On The Farm: Great Win For Great Falls

On The Farm: Great Win For Great Falls

Monday, Aug. 23, 2010
Posted: 10:10 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
WHITE SOXGreat Falls Rookie
The Voyagers ended their road trip with a second consecutive victory on Monday, topping Missoula, 10-6, in 10 innings. It was the third victory in four games for Great Falls, which began the road trip by getting swept in a four-game set at Orem.

Michael Blankes two-out, bases-loaded triple sparked a four-run 10th inning. He then scored on an error to give the Voyagers a four-run bulge. He finished with three hits. Dusty Harvard added two hits and an RBI.

Nelson Curry pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first victory.
Birmingham AA
John Shelbys sixth-inning grand slam powered the Barons to a 9-5 victory over Carolina on Monday night. The one-out blast was his ninth-homer of the season.

Sal Sanchez, who had two hits, also homered and drove in a pair. The power surge allowed Kyle Bellamy to pick up his second Southern League win of the season and second in as many appearances.

In other action, Greensboro edged Kannapolis, 4-2. Trayce Thompson was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ryan Buch took the loss, allowing four runs in five innings. Host Lynchburg bnlanked Winston-Salem, 5-0, in a game that was called after seven-plus innings because of rain. Stephen Sauer allowed all five runs in six innings. The Dash managed only four hits. Cody Stanleys RBI single in the 12th inning lifted Johnson City to a 3-2 victory at Bristol. Richard Marshall suffered the loss. Dan Black had a pair of hits for the Sox. Gwinnett downed visiting Charlotte, 5-2. Brent Morel had a pair of hits, including a homer and an RBI, to push his average to .321. Hes riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he is batting .500 13-for-26.
CUBSDaytona A
The Cubs split a doubleheader with Brevard County, dropping the opener, 7-3, before rallying to win the nightcap, 4-2, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Having lost Trey McNutt to a promotion over the weekend, the Cubs acted quickly to replace the ace by promoting RHP Nick Struck from Peoria on Monday. Struck, a 39th-round pick in 2009, was 8-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 25 games 18 starts for the Chiefs. He was 6-0 in his last seven appearances for Peoria and had a 1.97 ERA in his last 13 appearances.

Struck suffered the loss in the opener after allowing four runs in 4 23 innings in the completion of Sundays suspended game.

The Cubs used a four-run sixth inning to decide the nightcap. Greg Rohans two-run single was the deciding blow.
Peoria A
The Chiefs dropped a 3-1 decision at Clinton, managing only five hits at Alliant Energy Field. The loss puts Peoria four games back of the LumberKings in the race for the playoffs with 16 games remaining.

The Chiefs added LHP Austin Kirk from Boise on Monday. Kirk, a third-round pick in 2009, was 4-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 12 games 10 starts for the Hawks. He took the loss, allowing two runs in four innings though he did strike out seven. Kirk also picked a pair of runners off first.

RHP Daniel Keefe was also added from Boise while LHP Jeff Antigua shoulder and RHP Su-Min Jung right shoulder were placed on the disabled list. Keefe was with Peoria from mid-July until last week, going 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a save in 11 appearances before moving back to Boise. He made an appearance for the Hawks over the weekend and overall is 0-1 with a save, posting a 3.94 ERA in 10 Northwest League appearances.
In other action, Nashville did all its scoring in the first two innings and downed Iowa, 8-6, at Principal Park. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed all eight runs on 10 hits over five innings. Brad Snyder was 1-for-3 and drove in his 89th run of the year. ... Trey McNutt made his Southern League debut and was roughed up as West Tenn bounced the Smokies, 7-4. McNutt allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 23 innings to suffer his first loss of the year. Steve Clevenger, who was named as the Southern League hitter of the week on Monday, had a pair of hits but saw his consecutive hit streak end at nine at-bats.

