Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kane, Come Back

It's getting late in the minor-league season, so Watson and I headed back out to Kane County for one more walk across the pervious pavement to see the Cougars take on Peoria, in the company of our exurban pals Bookworm and Das Planner. Since last we checked in with the Chiefs, things have not improved—they followed up a 33-37 first half with a 23-38 second half and were eliminated from Midwest League playoff contention the other night. Recent first-round pick Hayden Simpson has continued to fall apart, too, to the point that he's not even with the team anymore. He now sports an 0-4 record and an 8.15 ERA for the Mesa Cubs in the Arizona League. It's things like this that make you wonder what sort of rebuilding movement is even going to be possible over in Wrigleyville.

Nevertheless, the Chiefs got a surprisingly solid performance out of storklike pitcher Starling Peralta, who held the Cougars hitless through five. He did seem to lose confidence shortly thereafter, though--showing, perhaps, that guys in the Cubs organization named "Starlin*" are not always leading with their heads.

Kane County mounted a serious threat in the bottom of the ninth, with the score 4-2. With two outs and the bases loaded, third baseman Angel Franco drove a ball into right field that was deep enough to score the runner from third, but not deep enough to keep the runner from second from being thrown out at the plate—a bang-bang finish to a short (2:35) and satisfying game. Now if only the drive between there and Chicago wasn't one godawful strip mall after another....

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