Ian Stewart is apparently sick of riding the pine. You've undoubtedly by now heard about his 3-homer, 8 RBI game in the first half of today's doubleheader. Nobody else drove in a run, so he literally was the I-Cubs offense in this game. It'd be nice if this were the start of a return to form for Stewart. I don't think he'll ever play another game with the big league club, but if he spends the next 7 or 8 weeks mashing in AAA maybe he can get thrown in as a pot sweetener and net a marginally better prospect. I am probably too much of an optimist.
Dave Sappelt was 1-3 with a walk. Brent Lillibridge went 2-4 with a double. Nobody else had a hit. Logan Watkins had a walk and struck out three times. Brett Jackson and Junior Lake each had a walk. Steve Clevenger walked twice.
Nick Struck threw 6.2 innings, giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. He walked 4 and struck out 2. Meh. Alex Burnett blew the save but got the win, giving up a run and getting one strikeout in his 1.1 innings of work. I'm not sure how you blow a save in the eighth inning, but this is a special I-Cubs team. Casey Coleman worked a clean inning to finish up.
Ian Stewart celebrated his 3 homer game by completely checking out of game 2, going 0-4 with a strikeout. Won't be holding my breath on his value being salvaged anytime soon.
I know the PCL is a hitter's league, but Brent Lillibridge hit a home run. I was under the impression Brent Lillibridge couldn't hit a ball out of the infield. What is happening.
Junior Lake had a good game, going 3-4 with 2 doubles and a stolen base. Logan Watkins was 1-3 with a walk and 2 Ks. Nobody else did anything terribly noteworthy, unless you count Brett Jackson striking out twice (he was 1-4).
Barret Loux's first game back off the DL was a decent start, giving up 2 hits and a run on 3 IP with 2 Ks. Jeffrey Antigua was not so good, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in 2.2 IP. He walked 2 and K'ed 3. Marcus Hatley worked a clean inning and a third, walking and punching out 2 each. Hisanori Takahashi gave up an unearned run in an inning and two-thirds, striking out 2 and walking none. Brian Schittler got the last out to vulture the save.
Let's start with what you care about: Kyle Hendricks was pretty good, tossing 6 innings of 4 hit ball. He gave up 1 run, walked 2, and punched out 6. 14 of his 18 outs came on Ks or ground balls. He continues to be pretty good.
Kevin Rhoderick had a pretty hilarious tenth inning. It started with a leadoff double to Keon Broxton. Nick Ahmed then beat out a bunt single in the process of trying to move Broxton to third. The Smokies intentionally walked Ender Inciarte to load the bases, after which Rhoderick promptly beaned Justin Greene for the rare walkoff HBP. It's a Way of Life.
On the offensive side, Rafael Lopez was 2-4 with a homer. Christian Villanueva went 2-4 as well, but could only manage a double. Arismendy Alcantara was 1-4 with a double. Jonathan Mota was 1-3 with a double and a walk. Rubi Silva went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts. Everybody else was a warmed-over pile of Cub.
4 Cougar homers in this one, all from the top of the order. Gioskar Amaya, Albert Almora, Dan Vogelbach, and Jeimer Candelario all went deep, and everybody in the lineup had at least one hit. Safe to say Kernels starter Brett Lee didn't have his best stuff with him today.
Almora's 4-5 days has his average back well above the .400 mark at .435. Candelario arguably had the better day, going 3-4 with two walks. Oliver Zapata and Reggie Golden both were 2-4 with a walk, but Zapata sent one of his for a double. Marco Hernandez was 2-3 with a double and 2 walks. Wilson Contreras was 2-6 with a double. Amaya and Rock Shoulders were both 1-5 with a walk, with Amaya's bomb trumping Shoulders' double. Dan Vogelbach didn't do much other than his home run, going 1-6.
Byron Buxton, Keith Law's new 2nd-ranked prospect in all of baseball, was 3-5.
On the pitching side, Michael Heesch was solid, scattering 8 hits and a walk over 6.1 innings, allowing one run and striking out 3. Ian Dickson had 2 strikeouts in his otherwise clean 1.2 innings of work. and Lendy Castillo proved he's still alive by striking out the side in the ninth.
DSL Braves @ DSL Cubs
This game doesn't happen for another 7 hours or so. If anything exciting happens I'll update this.