It's opening day in the minor league tonight, and the Cubs farm system had a great night. Except for the rain in Peoria, you couldn't have asked for a better start to the season.
I hope I remember how to do this. I'm going to have to do something a little weird tonight because of the happenings down in Peoria.
The Chiefs game with the Cedar Rapids Kernels was suspended by rain with the score tied 2-2 in the eighth inning. But the big story was the professional debut of last year's first round pick Hayden Simpson. The verdict? So far, so good. Simpson was on a pitch count tonight, but he threw 67 pitches and went 3.2 innings. He gave up one run on a solo home run and allowed three hits total, one of which was a bunt single to lead off the game. Simpson struck out seven Kernels and only walked one. He also induced one ground ball double play. In short, he was impressive.
This game will be finished tomorrow at 5 pm central. I'll do a full write up on the game tomorrow.
The Iowa Cubs derailed the Round Rock Express, 12-9.
Starter Thomas Diamond allowed two runs on three hits over four innings. Diamond walked three and struck out five. He was pulled after 84 pitches, so I assume that he was on a pitch count, which is common for the first start of the season.
Esmailin Caridad got the win because Diamond didn't go five, but he clearly didn't deserve it. Caridad pitched three innings and allowed five runs on six hits, including a home run. On the plus side, he didn't walk anyone and struck out three.
Scott Maine got the save. He pitched the ninth and allowed one hit. He didn't walk anyone and struck out one.
DH Ty Wright did a lot of damage, going 3 for 4 with a two-run home run in the second inning. Wright scored twice and had three total RBI.
First baseman Bryan LaHair followed that up with a two-run homer in the third inning. LaHair went 1 for 4 with a sac fly for three total RBI.
Second baseman Bobby Scales was 3 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Left fielder Lou Montanez hit two triples in a 3 for 5 effort. Montanez scored twice and had three RBI.
Third baseman Marquez Smith was 2 for 4. He scored once and batted two in. Center fielder Tony Campana was 2 for 5 and scored a run.
The Tennessee Smokies blinded the Chattanooga Lookouts, 12-4.
Starting pitcher Chris Rusin turned in a solid five innings to get the win. He allowed three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He also had an RBI single.
Blake Parker threw two shutout innings of relief to close out the game in a non-save situation. He allowed one hit and a walk while striking out two.
Two Smokies homered tonight. The first was right fielder Matt Spencer, who hit a solo homer in the third inning. Spencer went 3 for 5 and also doubled. He scored twice.
The other home run was also a solo shot in the eighth inning by first baseman Rebel Ridling. Ridling went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored twice and had two RBI.
Center fielder Brett Jackson went 2 for 4 with a triple and two walks. Jackson scored once and had two RBI. Third baseman Josh Vitters went 3 for 5 with a double. Vitters scored twice.
Catcher Steve Clevenger went 2 for 5 with a double. He scored twice and had two RBI. Ryan Flaherty played left field tonight and was 2 for 3 with a walk and two RBI.
The Daytona Cubs harpooned the Brevard County Manatees, 3-2.
Robert Whitenack got the Cubs off to a good start by tossing five inning and allowing only two runs on five hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out three. Whitenack had eight ground outs to two fly outs, which is what he needs to be effective.
Jeffry Lorick got the win with two shutout innings of relief. He allowed only one hit and walked no one. He struck out two.
Frank Batista pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save. He fanned two.
The D-Cubs took the lead for good with a two-run double in the seventh inning by third baseman Matt Cerda. Cerda was 3 for 5 tonight.
Second baseman Logan Watkins went 2 for 4 with a walk. Shortstop Junior Lake was 2 for 4. Both Watkins and Lake scored on Cerda's double.
Left fielder Michael Burgess was 1 for 4 with a solo home run. Apparently it was a monster bomb that cleared the right field fence by 40 feet.