On The Farm: Daytona Sweeps To Stay Alive In FSL Race

On The Farm: Daytona Sweeps To Stay Alive In FSL Race

Wednesday Sept. 1, 2010
Posted: 9:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS Daytona A
The Cubs playoff chances, seeming to have faded over the past few days, were sparked once again on Wednesday as they swept a doubleheader from Clearwater while first-place Tampa was busy losing to Brevard County.

The sweep, by scores of 2-0 and 5-2 at Bright House Field, pulled Daytona to within two games of the first-place Yankees in the Florida State Leagues North Division. The Cubs have four games remaining in the regular season one more at Clearwater and a three-game series at Lakeland. The Yanks close out their series at home against the Manatees on Thursday before hosting Dunedin for three games.

Alberto Cabrera tossed a complete-game, five-hitter in the opener. He struck out six and didnt walk a batter.

The Cubs scored both their runs in the sixth. Evan Crawford scored on a DJ LeMahieu fielders choice while Junior Lake took an extra base as Clearwater second baseman Fidel Hernandez made an error on the play. The miscue proved costly because Ryan Flahertys sacrifice fly brought home Lake on the next play.

Daytona overcame a 2-1 deficit in the nightcap, scoring twice in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Cubs took a 3-2 lead when pitcher Jacob Diekman threw a ball away on a Lake grounder back to through the box. Both runners scored. Jake Opitz had an RBI triple in the sixth and then scored on a Diekman wild pitch.

Chris Siegfried went 2 13 scoreless innings for the win.
In other action, Kane County blanked visiting Peoria, 7-0, pushing the Chiefs 3 games back of the Cougars in the race for the wild-card berth in the Midwest League. The Chiefs managed only five hits. The rehabbing Carlos Silva took the loss, allowing five runs in 4 23 innings. RHP Steven Grife was added from Boise while RHP Luis Liria was sent to Boise.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
A trio of pitchers combined on a one-hitter Wednesday night as Birmingham blanked visting Carolina, 5-0.

Jake Kahaulelios fifth inning single off was the only base hit the Mudcats would get off Charlie Leesman as the Barons faced only one batter over the minimum. Leesman 5-2, who struck out five, walked Felix Perez to lead off the game and he was quickly erased on a doubleplay. Deunte Heath and Anthony Carter each pitched perfect innings after Leesmans seven-inning stint.

Cole Armstrong had a solo homer and Josh Phegley had a double and an RBI for the Barons.
Winston-Salem A
The Dash won their sixth consecutive game Wednesday, topping Lynchburg, 10-2, at BB&T Ballpark. The victory allowed Winston-Salem to maintain its one-game lead over Kinston in the Carolina Leagues Southern Division with five games remaining.

Jason Bour had a double and three RBIs to pace the Dash while Nick Ciolli had three hits and an RBI. Hes hitting .444 in four games since coming up from Kannapolis. Jon Gilmore had two hits and two RBIs while Seth Loman had a pair of doubles and an RBI.

Dylan Axelrod went seven innings, scattering eight hits and giving up both runs.
In other action, Kannapolis dropped a 1-0 decision at Delmarva. Justin Collop 9-11 pitched a complete game, striking out seven over eight innings. Durham defeated Charlotte, 4-3, at Durham Athletic Park. The Bulls scored all four runs in the eighth inning. Ryan Braun took the loss and was also charged with a blown save. Jeff Marquez started and pitched three-hit ball over six shutout innings. Dayan Viciedo had a homer and two RBIs while brent Morel had two hits and an RBI.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Jonathan Toews' late goal sends Blackhawks to win over Canucks

Jonathan Toews' late goal sends Blackhawks to win over Canucks

Jonathan Toews recorded a four-point night, including the game-winning goal, and Corey Crawford recorded his 200th career victory as the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Sunday night.

Crawford, who had struggled in recent starts, stopped 25 of 27 shots in this one. Brian Campbell garnered his 500th career point with his primary assist on Panik's goal. Toews recorded two assists, moving ahead of Jeremy Roenick for 13th among the Blackhawks' all-time assist leaders (330).

Marian Hossa, who recorded an empty-net goal late, garnered his 400th point in a Blackhawks uniform.

