Felix Stevens – Picture by Todd Johnson

Let’s just say last night was a long night.

I left home yesterday in the mid afternoon to get to Davenport before the storm got there. It was supposed to start raining at four and then be done by quarter after 5. Instead, it didn’t start raining until quarter after 5 and finished after 6:30, which is when the game was supposed to start . South Bend and Quad Cities finally began play at 8 PM. So, I did not get home until very, very, very late. And rather than risk dictating a post while driving through the deer infested territory surrounding 88 between Rock Island and Sterling, as well as the forested Route 2 between Dixon and Oregon, I just got home safely. The Daily could wait until this morning.

Trouble at the Beach

When it started raining, I had just finished my supper and gone for a walk on the concourse before the fans were let in. I did my 20 minute thing and right when I finished, they begin letting soaked fans in. I retreated to the press box to go watch Myrtle Beach on my computer. It was not Grant Kipp’s best outing, but he made it through 3.1 innings, allowed two runs, and the score was tied when he left. Unfortunately, the bullpen struggled to keep the Pelicans tied. Andy Garriola and Ismael Mena both had two hits for the Birds as Carolina won 5-3.

Reliever of the Day

This goes out to Carlos Guzman of Tennessee who had to fill-in as an emergency pitcher in the first inning for the Smokies. With two outs, starter Richard Gallardo tweaked something in his foot and had to be removed from the game. We don’t know anything about the injury as most minor league teams are pretty tightlipped about those sort of things. Guzmán came in and pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed one hit and struck out four. After Guzman finished pitching the fourth inning, Pete Crow-Armstrong tripled to bring in a run and Levi Jordan singled to bring home Crow-Armstrong to make it 2-0.

Porter Hodge, Samuel Reyes, and Danis Correa kept the Biscuits scoreless while Levi Jordan brought in two more later as the first place Smokies, won 4-0.

Iowa Bats Awaken

During rain delay theater, I kept switching back-and-forth between Myrtle Beach and Iowa. The I-Cubs got off to an early lead scoring two runs in the first on Edwin Rios double and then adding one more in the second. I enjoyed watching Caleb Kilian pitch very well for three innings, but he was also getting guys out with pitches out of the strike zone. The second time through the order, he gave up three runs over his total 4.2 innings. But he did strike out seven and he looked really good the first three frames. The I-Cubs added four more runs in the top of the fifth before Kilian exited, and that 7-3 lead held on as Rios and Jake Slaughter each drove in 2 runs. Alexander Canario also drove in a run as he went 2-for-5 returning to Iowa while Matt, Mervis and Nelson Velazquez each had two hits.

The Late, Late, Late Show

It’s always weird seeing Greg Huss in person (I am taller in case you were wondering) and talking with him, which is always fun. Usually the only time we see each other is in Peoria and Davenport and he was there at the game last night with a friend as we talked quite a bit during the rain delay. When the game started, it was 8 PM. Greg took a seat with his friend and I began taking pictures for a few innings.

Pictures of the Day

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Brandon Birdsell started the game for South Bend and pitched his way in and out of trouble for most of the first four innings. He did give up one run, but he also struck out eight while throwing 77 pitches in just 3.2 innings. When he left the game, the Cubs were up one thanks in part to my doubles from Fabian Pertuz and Ethan Hearn. Both Brailyn Marquez and Stephen Gonsalves each pitched an inning of scoreless relief behind Birdsell.

Web Gem of the Day

The Cubs would tack on another run in the seventh to make it 3 to 1 and then Quad Cities scored three unanswered in the seventh and eighth which has kind of been a theme for the Cubs bullpen lately. They have struggled keeping leads.

Dinger of the Day

Things looked bleak for the Cubs heading into the ninth inning down one run. It didn’t stay that way for long as a James Triantos fielder’s choice tied the game and a Kevin Alcantara single put the Cubs ahead. Then, Felix Stevens, who had drilled balls in BP earlier in the sunny afternoon, cranked a three run home run as a Cubs scored six to win 9-4.

I will be back in Davenport again tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully, tonight will not be so late.