A tough loss for the Cubs today though it's good to see the young core playing well. In the minors there are a few players who want to join that core and a few of them did pretty well today...
Apologize for the late recap as I had a busy day yesterday with a doc appointment and MRI for my stress fractuere
- Kyle Hendricks bounced back from a poor start the last time and looked like the Hendricks we're used to seeing -- only one walk vs. 5 Ks in 7 innings. He allowed just 1 run en route to his first victory of the year.
- Another player who hopes to be in Chicago soon, Neil Ramirez, had his second straight good outing after his disastrous start to the season. Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.
- Blake Parker has been in Chicago already and was something of a surprise cut this spring but he has looked good in Iowa so far. Another scoreless inning to close the game. Parker struck out 2 and is throwing strikes -- so maybe we'll see him back in Chicago if a spot opens up.
- Matt Szczur had cooled off after a good start but had two more hits today. He's down to .233 after his recent slump. But it's early, so it doesn't take a lot for a batting average to rise or fall quickly. Szczur has played well overall, particularly on defense. Szczur also stole his 3rd base but he was also caught stealing for the 2nd time this year.
- 2B Arismendy Alcantara is quietly off to a solid start, hitting .280 with 4 of his 7 hits being doubles. One of those doubles came today as he went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
- SS Javier Baez hit a 2 run HR for his only hit in 4 ABs. Baez is off to a .154 start but has shown signs of breaking out in recent games.
- Josh Vitters continued his solid play with a single and two walks. He's off to a tremendous start after a slow spring and an injury plagued 2013 seasoned. The two walks are most impressive and it gives him 3 on the year.
- Veteran Chris Valaika doubled, singled and drove in 2 runs.
- Not a great game for the Smokies but it was encouraging in that Jake Arrieta made his second strong start as he rehabilitates and looks to get back on the active Cubs roster. Arrieta was the inside favorite for the 5th starters spot but was injured. That role has gone to Carlos Villanueva but one has to believe that once Arrieta is ready, he'll be back in the rotation. Arrieta went 3.2 innings and did not allow a run. He walked 2 and struck out 4.
- Dae-Eun Rhee did an admirable job piggybacking the start but the one run he allowed in 4.2 innings. He walked one and struck out 4 in the tough luck loss.
- Only 4 hits for the Smokies today. Stephen Bruno doubled while Zeke DeVoss, Dustin Geiger, and John Andreoli all singled, Kris Bryant went hitless but drew a pair of walks.
- Tough second start for Tayler Scott, who was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft. The Cubs like Scott for his tremendous athleticism and makeup, but today that didn't help him much as he allowed 8 runs (4 earned) on 11 hits in just 3 inning. Scott also walked 3 batters -- something he cannot do if he expects to have success at the higher levels.
- About the only good news for the pitcher was another scoreless outing for Arodys Vizcaino, who allowed one hit and struck out one. He was once again in theh 96-98 mph range with a mid 80s slider.
- Not much brewing on offense for the D-Cubs. They scored both of their runs on their third, one on an RBI single by Oliver Zapata, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI grounder by Tim Saunders who also singled. Bijan Rademacher was the star of the day going 3 for 3 with a walk and scoring a run. Zapata came in to play for Gioskar Amaya, who was hurt in this game.
Kane Kounty 7 - Fort Wayne 5
- After a strong 2014 debut, Tyler Skulina once again started strong, allowing just one run through 5.2 innings before unraveling with one out to go in the 6th. It spoiled what whould have otherwise been another strong outing. Skulina allowed 3 straight hits and had 4 baserunners score after he coudn't get that last out. Still, we have to be encouraged by his start so far. Skulina allowed 5 runs in 5.2 innings in this outing, walking one and striking out 6. He still got the win.
- Middle man/long reliever Justin Amlung came in and helped close the door with 2.1 scoreless innings, but not before he allowed a double to allow 2 inherited runners to score in that 6th inning.
- Tyler Bremer pitched a scoreless inning to pick up the save. He allowed 2 hits but no walks and struck out one.
- The Cougars got a lot of production from the top of their lineup today. Daniel Lockhart stepped up in the leadoff spot and singled twice and scored two runs.
- 9th hitter Carlos Penalver made a big jump up the lineup to the second spot and made the move pay off. He double, singled, stole a base, and scored 3 runs.
- Yasiel Balaguert only had one hit but managed to drive in 3 runs, two on a single and one a grounder that was ruled an error but Balaguert was credited with a RBI because the run would have scored regardless.
- Shawon Dunston walked, stole a base, and scored a run but was hitless on the night.
- Trey Martin had a productive day, getting a single, walk, RBi, and a run scored.
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