Iowa Cubs

The Night the Lights Went on In Bushville

Like an obedient child emulating a revered parent the Iowa Cubs are at work on the installation of a new state-of-the-art HD video board in time for their home opener on April 17th.

At 24x64 or 1,536 square feet the magic screen will pale in comparison to the 42x95, 3990 sq. ft. colossus that’s being erected to tower above Wrigley Field’s left field bleachers and Waveland Avenue. It will be less than half the size but is certainly imposing enough to be viewed, let us say, as a Triple A scale model.

It’s high time for an upgrade. Depending on the vantage point and the mood of the sun the new board’s predecessor could be effectively invisible and in recent years has displayed more marketing and promo filler than, for instance, player stats. Not that that trend’s likely to change.

Speaking of trends at America’s ballparks, you know of course that all of this modern malarkey traces directly back to an event that happened right here in Des Moines, long a baseball hotbed, on May 2, 1930, right?

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Harden Makes It Look Easy at Fitch Park

Rich Harden threw four shutout innings and Welington Castillo's two run home run capped a five-run 5th, as the Iowa Cubs (Cubs AAA affiliate) edged the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's AAA affiliate) 5-4 before an unusually large Minor League Camp crowd of 50+ at cool & breezy Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon

Cubs Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild and Assistant Pitching Coach Lester Strode were in attendance, and the place was absoluely crawling with beat writers, bloggers, and assorted Cubs fans intent on watching an actual Cubs major league pitcher throw on a day when the big club had the day off, and they were not disappointed.

However, very few stayed for the whole game. 

So for those of you who want to know how Harden looked, but also just HAVE to know how the Iowa Cubs did it,.. here is... the... rest...of... the... story...

Hill Climbing in the Flatlands

Expecting to see the enigmatic Rich Hill make a not so triumphant return to the scene of some of his finest professional work, I headed to the ballpark last night planning to call it a night whenever he did.

He only lasted five innings but I stayed for a sixth when it was assigned to Scott Eyre.

The battery in the starting lineup was Hill squared, and after three innings it was hard to say whose arm was more impressive, the left of Rich or the right of Koyie. At that point Rich had fanned three but Koyie had thrown out a man stealing and picked another off of second.

For the record, Rich Hill allowed seven hits and two runs while walking one and striking out five on the night. I had him for 47 strikes among his 78 pitches, but left with other less quantifiable impressions of his work.

Hill's misses weren't close. The 'balls' he threw were so flagrant that the batter was rarely tempted by them.

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How Does Gallagher Spell Relief? W-A-L-K-I-N-G...

I delayed my end-of-homestand post for a day so I could see how Sean Gallagher followed up on his brilliant outing from last week.

The results? Mixed.

Gallagher retired the first ten Fresno hitters he faced. He entered the sixth having surrendered only one run and retired the first two routinely before an infield single dripped from the faucet. A stolen base followed, then an intentional walk, then an accidental walk and Gallagher called it a night, leaving the bases loaded and the water running for Carmen Pignatiello.

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  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 9 min 59 sec ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 10 min 16 sec ago view
  • This is the exact game that the Cubs would have lost in years past to the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 10 min 43 sec ago view
  • Arrieta starting. Leads of 6-1 and 9-4. You don't expect to have such a sense of relief when they win.

    Brick 11 min 27 sec ago view
  • phew

    Rob G. 11 min 41 sec ago view
  • At least the end result was worth the wait.

    Rob Richardson 11 min 57 sec ago view
  • I guess he's better than what they've had. He started out like the Babe there.

    The E-Man 20 min 45 sec ago view
  • Fair enough, but Castro isn't really very good.

    Rob Richardson 41 min 11 sec ago view
  • I can just hear Pat Hughes chortling "typical Cubs-Cards game..."

    JoePepitone 43 min 30 sec ago view
  • As long as Maddon uses him against RH he is good. Against LH - not so much.

    His recent HR's obviously have not been great pitches.

    So, let's just say my personal confidence in the guy is not there yet.

    The E-Man 47 min 5 sec ago view
  • not that I'm agreeing with E-Man in anyway here, but Warren's FIP and peripherals are not really good (5.20 FIP/5.19 BB/9/.128 BABIP), although his actual results are a lot better. Well until today...

    Trade was also to make room for Zobrist and it'll be a few years before we can really judge it.

    Rob G. 49 min 10 sec ago view
  • Eventually, the Maddon "play everyone everywhere" thing was going to create a problem.

    billybucks 56 min 4 sec ago view
  • This ump blows.

    Ryno 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • So much for pace-of-game.

    Ryno 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Adam Warren who is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP, and Castro who is hitting 269/303/415?

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • That Molina with the arm out thing was ridiculous and blatant. Wonder if he can get fined for that

    johann 1 hour 12 min ago view