The future Cubs won two of four games on Monday night. Three of them were nail biters into the ninth; Iowa won in a relative blow out. The highlights of the evening would include the power show put on in Iowa, the Tennessee bullpen again pitching beautifully, and a nice pair of pitcher performances in Peoria. The not-so-highlights would include the Daytona Cubs. They played an ugly game.
Anthony Rizzo hit one of his two home runs off of Ely, and, to add insult to injury, starting pitcher Travis Wood launched a bomb of his own. Rizzo’s 3 for 3, two home run day led the potent Iowa offense. Josh Vitters also had two hits. As a team, Iowa put together 12 hits and only left four on base.
Travis Wood pitched six good innings, allowing just three runs while striking out six. With the exception of Manuel Corpas in the seventh, the bullpen had a perfect night.
AA – Tennesse Smokies. 4 – 1
Tennessee will head to their own stadium for the first time this season as the proud owners of a farm-system best 4-1 record. The Smokies rallied for the go ahead run in the ninth, winning another close one 3-2.
Jae-Hoon Ha and Rebel Ridling both collected two hits on the night. Starting pitcher Brooks Raley helped his own cause with an RBI sacrifice fly. Michael Burgess continued his very encouraging start to the year with a walk and a hit, raising his early season OPS to 1.136.
Raley pitched into the seventh inning, collecting six strikeouts while allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk. Alberto Cabrera got the win (his first) and closer Frank Batista picked up his third save of the season. Batista gets almost no respect as a prospect, and yet he is proving to be just as good a closer in Double A as he was in High A. Tennessee area readers, I have an assignment for you: scout Frank Batista. What is this guy throwing, and why is he so good in the ninth inning?
High A – Daytona Cubs. 1 – 3
Zach Cates had a miserable game in his Cubs’ debut, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and four walks. Unfortunately, his defense was even worse. Datyona dropped their third game of the season by a score of 8-7.
After taking an early six run lead, Dunedin tried to give the game back to Daytona. They even committed three errors. Daytona out-uglied them and committed five. Even so, there were a few bright spots in this game. The bullpen gave up just four hits over the final eight innings. Had it not been for the two unearned runs they allowed in the seventh, the bullpen would have won this game.
Greg Rohan somewhat made up for his three error performance with an three run bomb, one of his two hits on the night. Arismendy Alcantara also collected two hits and scored twice. Matt Szczur scored twice as well, but Daytona just could not overcome their mountain of defensive lapses.
Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 2 – 2
The wind was blowing hard to right field in Peoria Monday night, but that had little impact on the final score of the game. This contest was knotted at three heading into the ninth, but it was Peoria who came up short in the 8-3 loss.
Ben Wells was decent in his four innings of work, allowing three runs (only one earned) on seven hits and striking out three. Kyler Burke was better in his four innings, allowing just two hits and earning three Ks of his own. Unfortunately, Bryce Shafer was all kinds of wild in the ninth. Walks, hit batters, and wild pitches led to a five run inning for Quad City, and that was the difference in the game.
With that strong wind to right, it is surprising that Peoria only collected two extra base hits. Catcher Rafael Lopez had a double as part of his three for four night, and Wes Darvill hit the other double while going two for four. As a team, Peoria was just 1-13 with runners in scoring position and left a total of ten men on base.