Kevin Alcantara – Picture by Stephanie Lynn

All day long, today felt like a Saturday. Part of the reason was I sat down for the first time this summer to do some work for school because we start in a little over five weeks. I am still in full-on baseball mode. I don’t want to think about Industrial America, Mesopotamia, and Geography processes right now. I would rather be dreaming of Owen Caissie homers and Zac Leigh strikeouts.

It has been a few days since one of the four full-season affiliates lost a game. On both Wednesday and Thursday nights, everybody won across the board. Well, that run is over as Iowa and South Bend lost early. Myrtle Beach lost the second game of their doubleheader. Tennessee, meanwhile, blew an early lead to Birmingham and wound up losing 14-5. As they say in Minnesota, “Ufta!”

Hitter of the Day

After a short nap, I was ready to watch some baseball and I got it started with a doubleheader in Columbia, South Carolina. The Pelicans won the first game which was a completion of a suspended game from yesterday. Myrtle Beach was leading 4-0 when the game was suspended in the fifth inning and they came back today to score 6 more runs to win 10 to 6. They did not win their nightcap, but Kevin Alcantara had himself a day, going 3-for-9 with a home run and four RBI between the two games.

For his efforts, Alcantara is today’s Hitter of the Day

Dinger of the Day

This is a good sign!

Starting Pitcher of the Day

When it came to starting pitchers today, it turned out to be one of the roughest days of the year. It looked like DJ Herz was going to walk away with the award after he had seven strikeouts in four innings. he could not get through the fifth inning and was charged with two more runs, 3 total for the night in 4.1 IP. Ryan Jensen also looked to be cruising for Tennessee until he gave up a three run digger to Yasmani Grandal in the fifth inning. Caleb Kilian was humming along through two frames and then gave up a seven spot in the bottom of the third to Indianapolis. Wow! And I didn’t mention a pitcher for Myrtle Beach who gave up a 4 in the first of their nightcap. Brutal day…just brutal. 

But hope still does remain.

Luke Little, who actually started yesterday‘s game for Myrtle Beach that was finished today, is going to get the award as he threw three scoreless frames and struck out two and only gave up one hit. It is strange that Little has not been stretched out beyond three innings this year. The Cubs are holding him to a very low innings count; he does have a 3.22 ERA for the year with 58 strikeouts in 36.1 innings. That’s impressive. However, he’s also walked 26 which is a concern, but opponents are only hitting .193 against him this season. It’s clear he has overpowering stuff, he just needs to be more consistently in the zone with it because they can’t hit it anyway.

Before we get to our reliever of the day, Greg Zumach published the final North Side Bound midseason prospect list this morning. If you haven’t checked out any of the four, just click right on this link and you can see who Greg Huss, Jimmy Nelligan, Greg Zumach, and myself picked for their top Cub prospects. We will assign points to where a prospect is placed and add them up for a true NSB top prospect list on Monday.

Now, back to reliever of the day…

As brutal as the starting pitching turned out to be, the relievers weren’t that great either except in Iowa. Both Cayne Ueckert and Brandon Leibrandt pitched two innings and struck out four while not allowing a run keeping Iowa in the game. Unfortunately, the I-Cubs did not come back and they lost 7-2. But the two relievers will share today’s honor.

I will be back in the morning with a re-do of my mock Cubs draft. This time around, I just went five rounds and only took one player that I originally took in my ten rounder.