It will be another hot one today at Wrigley Field as the Cubs welcome in the San Francisco Giants, who had to fly in late after playing a night game yesterday at Houston. We’ll get to a few things, including Class AAA Iowa’s season being done now because this weekend’s games in New Orleans have been washed out by the hurricane.
We also had a chance to visit with ex-Cub Ryan Theriot in the Giants clubhouse. We’ll write about that in our notes for tomorrow’s paper. Where The Riot goes, wins follow, or something like that. He was with two division winners on the Cubs, a World Series winner with the Cardinals and a probable playoff team with the Giants.
It’s September call-up time. With Brooks Raley having been sent home after yesterday’s start, the Cubs today called up left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau from Iowa. Tomorrow, they’ll call up outfielders Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt. On Sunday, reliever Miguel Socolovich arrives. Lefty Chris Rusin will join the team to start Tuesday at Washington. Catcher Anthony Recker also arrives Tuesday, and reliever Rafael Dolis will join the team soon, as well.
There was a little rehash of yesterday’s messy 12-11 victory. Cubs batters drew 11 walks, prompting this from manager Dale Sveum: “Sometimes it takes us a week to get 11 walks.” There was some patience involved as some big-time wildness by Brewers pitchers.
Speaking of walks, Brett Jackson has drawn 14 in 23 games. His OBP is .341 as part of an overall hitting line of .216/.341/.473. To compare, Darwin Barney has 23 walks, and Starlin Castro has 27. Jackson is within 1 walk of Anthony Rizzo. He also has 8 walks this homestand alone.
What was still bothering Sveum were the mental errors in yesterday’s game: poor pitch selection by his pitchers, Castro not throwing over to first base fast enough and allowing Rickie Weeks to beat out an infield hit and right fielder Bryan LaHair allowing Weeks to go from second to third on a fly hit only to medium to shallow depth.
“I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have, probably, because there was a lot of things as a manager that really bothered me those first six innings that just have to stop happening,” Sveum said. “It’s just too much of a constant sometimes. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I should have.
“They were all mental gaffes. There were no physical gaffes in that whole thing. When people ad-lib, you get a little upset about the ad-libbing sometimes.
“That’s the human factor that comes in sometimes. The catchers are really starting to come around and doing their jobs to stick to these game plans, and we’re getting off track with some of this stuff. It’s got to be tightened up because we’re just giving up way too many runs because of the ad-libbing on the mound.”
As far as the fielding plays, Sveum said: “There are certain things like that to know, that Rickie Weeks runs harder than anybody in baseball down the line, Before the ball is hit, you have to realize that, ‘OK, no matter how this ball is hit, I have to get rid of it because I’ve played against Rickie enough times to know that he runs the ball as hard as anybody down the line to where I can’t hesitate on anything.”
Cubs lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner:
Class AAA Iowa’s season ended early with a 6-1 loss at Nashville. Yoanner Negrin took the loss, working 5 innings and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs, 2 earned. The PCL decided to cancel the games at New Orleans. The I-Cubs finish with a record of 53-87.
Class AA Tennessee got homers from Logan Watkins, Matt Cerda and Justin Bour (No. 17) to beat Pensacola 4-2. Dallas Beeler got the win, working 5 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned. He’s 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA.
Daytona (A) fell 6-5 to Brevard County. Kyle Hendricks started and pitched 4 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs. Javier Baez hit his second homer, going 1-for-4. John Andreoli was 3-for-5 with a double and a run. Rebel Ridling was 2-for-5 with a double and a run.
Peoria (A) fell 11-7 in 10 to Cedar Rapids. Joe Zeller pitched and worked 6.2 innings, giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.
“Joe made a couple of mistakes, but any time you’re working into the seventh inning and you’re giving us a chance to compete that late, I think it’s a real positive,” manager Casey Koptizke told old friend Dave Reynolds of the Peoria Journal Star. “For that to be his last start of the year, I thought it was a pretty decent way to finish.”
Jorge Soler was 2-for-6 with an RBI and a stolen base. Pin-Chieh Chen was 3-for-4 with 2 walks. Jacob Rogers was 1-for-2 with 3 walks.
Today is the final home game for the Chiefs and maybe their last as a Cubs affiliate. They finish at, of all places, Kane County, where the Cubs look to be headed in the Midwest League.
“It’s kind of a sad day,” Kopitzke told the Journal Star. “Unless you’re going to the playoffs, it means the season’s coming to an end. We talk all year about finishing somewhere ahead of where we started. If you take a step back, that’s what everybody remembers. It’s important for us to finish on a positive note.”
Boise fell 4-3 to Everett despite the 10th homer of the year for Rock Shoulders. Justin Amlung worked 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 run. Stephen Bruno extended a hit streak to 20 games, going 2-for-4. Albert Almora went 1-for-4, a double. The Hawks are playoff bound.
The Idaho Statesman had a nice feature on hitting coach Bill Buckner.
“My first year, playing in Ogden … it was the Pioneer League, but to us it was like winning the World Series,” said Buckner. “That’s what professional baseball is all about. It’s about winning.”
Manager Mark Johnson talked to the paper about Buckner.
“A lot of these guys … are starting to become aware of how good they are and how good they can be, and how much Buck has helped them,” Johnson was quoted as saying.
Mesa’s season ended in Rookie ball in a 15-3 loss to the Athletics in a semifinal game. Paul Blackburn started and went 3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Trevor Gretzky was 2-for-4 and Carlos Penalver was 3-for-4