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Cubs Minor League Daily: A Day Of Really Great Pitching

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

There were too many very, very good pitching performances in the minors yesterday to focus on any one of them in the intro. Instead, I’m going to cut this intro short so we can get to the good stuff – lots and lots and lots and lots of excellent pitching.


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Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 1, Nashville 0
How about a shutout to start things off?

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennesee 3, Mobile 2
Eight innings of perfection (literally), one of … not perfection.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Buies Creek 5, Myrtle Beach 4
This game was started on Sunday and suspended due to rain.

Myrtle Beach 2, Buies Creek 0 in 11 innings
Three pitchers, eleven innings, two hits, and seventeen strikeouts.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 2, Cedar Rapids 1
It took eight straight scoreless innings on the hill for the Cubs to secure this win.


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Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 5, Everett 4
Eugene’s lead in the division is still one game.

Rookie: AZL Cubs
Giants 12, Cubs 7
The Cubs have now lost eight in a row.

Other Notes

  • Kyle Hendricks pitched five perfect innings, threw just 63 pitches, and generally looked about as ready to return to Chicago as we could have hoped.
  • And then Duane Underwood, who has had a rocky season this year, pitched three perfect innings to open his first relief appearance of the year. He ran into some trouble in the ninth, but it was still a very good outing and a good sign for a guy whose success hasn’t matched what we were hoping for when the season began.

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  • Tennessee’s winning run in the bottom of the ninth came on a rally that began with two outs. It began, in fact, with two hit by pitches.
  • The ten strikeouts for Michael Rucker was a season high. His previous high was seven, and that came exactly five days ago. He allowed just one hit in that game. His High A ERA is down to 2.13. And how about this? Rucker got this award BEFORE last night’s dominant outing:

  • By striking out the side, Dakota Mekkes pushed his ridiculous High A scoreless outing streak to eleven games. He has given up a grand total of four runs this year. Two of them were earned, and those both came in the same game. With the possible exception of what Maples is doing in Tennessee, I’d be hard pressed to name a more dominant season from a pitcher in the farm system this season.

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  • There was a scary moment in the Iowa game when outfielder Jacob Hannemann was hit in the head with a baseball. He exited the game under his own power; no word yet on if he’ll miss any time.
  • The Dillon Maples saga is getting another chapter. After nearly being bounced out of the organization not that long ago, Maples has suddenly morphed into one of the most dominant relievers in minor league baseball. And a case can be made that I should drop the “minor league” part. Now it sounds like he is headed to Iowa. I don’t think he’ll stay there long. Iowa, I think, is simply an on ramp to ease his transition into Chicago. And in a few weeks we may very well see him in Chicago. I don’t expect that he will be a high leverage arm right away, but he has that kind of potential.

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Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.