Chicago Cubs minor league baseball is on the air!
Well, actually it’s been on the air for three days, but today marks the opening day for Myrtle Beach, South Bend, and Tennessee and I can hardly contain myself as I sit here waiting to see some of the Cubs top young prospects on the mound, at the plate, and in the field. I don’t really have any expectations, as I mentioned this morning, but I’m excited to see these players have at it.
Last year was a strange year to be a Cubs fan as the Cubs basically emptied out most of their major league team at the trade deadline and acquired a ton of young talent. That talent is going to be on display all season long. We’re not going to get to see it all tonight, but we will In due time.
I am going to be flipping back-and-forth between Tennessee, South Bend and Myrtle Beach. A lot of it depends upon who is on the mound, who is at the plate, and if something is brewing. Tonight I expect to just kind of roll with the hype and put out some videos of Greg Huss, Jimmy Nelligan, Greg Zumach, Jordan Miller, Ballswok, Itsacon, and myself as we are all watching at different places all over the country.
Tennessee’s Cam Sanders got off to a rough start, but he was able to coax a force out, a K, and a fly out to get out the inning. The slider looked to be moving quite a bit.
For South Bend, efficient Chris Clarke looked good as he worked quickly needing only 9 pitches to zoom through the inning. Impressive!
Hopefully, both teams will have some fireworks at the plate in the bottom of the first.
Myrtle Beach is just about ready to start.
Bryce Ball brings in a run with a single to give Tennessee the lead.
Cam Sanders probably just threw his best inning as a pro. 3 up, 3 Ks. He pitched a little backwards as he was putting his curve in the zone and two of the Ks were on fastballs instead of the slider.
In South Bend, Chris Clarke has been a little erratic after Kale Emshoff lead off with a homer.
The Smokies lead off the bottom of the second with a double by Delvin Zinn and this beauty of a bunt by Darius Hill. Delvin came into score when Chris Morel grounded into a double play.
Myrtle Beach finally started in Charleston and James Triantos walked in AB #1.
Things are not going well for Myrtle Beach as Tyler Schlaffer gave up a two run homer in the bottom of the first. Then again, he struck out 3 batters this inning.
Meanwhile, Chris Clarke worked out of his 2nd inning jam in South Bend.
Cam Sanders worked out a first and third no out jam thanks in part to 2 Ks and a pick off. That was pretty sweet to watch!
Chris Clarke is struggling to get outs in the third. He’s given up two runs this inning.
Outside of a Peter Matt double, there’s not a lot of hitting going on there in Myrtle Beach or in South Bend.
However, up in Tennessee, Bryce Windham has had two productive ABs so far. He drove in a run in his first AB and just walked in his second. Then, Luis Vazquez walked. Both guys came around to score on a throwing error on a Yonathan Perlaza grounder to make it 5-0.
BOLD PREDICTION TIME!
Chris Clarke was pulled after 3.2 IP and 3 runs on 75 pitches. Chris got ahead of hitters early and often. He just could not finish them off tonight.
Outside of Tennessee, the offense tonight is lacking a bit. Give it time.
Apparently Fabian Pertuz is reading North Side Bound because he smoked this pitch.
All the starters are now out of the game. In Tennessee, Bryan Hudson looked outstanding!
Riley Martin took over for Tyler Schlaffer for Myrtle Beach while Dalton Stambaugh is in for South Bend.
I am still waiting for the hitting to get going. So far, only Fabian Pertuz seems to be seeing the ball well. In addition to his HR, he smoked a ball to short that the Quad Cities player made a nice diving grab on.
I am about to pick up the guitar and start playing while I wait for the bats.
Yonathan Perlaza had a nice 2-run single to give the Smokies a 7-0 lead that Delvin Zinn added to with a sac fly to make it 8-0.
Not much hitting anywhere else. Looking forward to Brandon Hughes closing it out for the Smokies.
The Smokies got it done with a 8-0 shutout. Led by some outstanding pitching, the Smokies looked great in all facets of the game.
Meanwhile, down in Charleston, the Pelicans got on the board.
As for Hunter Bigge, he pitched well and was reminiscent of his debut year in Eugene where he just mowed everybody down.
Iowa’s loses both ends of a doubleheader as pinch hitter Brennen Davis grounds to short.
Myrtle Beach has clawed back in it at 5-2.
South Bend is now in extras while but trail 4-3 with two outs in the top of the tenth.
And just like that the night is over.
The system went 1-4 with not a lot of offense on the outside of Tennessee.
I, for one, am exhausted and ready to get some sleep.
I will have some more thoughts in the morning but what I liked most from today was the pure nastiness of Cam Sanders and Bryan Hudson. Hunter Bigge looked great and Dalton Stambaugh looked much improved from a year ago, something I thought would happen. I also liked every AB by Luis Vazquez, Delvin Zinn, Nelson Velazquez, Chase Strumpf, Owen Caissie, Fabian Pertuz, Darius Hill, and Bryce Ball.
It’s just one game. There are over 140 to go.
Don’t get too high about today, don’t get too low.