If I were the type of person to find a narrative in chaos, I would suggest that Mike Olt has realized that if he wants to not be in the PCL for the third season in a row next year, he better start hitting, and fast. He was 3-4 yesterday, and over the past week has gone 10 for 21 with a double, a homer, 7 walks, and 4 Ks. He's hit .357/.500/.500 over his last ten and I'm starting to wonder if maybe, just maybe, he might not totally embarass himself with a September callup. Olt is a big domino for deciding the futures of a number of other prospects (Baez, Alcantara, and Bryant's future positions and/or teams could vary drastically depending on what the Cubs can get out of him), and you would think his performance between now and about next June or so will have far-reaching implications for the look of the Cubs for years to come. No pressure, Mikey.
Zach Rosscup worked an inning with a walk and 2 Ks and no hits or runs. I have an intense apathy for everybody else on this roster.
Rough day for Javier Baez at the plate, going 0-4 with a walk and 3 Ks, eventually getting lifted in a double switch. Arismendy Alcantara (whose name I've been pronouncing as al-can-TAR-ah when, according to Sahadev Sharma on the Bleacher Nation podcast this week, it's actually al-CON-tur-uh. Fun with pronounciations.) was 1-4 with 2 walks and 2 Ks. Christian Villanueva was 2-5 ith a double. Matt Szczur was 2-4 with 2 walks. Justin Bour was about half the damn offense, going 3-5 with a double, a homer, and six RBI. Brett Jackson had a "PAY ATTENTION TO ME" game, going 2- with a double, a triple, a walk, and the requisite strikeout.
The pitching was great in this one. Eduardo Figueroa went 6 very strong frames, allowing a hit and a walk on no runs, striking out 5. His Tennessee ERA is now 2.38. He's been inexplicably awesome since getting moved up from Daytona and converting to a starter, allowing just 9 hits, 8 walks, and 3 homers. It's probably a fluke given the painfully low number of bats he's missing (just 17 Ks in 34 innings), but enjoy the ride while it lasts. Armando Rivero worked 2.1 and allowed a run on 4 hits and 2 Ks. And Tony Zych got the last two outs without issue, striking out 1.
Dan Vogelbach got the day off today, but in his place Dustin Geiger went 2-3 with a homer and 2 walks. Kris Bryant was 1-4 with a bomb of his own. Zeke DeVoss was 2-5 with a homer and a SB. Bijan Rademacher finished off the power surge with a 3-4, 1 homer day. Ben Carhart was 1-4 with a double and a walk.
Ivan Pineyro was mediocre, working 5 and allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 5 Ks. Sheldon McDonald worked 2, allowing as many runs on a walk, a K, and 2 hits. Austin Reed finished off the final 2 frames with a K and nothing else.
Starling Peralta got rocked for 8 runs in 4 innings. He allowed 8 hits, 3 walks, 3 homers, and struck out 3. Yikes. There was a lot of bullpen work by guys who don't figure to be too important. As a group, the pen worked 4 innings, allowed 2 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, and struck out 3.
Duane Underwood got beat up for 8 runs, 4 earned, in 3 innings. He allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 4. That's not gonna get you to full-season ball next year, Duane. Jasvir Rakkar allowed a run in 3 innings, walked one, and struck out 5. Good work Jasvir. Zack Godley worked 2 scoreless, allowing a hit and fanning one. He should definitely be in Kane County next year in some capacity, as he's been awesome in Boise, working 25.2 innings in 13 games, allowing 6 runs (5 earned), walking only 5, and striking out 27. He is 23, but with a good start to the year next season he could pretty feasibly catch up to an age-appropriate level rather quickly. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino allowed a run in his inning of work.
I didn't watch this one, so I may be a bit fuzzy on the details, but Jeff Samardzija was basically good until he stunk. He worked 5 shutout innings before falling apart in the sixth, allowing 5 runs total in his 6.2 innings with 8 hits, 2 walks, and 6 Ks. His ERA was so close to being under 4 again, too. Shucks. James Russell got 2 outs and struck out 1. Pedro Strop did exactly the same. Kevin Gregg took the loss when he remembered he was Kevin Gregg, allowing a run on a hit.
Offensively, Anthony Rizzo had a 2-4 day with a walk and his 21st homer. Nate Schierholtz had a 1-4, BB, HR day. Junior Lake's regression continued with an 0-5 day. I think the magic might be wearing off, finally. Donnie Murphy did Donnie Murphy Things, going 1-4 with a double. Starlin Castro was 2-4 with a double and a walk. Dioner Navarro was 2-5.