On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010
10:15 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOX
Winston-Salem (A)
Seth Loman closed out July on a hot streak and has opened August in the same fashion. He had yet another big evening on Tuesday as Winston-Salem defeated Wilmington, 8-5, at BB&T Ballpark.

The victory was the Dashs 37th at home this season, tops in the Carolina League and tied for second-best overall in the minor leagues. Loman helped pad that mark by going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Loman has 71 RBIs and is the owner of a five-game hitting streak during which he is batting .450 (9-for-2) with nine RBIs.

Brandon Short hit his 15th homer of the season and drove in his 72nd run. Joe Serafin picked up his first Carolina League victory in five starts, allowing four runs on nine hits over six innings.

Bristol (Rookie)
The Sox received a brilliant pitching performance from trio of hurlers Tuesday night as they blanked Burlington, 3-0.

Matt Heidenreich started and earned the victory, allowing three hits in seven innings while fanning four. Josh Billeaud and Kevin Moran (sixth save) each pitched a scoreless inning. Drew Lee had three hits and an RBI, giving Bristol all it would need with a run-scoring double in the third.

Kannapolis (A)
The Intimidators scored a pair of eighth-inning runs as a result of a Greenville throwing error and that was the difference in their 6-4 victory at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium.

Ryan Hamme and Miguel Gonzalez scored on an Arquimedes Caminero error. Jose Vargas paced the offense the rest of the evening with three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs. Zach Piccola earned the win, his first of the season.

In other action, Birmingham dropped a 5-0 decision at Jacksonville. The Barons managed only six hits as they remain on course to challenge many of the Southern League records for futility. They need to win 11 of their final 32 games to avoid tying the 1967 Knoxville Smokies (47 wins) for the fewest wins in a Southern League season. They need to win 12 games to avoid equaling Carolinas 1992 mark for most losses in a season (92).

CHARLOTTE (AAA)
The Knights saw Carlos Torres get promoted to the White Sox on Tuesday and it threw their whole rotation into flux. The result was six pitchers taking the mound for Charlotte in a 12-10 loss to Rochester at Knights Stadium.

Freddy Dolsi started and allowed four runs on two hits in an inning. Miguel Socolovich then allowed two runs in two innings before Randy Williams stabilized everything by throwing three shutout innings. The Wings, however, touched Jhonny Nunez for three runs in an inning and Jon Adkins for three runs in an inning to complete their offensive outburst.

The Knights did manage 10 runs on 11 hits, scoring five times in both the third and seventh innings. Brent Morel hit a seventh-inning grand slam while Stefan Gartrell had a three-run homer in the third. Fernando Cortez was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. ... Torres was returned to Charlotte following his start for the Sox on Tuesday.

CUBS

The Cubs top four affiliates struggle Tuesday night with each coming out on the losing end. Daytona was bested by Bradenton, 11-5, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Robert Whitenack took the loss in his Florida State League debut, allowing six runs in four innings. DJ LeMahieu had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games. Peoria was on the losing end of a 5-1 decision at Wisconsin. The Chiefs managed only three hits. Outfielder Matt Szczur was placed on the temporarily inactive list while he returns to Villanova for his senior season of football. Outfielder Anthony Giansanti was moved up from mesa while infielder Brandon May joined the team from Boise. Oklahoma City scored four fifth-inning runs and topped Iowa, 5-1, at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. J.R. Mathes allowed all five runs. Jake Muyco, who was bumped up from Tennessee prior to the game, pitched two scoreless innings. The Smokies activated LHP Ryan Buchter off the DL prior to their 3-2 loss at Montgomery.

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

Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

PITTSBURGH — The Cubs have so much going for them, all this blue-chip talent, a clubhouse mix of young players and grizzled veterans, arguably the best manager in the game, an impactful coaching staff and a front office that blends scouting and analytics as well as anyone.

So, no, John Lackey is not at all surprised by the way this clicked into place, 101 wins and counting for the machine built with October in mind.

“Not really,” Lackey said after Tuesday night’s 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. “I had some pretty good offers from other people, and I chose this one for a reason. It’s all here.”

But to win the World Series — and get the jewelry Lackey talks about — you still need some luck, good health and the guts to perform in those Big Boy Games. That reality of randomness and matchups made a pregame announcement some 250 miles away from PNC Park so telling.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee, ending his MVP-caliber season. The National League East champions will lose a .307 hitter with 22-homer power from the middle of their lineup and a veteran presence for a playoff rotation that will likely be without injured ace Stephen Strasburg (right elbow) in the first round.

“That’s a tough one when you lose your catcher, a guy who’s that significant for the pitching staff,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Think about the pitching staff — it’s so different when you know the guy back there is your guy and he knows what’s going on. The communication’s different. The trust factor, all that stuff is different.”

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Within that big-picture context, the Cubs survived as Lackey limited the checked-out Pirates (77-80) to one run across five innings in his fifth start since recovering from a strained right shoulder and coming off the disabled list. Maddon then used six different relievers — staying away from Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman — during a three-hour, 49-minute game that felt more like the Cactus League.

After defecting from the 100-win St. Louis Cardinals team the Cubs bounced out of last year’s playoffs, Lackey finished the regular season at 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA and 188 1/3 innings.

“I’m going to get to 200,” Lackey said.

Beyond wins and losses, Lackey called this season his career best in terms of “those numbers that they’ve made up in the last few years” like WHIP (1.04) and opponents’ OPS (.646) and whatever. And, no, he doesn’t know his WAR, either: “Not even close.”

Yes, the Cubs got the old-school attitude they wanted when they signed Lackey to a two-year, $32 million deal before the winter meetings. For all the talk about the pitching deficit and the New York Mets after their young guns swept the Cubs out of last year’s NL Championship Series, the Cubs are getting their money’s worth with a guy who will turn 38 in October.

The amazing Mets have lost three of those frontline starters — Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (nerve damage in his right elbow) and Steven Matz (bone spur in his left elbow) — and are still holding onto the first wild-card spot, which says something about this playoff field.

This doesn’t guarantee anything in October, but the Cubs are just about as close to full strength as they could reasonably hope now. Instead of the silence that would have come with losing an irreplaceable player like Ramos, the sound system in the postgame clubhouse blasted Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Notorious B.I.G. after their 101st win.

“Yeah, we lost Dexter (Fowler) for a bit,” Maddon said. “We lost (Kyle) Schwarber all year. Otherwise, when a couple pitchers got banged up, whether you’re talking about Rondon or Strop, I don’t think that our injuries have been as magnified because we’ve covered them pretty well.

“We still had our moments, like everybody else has. But when you get to right now, we’re getting well, and hopefully that trend continues. But to lose somebody of that magnitude for them, that’s got to be difficult.”