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

Kyle Hendricks outduels Clayton Kershaw and delivers legendary performance that puts Cubs in World Series

Kyle Hendricks outduels Clayton Kershaw and delivers legendary performance that puts Cubs in World Series

John Hendricks sent a text message to his son at 11:24 a.m. on Saturday: “Good luck tonight!! Remember, great mechanics and preparation will prevail. Just let it go!!” It ended with three emoji: a smiley face with sunglasses, the thumbs-up sign and a flexed biceps.

The Cubs have bonded fathers and sons for generations, and Hendricks immediately understood what it meant for his boy when the Cubs traded Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers minutes before the deadline on July 31, 2012, telling Kyle: “You win in this city, you will be a legend. There is no doubt about it. This is the greatest sports town in the United States.”

This is the intoxicating lure of the Cubs. It didn’t matter that Kyle had been an eighth-round pick out of Dartmouth College, and hadn’t yet finished his first full season in professional baseball, and would be joining an organization enduring a 101-loss season, the third of five straight fifth-place finishes.

Kyle’s low-key personality will never get him confused with an ’85 Bear, but he delivered a legendary performance in Game 6, outpitching Clayton Kershaw at the end of this National League Championship Series and leading the Cubs to the World Series for the first time in 71 years.

Five outs away from the pennant, a raucous crowd of 42,386 at Wrigley Field actually booed star manager Joe Maddon when he walked out to the mound to take the ball from Kyle and bring in closer Aroldis Chapman. Kyle, the silent assassin, did briefly raise his hand to acknowledge the standing ovation before descending the dugout steps. 

After a 5-0 win, Kyle stood in roughly the same spot with Nike goggles on his head and finally looked a little rattled, his body shivering and teeth chattering in the cold, his Cubs gear soaked from the champagne-and-beer celebration.

“It’s always been an uphill climb for me, honestly,” Kyle said. “But that really has nothing to do with getting guys out. My focus from Day 1 – even when I was young, high school, college, all the way up until now – all it’s been is trying to make good pitches. 

“And as we moved up, you just saw that good pitches get good hitters out.” 

At a time when the game is obsessed with velocity and showing off for the radar gun, Kyle knows how to pitch, putting the ball where he wants when he wants, avoiding the hot zones that lead to trouble, mixing his changeups, fastballs and curveball in an unpredictable way that takes advantage of the team’s intricate scouting system and keeps hitters completely off-balance.

“Kyle didn’t even give them any air or any hope,” general manager Jed Hoyer said.

Amid the celebration, scouting/player-development chief Jason McLeod spotted Kyle’s dad and yelled at John: “You f------ called it!” John – who once worked in the Angels ticket office and as a golf pro in Southern California – had moved to Chicago two years ago to work for his good friend’s limo company and watch his son pitch at Wrigley Field. John had told McLeod that Kyle would one day help the Cubs win a championship.

“That was one of the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen,” McLeod said. “Ever.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities] 

The media framed Kyle as The Other Pitcher, even though he won the ERA title this season, with all the pregame buzz surrounding Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP. Except Kershaw gave up five runs and got knocked out after five innings, while Kyle only gave up two singles to the 23 batters he faced, finishing with six strikeouts against zero walks and looking like he had even more left in the tank at 88 pitches.

“It was incredible,” Ben Zobrist said. “That was the easiest postseason game we’ve had yet and it was the clincher to go to the World Series. 

“He’s just so good, so mature for his age. He just has a knack to put the ball where he needs to. He’s smart and he’s clutch. He deserves to win the Cy Young this year.”

Where Kershaw’s presence loomed over the entire playoffs, Kyle has always been underestimated, coming into this season as a fourth or fifth starter with something to prove, and even he didn’t see all this coming. But big-game pitchers can come in all shapes and sizes and don’t have to throw 97 mph. 

“He wants the ball,” John said. “Every big game – I don’t care if it was Little League or wherever – he wants the ball. Plain and simple, (he’ll) get the job done.”

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