Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

myrtle beach pelicans logoIf this had been a major league playoff game, we’d be talking about it for a decade. What happened in Myrtle Beach last night was nothing short of awesome. If you missed it and are an subscriber, watch the replay. It will be worth it.

The fun opened with Brad Markey taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning. That alone would be enough for most games, but it almost became an afterthought before this one ended. He did finish the eighth after allowing a hit and a run, but that was it. Going into the ninth the Pelicans held a 4-1 lead; the bullpen was called in to finish things off.

But reliever Michael Heesch, called on to pitch the ninth, was just off. A hit and two walks loaded the bases with no one out, and in came Jasvir Rakkar to face arguably the toughest jam he’s ever seen in his professional career. But he never actually did face that jam. Instead the skies opened up and for two hours and forty four minutes they sat in a rain delay.

Top of the ninth, bases loaded, no one out, clinging to a three run lead, for nearly a three hour rain delay.

When play finally resumed, it was 2015 draftee and experienced college closer David Berg on the mound. He induced a grounder to trade a run for an out. 4-2, 1 out. He induced another ground ball for another trade. 4-3, 2 outs. A wild pitch sent the tying run to third. He was ahead of the batter, Nick Basto, 0-2, but Basto started taking balls and fouling off pitches. Finally, mercifully, Berg got Basto swinging and the game was over. The Pelicans, in front of a team record playoff crowd of over 4,000, won Game Two by a final of 4-3.

Like I said, if you missed it, go back and watch it. And when the ninth inning gets rocky and the rain comes down right when the suspense is as thick as it can get, imagine that taking place during a playoff game in Wrigley.

Baseball.  You gotta love it.

Performances of Note

  • Brad Markey struck out 8 and allowed a run on a walk and a hit over 8 innings. He was good.
  • David Berg got the save with one inning of work that included one strikeout. In between Michael Heesch pitched, Jasvir Rakkar was announced, and it rained.
  • Chesny Young finished 2 for 5 and scored twice for the Pelicans.
  • Jeffrey Baez finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen doubled and finished 3 for 5. He scored one run and drove in two more.

Up Next

This first round series is a best of three affair, so the Pelicans take the field tonight with a trip to the Carolina League Championship Series on the line. The starting pitcher for Myrtle Beach will be the intriguing Jonathan Martinez. Martinez, a 6’1″ right hander, doesn’t have the raw stuff we look in for a notable pitching prospect, but he does get results. For two straight years he’s posted an ERA substantially lower than his FIP for the Cubs. In three August starts this year his ERA was just 0.56, so he certainly appears to on top of his game right when it matters the most. I’m not sure he can match Markey’s gem, but we should be in for another well pitched game from the Pelicans.

Opposing the Pelicans will be 6’4″ right hander Brandon Brennan. Brennan is a ground ball artist who is prone to walking too many batters. His ERA is 3.55 for the season, and his BB/9 of 3.70 suggests that the Pelicans could have a good day if they just stay patient.

Game time, weather permitting, is 7:05 PM ET.  Win or lose, we’ll have a write up here on Bleacher Nation in the morning.

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