Paul Hoilman slipped into the history books on Tuesday night with a base hit in the eighth inning. The young first baseman extended his hitting streak to a Peoria Chief’s team record 21 games with that single. He also now holds the longest hitting streak in professional baseball this season.
So how has he done it? In short, Hoilman is just a good hitter who got ridiculously hot. In Boise last summer he grabbed our attention by crushing 17 home runs in 71 games. This year for Peoria he is hitting .308/.373/.508; clearly this guy can hit. As for the ridiculously hot part of the equation, his BABIP is an elevated .409. Over the long term that’s probably unsustainable, even if it isn’t LaDiculously high. Hoilman is going to cool off eventually.
The question is what his address will be when that happens. I don’t think it is any stretch to say that Hoilman is not being challenged by Midwest League pitching. He could stand to be promoted, but unfortunately he is pretty well blocked by other first basemen in the system. Until Anthony Rizzo is called up from Iowa, allowing Justin Bour to move up from Tennessee and freeing a spot in Double A for either Hoilman or Daytona’s Richard Jones, it’s hard to see how the Cubs find a way to make that promotion happen.
In the meantime, Hoilman will continue to terrorize Low-A pitching and hopefully add a few dozen more games to his hitting streak.
Chris Rusin allowed three hits and two walks in six innings of work; that was good enough for his third win of the season. Manuel Corpas allowed one run to score, but Blake Parker and Esmailin Caridad put up zeroes in their innings of work.
Anthony Rizzo led the offense with a pair of three run homers (he how has nine home runs this season), but he was far from the only player with a good game. I think the easiest way to showcase the lot would be to break out a list.
- Brett Jackson – 1 for 3, Triple, 2 BB, 3R
- Alfredo Amezaga – 3 for 5, 3 R
- Luis Valbuena – 3 for 5, 2 R
- Anthony Rizzo – 2 for 5, 2 HR, 6 RBI
- Josh Vitters – 3 for 5, Double, Home Run, 2 R, 4 RBI
- Matt Tolbert – 2 for 5
Brett Jackson also had his fifth steal of the season.
Rizzo’s monster game stands out, but don’t over look Vitters in that pack. This was very likely his best game of the season.
Trey McNutt threw 58 pitches in this game, but he still lasted only three innings. By allowing four runs (three earned) to cross the plate, he also picked up the loss. Ryan Searle allowed one run to score in his two innings of work and Jeffry Antigua threw two scoreless innings before giving way to Casey Weathers in the ninth. Weathers allowed a run, but he did so in an unusual fashion. His line (0H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB. 1K) only makes sense when you look a bit further down the box score and see he also had a wild pitch.
Justin Bour homered (his fifth) and Luis Flores had three hits (including a double) to lead Tennessee’s ten hit attack. Jae-Hoon Ha and James Adduci both doubled as well as part of their two hit nights.
Matt Loosen pitched five solid innings and collected his first win of the season. Hayden Simpson got in a bit of trouble late in the game, but he limited the damage to just two earned runs and picked up the four inning save.
There were heroes aplenty on offense, so let’s head to the lists.
- Matthew Szczur – 1 for 5, Double, 2 R
- Arismendy Alcantara – 1 for 4, Single, 3 RBI
- Rubi Silva – 2 for 6, Home Run, 3 RBI, 2 R
- Nelson Perez – 2 for 4
- John Andreoli – 2 for 3, 2 BB, 2 R
- Richard Jones – 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI
- Chad Noble – 1 for 4, Double, 3 RBI
- Elieser Bonne – 1 for 3, 2 BB
As a team the Cubs were 4 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The bulk of the damage came in the eight run second inning; the outcome of the game was never in doubt after that.
Jose Rosario allowed ten hits in his five innings of work, but since he allowed no walks and struck out five he was able to limit the damage to just two runs. Luis Liria and Charles Thomas each pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
Taiwan Easterling had his fourth consecutive multi-hit game and raised his batting average to .223 in the process. Wes Darvill drove his third triple of the season as part of his two hit night. Rafael Lopez and Ryan Cuneo both added doubles and Brad Zapenas added two singles. Oliver Zapata managed to score twice on no hits and a walk (Szczur would be proud).
The biggest hit of the night, though, was the eighth inning single off the bat of Paul Hoilman. A twenty one game (and counting) hitting streak is a feat to be proud of at any level of baseball. Congratulations Paul. Here’s hoping for twenty one more.