The Iowa Cubs (6-9) don’t have the worst record in the Pacific Coast League, but they are in last place in their division and trail first place Omaha (Kansas City) by four games. They are currently playing at home against second place Oklahoma City (LA Dodgers) in a series that runs through Tuesday, and they welcome third place Colorado Springs (Milwaukee) to Des Moines starting Thursday.
Meanwhile, in the Double A Southern League, the Smokies (8-9) are sitting in third place, three and a half back from division leading Jackson (Seattle). Moving up in those standings could be a challenge this week. They’ve won their first two games in Mobile, and that series continues through Tuesday. But then Tennessee heads to Biloxi, home of the first place team in the other Southern League Division, to open a series that will take them into May.
Myrtle Beach is over .500 now at 9-8, good enough for second place in the Carolina League Southern Division. They trail Salem (Boston) by a game, and Salem comes to town on Friday. First the Pelicans wrap up a home series against Carolina today, and then head to Potomac for three starting Tuesday.
The South Bend Cubs are the closest to first place. Thanks to a four game winning streak, the 10-6 Cubs trail Lake County (Cleveland) by just half a game. The Cubs will go for the sweep of Fort Wayne this afternoon, and then after an off day will hit the road for Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids.
- Stephen Perakslis: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 6 K, HR
- Felix Pena: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K
- Jean Machi: 2 IP, 2 K
- Albert Almora: 2 for 5, HR, BB. Almora’s second homer of the season was a no doubter. You can see it below. [Brett: Whoa. That one looked like it was destroyed.]
- Juan Perez: 1 for 5, 2B
- Paul Blackburn: 8 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 7 H, 1 K. ERA is 0.35.
- Juan Paniagua: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 4, BB
- Chesny Young: 0 for 2, 3 BB
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 3, 2 BB
- David Freitas: 2 for 4
- Jake Stinnett: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 7 K.
- Gleyber Torres: 2 for 3, 3B, BB
- Ian Happ: 1 for 3, HR, BB. That was his third homer.
- Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 4, 2B
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 3
- Jeffrey Baez: 1 for 3, 3B, BB, CS
- Adbert Alzolay: 6 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K
- Greyfer Eregua: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- Carlos Sepulveda: 3 for 5, 2B
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4, 2B
- Donnie Dewees: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Sutton Whiting: 2 for 4
- Yesterday marked one of Stinnett’s best starts as a professional. No walks was definitely a good sign, and the seven strikeouts marked a season high, one short of his career high. His ERA is down to 2.55, and his WHIP to 0.79.
- Almora has multiple hits in three of his last five games. In that span he has just one walk, but has both struck out AND homered twice. We’re about halfway to the 100 plate appearance threshold now, and so far the offensive improvements we saw last year look like they are not going away.
- There was a very scary moment late in the Iowa game when Contreras went down behind the plate in a lot of pain thanks to a pitch that appeared to hit him between the legs, according to Tommy Birch. He stayed in the game, though he was still uncomfortable. For now we can assume it wasn’t serious (although we’ve seen similar incidents be serious injuries in the past), but don’t be surprised if he gets a game or two off.
- Almora’s crushed homer:
- And Happ’s homer, which was more of the laser variety: