Luis Verdugo – Picture by Todd Johnson

Today was just a beautiful day here in northern Illinois. The temps were in the low 70s and I got to mow the front yard today as well as trim it and I just enjoyed having fresh air funneling through the house this afternoon while I watched some minor league baseball after lunch.

Myrtle Beach got things going first and took a 1-0 lead over Kannapolis in the fourth inning and that’s all she wrote because it was all Kannapolis the rest of the way. Myrtle Beach lost their second game in a row, something they didn’t do very often in the first half. The Iowa Cubs also struggled again today against Louisville as they gave up seven runs in the sixth inning to lose 10-5.

The positive action of the day took place in South Bend and Tennessee.

South Bend fell behind 4-0 early against Peoria before they stormed back for eight runs to take an 8 -4 lead. Then Peoria scored three in the top of the fifth to make it 8-7. Then, South Bend added two more to make it 10 to 7 and the bullpen did the hard work from there on in holding the Chiefs scoreless the last four frames. South Bend is now 3–0 in the second half. In Tennessee, Alexander Canario hit two home runs today as the Smokies out hit Chattanooga and won 7-1 to end their first half of the year at 37–32.

As for the awards, they were pretty clear-cut.

Debut of the Day

Looks like Max Bain is going to be a reliever. And he made his debut as an “official” reliever today, even though he’s piggybacked before. However, for today, he threw one inning for Tennessee and only needed nine pitches to get three outs. Good for him! I love efficient Max Bain!

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Peyton Remy had the best outing by far of any starting pitcher today. He went five innings, gave up four hits, and allowed just one run on a home run. Remy also struck out five on the afternoon. He’s made two good starts in a row as he’s thrown 10 innings with 12 Ks and allowed just 2 runs..

Reliever of the Day

This goes to Samuel Reyes of Tennessee who only pitched one inning but he struck out three batters and lowered his ERA on the year to 3.00. He’s only been pitching with the Smokies for right about a month now and it’s been a long road to get that ERA down to three. At one point, he had a 9.00 ERA at the beginning of June.

Dingers of the Day

You would think that hitting two home runs in one game would win most days. That is usually the case. For Alexander Canario, he went 3-for4 today with two home runs and two RBI. He is starting to get things going and looks to be locked in a little bit. In June, he hit .232 so far, but he’s also slugged five home runs and he’s driven in 15. Unfortunately, there was one guy who outdid him today.

Hitter of the Day

Luis Verdugo has had an up-and-down season at the plate. In the field, he is an outstanding defender and I when I go watch games and do photographs, I like sitting by him when he’s on the field and watching him play defense because he’s so smooth in the field. But today, the 21-year-old third baseman went 3-for4 with four RBI including his first home run of the season. In April, Verdugo hit a solid .286 and slumped to .169 in May. In June, he is back on a horse hitting .292 with a .750 OPS. That’s some good stuff! I like to see players adapt and get back on the horse. 

I will be back in the morning with a “Breakdown” of the First Half ending and a surprise All-Star team of the half!