled and finished with 3 hits. His double was the only extra base hit for the Pelicans in this game.
- [Myrtle Beach] Paul Blackburn pitched a good game (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K), but Juan Paniagua outshone him in relief (3 IP, 6 K).
- [South Bend] Charcer Burks doubled and tripled for his 2 hit game.
- [South Bend] Jeffrey Baez doubled twice and walked as part of his 2 for 4 night.
- [South Bend] Gleyber Torres broke out with a 3 for 4 game that included a double and a walk.
- [South Bend] A few years back the Cubs drafted a high school pitcher named Ryan McNeil. He threw hard, but immediately ran into arm problems. Now healthy and a part of the South Bend bullpen, he struck out 5 over 3 innings in this one.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa evened their record at 2-2 with this 7-2 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored early and never trailed in this 6-3 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans were held to just three hits in this 5-0 loss.
South Bend – Two big innings carried the Cubs to this 8-3 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Russell (who finished 3 for 5) and Bryant (1 for 4) both homered in this one.
- [Iowa] Utility man Jonathan Mota (playing first in this game) also homered as part of a 3 hit day.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli reached 3 times on a double and 2 walks. Adron Chambers reached 3 times with a single, a double, and a walk. He also stole a base.
- [Iowa] The Iowa bullpen pitched 5.1 innings of one hit baseball in this one. Drake Britton, Zac Rosscup (who struck out the side), Armando Rivero, and Blake Parker did the honors.
- [Tennessee] Dan Vogelbach doubled twice and finished 3 for 5. Albert Almora also doubled as part of his 2 for 5 day.
- [Tennessee] Anthony Giansanty walked and finished 2 for 4 as he played both outfield corners. Christian Villanueva and Willson Contreras also had 2 hits each.
- [Tennessee] Rob Zastryzny struck out 5 (but walked 3) in his 3.1 innings of work. He allowed 2 runs, one of them earned. He left the game after taking a grounder off of the foot.
- [Myrtle Beach] Other than a double from a rehabbing Denorfia, Mark Zagunis and Jeimer Candelario had the only hits in this one.
- [Myrtle Beach] We had high hopes for Tyler Skulina coming into the season, and he got off to a decent start in his first game. Over 5 innings he struck out 5 while allowing a run on 3 hits and 3 walks.
- [South Bend] Gleyber Torres stayed hot with a 2 for 4 performance that included his first stolen base of the season.
- [South Bend] Trey Martin tripled and also had a stolen base.
- [South Bend] The Cubs once again got production from the bottom of the order as third baseman Jason Vosler finished 3 for 5 and left fielder Rashad Crawford reached 4 times with a pair of singles and a pair of walks.
- [South Bend] Jasvir Rakkar struck out 3 in his 2 hitless innings of relief. James Norwood and Tommy Thorpe each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
- Chris Denorfia has started his rehab assignment with Myrtle Beach. He doubled and struck out in Sunday’s game.
- Candelario had a rough time in High A a year ago, so it is good to see him get off to a good start. He drove in the game winner in extras on Saturday.
- If you missed my writeup yesterday on what you can expect on Sundays, check it out here.
- This is your reminded that on this Saturday something will happen that has never happened before: Brett and I will be in the same place at the same time, and we would love for you to be there, too. We’ll be in the stands for the Iowa games on Saturday and Sunday (the 18th and 19th), and we’ll no doubt stop by a local establishment or two as well. If the opportunity to meet and talk with Brett and me isn’t incentive enough, then consider this: magnet schedules will be given away on both Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday anyone bringing three canned food items will receive a free General Admission ticket to the game. There are also Sunday specials for bicyclists, families, and even a chance for kids to run the bases. It promises to be a really fun weekend.
- So this happened.
- And if you are wondering, that was in fact started by this capstone article on the 2015 Bleacher Nation Top 40.
- So, Dan Vogelbach, your sandwich immortality awaits. Drill one into Calhouns beyond the left field fence in Smokies Stadium and your fame is secure.
- And if you manage the feat before I get to Tennessee this season (dates for that trip not yet final), it will be my pleasure to feast upon said sandwich.