On The Farm: Harris Starting Something New In Tennessee

On The Farm: Harris Starting Something New In Tennessee

Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
Posted: 10:30 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CUBSTennessee AA
Despite starting for much of his career at The University of Tennessee, TyRelle Harris has been coming out of the bullpen for much of his brief professional career. Prior to Tuesday, he had appeared in 44 games and in only one of those games did he start.

Harris, whom the Cubs acquired from the Braves last week, made his second career start Tuesday night for Tennessee and the results were impressive as the Smokies downed West Tenn, 9-6. The right-hander threw three-hit ball over five shutout innings to pick up his first victory since the trade.

The bullpen didnt fare as well, allowing six runs in 3 23 innings before Marco carillo came on to record the final out and pick up the save.

Tony Thomas and Marwin Gonzalez each had three RBIs for the Smokies. Steve Clevenger went 2-for-4 and is hitting .516 over his last nine games.

Daytona A
The Cubs continued their push to make the Florida State League playoffs Tuesday night with an 8-2 victory over Clearwater at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The win leaves Daytona 2.5 games back of first-place Tampa in the North Division with 11 games to play. The Yankees were idle for the second consecutive night because of rain.

Daytona explode for eighth third-inning runs. Kyler Burkes grand slam was the big blow in the inning, capping the rally. It was Burkes second slam of the year and seventh homer overall.

Brooks Raley allowed an unearned run over six innings to improve to 7-6. He fanned three and didnt walk a batter to earn his first victory since July 27. Raley has a 1.83 ERA in his last 10 starts.

In other action, Chris Carpenters Triple-A debut didnt go as planned as the Nashville downed Iowa, 6-4, at Principal Park. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks over three innings. Brad Snyder had a homer and two RBIs, extending his career high to 91 runs batted in. Vancouver bested visiting Boise, 5-1. Micah Gibbs had a pair of hits and scored a run for the Hawks. Peorias playoff hopes took another hit at Clinton on Tuesday as the LumberKings earned a 10-2 victory at Alliant Energy Field. The Cheifs committed four errors, surrendered three homers and left the bases loaded in the seventh en route to the loss. Nelson Perez was 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Brett Wallach started and took the loss, allowing five runs in five innings. Peoria is 0-5 in Wallachs five starts since he was acquired from the Dodgers in a deadline deal. Carlos Silva will rehab with the Chiefs on Friday and pitch against Cedar Rapids. ... The AZL Cubs scored three first-inning runs and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Angels.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
The Barons stunned host Carolina with a four-run eighth inning on Tuesday and squeaked out a 5-4 victory at Five County Stadium.

C.J. Retherfords two-run double was the big blow in the inning and made a winner of Henry Mabee, who pitched two scoreless innings. Anthony Carter pitched a scoreless ninth for his Southern League-leading 22nd save.
Bristol Rookie
The Sox dropped a heartbreaker to visiting Johnson City on Tuesday, losing 1-0 at Boyce Cox Field.

Reggie Williams one-out homer off Spencer Shelton in the eighth inning was the difference. Bristol put runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings but couldnt push across the tying run. Spencer Arroyo started for the Sox and allowed two hits over seven innings. He fanned seven and didnt walk a batter.
In other action, Greensboro bested visiting Kannapolis, 7-1, in an afternoon affair. The Intimidators scored their run in the ninth inning on a Juan Silverio single. Matt Wickswat, who pitched a no-hitter in his previous start, took the loss after allowing two runs in five innings. He walked five and scattered three hits. Winston-Salem and Lynchburg were rained out and will play a doubleheader on Wednesday. Gwinnett erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning to rally past Charlotte, 9-5. Matt Zaleski didnt record an out and allowed six of those runs on two walks and four hits, including a homer. Brandon Hynick started and allowed two runs in 5 13 innings. Brent Morel was 1-for-5, extending his hitting streak to eight games. ... Ryan Hamme had three hits and two RBIs to lead Great Falls past visiting Orem, 11-3.

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

In Game 1, Jon Lester doesn't quite live up to his World Series reputation: 'We got a long ways to go'

In Game 1, Jon Lester doesn't quite live up to his World Series reputation: 'We got a long ways to go'

CLEVELAND – While the Cubs came into this World Series as the heavy favorites, the team with the global following and baseball’s best roster on paper, Jon Lester understood the challenge ahead. The Cleveland Indians would counter with their own Game 1 ace, a dynamic reliever changing the way we think about bullpens and a future Hall of Fame manager.

That’s how it played out in a 6-0 game that felt a lot closer, Corey Kluber pitching like a Cy Young Award winner, Andrew Miller handling the seventh and eighth innings and Terry Francona improving his record to 9-0 in World Series games.     

Welcome to “Believeland,” where the Fourth Street bars on Tuesday were buzzing more than seven hours before first pitch. That night, LeBron James and the Cavaliers would get their championship rings and watch the banner-raising ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena, just up the street from Progressive Field.

By the first inning – when pitching coach Chris Bosio had to walk out to the mound to talk to Lester – the red video ribbons lining the stadium said: “CLEVELAND AGAINST THE WORLD.” With the bases loaded, Lester had just drilled Brandon Guyer with a pitch, forcing in a second run, a sequence set in motion by walks to Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez’s soft infield single up the third-base line.

