Cubs Minor League Daily: All Back To Even, Which Means Today is Do or Die

Social Navigation

Cubs Minor League Daily: All Back To Even, Which Means Today is Do or Die

Chicago Cubs

cubs azl spring training logoAnd everyone is tied.

Winning a road playoff game is hard at any level. South Bend and Eugene demonstrated that with extra inning losses on Wednesday night, and last night it was Myrtle Beach who hit the road and could not find a win. As a result of that loss, their series is tied at one game apiece.

South Bend returned home, found their offense, and pulled away late to pick up their first win of the playoffs. That series is also tied at one.

And then we have Eugene. The Emeralds pretty much dominated Game Two of their series from the very beginning on their way to a relatively easy win. Result? A tied up series.

All of these series are best of three. All of them are tied at one game apiece. That means, for everyone, tonight is both a chance to advance, and an elimination game.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Salem 5, Myrtle Beach 1
The Pelicans turned seven hits and four walks into just one run.

Best of Three Series: Series is tied 1-1.
Next Game: Tonight in Salem at 7:05 PM ET
Matchup: Duane Underwood Jr. (Myrtle Beach) against Matt Kent (Salem)

With their season and repeat championship hopes on the line, the Pelicans turn to Underwood. Underwood was inconsistent with the Smokies in 13 starts this season (4.91 ERA) before being shut down with an injury. He rehabbed in Arizona, and then South Bend, and had worked his way back to Myrtle Beach for a single start when the season ended. In that start, on September 2, he allowed a run on three hits in 4.2 innings. I doubt Underwood will pitch more than five, and given his injury and his rocky season, I’m not sure what to expect from him. He could be excellent. And he could be the opposite.

Matt Kent, on the other hand, has made 26 starts for Salem this year. Drafted in 2015, this lefty hails from the ‘no mistakes’ school of pitching. His strikeout rate is just 6.92 K/9, but his walk rate is an excellent 1.90 BB/9 and he has allowed just four home runs all year. The Pelicans have faced him five times, and tagged him for at least three runs in three of those games. In his last start against Myrtle Beach, on August 9 in Salem, the Pelicans got to him for four runs on four hits and four walks.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 6, West Michigan 2
This game was tied at two in the bottom of the sixth, and then the Cubs got their bats going.

Best of Three Series: Series is tied 1-1.
Next Game: Tonight in South Bend at 7:35 PM ET
Matchup: Adbert Alzolay (South Bend) against Spenser Watkins (West Michigan)

Adbert Alzolay has made twenty starts and two relief apperances for South Bend this season, and has an ERA of 4.34 and a FIP of 3.87. He can vary from pitching very well (five shutout innings on Sept 2 in West Michigan) to pitching much less well (five runs allowed in five innings at home on Aug 24 against West Michigan). Having faced this lineup in his last two starts, it is probably safe to say he knows it fairly well. Hopefully he can repeat his 9/2 performance.

Spenser Watkins has a FIP very similar to Alzolay (3.59), but has not pitched as many innings. He was shut down from mid April to mid June. He has not faced the Cubs since his very first start of the year on April 7. Fortunately for the Cubs, in his last two starts he was hit hard, allowing five runs on 8/21 and seven runs on 8/27. He hasn’t pitched in nearly two weeks, so at the very least he should be well rested when he faces the potent Cubs’ lineup tonight.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 6, Hillsboro 2
For eight innings the Emeralds had a shutout going.

Best of Three Series: Series is tied 1-1.
Next Game: Tonight at 7:05 PM PT.
Matchup: No pitcher on either side has been announced.

South Bend Highlights

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Luke Blaize

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