Bringing you the best in Cubs minor league recaps since 2007!
The Iowa Cubs lost to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 3-1.
Let me get this out of the way right now. I don't think games played at Isotopes Park should have their stats count. The place is more pinball machine than ballpark. I've called it "Coors Field on Steroids" before and Baseball Prospectus backs me up, showing how last year Isotopes Park increased offense twice as much as Coors Field did. This is the first of four straight games in Albuquerque, so keep that in mind as the week goes on.
Of course, that's what makes tonight's pitcher's duel all the more surprising. Jeff Samardzija went back to the rotation tonight and didn't allow a run in four innings of work. He only threw 62 pitches before getting pulled, 42 of which were strikes. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out four. He did face the first two batters of the fifth inning before getting pulled, walking one and allowing one single. But an overall very strong outing for Samardzija under tough conditions.
J. R. Mathes got the loss despite pitching out of the mess that the Shark left him in the fifth with no damage. He allowed three runs on three hits over two innings. He didn't walk or strike out a batter.
Jeff Stevens pitched the final two innings. He allowed two hits and no runs. He also neither walked nor struck out an Isotope.
The Cubs hitters were silenced by a major league-ish Isotope pitching staff. Eight of the nine innings were thrown by Shawn Estes, Jeff Weaver and Tanyon Sturze. Third baseman Nate Spears was 1 for 3 with the only I-Cub RBI.
The Smokies spent a little too much time staring at the Jacksonville Suns this afternoon, as the Suns shut them out, 2-0.
Starter Casey Lambert took the loss, although he only allowed the two runs in five innings. Lambert allowed five hits and walked one. He didn't strike anyone out.
The Smokies only managed four singles. Two of them were from catcher Steve Clevenger, who was 2 for 4.
Daytona jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning, fell behind 5-3 and then came back to beat the Brevard County Manatees, 6-5 in ten innings on a Starlin Castro RBI single.
Starter Rafael Dolis went four innings and allowed two runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out two. David Cales got his second win of the young season in relief. Cales threw two shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out one.
Right fielder Dylan Johnston showed off his tremendous power with his first home run of the season, a two-run home run in the first inning. Johnston was 2 for 5 overall.
Left fielder (and all-around utility player) Marwin Gonzalez was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Center fielder Jonathan Wyatt was 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI.
Castro was 1 for 5 on the afternoon.
Some more good signs came from DH Tyler Colvin. Colvin was 1 for 2 with three walks. The power doesn't seem to be back for Colvin after his surgery, but he's drawing more walks and striking out less so far this season. Here's hoping the adjustments he made last season are starting to pay off and that this isn't just an early season fluke.
Minor league teams are smarter than major league ones. This game was cancelled even before the game in Wrigley started.