In what was likely his final start for the Cubs Matt Garza was once again excellent, scattering 10 hits and 2 walks across 6.2 innings, striking out 4, generating 10 ground ball outs, and allowing only 2 runs. I have no idea why we acquired you, Matt Garza, and I wish we still had Chris Archer, but you were no Juan Pierre, at least.
In other news, can Kevin Gregg please get traded already? He's allowed runs in 5 of his last 10 appearances and eventually someone is going to notice that he's coming back to earth, especially given the way he tried to Groggle away the lead late yesterday. 2 walks, a hit, and a run with one strikeout yesterday.
Blake Parker also allowed a run on a hit and a walk while only recording an out in the top of the 8th. Matt Guerrier and James Russell combined for a blemish-free inning of work on opposite sides of Parker's outing.
On the hitting side, things were much more pleasant. Every position player reached base at least once. Starlin Castro kept his nice little hot streak going with a 2-5 day. His batting average now equals Anthony Rizzo's at .243. Tony the Rat was 0-3 with 2 walks. The real story of the offense for awhile now has been Alfonso Soriano, however. It's a simple observation, but it's really hard to understate how much easier it is to win baseball games when Good Soriano shows up. He was 2-5 yesterday with a double and a home run. He now has 7 homers in July (compared to 9 through the first three months of the season) and is slugging .804 with a 1.144 OPS. Damn.
Luis Valbuena also went deep for a 2-run homer in the 8th that would prove to be the game-winner, and was 1-5 on the day. Julion Borbon got a pinch hit AB and hit a double for the Cubs' only other XBH. Dave Sappelt had a 2-4 day with a SB. Brian Bogusevic was 1-4 with a SB.
Ian Stewart decided he wanted to play today, and had a 3-4 day with 2 doubles in his return to Iowa. But he's still hitting .206 so to hell with him.
As far as players that matter go, Junior Lake had a loud day at the plate, going 4-4 with a double and 3 stolen bases (he tried for 4 but got caught). Hoyer made some comments yesterday that Lake was proving himself pretty damn close to being ready for a shot with the big club, so that's something to look forward to. Edgar Gonzalez was 3-5 with a double and a home run. Darnell McDonald was 2-3 with a walk and a SB. The I-Cubs got 13 hits off of Jonathan Sanchez, who doesn't seem to be very good. Also, two different Isotopes took blown saves in this game, which seems strange to me.
Javier Baez was 1-3 with a home run and a walk. That's what we like to see. He's got his average above the Mendoza Line now, and added .100 points to his Tennessee OPS today, which is meaningless because it's only 9 games, but is still fun. John Andreoli was 2-5 with a homer of his own. Christian Villanueva was 2-3 with a homer. Justin Bour was 1-4 with a double, as was Rubi Silva. Nate Samson was 3-4 with a double.
Kyle Hendricks did Kyle Hendricks Things, allowing 1 hit in 5 innings and striking out 4. Please send this man to Iowa already. Carlos Gutierrez, Tony Zych, and Zach Rosscup combined for 3 innings of 2 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeout ball to finish off the shutout.
For as many runs as the D-Cubs plated in this one, not a ton of exciting individual performances. Every D-Cub except Dustin Geiger and Pin-Chieh Chen got a hit, and Geiger was the only D-Cub not to reach base. Elliot Soto was 1-4 with a double. Wes Darvill was 2-4. Ben Carhart was 1-3 with a double. Yaniel Cabezas was 1-1 with a double and 2 walks.
Ivan Pineyro was pretty damn good in his Daytona debut, tossed 5 innings of 5 hit scoreless ball, issuing a walk and getting 3 Ks. Chang-Yong Lim also made his debut for the D-Cubs and worked a perfect 6th, striking out 1. Dayan Diaz closed it out with an identical 7th.
Chadd Krist had a 1-3 day in the second half of the twin bill, blasting it over the fence for a bomb. Dustin Geiger was 1-2 with a walk and had a stolen base, which I imagine was worth seeing. Zeke DeVoss, Elliot Soto, and Ben Carhart were all 1-3. Taiwan Easterling was 1-2.
Matt Loosen was damn good again, stretching his hitless inning streak to 11 before ultimately giving up a knock. He tossed all 7 innings for the CG SO, allowing 4 hits and a walk on 4 strikeouts. Hopefully this success in high-A will let him go back to Tennessee with some confidence soon.
Taylor Scott got torched for 6 runs in 4 innings, but only 1 was earned. He allowed 8 hits, a walk, and a strikeout. Sheldon McDonald worked a perfect 5th. Armando Rivero was knocked around a bit for 3 runs in 1.2 innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 2. Stephen Perakslis finished it off, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1 in the last 1.1
Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and dominated the way you'd expect a guy who's seen AA this year to dominate a short-season lineup. 5 innings of scoreless 2 hit ball, with 5 Ks. Unfortunately he was the only Hawk to avoid giving up a run. Loiger Padron gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in 3 innings, striking out 4. Matt Iannazzo failed to record an out, allowing a run on a hit. And Tyler Bremer closed out the game with a 2 hit, 1 run, 2 K 9th inning.
Nothing too exciting going on here. Dalfis Ortiz had a 1-3 day with a triple and a walk. Bravo Dalfis Ortiz.