Riley Thompson – Picture by Micah Manuel/Tennessee Smokies
Tonight was a little bit better night to watch minor leagues as there were three games this evening. The Iowa Cubs game was suspended down in Jacksonville, Florida. The South Bend Cubs would actually end up playing first even though they were the team slated to start last. They would lose2 to 1 to Cedar Rapids. Porter Hodge pitched well for four innings striking out six in that span as he held Cedar Rapids scoreless until the fifth we gave up a two-run home run. Hodges only allowed four homers all year. That’s pretty low.
Both Myrtle Beach and Tennessee put on quite the show for varying reasons tonight.
Tennessee jumped off out to a 6 to 0 lead only to see Pensacola comeback to win. The Smokies just have to get that bullpen fixed before the playoffs or they’re not going to stand a chance. All they need now is one Rocket City win and one Birmingham loss to punch a ticket to the postseason.
As for the stars of the game, starting pitcher Riley Thompson went five innings and struck out five while scattering five hits and he did not walk a single batter. Thompson wound up throwing 81 pitches, 54 for strikes. It’s pretty exciting to see him finish the year strong and makes me wonder if he’s going to end up in Arizona in the Fall League as he currently has just 52 innings this season. I would think the Cubs would like to get him close to 80 and he probably has two starts left in the regular season and maybe one in the postseason.
As for the hitting star of the day at Tennessee, that would be Chase Strumpf who hit a three-run home run. The MiLB TV feed was out for the Smokies but Andy Weber went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .294 and Miguel Amaya went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Outfielder Zach Davis also had a good night going 3-for-4. Unfortunately, the bullpen…… I just don’t have the words to describe how bad it is right now. They gave up 11 runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
Myrtle Beach wound up having the most exciting game as they put up eight runs against Carolina and only gave up two. The stars of the night were two guys that recently come up in the past month in Parker Chavers and Haydn McGeary who both went three for five. Moises Ballesteros hit a two-run home run as did James Triantos. Their offense is just starting to click again, just in time for the playoffs.
The strangest thing about the game was that 10th round pick Brody McCullough came in and closed out the game as he struck out three of the four batters that he faced. He did not give up a hit or a walk as he has a 1.80 ERA in Myrtle Beach.
So with those things in mind, let’s just add a few videos and be done with it.
Web Gem of the Day
Parker Chavers can do it all
Dingers of the Day
Future top 10 prospect Moises Ballesteros just swings so easy and generates so much power. And James Triantos just turned on his dinger.
Our Award Winners Today
Hitters of the Day – Let’s roll with Parker Chavers and Haydn McGeary.
Starting Pitcher of the Day – Riley Thompson in a landslide
Reliever of the Day – Brody McCullough got it done for Myrtle Beach.
I will be back in the morning with a look at our Starting Pitching predictions for this year!