Junior Lake made his debut, doing Junior Lake Things. He was aggressive at the plate and it paid off, having a 3-4 day with a double and a SB. Sveum called him the only kid he's seen come up so far that looked like a big leaguer. So there's that. Starlin Castro had only his third hitless game in the month of July. Anthony Rizzo was 1-4 with a walk and a double. Darwin Barney was 1-5 with a double. Welington Castillo was 1-3 with an (intentional) walk. Alfonso Soriano continues to be Good Sori, blasting his 17th homer.
The big story of this game was Jeff Samardzija, though, who desperately needed a good rebound start and got one, working 7.1 innings of 4 hit, 3 walk ball and allowing only a solo home run. He struck out 6. Pedro Strop continues to be nasty in his Cubs career, working 2/3 of an inning and getting a strikeout. Kevin Gregg managed not to give up a run yesterday, allowing only a hit and a walk.
Let's start with the (potentially) important part: Mike Olt was 1-3 with a walk and 2 Ks. If you're looking for reasons to think his crappy year was due to his vision problems and things are fixed, over his last 10 he's hitting .290/.395/.516/ with a homer and 4 doubles. He also has 14 strikeouts over 36 PAs in that time. Manny Ramirez batted cleanup for Round Rock and had a 1-3 day with a walk.
Unfortunately, nothing interesting happened that had anything to do with the I-Cubs yesterday. Josh Vitters was 2-4 with a home run. If he gets on a little run I wouldn't mind seeing him get a callup and get a ton of at-bats after all the trading's done. It'd be all about the 2014 draft pick anyway, so who cares if he sucks, and maybe you get lucky and he adjusts. Jae-Hoon Ha was 2-4. Edgar Gonzalez was 2-4 with a double. Donnie Murphy was 2-5.
Brooks Raley was Raleyesque, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks with no strikeouts in 4.2 innings, with a 3:11 GO:FO ratio. He didn't give up a homer, so I guess that's good. Nick Struck worked an inning and a third, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits, including a 2-run homer, but didn't walk anybody and struck out 2. Jeffry Antigua gave up a 2-run homer of his own in his inning for his only hit, walking one and striking out two. Casey Coleman was the only pitcher that wasn't terrible, working a clean 8th.
Arismendy Alcantara was 2-5 with a double. Javier Baez was 1-4 with a solo homer and a strikeout. That's 4 homers in 45 PAs at a level he hasn't really adjusted to yet. Rubi Silva was 1-4. John Andreoli was 3-4 with 2 doubles and a SB. Matt Szczur was 1-4 with 2 Ks. On the opposite side, uber-prospect Christian Yelich beat up on the Smokies' staff, going 3-4 with a homer and a walk, but did get caught stealing twice. Nice work by Rafael Lopez, who also gunned down Audy Ciriaco. All told, the Smokies got 4 outs out of questionable Suns baserunning.
Dae-Eun Rhee got hit a little bit hard but kept the game under control, allowing 5 hits in 3.2 innings, including 2 solo homers. He kept it to 2 runs, though, and struck out 3. Yeiper Castillo was pretty good in 3.1 innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5. Tony Zych worked a clean 8th, striking out 1, and Zach Rosscup finished it off with 2 hitless innings, allowing a walk and striking out 2. Rosscup has been sneakily fantastic this year after being pretty lousy in his first small taste of AA last year. He's posted a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 Innings in Tennessee this year. He's struck out a whopping 57 against 16 walks and only 1 home run allowed, has a .179 BAA, and is stranding 82.9% of his baserunners. He's not young at 25, but there's definitely a shot at a decent bullpen future missing that many bats, and if he turns into a useful piece it adds a little more value to the Garza deal we got him in, if nothing else.
Gioskar Amaya was 2-4 with a homer and has been on an absolute tear this month, hitting .375/.446/.625 in July and hitting safely in 17 of his last 20 games. His season line is up to .274/.340/.418 and trending upward. Albert Almora was 0-3, but walked once. Dan Vogelbach was 2-4, both singles. His ISO is now appearing on milk cartons. Jeimer Candelario was 2-4 with a homer. That was about it for notable performances.
On the pitching side, Scott Baker got rocked. 2.2 innings tossed, with 6 runs allowed on 6 hits and 3 walks, getting only one strikeout. Only his second rehab outing, so hopefully he's still shaking the rust off, but there's nothing encouraging here yet.
Shawon Dunston was 1-4 with a walk. Lance Rymel had a 3-5 day with a double. Jacob Rogers and Rony Rodriguez were both 2-4, with Rogers adding a HBP. Cael Brockmeyer was 3-4 with a double and a SB. David Bote was 2-3 with two bombs. Carlos Penalver was 1-3 with a walk.
Dillon Maples was okay, working 3 innings and allowing a run on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 3. Corbin Hoffner worked the next three and gave up 4 hits but no runs, striking out 3. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino worked 2 and allowed a solo home run for his only damage, striking out 2. Tyler Bremer worked a clean 9th to close it out, K'ing 2 of his own.