Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/23/09

I’m back and so is the Shark, Jeff Samardzija will be called up on Thursday to pitch out of the Cubs’ pen. He had made two starts for Iowa and did very well for himself; in his last start he threw six innings of one-hit baseball in front of Jim Hendry who was in Iowa watching to see if he could come up with some help for the Cubs. Well it appears he found his guy and Samardzija will be back in the Major Leagues.

Here is how the teams have done over the past few days. www.youngcubsworld.com

Peoria Chiefs-Class A

Peoria had two of their games rained out early this week, so they have only played one game so far this week and that was Wednesday against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Incidentally the Chiefs will be playing the Timber Rattlers this Friday at Miller Park.

The Chiefs dropped the first game on Wednesday by a score of 3-2 and they lost the game in the bottom of the 9th after some poor bullpen work. The Chiefs took the lead in the top of the 9th but then coughed it up when Erik Hamren and Kevin Kreier could not close out the game. Hamren got the loss (his second) and Kevin Kreier was charged with his first blown save.

Offensively they could not get much going; Josh Vitters and Cliff Anderson had two hits each and Rebel Ridling drove in the lone RBI and now has 10 on the year in 10 games. The Chiefs are back to .500 at 5-5 and they will continue on Thursday against Wisconsin in a double-header starting at 5:35 pm CT.

Daytona Cubs-Class High A

The Daytona Cubs won both games they played this week and they were going for the sweep on Wednesday night against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Daytona’s record is now at an even 6-6 on the season entering play on Wednesday night (4/22).

Here are summaries of the two games:

Game One: Cubs Win 6-2

Pitchers:

Marcos Mateo got the start for the Cubs and was very strong again, lasting four innings and giving up two hits, one walk with one strikeout. Mateo did not qualify for the win though because he only stayed in until the fourth inning. He still has not allowed a run yet this year in three starts and nine innings. He has also held hitters to a .143 average and he has only allowed two walks thus far. Craig Muschko earned the win (1-1 record) even though he threw three unimpressive innings, allowing two runs on three hits (one home run). Stephen Vento the finished off the victory with two scoreless innings of relief.

Hitters:

Tyler Colvin broke out in a big way on Wednesday going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a solo home run, his first. The effort raised his average up to .270 and I think that we will see him move up to Double-A by the beginning of May. He should be ready to play the field by then hopefully…this is a big year for him developmentally.

Russ Canzler and Marquez Smith each had two hits for the Cubs, with Canzler driving in one RBI, his fifth, and Smith knocked in two more RBI, to give him 13 on the year, most of which have come over the past four games.

Game Two: Cubs Win 12-0

Pitchers:

Ryan Searle started for Daytona and was nothing short of dominant. In six innings he allowed only one hit and he did not issue a walk while striking out two. He earned the win easily to bring his record to 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA. Searle’s control has been impressive so far this year; in 14 innings he has only walked one batter.

Henry Williamson came in and struck out the side in the seventh and Al Albuquerque and Luke Sommer finished up with a scoreless inning each to complete the shutout.

Hitters:

Every hitter had at least one hit and over half the team had at least two hits. Dylan Johnston and Marquez Smith each went deep for the Cubs. Johnston’s was a solo shot while Marquez Smith’s was a pinch-hit three-run shot in the sixth.

Tyler Colvin went 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and two walks (now has 11 walks versus only six strikeouts). Colvin’s average is now all the way up to .300 and all he needs to do now is show that he can play in the outfield.

Nate Samson also had a big game, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, a triple (his first) and two RBI. However, he is still hitting just .227 for the year. All in all it was an amazingly balanced attack that saw not only every starter get a hit, but also saw everyone except for Jovan Rosa score at least one run.

Tennessee Smokies-Class AA

The Smokies have won two of their last three games (all against the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx) this week. They have used decent relief pitching and have scored just enough to win the games. They won the first game by a score of 4-3 and Vince Perkins got his first win of the year after pitching two innings in relief.

Offensively they were led by a two-run homer from Tony Thomas, his third, and drove in his ninth and tenth RBI with the homer.

The Smokies also won the next game, by a score of 8-7, and Jayson Ruhlman recorded his first victory of the year with Brian Schlitter picking up his second save of the season. Offensively, Steve Clevenger was the standout of the day going 2-for-3 with his first triple and home run…he also scored three runs.

The Smokies lost for the first time against the Diamond Jaxx on Wednesday by a score of 7-2 with Hung-Wen Chen getting the loss to drop his record to 2-1 on the year. He gave up five earned runs and Jeremy Papelbon came into the game and gave up two earned runs in two innings of work, but did strike out four hitters.

Tennessee Smokes’ stats from Minor League Baseball’s website

Iowa Cubs-Class AAA

The Iowa Cubs played three games this week and have gone 2-1 in those games to bring their record to a Pacific Coast League Leading 9-5. On Monday, they defeated Round Rock 7-5 to take three out of four from them. Jose Ascanio started Monday’s game and only lasted 4.2 innings, but gave up only four runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks. It was the first start that he struggled in this year for Iowa, but the offense picked him up and J.R. Mathes got his second win in relief and his record now stands at 2-1.

The offense was a balanced attack. Nate Spears and Jake Fox each knocked in two runs. Bobby Scales, Brad Snyder and Andres Blanco each drove in one run.

The I-Cubs then started a series with the Albuquerque Isotopes and they took a 7-0 loss in the first game. Esmailin Caridad got the start and had his worst start of the year giving up six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings and recording his first lost (2-1 record). He walked a season high five and struck out four.

Greg Reinhard pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief and struck out six as the lone bright spot for the pitching staff. The offense could not get anything going, only three singles.

Wednesday’s game was a different story though and Iowa destroyed the Isotopes by a score of 9-1. Randy Wells was sensational as the starter going seven shutout innings and only one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. Jeff Stevens and Chad Fox finished out the victory…with Chad Fox allowing the only run.

Offensively Brad Snyder was the star of the day going 2-for-5 with two home runs (his third and fourth of the year) and five RBI. Sam Fuld, Doug Deeds, and Bobby Scales had two hits apiece and Andres Blanco went 3-for-4 with a home run of his own.

Iowa Cubs’ Stats from Minor League Baseball’s website

Quote of the Day

"In baseball, you don't know nothing." - Yogi Berra
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