Richard Gallardo – Picture by Todd Johnson
There was a full day of baseball today, as there were five games between the four affiliates with Iowa playing a twin bill. There were no big debuts today although Miguel Amaya drove in an insurance run with his first MLB hit. That was pretty cool and then he was even singing “Go, Cubs go!” right before he was interviewed by Taylor McGregor.
Sight Seers in Tennessee and South Bend
Looks like Cade Horton has already arrived in South Bend.
As well, DJ Herz said goodbye to his dog and is back in Double-A.
But as for the games in the minors, today was not really a good day for offense except in South Bend…and for Pablo Aliendo
Hitter of the Day: Part 1
Coming into the game, the South Bend Cubs had struggled this week against Cedar Rapids. They won Tuesday night and then lost three in a row as the bats are trying to find some sort of identity in the post-Haydn McGeary World. Today, though, looked pretty good as they cobbled together 13 hits with Ezequiel Pagán getting three of them. He also had a home run and he is now hitting .462 at the Cubs. High-A affiliate. It was a good day as the Cubs won 6-1.
Starting Pitcher of the Day
On the mound, Richard Gallardo had his third excellent start in a row as he went 5.2 innings and allowed three hits. The best stat of the day was that he didn’t walk anybody. He did strike out seven. He also threw 85 pitches on the day, 59 of them for strikes or 69.4%. His season ERA now sits at 2.32. He’s given up just one run in his last 16.2 IP. That’ll do.
Slaughter is Streaking
As for game one for Iowa, it did not go well. They lost 5-1 with the only run being a Jake Slaughter homer. The big news from the game was that reliever Codi Heuer began his rehab in Iowa. He was sitting 99 and only pitched 2/3 of an inning as the Cubs cut him off after 19 pitches, 10 of which were strikes.
Reliever of the Day
As for the Pelicans, Nick Hull looked pretty good for five innings as he gave up two runs and struck out six. I think he’s starting to get the hang of things now at the professional level as he’s improving from start to start. He’s still a little susceptible to the long ball, but that can be fixed. As for the Myrtle Beach offense, they all hit well, they just couldn’t string together hits. It was tied at 2 going into the ninth. Johzan Oquendo looked studly in relief striking out three in the ninth to send it to extras. He would shut down the Fireflies in the tenth as well. Reivaj Garcia drove in a run in the top of the tenth to make it 3-2. It was his first hit of the night. And that would be the game winner as Oquendo, after walking the leadoff guy in the eleventh, got a force out and a double play to end it!
The REIVAJ-O-METER is now at .322.
Weird Stat of the Night
Koen Moreno threw three scoreless innings and struckout one. He gave up one hit but walked three. In total, he tossed 48 pitches and only 21 of them were for strikes. You read that right, 21. This much is clear about Moreno. It is still early in his career. His arm is extremely lively and reminds me of a young Cam Sanders at Eugene. Moreno, like many young players these days, would have benefitted from playing a year at Eugene. So, two seasons at Myrtle Beach might be the new norm. I am looking forward to seeing how he looks at the end of the year.
As for game two between Iowa and Columbus, Chris Clarke got off to a rough start in the first inning as he loaded the bases with no outs but he only gave up two runs. Still, the Cubs were in a hole. And, in a seven inning game, that does not leave you a lot of time to make up ground. Then again, when Brennen Davis goes yard, that’s a quick way to get caught up! Columbus did come back and tied it up at 3. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Columbus walked it off on a single off Manny Rodriguez.
Comeback of the Day and Hitter of the Day: Part 2
As for the Smokies, Daniel Palencia did not have his best start of the year, he only went 2.2 innings but he threw 68 pitches and gave up 4 runs. When he left the game, it was 4-1 but the Smokies would come back to take the lead in the sixth at 5-4. Pablo Aliendo had 3 RBI on the day as he cranked a solo home run and a two-run double. It is also a good sign that Ben Hecht is beginning to look like Ben Hecht from 2019 before he had TJS in the spring of 2021. Sometimes it takes a while. 2.1 IP with 4 Ks sealed the deal and the save!
Web Gem of the Day and a Gold Glove Is Coming
PCA robbed a ball destined to be a dinger tonight. As well, the Smokies also announced that Pete will get his Gold Glove in a a ceremony on Tuesday!