Casey Coleman had one of two very impressive pitching performances in the Cubs system today. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I bring good news. Everyone won tonight.
I really don't know what to say about Bryan LaHair anymore. Obviously he can't keep this up, but we don't know his true level yet. I think we do know he's a major league hitter. But I did unearth a quote from Lookout Landing on October 30, 2009.
That was a commenter, not part of the story. Just to be clear. Before you all feel too superior, I'm sure someone around here said something like that about Casey McGehee.
The Iowa Cubs blanked the New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins), 1-0.
The first 17 I-Cubs went down as Zephyrs starter Alex Sanabia had a perfect game going into the sixth inning. But Cubs starter Casey Coleman matched him and even broke up the perfect game with a loud double off the right field wall that just missed being a home run. Coleman pitched seven innings today and allowed only two hits and a walk. He struck out nine, which I believe is a career high for Coleman.
Scott Maine relieved Coleman in the eighth and only allowed one baserunner; an eighth inning two-out walk. He struck out one Zephyr to end the game.
Maine got the win because right fielder Brett Jackson led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk. The next batter, third baseman Josh Vitters, went the other way and punched a single between the second and first basemen and Jackson went to third base. With runners on first and third, Sanabia tripped on the mound during a pitch for a balk, scoring Jackson. Along with Coleman's double, those were the only three base runners Iowa had all day.
The Iowa Cubs coming to Fresno tonight for a four-game series. I'm going to try to catch two of them, although my wife and I are deciding which two. It will probably be Wednesday and Friday. Almost certainly won't be tomorrow night's game.
The Tennessee Smokies out-dueled the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 4-2.
Nick Struck started and got the win with six innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. Struck struck out three.
Kevin Rhoderick pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save. He fanned one.
First baseman Rebel Ridling broke out of a deep slump with his first home run of the season. It was a solo home run that provided an insurance run in the eighth inning. Ridling was 1 for 4 and was 5 for his last 39 before the home run.
Second baseman Logan Watkins was 1 for 3 with two walks.
The Daytona Cubs nailed the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) 6-2 for their third straight win.
Eric Jokisch dominated the Hammerheads tonight, tossing seven shutout innings. He only allowed four hits while striking out eleven, which tied for most in the Florida State League this season. Even better, he didn't walk or hit anyone.
DH Nelson Perez was 2 for 2 with a triple and two walks. Perez scored twice and batted one in.
Center fielder Matt Szczur went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. After a slow start, Szczur is now hitting .326 in his last ten games.
The Peoria Chiefs ended the Quad Cities' crime spree and placed the River Bandits (Cardinals) under arrest, 7-5.
PJ Francescon started and pitched the first six innings, allowing four runs on three hits. Two of the four runs were unearned as they scored in the fifth inning on a two-out double after catcher's interference was called on what would have been the third out. Francescon walked three and struck out four. His record improved to 3-1
Sheldon McDonald made his season debut with two innings of relief of Francescon. He did allow an unearned run, but he only walked one and did not allow any hits. McDonald struck out two.
Jeffrey Lorick got his fourth save the hard way. After easily retiring the first two batters in the inning, he hit the next two batters before striking out the potential winning run.
First baseman Paul Hoilman is silly-hot right now and he delivered the big blow in this game with a grand slam in the seventh inning. It was his third home run of the year. Earlier in the game he had singled, extending his hitting streak to twenty games. Hoilman was 3 for 4 with a walk and five RBI.
The Peoria franchise record for a hitting streak is 21. Hoilman will look to match that tomorrow at home against Beloit.
Center fielder Taiwan Easterling went 2 for 5 with a double. He scored three times and batted one in himself. Left fielder Ryan Cuneo went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk.