Another Cubs Affiliate Clinches, Smyly’s Rough Line, Suzuki’s K’s, Cease So Close, and Other Cubs Bullets

Not a particularly eye-popping or clean win last night for the Buckeyes, but it was pretty obvious by the end of the night that they were at least a superior team to Notre Dame. Not sure how much that’s worth, to be honest, because I don’t have a great feel for whether Notre Dame is *actually* any good this year. Always hard to tell with them …

  • Tough night for Drew Smyly, who, as we’ve discussed, has otherwise been fantastic lately and overall this season. Things really didn’t start out that bad, as Smyly allowed a walk and a Paul Goldschmidt homer in the first – hey, it happens – and then struck out three (wrapped around a single) in the second. The third is where the wheels came off completely, with back-to-back homers kicking things off, then a single and a walk, a fly out, and another walk before Smyly was pulled with the bases loaded. Jeremiah Estrada then gave up a bases-clearing triple, with all three runs charged to Smyly.
  • The seven earned run performance raised his ERA from 3.24 all the way up to 3.84.
  • It was the second night in a row where a pitch waaaaaaay above the strike zone was called on Seiya Suzuki, and it just makes me wonder if there’s some weird eye trick his stance is performing on umpires:
  • The good news is that Suzuki would go on to single in the at bat, part of another two-hit night. He’s got a nice hot streak cooking at this point, with a seven-game hitting streak, and he’s gone .353/.421/.471/152 wRC+ since August 15.
  • Interesting note on Suzuki? Going all the way back to the 4th of July, when he returned from the finger injury, Suzuki is striking out just 20.3% of the time. The overall production is not what you’d want (109 wRC+), but that level of contact is certainly interesting for a guy who is doing all the adjusting and counter-adjusting. Often what you see in those situations – for guys who have lots of power but who have contact troubles – is that the contact comes back first, and then once there is a better approach in place, the power comes back.
  • Yes, yes, I’m aware:
  • The Cubs locked in their second minor league postseason team last night, as the South Bend Cubs clinched the Second Half Western Division:
  • The Myrtle Beach Pelicans already locked in their postseason spot earlier this year, and the Tennessee Smokies are also going to clinch fairly soon. The only full season affiliate that won’t make the playoffs this year is the Iowa Cubs, who were lacking for a whole lot of injuries and big league pitching promotions. To be honest, since the Cubs’ highest prospect concentration was at the lower levels, you’d most want to see those three make the playoffs rather than the Triple-A team (both because it demonstrates talent, and because it gives those prospects the experience of winning and playing in the postseason).
  • Meanwhile, some great news from the Pelicans game last night: Kevin Alc獺ntara returned to the lineup just one day after taking a liner off the face.
  • There will always be some lingering disappointment about how the Jose Quintana trade turned out for the Cubs, both in terms of what he did not ultimately provide, and in terms of what Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez have been for the White Sox. But it’s not like I’m rooting for them to fail, and last night, I would’ve been perfectly happy to see Dylan Cease get one more out for a no-hitter:
  • Pretty wild that it was almost 30 years of none, and then two in the same year:
  • And how about this? Michael Harris II is just five homers and four stolen bases away from making it THREE rookies to do it in 2022. Heck, if P.J. Higgins just hits another 14 homers and steals another 20 bases …
  • The Yankees may yet win the AL East in a season that featured their worst 50-game stretch in 30 years:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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