The Blackhawks had one of their best first periods on Sunday night, outshooting the Canucks 18-9 and taking that 2-0 lead. Richard Panik scored his 11th goal of the season from the slot off Campbell's feed and Patrick Kane scored his 15th goal of the season.

The third wasn't nearly as good as Troy Stecher scored a power-play goal and Bo Horvat scored 46 seconds later. But Toews scored off a carom off the backboards with 1:18 remaining to regain a 3-2 lead, and Hossa’s empty-net goal sealed it.

Bad blood fueled Bears-Vikings playoff bout profiled in 'Bears Classics: Eclipsing Moon'

Bad blood fueled Bears-Vikings playoff bout profiled in 'Bears Classics: Eclipsing Moon'

From the high ground of hindsight, what unfolded in the Metrodome that day in 1995 was actually quite a big deal. But not for reasons that you could have really understood at the time watching the Bears stun the Minnesota Vikings 35-18 in the wild card round of the 1994 playoffs.

It was not so much the game alone. It was the overall context of the time for the Bears, before and after.

Though the 1995 season would get off to a 6-2 start for the Bears before their near-historic collapse, the Minnesota game would prove to be the high-water mark for the coaching tenure of Dave Wannstedt. This was the postseason, and the Bears looked to be going where then-president Mike McCaskey envisioned when he made the play to beat the New York Giants in securing Wannstedt, who was unquestionably the hot coaching prospect coming out of the Dallas Super Bowl pantheon after the 1992 season.

To fully grasp the situation, you need to understand the undercurrent of venom that had developed between the Bears and Vikings. Bears-Packers might have been the glitzy rivalry, but what had grown between the Bears and Vikings was true hostility, with little of the respect that the Bears and Packers had managed. The Vikings carried grudges for Pro Bowl slights going back almost to the Bears' Super Bowl win. One Bears defensive lineman remarked that his most hated opponent was Minnesota right tackle Tim Irwin, adding, "He's a guy that, if I ran over him with a car, I'd back up over him to make sure I got him." Dwayne Rudd's backpedaling taunt after an interception came a couple years later, but you get the idea.

What's easily forgotten looking back through the mists of time was the epic decision made by Wannstedt to make a quarterback change, from a quarterback he wanted in free agency to one he knew well from their time together at the University of Miami. That was every bit the turning point of the season and the real reason the playoff trip and win ever happened.

The Bears had been annihilated in their first game against the Vikings in the 1994 season — 42-14 — and something was really, really wrong, which become glaringly more evident just a few weeks later, even though the Bears were reaching a 4-2 mark under quarterback Erik Kramer, the centerpiece of an aggressive offseason foray into free agency. But the Bears then lost — badly — to the Lions and Packers, with Kramer throwing three interceptions against Detroit and two against Green Bay, the latter in only 10 pass attempts.

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I talked privately to Kramer after the Green Bay game, specifically about why it was that he was playing his absolute worst against Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota, all teams with which he was intimately familiar. My thought: You know those defenses and where their people are going to be.

Kramer shook his head: "The 'other guys' I know. It's my own guys. I don't know where they're supposed to be."

It wasn't a comment on his receivers whatsoever. It was Kramer admitting bluntly that he was not getting the West Coast scheme of coordinator Ron Turner and its timing element.

Wannstedt knew it wasn't working and made the change to Steve Walsh, who'd been the Hurricanes' quarterback under Jimmy Johnson when Wannstedt was the defensive coordinator.

That was the tipping point, and Walsh and Wannstedt are among the principals of "Bears Classics: Eclipsing Moon," airing on Monday at 8 p.m. on CSN.

Anyone with any time spent in or around the NFL knows that beating a team three times in a season is incredibly difficult. The Bears had been blown out in the first Minnesota game but had pushed the Vikings to overtime in the second and would have won had Kevin Butler not missed a 40-yard field goal try.

The playoff meeting was No. 3, and after the Vikings put up a field goal in the first quarter, the Bears scored with a Lewis Tillman touchdown in the second and just pulled steadily away from the winner of the only NFL division that produced four teams with winning records.

From there it would be another decade-plus — 2006 season — before the Bears would win a playoff game.