Alexander Canario – Pic by Micah Manuel/Tennessee Smokies

Tonight just flew by as I am noticing just how big an effect the pitch clock has as most games are over in about 2 and 1/2 hours. It was not a good night to be a reliever in the system as both Tennessee and Iowa blew multi-run leads and Myrtle Beach’s Luis Rodriguez took a line drive of the back of his head. He was able to walk off under his own power.

The Pelican were the only team to put a W on the board today. South Bend ran into the buzz saw that is the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who aside from last night, seem to have South Bend’s number. Odd stat of the day – Cedar Rapids had 6 hits, South Bend had 9. Still, the final score was 6-1. The Smokies blew a 10-6 lead to lose 14-10. It was pretty brutal to watch…but I did. Iowa had a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth but lost 7-6 on a walk off sac fly.

Let’s get to some of the more uplifting performances on the day – Special honorable mention nods go out to Darius Hill, Narciso Crook, Levi Jordan, and Carlos Sepulveda who all had multiple hits for Iowa. Sheldon Reed had a nice inning of relief for South Bend with 2 Ks. And, Yohendrick Pinango went 2-for-4 while teammate Jordan Nwogu continued his torrid month going 3-for-4.

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Porter Hodge looked really good tonight mixing his pitches well while moving up and down the zone and also from side to side. He went five innings, gave up one run, and struck out seven while lowering his ERA on the year to 2.80. I really like how he pitches and attacks the zone. Not bad for a 21-year-old in his first full season at Low-A. While I would like to see him in South Bend, there’s no rush to get him there right now. Let’s just let him dominate at a level for an extended period of time.

Hitter of the Day

Alexander Canario is starting to put together some games. His batting average has risen more than 30 points this week. Tonight, he went 3-for-5 with a single, double, and a home run. Along the way, he drove in five of Tennessee’s 10 runs. You can just start to see that he is figuring out AA and how they’re trying to get him out. Don’t be surprised to see him go on a run where he could basically carry a ball club on his back for a week or two.

Reliever of the Day

Cayne Ueckert had his best outing in a while. He struck out three of the five men he faced in 1.1 innings. Hopefully that’s the beginning of a new trend for him as he has struggled at times the past five weeks. 

Dinger of the Day

I just love how effortless Kevin Alcantara’s power is. Just a beautiful, beautiful swing!