I know this season has been miserable for Cub fans, but in the minor leagues, this has been a very successful season. If you want to feel better about how things are going, look to the minors where the top three teams are all in first place and Tennessee's already won the first half. And while I admit they aren't doing it all with young prospects, I would say this system is more talented than it has been in years. It's not a top five system in terms of talent but it might be a top ten system.
I just want to let you know the minors have been a lot more fun than the majors this year. Granted, so's hitting yourself over the head with a hammer. But the minors have been more fun this year than any year since I started doing this. There is hope down here.
The Iowa Cubs continue to roll as they stopped the Tacoma Rainiers, 11-6.
Starter Jay Jackson got the win, although he didn't have that good of an outing. Jackson pitched 6.2 innings and allowed five runs on six hits, including three home runs. Jackson walked one and struck out five. To be fair, most of Jackson problems came in the seventh inning that he didn't finish.
Ryno's boys hit five home runs tonight, all by the end of the fifth inning. Tonight's player of the game was third baseman Marquez Smith, who was 2 for 3 with two home runs--and after that he was pinch-hit for in the sixth inning. (Ryno's a tough crowd, apparently.) The second of Smith's two home runs was a two-run inside-the-park home run. Smith had three RBI and now has seven home runs for Iowa and ten total on the season.
Right fielder Brad Snyder hit his 18th home run of the season, a solo home run in the third inning. Snyder was 3 for 4 with a walk and he scored three times. Two batters later, Bryan LaHair hit a two-run home run, his 19th this year. LaHair was 2 for 4 with a walk and he scored twice.
DH Micah Hoffpauir closed out the home run parade with a two-run homer in the fifth, also his 19th this season. Hoffpauir had a 2 for 4 night with a walk. He also scored twice.
Left fielder Ty Wright didn't homer, but he did double and walk in a 2 for 4 evening. Wright scored twice and knocked two in.
The Smokies chomped down on the Montgomery Biscuits, 6-1
Rafael Dolis started and picked up the win tonight. Dolis gave up only one run on six hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out two.
No home runs for the Smokies, but center fielder Tony Campana was 2 for 5 with three RBI. Catcher Robinson Chirinos was 2 for 4 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. First baseman Blake Lalli was 2 for 5.
This game was delayed in the top of the sixth inning for 37 minutes by rain.
The Daytona Cubs ended their losing streak by harpooning the Jupiter Hammerheads, 3-2. And during Shark Week, no less.
Starter Trey McNutt was dominating tonight. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing only three hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out seven as he collected his third win for Daytona.
Mike Perconte made it interesting, but he eventually got his seventh save. He entered the game in the ninth inning with one out and issued two walks and got two strikeouts to end the game.
DH Rebel Ridling was tonight's big hero with his eleventh home run of the season. It was a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Ridling was 3 for 4.
Third baseman Ryan Flaherty went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu was 2 for 4 and scored once.
The Peoria Chiefs beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 3-1.
Marcus Hatley started and threw two shutout innings before he reached his pitch count. Hatley allowed two hits and no walks, although he did hit a batter. Hatley did not strike anyone out.
Nick Struck then took over in the third inning and collected the win with 5.2 innings of work. Struck allowed one run on three hits and struck out five. That sounds so good that I hate to mention that he issued six walks in the 5.2 innings he pitched.
Corey Martin entered the game with two on and two out in the eighth inning and then retired all four batters he faced to get his third save. Martin struck out two.
Right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha accounted for all of Peoria's runs with a three-run homer in the fifth inning. It was Ha's fifth home run of the year. Ha was 2 for 4.
DH Brandon May went 2 for 4 and scored a run.
OK, maybe the Hawks haven't been that much fun this season. Tonight they were soaked by the Everett AquaSox, 12-5.
Starter Austin Kirk took the loss tonight, allowing three runs over three innings. He gave up seven hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Third baseman Arismendy Alcantara hit his second home run, a solo home run in the second inning. Alcantara 2 for 4.
Shortstop Elliot Soto went 3 for 5 and scored a run. Second baseman Pierre LePage went 2 for 5 with a double.
Center fielder Kyung-Min Na tripled in a 2 for 4 game. He scored once and had one RBI.
As far as I can tell, catcher Micah Gibbs was at least 0 for his last 22 coming in to tonight. He got a hit his second time up tonight and then went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Reggie Golden played tonight and went 2 for 4 and scored twice. He also stole home as part of a double-steal.