Once again this season, if you want to see winning Cubs baseball, follow the Tennessee Smokies. They've won three straight half-season titles and are well on their way to a fourth. The Daytona Cubs are a good choice too, as they have an even better record.
And as a reminder, there is no better place to follow the Smokies than through our friends at the Smokies Radio Network. Daily updates and links to the free on-line radio broadcasts.
The Iowa Cubs got plastered by the Memphis Redbirds, 7-1.
Starter Thomas Diamond only lasted three innings after getting hammered for six runs on seven hits, including three hits that left the yard. Diamond walked two and struck out two.
He was relieved by Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who pitched decently enough. He went three innings and allowed one run on two hits. Bibens-Dirkx walked one and struck out two. He also threw 47 pitches, which makes me believe he's not being considered for a start on Tuesday.
The I-Cubs only managed three singles today.
The Smokies eclipsed the Jacksonville Suns 4-3, to improve their record to a Southern League best 12-5.
Starter Chris Rusin allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings. One of the three runs was unearned. Rusin walked one and struck out three in a no-decision. He did hit two batters, however.
He was relieved by Marco Carrillo, who got the win with two shutout innings. He didn't allow a hit. Carrillo walked one and struck out two.
Blake Parker threw the final two innings without allowing a run for his first save of the year. Parker allowed one hit and no walks. He struck out two.
First baseman Rebel Ridling hit a solo home run in the 8th inning that broke the tie and provided the winning margin. It was his fourth home run this year. Ridling was 3 for 4 and scored twice.
Ryan Flaherty hit his fifth home run earlier in the game. It was a sixth-inning solo homer. Flaherty was 2 for 4 and scored twice.
The Daytona Cubs done in the Dunedin Blue Jays 5-3. The Daytona Cubs are also in first place with a 13-5 record.
Aaron Kurcz started and pitched four good innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run and four hits total. Kurcz walked two and struck out six.
Kevin Rhoderick got the win because Kurcz didn't go five, but he pitched well too. Rhoderick threw three shutout innings and allowed only one hit. He walked one and struck out three.
Center fielder Evan Crawford was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Left fielder David Macias was 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. He scored twice. DH Jake Optiz was 2 for 4
Spent the off-day setting traps for the Easter Bunny, hoping to get an endless supply of chocolate eggs for the bullpen.