Cubs Minor League Daily: How About That Pitching?

pierce johnson missouri stateFor a time pitchers up and down the organization seemed to be struggling. Lately, though, that has changed dramatically. Kyle Hendricks tossed an absolute gem the other night, and Zach Cates nearly matched him a day later. Yesterday the Cubs saw some quality pitching from every starter at every level in the organization. Matt Garza, rehabbing in Tennessee, might have had the worst outing of any of the starting pitchers in the farm system.

Development of the hitters is both fun to watch and vital for the organization, but what the Cubs need the most is for the pitching talent to take significant strides forward. We need more stretches of good outing upon good outing as this season progresses.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The wind was blowing in, and the final score shows it. The Cubs lost 1-0.
Tennessee – Rains cut this one short, and the Smokies lost 3-0 in five.
Daytona – This was also a low scoring, well pitched game. Daytona came out on top 3-1.
Kane County – The bullpen let this one get into ten innings, but the offense was there to save the day. The Cougars won it in ten 5-4.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Chris Rusin pitched a nice game despite taking the loss. He gave up six hits while striking out five over seven innings. The best part? No walks.
  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins had a double and a walk as part of his three hit game. To put that in context, the entire Iowa team, including Watkins, had just four hits. His season line now reads .279/.436/.465.
  • [Tennessee] The big story in this one was Matt Garza’s return to the mound. He gave up a two walks and a hit in 2.2 innings of work. That is pretty much meaningless, though. He felt good after throwing 42 pitches, and that is exactly what the Cubs wanted to hear. Hopefully he continues to feel good today.
  • [Daytona] Ben Wells pitched a very nice game for Daytona. The right hander allwed just three hits and a walk in seven innings while stricking out three. Eduardo Figueroa struck out three more in the final two frames.
  • [Daytona] Jorge Soler had one double, but Ben Carhart had two. Anthony Giansanti (playing second) also had two hits.
  • [Kane County] Pierce Johnson also pitched a pretty good game. Over 6.2 innings Johnson gave up just 4 hits and a walk while striking out four. Unfortunately Jeffry Antigua gave up the tying runs in the ninth before nailing things down for the win in tenth.
  • [Kane County] He only had one hit, but Daniel Vogelbach saved it for when it mattered most. His single in the tenth plated the game winners.
  • [Kane County] After a bit of a dry spell, Gioskar Amaya rebounded with a two hit game that included both a double and a walk.
  • Other News

  • My August journey to watch the Tennessee Smokies is coming into focus. Right now it looks like I’ll be at the Smokies games on August 12 and 13. If you are going to be in that part of the world in early August, keep those evenings open and make plans to stop by the ballpark. Unfortunately, though, this will be my only trip to a Cubs farm team this season. I had planned to visit Iowa and Kane County this year as well, but those plans were squeezed out by a combination of work and other events. Maybe next year.
  • written by

    Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.

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