Caught another game at Kane County today and saw a much better Pierce Johnson and saw my first victory of the year when Jeimer Candelario hit a walk-off single over a drawn in OF in the bottom of the 9th.
Iowa and Daytona also rallied today, but each team came up short.
- Iowa off to a rough start for the second night a row but LHP Chris Rusin quickly righted the ship after some uncharacteristic wildness. He started the game by walking 3 batters, hitting another, and giving up 2 hits, including a HR by former teammate James Adduci. Rusin somehow managed to limit the damage to 3 runs. He settled down after that and threw 5 innings of one run baseball (and walking just one more batter).
- Zach Putnam and Rafael Dolis each pitched a scoreless inning to keep Iowa in the game.
- Brett Jackson appears to be emerging from his early season funk and has struck out just once in each of the past 5 games. Today he added a couple of hits, including a triple, to raise his season average to .280. He has struck out in 31% of his PAs early in the season.
- Veterans Bryan Bogusevic and Darnell McDonald also pitched in. Bogusevic had a double and a walk while McDonald hit a solo HR.
Tennessee had the day off...
- There was one encouraging thing about Zach Cates outing and that he showed some command of his breaking ball and good control overall. In fact, he did not walk a batter and struck out 7 in just 3.2 innings. The bad news is that he left too many balls up and got tagged for 6 hits, 3 of them doubles. But there was some bad BABIP luck and a big error by Dustin Geiger as well. In the end he gave up 3 runs, though only one was earned. All in all an encouraging outing
- Solid outing by LHP Sheldon McDonald in that he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. He did walk a couple of batters, which isn't ideal for him but he did keep the ballgame within reach.
- We usually talk about Zeke DeVoss' OBP, speed, or occasional spectacular defensive play, but today the switch-hitting Zeke turned up the power and hit a HR over the LF wall off LHP Nick Hernandez.
- Tim Saunders went 1 for 2 but the bigger story is that the versatile player was in CF today and injured himself crashing into the outfield wall. He did not stay in the game but left under his own power.
- Javier Baez tripled and scored a run and I was also encouraged by his last AB, which was a strikeout. I was encouraged because it came in the bottom of the 9th with Daytona down one run. Instead of trying to be the hero, Baez worked the count full and then took a borderline pitch that was called a strike --but I like Baez's approach in that situation. He was trying to get on base. In the future he'll learn to foul off those kind of pitcher's strikes but for now I'm happy with that AB.
- Jorge Soler had two more hits, a walk, and a big RBI that pulled Daytona within one. Soler is off to a great start, hitting .450 with 2 HRs. He has also walked 3 times.
- Stephen Bruno had a double and an RBI.
- John Andreoli continues to find his way on base. Today it was a single and two more walks.
- Ben Carhart singled, walked and scored a run.
- Dustin Geiger had a tough day. He had 3 throwing errors and struck out twice, though he also singled.
- This was a much better outing for Pierce Johnson. He was at 90-93 today and peaked at 96. It was a rough start, as Johnson gave up 3 singles, 2 of which never left the infield, and a walk. But he escaped with just 2 runs scored and then shut Clinton down the rest of the way. The outing was a good example why the box score doesnt always tell the whole story. Johnson's line of 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 W, and 4 Ks look pretty pedestrian but he was let down by some shaky defense and some bad luck with balls in play.
- LHP Jeffry Antigua came in and his smoke and mirrors act worked again. He gave up just one run in 3 innings and gave Kane County an opportunity to win the game late. Antigua is mid 80s with his fastball and his secondary stuff sometimes doesn't break 70 mph, but he gets it done more often than not.
- RHP Eddie Orozco gave up 2 unearned runs and blew the save but picked up the win when the Cougars scored a run in the 9th.
- Gioskar Amaya still hasn't found his rhythm at the plate but he's battling and he got a couple more hits today. He's now hitting .269 on the season.
- Dan Vogelbach hasn't launched a HR but he is making solid contact. He had 3 more hits today and is hitting .310 on the year. Vogelbach also made a nice defensive play on a grounder down the line and that seemed to pump him up far more than any of the 3 hits. Good to see as Vogelbach knows that becoming an adequate defender at 1B is a big key to his future.
- Defensively, it was a mixed day for Jeimer Candelario but all's well that ends well. He made two nice defensive plays One play was on a hard smash grounder to his left on which he made a diving stop, then threw to 2nd to start a 5-4-3 double play. He made another nice play on a slow roller to his left and threw to first on the run to nail a quick runner. On the other hand, he also mishandled a tough play on a hard grounder. It was not an error but a play he should have made. He also had trouble on another slow roller hit right at him again. That seems to be the biggest area he needs to work on defensively. At the plate he had two more hits, including the game winning single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.
- Rock Shoulders stayed red-hot and hit his 2nd HR of the season. He also walked and singled and is now hitting .480 to start the year.
- SS Marco Hernandez is off to another tough start but showed some signs of breaking through today. Like Candelario, he didn't make an error but didn't make two plays that he normally handles. He did handle all the routine plays, however, and pitched in with a couple of hits and a stolen base.
- Trey Martin's injury has given Bijan Rademacher an opportunity and he has taken full advantage of it so far. He had two more hits, a double and a hard single up the middle to go with a walk. He also fired a laser to home plate on a short flyball but the runner wisely didn't try to advance.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap