Breaking News: I-Cubs Get to Play!

Just by taking the field today the Iowa Cubs snapped their three-game skid at the hands of Mother Nature. Then they proceeded to hand Oklahoma City its first loss in a week by whipping the Redhawks 5-2 in the first game of a twinbill at Principal Park with a little help from rehabbing Kyuji Fujikawa.

A wind-breaking homer by Josh Vitters was the winning blow on a day that seemed balmy compared to the snow and rain that have plagued Des Moines since mid-week. In the top of the 2nd this contest was delayed by umpire attrition. The poor bastard behind the plate caught one in his sour spot and had to leave with a pair of badly fouled balls. By the time he got to his feet, received a wincing ovation and determined he wouldn't be able to do justice to called third strikes ten minutes had elapsed. Then it was another ten or fifteen before one of his two colleagues could dash to the dressing room under the outfield skyboxes and return girded for reassignment in the direct line of fire.

Fujikawa pitched the 6th and protected the lead he inherited by authoring a scoreless, hitless inning. He fanned two, one swinging; one not, and walked one. In the pressbox they opened the partition to a luxury suite to accommodate the small entourage of Japanese paparazzi assigned to chronicle Fuji's comeback. We'll see if they leave it open for Garza's noontime start tomorrow which I also plan to attend.

Speaking of authoring (and awkwardly contrived segues) I've got a new book releasing this week and the Kindle edition is already up @ Amazon. Versus the Demons is historical fiction with a jumping off point of the first nighttime ballgame ever played under permanent lights, an event that happened right here in Des Moines on May 2, 1930. It's the story of a journeyman bush leaguer. If you're curious here's a link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Versus-the-Demons-ebook/dp/B00CMF7K54/ref=sr_1_2?s...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Good to see Josh Vitters breaking-wind

Yes, mostly he's been silent but not deadly...blasted one for a change

"Pair of badly fouled balls"

Classic line!

Where, oh where is Ian Stewart?

Ian Stewart has 72 hours to get where he already is.

A day after being optioned to triple-A, the third baseman was missing from the Iowa Cubs clubhouse and lineup on Saturday night.

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2...

I see Ryan Sweeney is being called up. I remember playing against him in high school back in Iowa. I was a senior and he was a freshman and he was already playing varsity--hitting and pitching. In fact, I remember roping a single off him to left field when we faced him and thinking "he is not that good" and then pausing for a minute and thinking "but he is only 14 and we only had 4 hits off him..." Even at that point, he just "had it" and everyone knew and was already talking about him going far in baseball.

He has no real base stealing speed and no power, but will put together quality at-bats and get on base. He is David Dejesus-lite (40 points OPS worse) at bat, but with a solid Right-Fielder's arm. Certainly better than Sappelt, but he hits from the left side not the right. He's also still only 28, so if he fits in well he could be a good young back-up outfielder for the next few years, or if he does well off the bench he might be attractive for a contender at the trade deadline and could net a low-level prospect in return.

Stewart still missing yesterday. Actually, he's been missing even when he's present...

I really hope he pulls a Randy Wells.

stewart supposedly with the team today...not in the lineup

garza 3.1ip 4h 0bb 3k 1er

vitters with another HR...take that stewie.

Is this like trading for an All-Star?

Congrats, Phil Mike.

melky gets his 1st HR of the season...gets the silent treatment...high-5's phantom players anyway...winning.

http://mlb.mlb.com/images/3/2/2/46764322/0505melk_...

g'bye k.loe (DFA)...hello dolisy.

This team really takes "Throw shit on the wall and see what sticks" seriously.

Maybe "Dolly" will be able to get some outs at the big league level consistently for once? He certainly will have had some chances to do so over the last 3 years.

Kind of meh-ish. 1.17 WHIP, 3BB in 7.1 3ER 6hits and 7K's.

C'mon DOLLY!

from rotowurld...

"Speaking in a Monday radio interview, GM Jed Hoyer said the Cubs would like to get Matt Garza (lat) up to 100 pitches before activating him from the disabled list.

That means Garza would likely have to make at least two more rehab starts after throwing 54 pitches in his Monday outing for Triple-A Iowa. That would put Garza on track to return for the beginning of Chicago's nine-game road trip on May 21."

ninja and e.jackson are pretty much locks...vanillawafers supposedly signed with the club to be a starter and is doing a great job with it...t.wood has pitched himself into totally earning his slot...feldman is getting paid $6m and has used starts vs MIA + SD to make himself respectable...someone has to go, though. it should be interesting if everyone's healthy when garza is due back.

s.baker is still a bit away from throwing off a mound, but he's 1 week into resuming his comeback throwing program. it'll probably be mid/late june before he's ready, though.

good luck on the book Mike, sounds like a good read. I think I'll pick it up after I finish the "Art of Fielding".

Thanks, Rob!

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  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 38 min 23 sec ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 42 min 20 sec ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 6 hours 36 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 37 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 43 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 6 hours 47 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 6 hours 59 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • QuietMan 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 7 hours 34 min ago view