On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010
10:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
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.

WHITE SOX

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.

Bowl eligibility no sure thing for Notre Dame, especially with a loss to Syracuse

Bowl eligibility no sure thing for Notre Dame, especially with a loss to Syracuse

Notre Dame hasn’t fallen short of bowl eligibility since 2007, a year that invokes visceral reactions around South Bend. But at 1-3, Notre Dame’s chances of getting to six wins aren't necessarily healthy in 2016. 

S&P+ gives Notre Dame a 21 percent chance of going 6-6, a 9 percent chance of going 7-5 and a 2 percent chance of going 8-4, so added up that’s only a 32 percent chance of becoming bowl eligible. The most likely records, according to S&P+, are 5-7 (30 percent) and 4-8 (25 percent). Notre Dame has a better chance of finishing 2-10 (3 percent) than it does 8-4, by these numbers. 

(For more on S&P+ and the methodology behind it, click here)

The reason behind those, in all honestly, shockingly low numbers: only three games in which S&P+ favors Notre Dame to win going forward. Those are Syracuse (65 percent), Navy (71 percent) and Army (78 percent). Win probabilities for Notre Dame’s other games: 40 percent (N.C. State), 31 percent (Stanford), 28 percent (Miami), 36 percent (Virginia Tech) and 39 percent (USC). 

FEI is more optimistic about Notre Dame’s bowl chances, giving the Irish a better than 60 percent chance to win games against Syracuse, N.C. State, Miami, Navy, Army and Virginia Tech. But FEI also gave Notre Dame a 90.8 percent chance of beating Duke heading into last week, which is less an indictment of the numbers and more an indictment of how poorly the Irish played against the Blue Devils. 

Syracuse, though, looks like it’ll present a difficult challenge for Notre Dame. The Orange rank 36th in offensive S&P+, largely due to their excellent passing game (15th in success rate). Notre Dame ranks 78th in defensive S&P+ and 121st in passing success rate, which certainly looks like a concerning matchup.

Syracuse’s defense is bad, though (101st in S&P+), so Notre Dame’s top-15 offense should be able to put up some points. In short: Expect a shootout if Notre Dame does win on Saturday at MetLife Stadium. 

But if Notre Dame loses to fall to 1-4, sound the alarms. Or start planning your football-less vacation during bowl season. 

Bears: Jay Cutler goes from 'limited' in practice to 'DNP' on Thursday

Bears: Jay Cutler goes from 'limited' in practice to 'DNP' on Thursday

The Bears' quarterback situation, expected to resolve with Brian Hoyer starting Sunday against the Detroit Lions, appeared to tilt a little further in that direction as Jay Cutler, limited in practice on Wednesday, did not practice at all on Thursday.

Cutler, clad only in sweats and no helmet, tossed passes to receivers in individual warmups but did not participate as he and the team opted to rest his injured right thumb, which forced him out of the Dallas game.

“I think we just didn’t want to aggravate it more,” head coach John Fox said. “A thumb on a throwing hand of a quarterback is a delicate situation. So we just figured we wouldn’t go out there and have any stress on it.”

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Sitting out entirely should not trigger alarm bells. Cutler has not been expected to start vs. Detroit and he had not done significant work in practice on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t take too much to quantify [as] ‘limited’ [in practice],” Fox said. “It’s kind of what it is. But we just felt it was better to just have him rehab and continue to strengthen it.”

Also out of practice and expected to miss the Lions game: running backs Ka’Deem Carey and Jeremy Langford, nose tackle Eddie Goldman and linebacker Danny Trevathan.

Limited: Alshon Jeffery (knee/hamstring), Josh Sitton (shoulder). Jonathan Bullard (toe), Willie Young (knee), Harold Jones-Quartey (concussion), Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and Tracy Porter (knee).