The Myrtle Beach Pelicans saw their winning streak end at nine games, as they lost their first game in the month of June. Unfortunately, since the first half of the season ends this weekend, that loss just about puts an end to their first half playoff chances as well.
The Pelicans, who lost to first place Winston-Salem, now trail by three and a half games with an elimination number of four. Even if the Pelicans win the next two games against Winston-Salem, they could still be eliminated over the weeked simply by Winston Salem winning out.
That said, the fact that the once basement-dwelling Pelicans are even in this picture is remarkable. They are 16-4 since coming home from Maryland on May 21. If they keep playing that well as the season switches into the second half, they could very well sprint out to an early lead and give themselves a shot at playing for their third championship in four years.
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 0.2 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- Rob Zastryzny: 3.1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 K
- Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 3 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 3, 2B
- Victor Caratini: 2 for 4, HR
- Wynton Bernard: 2 for 2, BB, 2 SB
- Game Two
- Alec Mills: 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K
- Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 1 K
- Scott Effross: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Craig Brooks: 1 IP, 2 K
- Vimael Machin: 1 for 4, 2B
- Trey Martin: 1 for 4, 2B
- Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 4, 2B, HR
- Trent Giambrone: 2 for 3, 2B, HR
- Bryan Hudson: 5.1 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K
- Ryan Kellogg: 2.2 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 3 K
- Andruw Monasterio: 3 for 5
- Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Connor Myers: 1 for 4, 3B
- Zach Davis: 2 for 2
- Brendon Little: 4.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 3 K
- Roberto Caro: 2 for 5, SB
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4, 2B, BB, SB
- Jared Young: 2 for 5
- Austin Filiere: 2 for 3, BB
- Brandon Hughes: 2 for 4
- Chris Singleton: 1 for 3, HR, SB
- I was enjoying following Tennessee Tech through the college baseball playoffs, particularly since the Cubs drafted their closer Ethan Roberts, but because the Cubs drafted their closer I’m not all that unhappy to see that team be eliminated. The college baseball playoffs often result in pitchers doing things that they would never be asked to do as a professional, and down that road can be arm injury. And since college coaches are going to lose their best pitchers once they are drafted anyway, they tend to ignore the injury risk and pile on as many innings as the law allows. The Cubs will definitely take Robert’s recent very heavy workload into account when they decide where to place him and how to get him started once he signs.
- The Carolina League All Stars have been announced, and three Pelicans were named to the Southern Division roster. Catcher Jhonny Pereda and right handed pitcher Tyler Peyton were the two obvious choice. Pereda is one of the Cubs’ breakout prospects this year and also happens to be the best hitting catcher in the league. Peyton closed several games for the Cubs’ affiliate and currently holds a 1.42 ERA. I can’t argue with either selection.
- The third pick is Aramis Ademan. While there is no doubt that Ademan has a great deal of talent and a ceiling high enough to project him as a quality major league starting shortstop one day, he got off to a very slow start this season. As one of the youngest players in the league Ademan just looked overmatched at times as he has hit just .228/.328/.339 this season. He’s been on a bit of a tear in June that has helped his numbers; at the end of May his line read .222/.311/.299. I suspect his defense and his potential played a part in his selection, but this one was a surprise to me. Regardless, this is the second All-Star selection to go on Ademan’s resume. He was chosen in the Northwest League last season.
- Alec Mills has not allowed more than three runs in a game since April 29. He has walked just one batter in consecutive starts for the first time this season. His ERA is down to 3.76 after he put up a 2.55 ERA in May. Right now Mills is pitching well enough that I would like to see him get a shot in Chicago, should he line up the next time the Cubs need a spot starter.
- Dillon Maples, on the other hand, should be on the next plane to leave Des Moines as far as I’m concerned. He has walked exactly one batter since May 25, allowed just two hits in that span, and pitched six innings while striking out thirteen. His ERA peaked at 6.17 on May 15; it is now down to 3.92. Yesterday Maples needed just ten pitches to strike out the side, and nine of those pitches were strikes. None of them were fastballs. Thanks to the video wizardry of @mj_ernst, you can see for yourself:
Fastball? Don't need it.
A relaxed and in-command Dillon Maples needs just 10 pitches, all breaking balls, to strike out the side for his 4th save today: pic.twitter.com/bWv3nCgbGy
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) June 11, 2018
#Cubs fans — time to keep an eye @IowaCubs RHP Dillon Maples, who struck out the side in order in the 7th inning for his 4th save of the season in Game 1 of today's DH. Last 6 outings for Maples: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 K, 0 BB. Now 36 strikeouts in 20.2 IP this season. #EverybodyIn
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen) June 11, 2018