It didn’t matter that Lester would eventually settle down and pretty much control this Cleveland lineup. (Except for that rocket Roberto Perez launched off the left-field railing for a solo homer and a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.) Or that the Indians didn’t run all over the bases, with Francisco Lindor going 1-for-2 in stolen bases. (“Whatever, it’s happened all year," Lester said.)

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This is Cleveland’s blueprint for October, maybe its only chance to win its first World Series since 1948.

“It’s always important (to get a lead), no matter what time of year it is,” Lester said. “It makes a manager’s job a lot easier. It makes your job a lot easier. When you give a guy like Kluber – who’s locked in from pitch one – two runs in the first, it makes his job a lot easier. I know the feeling on the other side. You’re just able to attack differently.

“With the bullpens and all that stuff that they’re setting up nowadays, all you got to do is get through six.”

Lester kept it a 3-0 game, but didn’t finish the sixth inning, a rare October night where he didn’t seem to be automatic. Until Tuesday night, he had gone 3-0 in three World Series starts, allowing only one earned run in 21 innings.

Lester won his two World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox, overlapping with Francona and Miller at different points. This is why the Cubs gave Lester a $155 million contract, to set the tone on the mound and within the clubhouse.

Near the end of a 103-win regular season – and even after winning the franchise’s first pennant in 71 years – Lester has offered colorful versions of: We haven’t done anything yet.

But Lester – the National League Championship Series co-MVP after putting up a 1.38 ERA against the Los Angeles Dodgers and watching the Cubs win both of those starts – also doesn’t do overreactions to losses.

“We got a long ways to go,” Lester said. “If we win tomorrow, we’re right back in it. Just like LA – everybody counted us out after Game 3. They said we were the worst best team in baseball. We’re here. We’re not giving up.

“I know my guys. I know my team. And I know that nobody in this clubhouse is giving anything up.”

Andrew Miller's outstanding postseason continues with escape to beat Cubs

Andrew Miller's outstanding postseason continues with escape to beat Cubs

CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller added another impressive chapter to an already legendary postseason performance on Tuesday night.

The Cleveland Indians reliever pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning to preserve a three-run lead and help his team achieve a 6-0 victory over the Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series in front of 38,091 at Progressive Field.

Despite putting four men on base, Miller added two more scoreless innings to his 2016 playoff résumé. Miller also struck out more three batters, giving him 24 in 13 2/3 innings this postseason, the second most by any reliever in playoff history. Critical to the effort was the strikeout of Cubs veteran David Ross with a checked swing on a 3-2 slider to strand the bases loaded in the seventh.

“You’re just trying to see the ball as long as you can and stay up the middle,” Ross said. “The 3-1, that’s the one that kinda messed me up. It didn’t break as much, so now you’re like ‘OK, let’s protect and just battle.’ ... Looking back at it, I wish I just stood there and not swung at all. If I could rewind. If it were that easy. I wish it was. And then he’d throw one right down the middle and America hates me.”

Ross has had his share of success against Miller before, though it all came when the left-hander was still a struggling starting pitcher. The veteran catcher is 3-for-5 with a walk against Miller in his career. But that wasn’t the reason Cubs manager Joe Maddon opted to stay with Ross instead of pinch hit for him with either Jorge Soler or Albert Almora Jr. with two outs in the seventh inning and Miller struggling for the first time all postseason.

With a man on and nobody out, Miller took over for Corey Kluber and walked Kyle Schwarber — only Miller’s third free pass of the postseason. Javy Baez followed with a single to load the bases.

But Miller rebounded quickly and retired Willson Contreras on a fly out to shallow center before he struck out Addison Russell. Based on his experience, Maddon thought Ross was the right man for the spot.

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“I thought David could hit him or David would accept his walk more than the other guys,” Maddon said. “David works good at-bats in that moment. So I felt good about him, actually. I felt better about him.

“I think with Soler coming off the bench or Albert they had less of a chance than David because I thought there was a two-fold opportunity to either get the hit or draw the walk.”

Ross worked the count to his favor quickly as he took a fastball for a ball, and after swinging and missing a slider, took two more balls to get ahead 3-1. But Miller dropped a slider in for a called strike and then turned to it once again, getting Ross to commit just enough for the third strike. The strikeout improved the Indians’ chances of winning by 26.5 percent, up to 94.7, according to fangraphs.com.

“I was trying to throw a really good one because if he hits it, it goes a long way,” Miller said. “That’s David Ross. I think even he would say, you can pitch to him, but if you throw something in his wheelhouse it’s going to go a long way and do some damage. Fortunate that it worked out. I threw a good one that was in a spot that he went after in the situation.”

Miller struggled again in the eighth inning as he walked Kris Bryant and allowed a Ben Zobrist single with two outs. But Miller — who allowed two hits and two walks for the first time all season in 77 appearances — struck out Kyle Schwarber to strand the pair.

The Indians’ key acquisition before the July 31 trade deadline threw 46 pitches, the most he’s thrown in a game since Sept. 8, 2011, when he was still a starter.

Indians manager Terry Francona wouldn’t commit to whether or not he’d use Miller in Game 2 on Wednesday. Francona cited how Miller bounced back after throwing 40 pitches in a Game 1 victory over Boston in the American League Division Series and would have been ready if needed. But any number of factors could keep Miller from pitching, and Francona is happy to have a 1-0 series lead in his pocket.

“I don’t know,” Francona said. “He was ready to come back and pitch the next night. I just think there’s a lot that can happen.

“But we won tonight. I think when you have a lead, you try to win.”