Erick Leal, the 20 year old right-hander who came to the Cubs in the Tony Campana trade, pitched a full nine innings of no hit baseball for the South Bend Cubs last night. He faced 28 batters, walked 4 of them, induced 14 ground outs, 4 fly outs, and 4 strikeouts. His Game Score was a stunning 90 (I think that is the highest in the Cubs farm system this season). In short, he was great.
The game, however, went twelve innings and ended in a Cubs loss.
That means, according to the normal standards of baseball, that Leal does not get credit for a no-hitter. The game did not end with him on the mound, so even though he pitched a regulation nine, he did not get a no-hitter. A great game, yes. A no-hitter, no.
Sometimes baseball is cruel.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa moved to ten games over .500 with this 6-5 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies jumped to early lead and tacked on just enough to keep that lead. They won 6-5.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach got another great pitching performance and cruised to a 6-1 win.
South Bend – The Cubs lost an incredible game 1-0 in twelve innings.
Eugene – Eugene is on their All-Star break.
Arizona – Twice the Cubs took a lead, but they game still ended in an 8-6 loss.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Javier Baez hit his 11th homer of the season, and once again his 8th inning blast put the Cubs ahead for good. That gives him two game winning hits in as many games. He finished with just that hit, and he did not strike out.
- [Iowa] Chris Valaika had the only multi-hit day for the Cubs. He finished 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles.
- [Iowa] Ryan Buchter (0.2 IP), Blake Cooper (1.0 IP, 1 K), and Brian Schlitter (0.1 IP, 1 H) combined to produce a combined two innings of scoreless relief in this one.
- [Tennessee] Rob Zastryzny tossed 91 pitches over 6.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4.
- [Tennessee] P.J. Francescon nailed down another one. This time he struck out 2 over 1.1 hitless innings to pick up his 17th save.
- [Tennessee] Jeimer Candelario stayed hot with a double and his 2nd Double A homer. He finished 2 for 4 and is now hitting .353/.382/.549 (sample size alert) in Double A.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras finished 3 for 4 and stole his first base of the season. Jacob Hannemann finished 2 for 4.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jonathan Martinez struck out 6 over 6 innings while allowing a run on 3 hits and 2 walks. This game tied his high water mark for strikeouts in any game this season.
- [Myrtle Beach] After Michael Heesch worked 2 hitless innings of relief (1 BB, 1 K), David Berg struck out 3 in his inning of work (one hit allowed).
- [Myrtle Beach] Chesny Young doubled and finished 2 for 5. He played first base in this one.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jason Vosler and Cael Brockmeyer each finished with 2 hits. Brockmeyer also had 2 walks.
- [South Bend] Erick Leal was awesome. 9 IP, 0 H. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- [South Bend] Corbin Hoffner allowed 2 hits in his 2 scoreless innings of relief. Jordan Minch then allowed the game’s only run without giving up a hit in his inning of work.
- [South Bend] Jeffrey Baez did his best to give his pitchers some runs. He doubled twice and finished 2 for 3.
- [Arizona] Dylan Cease stuck out 3 in his 1.1 hitless innings of work, but he also allowed 2 runs on 4 walks.
- [Arizona] A P.J. Higgins triple (his 2nd) and a Ben Carhart double were the only extra base hits for the Cubs.
- [Arizona] Four Cubs finished with a 2 hit game: Robert Garcia, Darryl Wilson, Varonex Cuevas, and Marcus Mastrobuoni.
- Leal did not enter the season as one of the Cubs’ better known pitching prospects, but he is certainly one to keep an eye on. His season has been somewhat up and down in the Midwest League, but over the past few months he has shown steady improvement. For now he resides on the fringe of prospect-dom, but I think he’s on the thicker part of the fringe. He is also the sort of prospect who could produce a break out season at pretty much any time. I doubt we have heard the last of him.
- Gleyber Torres was lifted from his game after his third at bat, but there is no word as to why. It may be nothing (that does happen), but we are close to (or still in) Hug Watch season and he is playing well enough to warrant a promotion, so it is something to monitor.
- The Northwest League All-Stars beat the Pioneer League 6-5 in ten innings last night. Eloy Jimenez and Oscar De La Cruz did not make it into the game. Pedro Araujo gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk over 0.2 innings of relief, striking out a pair.
- In case you missed it yesterday, Brett took an early look at how Candelario is doing in Double A.