LaHair, Beliveau Honored By Cubs

LaHair, Beliveau Honored By Cubs

Tuesday Sept. 20, 2011
Posted: 7:00 p.m.

The Cubs announced infielderoutfielder Bryan LaHair and left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau were named the organizations Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Beliveau and LaHair were honored tonight during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs contest at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers.

LaHair, 28, was named the 2011 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player after leading all of minor league baseball with an Iowa franchise-record 38 home runs. He also led the PCL with 76 extra-base hits, 303 total bases, a .664 slugging percentage, a 1.070 OPS and was tied for first in the league with 109 RBI. In addition to PCL Most Valuable Player honors, LaHair was named to the all-PCL Team and was named Iowa Cubs MVP. LaHair was also a mid-season PCL All-Star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

The sluggers 38th home run set the Iowa franchise record, surpassing Joe Hicks in 1984, and he joined Mel Hall (1982) as only the second player in franchise history with at least 30 homers and 30 doubles in the same season. LaHair became only the seventh PCL player in the last 15 seasons to record at least 300 total bases. LaHair is the second Iowa Cubs player to earn Pacific Coast League MVP honors in the last five seasons, joining Geovany Soto (2007).

Beliveau, 24, combined to go 6-2 with five saves and a 1.57 ERA (13 ER74.1 IP) in 53 relief appearances between Single-A Daytona and Tennessee, which was his first career stint at Double-A. The lefthander combined to strike out 89 batters and issue only 19 walks in 74.1 innings, an average of 10.8 strikeouts and only 2.3 walks per nine innings, and limited opponents to a .192 batting average against.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Beliveau began the season with Daytona, where he went 0-1 with two saves and a 0.52 ERA (1 ER17.1 IP) in 12 relief outings to earn the promotion to Double-A. Beliveau went 6-1 with three saves and a 1.89 ERA (12 ER57.0 IP) in 41 relief appearances to help the Smokies to the Southern League championship round. With Tennessee, Beliveau limited opponents to a .183 batting average, including a .169 mark by lefties and a .191 by righties.

Originally selected by the Cubs in the 18th round of the 2008 Draft out of Florida Atlantic University, the Providence, R.I. native is 17-9 with 10 saves and a 2.69 ERA (81 ER270.2 IP) in four professional seasons in the Cubs organization. Beliveau will pitch for Team USA this fall.

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

The White Sox will battle the Oakland Athletics today, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:05 p.m.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon vs. Kendall Graveman

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Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

It wasn't pretty, but the Blackhawks found a way to pick up another two points and improved to 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and 18-3-1 over their last 22.

With Minnesota's loss to Philadelphia, the Blackhawks have taken an eight-point lead for first in the Central Division and are only two points away from the Washington Capitals for home-ice advantage throughout the entire Stanley Cup playoffs.

Let's take a look at Quick Hits from the 3-2 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night:

What Worked: The finish and shootout. While the Blackhawks scored the game's first goal, it was another slow start by a team that has had a few of those over the last several outings and has preached working on turning in more of a complete effort. They recorded only 14 shots on goal in the first two periods, and it took more than six minutes after Patrick Kane's goal to record their next one.

But they finished on a positive note yet again, and went 2-for-3 in the shootout thanks to Kane and Artemi Panarin, who potted the game winner. Kane said after the game that he tried his move on Scott Darling during morning skate and it worked. So he went with it tonight in an effort to snap a mini shootout drought and he did.

What Didn't Work: Controlling the puck. The Blackhawks seemingly have the puck more than their opponent does almost every game, but it doesn't reflect in the shot department because they often look for the perfect pass or shot and fail to record one at all. They had 50 shot attempts with 26 of them on goal compared to the Stars' 64 attempts with 44 on goal. They know they must get better at that.

Star of the game: Corey Crawford. After allowing four goals on only 10 shots in Tuesday's overtime loss to Vancouver, the Blackhawks netminder bounced back in a huge way. He matched a season-high with 42 saves, and recorded his 30th win of the season.

He Said It: "He played amazing tonight. Reason we won the game. Hats off to him, he's done that a lot this year. For a goalie it's probably tough to show up every night, even the goals he let in last game you can't put all the blame on him, but he was outstanding tonight." — Kane on Crawford's performance

By the Numbers:

167 — Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked one shot in the win, and it was enough to set a new career high in that department, previously established during the 2010-11 campaign (166).

15 — Trevor van Riemsyk assisted on Marian Hossa's goal in the third period, giving him a career-high 15 points on the season in 50 games. He had 14 points in 82 games last year. He also extended his point streak to three games.

6 — With the victory, Crawford has earned at least 30 wins in six of his seven NHL seasons as a full-time starter. The only time he didn't reach that mark was during the lockout-shortened year in 2012-13 when he went 19-5-5.