On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010
10:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
Iowa (AAA)
Good, bad or ugly, Jeff Samardzija continues to find ways to win at Iowa whether hes starting or coming out of the bullpen.

Thursday nights effort at Principal Park falls under the good and the starting categories as Samardzija paced the I-Cubs to a an 8-3 victory over Tacoma. The Notre Dame product allowed a run on three hits over six innings to win his second in a row, fourth in five starts and ninth overall.

The only blemish on his season has been a horrendous one-inning outing at New Orleans in June 29 as he allowed seven runs and suffered his only loss.

Samardzija got a big assist from Micah Hoffpauir, who was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hes hitting .415 (22-for-53) during that stretch with six homers and 18 RBIs. Bryan LaHair and Marquez Smith also had homers for the I-Cubs.

Daytona (A)
The Cubs long winning streak is but a memory. Evidence of that can be found in Thursdays 7-2 loss to Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium. It was Daytonas fourth-loss in a row and second straight to the Hammerheads, statistically one of the worst teams in minor league baseball.

Alberto Cabrera allowed four runs on 10 hits in six innings to suffer the loss. Dave Patton fared no better, allowing three runs in his inning of work. Ryan Flaherty had a homer and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Peoria (A)
Justin Bours eighth-inning grand slam punctuated a monstrous offensive evening for Peoria as it topped Wisconsin, 13-1, Thursday night.

Bours slam was part of a six-run inning and was one of 16 Cheifs hits. He finished with six RBIs and now has 69, third in the Midwest League. Hak-Ju Lee added a pair of hits as did Matt Cerda (two RBIs).

Peoria pitchers allowed only four hits and two of them were surrendered by Su-Min Jung (7-3) over his five shutout innings.

Tennessee (AA)
It was a case of another game, another strong effort for Chris Archer on Thursday night as Tennessee earned a 11-3 victory at Montgomery.

Archer (6-1) improved to 13-2 overall and now has an outside shot, depending on how he is used over the final month of the season, at becoming the minor leagues first 20-game winner since John Fritz went 20-4 for Quad Cities in 1992. Archer cant lose again and may have to pick up a victory or two out of the bullpen but a 20-win season remains a possibly though a long shot.

He allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings keeping his Southern League ERA at a minuscule 0.46. Archer can also thank Matt Spencer, who had a titanic night at the plate, hitting a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and driving in seven as the Smokies scored nine runs over the final three innings.


Birmingham (AA)
Jacksonville scored all of its runs in the sixth inning, rallying by Birmingham, 3-2, Thursday night.

Lee Mitchells two-run single off Charlie Leesman was the deciding blow. Leesman allowed five hits in 5 13 innings though only two of the three runs were earned. Justin Greene hit a solo homer for the Barons. Tyler Kuhn went hitless in four at-bats, ending his hitting streak at eight games. Birmingham RHP Charles Shirek was assigned from Charlotte
In other action, Bristol and Johnson City were rained out. The game will be made up Friday as part of a doubleheader. Winston-Salem and Frederick were also washed away and will play a pair on Friday. Kannapolis game with Greensboro was canceled because of the weather and no immediate date was set for when it will be played. Charlotte and Toledo were suspended with one out in the bottom of the second inning with the Mud Hens leading 4-0. The game will be finished Friday beginning at 5 PM with a seven-inning game to follow thereafter.

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

Badgers defense puts Hawkeyes on lock down in win


Badgers defense puts Hawkeyes on lock down in win

In case you didn't know it already, this Wisconsin defense is very, very good.

Iowa doesn't have the most potent offense in the Big Ten, but that shouldn't cloud the impressiveness of another shut-down performance by the Badgers, who kept the Hawkeyes out of the end zone in Saturday's 17-9 win in Iowa City.

Wisconsin allowed just 236 total yards, only 83 on the ground, and limited Iowa to 2-for-13 on third down in the victory, one that moved the Badgers ahead of the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten West Division standings.

The Badgers' offensive production, at least when it came to everything besides points, was impressive, too. At halftime, Wisconsin had 246 total yards, 12 first downs, no penalties and nearly seven minutes more time of possession than Iowa. But the Badgers could only turn three red-zone trips into seven points, missing a field goal in the first quarter and giving away a goal-line fumble right before halftime. That lone touchdown was a pitch from backup quarterback Bart Houston to Troy Fumagalli.

After the Hawkeyes had to settle for a field goal that made it 7-3, Alex Hornibrook hit Kyle Penniston for a huge 54-yard gain down to the Iowa five-yard line. But three plays later, Corey Clement leaped for the end zone and coughed up the ball, a fumble recovered by the Hawkeyes for a touchback. C.J. Beathard then took Iowa down the field, setting up a 47-yard field goal that made it just a one-point game at halftime.

The narrow halftime deficit was a huge victory for the Hawkeyes, who had to settle for that first field goal after a series of mistakes emblematic of their first half. On third and one, a false start erased a first down, and on the next play, a Beathard touchdown pass to Riley McCarron was negated when Kirk Ferentz called a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty.

Wisconsin finally rediscovered red-zone success midway through the third quarter, Clement punching in a touchdown from a yard out after a 57-yard Hornibrook throw to Quintez Cephus got the Badgers back down to the five-yard line.

But Wisconsin had another missed opportunity not long after, as Andrew Endicott missed his second field-goal try of the game, this one a more understandable miss from 52 yards away. After a battle of the punters for the majority of the second half, Iowa got down to the Wisconsin 21-yard line with about five and a half minutes left, but the Hawkeyes also missed a field-goal attempt, keeping it an eight-point game.

The Badgers marched down the field on a 62-yard drive, Clement's 34-yard dash the biggest play, and sealed the game with a field goal. Not even a massive kick return from Desmond King, which set up another Iowa field goal, could bail out the Hawkeyes.

Clement finished with 134 yards and a touchdown, with Hornibrook completing 11 passes for 197 yards.

Wisconsin's win sent it to 5-2 on the season, the first victory in a while after back-to-back losses to Michigan and Ohio State. Next up is another colossal showdown against Nebraska.

Iowa's loss was its third of the season, dropping the Hawkeyes to 5-3. Next up is a game at Penn State.

Cubs hoping Kyle Schwarber can make World Series comeback

Cubs hoping Kyle Schwarber can make World Series comeback

As if the possibility of clinching their first National League pennant in 71 years didn't create enough drama and excitement in Wrigleyville, the Cubs have sent Kyle Schwarber to the Arizona Fall League, hoping he can add another chapter to his October legend.

Schwarber earned this chance after beating every expectation in his recovery from major surgery on his left knee in April. The Cubs haven't ruled anything in or out - and still need to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time this weekend - but they want to see how he responds on Saturday with the Mesa Solar Sox and ultimately decide if he would be a viable designated-hitter option for the World Series.

Schwarber gained clearance on Monday from Dr. Daniel Cooper, the head team physician for the Dallas Cowboys who reconstructed his ACL and repaired his LCL after a devastating outfield collision during the first week of the regular season.

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Schwarber flew from Dallas to Los Angeles, where he worked out at Dodger Stadium as the Cubs continued with what has been a classic NL Championship Series. Schwarber left for Arizona on Wednesday to ramp up his baseball activities and prove whether or not he could again be a difference-maker in October.

Schwarber, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, generated 16 home runs in 69 games last season and then set a franchise record with five homers in the playoffs.
The Cubs still have to deal with Clayton Kershaw on Saturday night in Game 6, and judge whether or not a six-months-plus layoff is too long, even for one of their best young hitters, especially against what would be a dynamic Cleveland Indians pitching staff.

But the Cubs would also never bet against Schwarber.