Rafael Narea has been the shortstop for about half of South Bend’s games this season, and at the plate he has put some pretty good peripheral numbers (7.8% walk rate, 15.6% strikeout rate) despite a fairly low level of overall production (wRC+ 69). But this 20-year-old had not homered.
Until yesterday. He homered twice, doubled, and drove in half the Cubs’ runs in a extra innings win on the road.
Neither Trevor Clifton nor Duane Underwood (working in relief in this one) were at their best last night. A triple from Jacob Hannemann was the highlight on the offensive side.
Eddy Martinez tripled and four pitchers combined to allow just one earned run in this one.
The Pelicans gave up four in the eighth to change the course of this game. Erick Leal allowed one run in his four inning start, and Jared Young added two more hits.
The Cubs trailed by five at the start of the seventh before rallying over the next two innings to force an extra frame. Luis Aquino and Brian Glowicki both pitched well in relief to give the offense a chance to make that come back. Rafael Narea led the offense with two homers and a double.
Eury Ramos struck out 8 in 7.1 innings of work, and Eugenio Palma and Riley McCauley combined to keep the one hitter intact. Gustavo Polanco had three hits for the Emeralds, and D.J. Artis and Grant Fennell contributed two each.
Danny Hultzen struck out two in his hitless inning of work to open the game. Alexander Guerra doubled and finished with two hits.
This was supposed to a doubleheader, but game two was rained out. Eduarniel Nunez stuck out 7 in his 5 innings of work.
- Duane Underwood has been in the rotation about all year long, and he’s pitched decently there (4.49 ERA). I’m not sure if yesterday’s move to the bullpen was driven by the needs of Iowa or out of preparation for Underwood’s role in Chicago in September or if it’s just about innings.
- Eugene is still in a tie with Salem-Keizer for the second playoff slot in their division. These two teams play one more three game series against each other, at Salem-Keizer, before season ends on Sept 3.
- This light version of the Daily will continue for a few more days while I am on vacation. I head home Sunday, so things should be back to normal around here on Monday.
- Cubs prospect Michael Cruz has dealt with more than most:
Michael Cruz saw his house in Puerto Rico shredded by Hurricane Maria.
Now his big league dream is spurred by thoughts to try and give back to his family and his country.🇵🇷
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) August 23, 2018