Cubs Minor League Daily: Iowa Was Awesome, Especially Adbert Alzolay and Mike Freeman
2018 has not been kind to the Iowa Cubs, but last night that didn’t matter. Last night Iowa played like a fantastic baseball team.
We’ll start with Adbert Alzolay who tossed seven innings of one hit baseball (taking *another* no-hitter into the 6th inning), walking two and striking out six in the process. This was the third straight good start for Alzolay, and it lowered his ERA to 2.12.
And then there is Dillon Maples. Maples struck out three (and walked three) in an inning and a third on his way to his first save.
Mike Freeman hit leadoff for the Cubs in this one, and all he did was go 3 for 5 with three home runs. It was the first three homer day in his professional career.
Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) goes yard x3 for his first career multi-homer game in support of top @Cubs prospect @adbert29 Alzolay's gem with @IowaCubs. https://t.co/wskwSzWjVj pic.twitter.com/ESMhZVT816
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) May 1, 2018
Mark Zagunis also homered. And so did Taylor Davis.
Finally, after a month that contained 17 losses and with the ignoble fate of finishing April with a winning percentage under .200 on the line, Iowa had a game where all the pieces fell into place. Is this a sign that they’ve turned a corner?
Probably not. But at least for one night, Iowa was awesome.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 10, Omaha 3
Six of those runs came in the eighth, right after Omaha had pulled to within one.
- Adbert Alzolay: 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K
- Dillon Maples: 1.1 IP, 3 BB, 3 K
- Mike Freeman: 3 for 5, 3 HR
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 3, HR, BB
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 4, HR
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 4
- Chesny Young: 2 for 4
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3
The Smokies led 3-2 after the top of the ninth.
- Michael Rucker: 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K
- Zach Hedges: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 2B
- Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 3
- Ian Rice: 1 for 3, BB
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans had the day off.
Low A: South Bend Cubs
The Cubs also had the day off.
- It was a windy night in Iowa. The box score says 29 MPH, blowing from right to left. Alzolay got six outs in the air in that howling wind and still managed a one hitter through seven.
- Alzolay only needed 80 pitches for his seven inning masterpiece.
- For the season (3 starts) he has now allowed just 8 hits and 6 walks. That’s good for a WHIP of 0.82.
- After three strong starts to open the season, I imagine some folks are going to be wondering when the Cubs will call Alzolay up. It is early for that. For one thing, there is no place in the rotation to put him. For anothing thing, it has only been three Triple A starts. Triple A teams are accumulating video on him, though, and with every start opposing teams will be more prepared. We’ll see how he adjusts. That said, if Alzolay is still dominating like this as we get into late May and early June, then I think we can start looking to see if the calendar lines up in a way that could bring Alzolay to the majors as the 26th man in a doubleheader somewhere.
- Mike Freeman had one of the best nights of his career, and Des Moines sports reporter Tommy Birch caught up with him soon after the game.
- With Tennessee this season, Zach Hedges has pitched 12.2 innings of scoreless relief (7 H, 1 BB, 8 K). The only three runs he has allowed all year came when he jumped up to Iowa for a single April 15 start in Memphis, one of the best teams in the Pacific Coast League.