Happy Independence Day. Luckily, the news on the farm is a lot better than the news in Chicago, so you can come here when you get too depressed.
I'm going to make another plug for the Road to Wrigley game between the Peoria Chiefs and the Kane County Cougars. Besides seeing the Cubs of tomorrow and being able to crack jokes about how they're better than the Cubs of today, you'll be able to get into Wrigley Field for between five and seventeen dollars. I'm also hearing about reduced beer prices for the bleachers as well. There will be all the goofy mascots and games that they have at minor league games. The game will be this Wednesday, July 7.
Your number thirteen prospect is the hard-throwing righty Rafael Dolis. Dolis is having a great season so far this year and just got promoted to AA. His heavy fastball also gets a lot of groundball outs as well as strikeouts. The only thing holding him back right now is his control, as he does need to work on cutting down on the walks.
So replacing him in the vote is Aaron Shafer. Shafer was a pitcher who many thought would be a top-ten pick in the draft two years ago based on his talent, but he couldn't stay healthy. Although he avoided Tommy John surgery, his velocity dropped and he fell to the Cubs in the second round. He struggled as a starter last season, but this season he was moved to the pen in Daytona and he took off. He still throws hard enough (low 90s) and has a nasty 12-6 curve. The Cubs recently promoted him to AA. He did have a bad night in relief in Tennessee tonight, though, giving up three runs on four hits in two innings.
Rained out. Double header and fireworks tomorrow.
The Smokies set off the fireworks against the Huntsville Stars, 6-3 when catcher Robinson Chirinos hit a three-run walk off home run.
Starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx threw five shutout innings, giving up only three hits and two walks. Bibens-Dirkx struck out six.
Ryan Buchter pitched the ninth and got the win. He didn't allow a run, but did gave up one hit and one walk. Buchter struck out one.
Chirinos ended the game by clubbing his ninth home run of the year with two on and two out in the ninth. Chirinos was 1 for 3 with two walks.
Second baseman Tony Thomas also homered in the seventh inning.. Thomas went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and his sixth homer. Thomas scored twice and stole his tenth base on the season.
Outfielder Brandon Guyer went 2 for 4 with a double.
The Smokies had a record crowd of 7,728 for the game and fireworks tonight.Daytona Cubs
The Daytona Cubs landed the Clearwater Threshers, 5-1.
Starter Trey McNutt picked up his first FSL win tonight by allowing only one run over 5.2 innings. McNutt allowed four hits. He walked one and struck out six.
David Patton got his first save by pitching the ninth. He entered the game with two on and no out in the ninth, but didn't allow anyone to scored. He did walk the bases loaded with one out, but then got a double play to end the game.
Third baseman Junior Lake was 3 for 4 with two doubles. He scored once and batted one in. He also stole his ninth base of the year.
First baseman Rebel Ridling was 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Center fielder David Macias was 2 for 5 and scored a run.
Catcher Michael Brenly was 2 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored. Brenly has been so hot lately he batted cleanup tonight. As I've said about Brenly before, he's been a pleasant surprise. If he makes the majors, do you think his dad will be at the game?
The Peoria Chiefs gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning and were sawed in two by the Clinton LumberKings, 5-3.
Nick Struck started and went six innings, giving up only one run on a solo home run. He allowed four hits total. Struck walked one and struck out five.
Frank Batista took the loss when he allowed the first four batters in the ninth to reach base. All four eventually came around to score. Batista pitched 2+ innings and surrendered four hits and a walk. He struck out two.
Left fielder Greg Rohan was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored twice. Right fielder Nelson Perez went 3 for 4 with a triple.
First baseman Justin Bour hit his ninth home run of the year with a man on in the second inning. Bour was 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Boise Hawks were beaten by the Spokane Indians, 6-2.
Starting pitcher Juan Yasser Serrano went five innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Carlos E. Rojas took the loss in relief. He gave up two runs on four hits in the two innings he pitched. Rojas didn't walk a batter and struck out one.
The Hawks had four hits tonight and second baseman Pierre LePage had two of them. LePage was 2 for 4 with an RBI triple. He then scored in the two-run sixth inning.