You know it's bad when I decide to mow the lawn in the middle of a Cubs game.
But I do have some good news coming from the minors, especially Peoria. So let's shake up the lineup and put the Chiefs in the leadoff spot tonight. That way the people who don't read beyond the fold have something to smile about.
For the Smokies, D-Cubs and Chiefs, the numbers are their second half record. For the I-Cubs and Hawks, it's for the entire season.
Peoria Chiefs (26-19)
The Chiefs ripped the Burlington Bees, 11-1.
Here's the news you all want to hear: Ted Lilly threw five shutout innings. He gave up only two hits. He walked one and struck out two. After the game, Lilly said:
"Everything felt good," said Lilly. "I was glad I was able to do this as opposed to a simulated game. I'm glad I was given the chance to play with these guys. You can feed off their energy. It was definitely motivating."
Austin Biebens-Dirkx got his first save by pitching the final four innings. He gave up one run in the ninth inning, but otherwise gave up four hits, walked only one and struck out four.
Center fielder Brett Jackson hit two home runs tonight: A three-run home run in the fifth and a solo shot in the eighth. Jackson was 3 for 4 with a walk. He scored three times and had the four RBI.
DH Rebel RIdling also homered tonight, his 14th on the season. Ridling went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and the one RBI.
Shortstop DJ LeMahieu went 3 for 5. Catcher Michael Brenly went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. I'm sure his dad would like me to mention that he caught a couple of very good pitching performances as well.
Iowa Cubs (60-58)
The Iowa Cubs turned their ray guns on the Las Vegas 51s, 5-4.
(Boy, it's going to stink if they go back to being the Las Vegas Stars next year.)
Starter Casey Fossum allowed three runs over six innings for the textbook quality start. He gave up seven hits, only walked one and struck out seven.
Jeff Stevens got the win in relief, despite allowing a run on three hits over 1.2 innings. Stevens struck out one and didn't walk a batter. Blake Parker shut them out the rest of the way for save number fourteen. Parker allowed one hit in the 1.1 innings. He didn't walk or strike out anyone.
Catcher Chris Robinson was the hitting star, going 4 for 4 with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Robinson had three RBI total.
Shortstop Andres Blanco was 3 for 5 with a double and run scored in what I guess is technically a rehab appearance.
Tennessee Smokies (23-24)
The Smokies were outshined by the Jacksonville Suns, 4-3.
Jeremy Papelbon started and took the loss. He went six innings and also gave up the QS three runs. He gave up four hits, two of which were home runs. Papelbon walked one and struck out three.
Right fielder Doug Deeds went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. First baseman Blake Lalli was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.Daytona Cubs (18-26)
The D-Cubs were shut out by the Tampa Yankees, 6-0.
Starter Rafael Dolis took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits over 4.1 innings. He walked one and fanned one.
The D-Cubs still can't hit.
Boise Hawks (22-30)
The Hawks made five errors and were tossed in the wash by the Everett Aqua Sox, 6-2.
Starter Christopher Rusin allowed four runs on seven hits over four innings. He didn't walk anyone and struck out four.
Center fielder Burundi Davis went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.
Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee made three of the five Hawk errors. He was 0 for 3 with a sac bunt at the plate.