The Heavens smiled upon me yesterday. There was no Iowa game.
Arismendy Alcantara has been really cold lately. He went 0-4 with a SO, and over his last ten he's .195/.250/.341. Against lefties this year he is batting just .615 OPS. Christian Villanueva went 2-4 with a 2-run HR. Justin Bour, making up for lost time, went 1-3 with a walk and 2 RBI. The other multi-hit game was Rafael Lopez, who went 2-4 with a run scored.
Kyle Hendricks dominated once again, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk in 8 scoreless innings. He struck out 6, and handed it to Zach Rosscup who has an even lower ERA on the year (2.05 to Hendricks' 2.17). There's no reason I can think of to keep Hendricks in AA, he clearly isn't challenged at the level. His home ERA this year is 0.38 (2 ER in 48 innings). His ERA in night games is 1.79. His ERA falls every month. It's time to call him up and give him half a season at AAA, with a chance of making the back end of the rotation in 2014.
Daytona's game was postponed.
Starlin Castro got a hit in his first PA back after the benching and finished the day 2-5 (with a rather awful looking strikeout). Anthony Rizzo had a walk, a single, and a double (his 22nd of the year). I thought to myself, "Rizzo must be close to the league leaders in doubles this year." He's tied for 9th, but Manny Machado has 36 DOUBLES THIS YEAR, 10 more than second place (Yadier Molina). I wish we had Manny Machado instead of Starlin Castro. Ryan Sweeney continues to make the most of his playing time, with a 1-4, BB, HR day. Brian Bogusevic went 2-4 with a walk as well. Even Darwin Barney had a double. Luis Valbuena went 2-4 with a walk. Only real down note was the 0-5 day of Nate Schierholtz, who probably should find a good real estate agent in New York City.
Scott Feldman gave a workmanlike performance in this game, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits (1 HR), with no walks and 3 strikeouts. I think the Cubs need to aggressively trade him before he turns into a pumpkin. James Russell, Carlos Villanueva, and Kevin Gregg all pitched in for a win, though Gregg made it very interesting in the ninth.
I almost forgot how to spell Gioskar Amaya, it's been so long since I've had anything nice to say about him. Amaya had a HR and a single in a 2-4 day. Albert Almora was 1-5 and his average is now down to .356. Dan Vogelbach had a great day, with the rare triple singles, single double, and single walk. Jeimer Candelario pitched in with a run-scoring double, and Brad "Who?" Zapenas was 2-3 with a double, run scored, and RBI as well.
Jose Rosario allowed 4 in 3.2 innings, and that's all I have to say about that. Justin Amlung had an uncharacteristically great relief performance, with 3.1 scoreless, hitless innings where he also had 6 strikeouts. Armando Rivero blew it with a home run allowed in the 8th to put the game from 4-2 to 5-2.
Hillsboro Hops 3 @ Boise Hawks 4 (7 innings)
The Hillsboro Hops have the coolest logo in all of sports. I'd rather they be our affiliate. Jacob Hanneman went 2-4, and was the only player to reach base twice. He also stole his first base. Right now, this team is difficult to get excited about.
James Pugliese had 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned). He struck out 4, walked 2, and allowed 5 hits. CMP got the win with 2 scoreless innings.
Hillsboro Hops 3 @ Boise Hawks 2 (7 innings)
Paul Blackburn allowed no earned runs and got the loss in 5 innings. That's because he allowed 3 unearned runs, off of 4 team errors (including his own). He allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and punched out 8. Tyler Bremer pitched 2 innings of relief and was sick-nasty. He allowed no hits, no walks, and struck out 5.
Erick Leal, one half of the Tony Campana trade, started for Arizona. He went 5 innings and allowed 1 hits, 1 walk, and no runs. He struck out 7 and is actually a fringy prospect. The also have the excellently-named Giuseppe Papaccio, drafted in the 18th round this year. Papaccio went 3-4.