The Cubs eliminated one of their Dominican Summer League teams and picked up a team for the Venezuelan Summer League. Today was the debut and it was...well, eventful. They played the VSL Rays and lost 22-11. We'll be linking VSL and DSL box scores but not summarizing them, though we will write about certain players from time to time.
- Nick Struck is having a rough time of it this year in AAA and it looked like it was going to be another poor start, but Struck battled and kept the I-Cubs in the game after allowing 3 runs and putting them in an early deficit. He worked 6 innings and allowed 4 runs in all, walking one and striking out 4. He did allow 11 hits.
- Veteran Esmalin Cardidad pitched 2 scoreless innings to hold the lead while Zach Putnam pitched a perfect 9th to record his 2nd save. Putnam has a 0.75 ERA in his last 10 games, striking out 14 in 12 innings. He has lowered his overall ERA to 3.52.
- Brett Jackson went 0-4 with a walk and that may not mean a whole lot, but he did not strikeout. In fact, he has only struck out twice in his last 22 PAs, covering 5 games in which he has hit .333. He has lowered his strikeout rate to 27%. Whether this this is just a good run or a genuine long term change remains to be seen.
- The big inning for the I-Cubs was the 6th, the frame in which they scored all six of their runs. The big hits were an RBI single by Josh Vitters, a 2-run single by Brad Nelson, and then a big 3-run HR by Donnie Murphy.
- Dallas Beeler was using his 89-92 mph two seamer extremely well, generating an incredible 15 ground balls in just 6 innings of work. He also kept the ball in the strike zone, walking 2 while striking out 3. He allowed just 3 runs (2 earned). It was a quality start but he didnt get the run support he needed from the Smokies. Beeler has a 3.14 ERA on the year.
- Tony Zych and Trey McNutt came into keep the game close. Unfortunately Zych allowed a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. McNutt walked 2 hitters but managed to work out of trouble for a scoreless inning -- and that was a good thing because it set the stage for the Smokies comeback. He got credited with the win.
- Kevin Rhoderick pitched a scoreless 9th for the save.
- Matt Szczur singled and doubled in the go-ahead run as the Smokies rallied from a 4-2 deficit to score 4 runs in the top of the 9th. He also stole his 13th base.
- C Rafael Lopez has become a solid contributor for the Smokies. He doubled and hit a key HR in the 9th to bring the Smokies within one. It was Lopez's 3rd HR of the year to go with a .259 average.
- CF Rubi Silva's power surge continues and today was one of his biggest HRs yet. He homered to tie the game. It was his 7th of the year. He's hitting .276 on the year. Silva's sudden display of power is probably putting him back on the Cubs radar as a guy who can play all 3 OF positions, run well, and show some pop at the late. Silva's biggest weakness is a very aggressive approach that has led to 2 walks and an OBP below .300.
- The versatile Anthony Giansanti had 2 hits and is now hitting .444 since his recent promotion to AA.
- You have to give Zach Cates credit for throwing strikes but you also have to credit the Stone Crabs for hitting them. They cranked out 11 hits -- but 9 of them were singles and combined with one walk, Cates was able to limit the damage to just 3 runs. Unfortunately that was more than enough to tag him with his 4th loss.
- LHP Frank Del Valle and RHPs Luis Liria and David Cates all pitched a scoreless inning. Del Valle has been particularly impressive this year. When it comes to missing bats, he's the Daytona version of Zach Rosscup. He has a 1.93 ERA with 24 strikeouts in just 14 innings.
- Not much offense for the D-Cubs. Zeke DeVoss and Ben Carhart each had a pair of singles. Chadd Krist had the other hit and drew a walk.
- While he did not get a hit, Jorge Soler showed he can contribute in other ways. He walked, stole his 3rd base and threw out another runner at 3B from RF.
- RHP Pierce Johnson had his second straight tough outing, but once again the peripherals were good. Johnson threw 6 innings and allowed 4 runs but walked one and struck out 6. He has a 3.89 ERA on the season with 11 walks and 36 strikeouts in 34.1 innings.
- LHP Jeffry Antigua pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.
- Not much offense for the Cougars today. Both Gioskar Amaya and Dan Vogelbach each had a pair of singles while Jeimer Candelario doubled for their only extra base hit of the day.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap