Brandon Birdsell – Picture by Todd Johnson

Today, it hit me that I only have two weeks left in my summer vacation before I have to show up to work to get my room ready and to help mentor new teachers. Despite that thought, the baseball day began as the South Bend Cubs put pitcher Chase Watkins and catcher Dillan Granadillo on the Development List. They also activated Yovanny Cruz from the disabled list. And Derek Casey was sent on a rehab assignment to the Arizona Complex League, which is great news! Derek has missed the last two years after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He threw one scoreless frame with 1 Ks.

And now to the games… After last night’s winless affair by the system, tonight was better.

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Let’s go with Brandon Birdsell of South Bend, He’s more than ready for Tennessee. He went six innings tonight and gave up just 1 unearned run and struck out 5.

Senor Encendido

Yup, it’s Moises Ballesteros. The Dude is just plain raking this month. He hit a homer tonight and an RBI single to give South Bend two of their first three runs.

The Cubs added another insurance run on an Ezequiel Pagan single to make it 4-1 and the Cubs would score three more time. Yovanny Cruz came off the DL and pitched a scoreless 8th with 2 Ks. Sheldon Reed close it out as South Bend won 7-1.

Those Vicious Smokies Just Keep Rolling

They fell behind again to start the game. Then a Cole Roederer RBI single, a Jordan Nwogu grand slam, and a PCA dinger made it 6-1. PCA added a 2-run single in the fifth and then Owen Caissie went yard in the sixth to make it 9-1. This team is incredible! They have now won 10 of their last 11 games and are 12-3 this month and now have a 4.5 game lead over Birmingham in the second half.

The Tennessee Dinger Parade via “The Road to Wrigley”

Walker Powell threw 5 innings on one run ball. He is getting better and better the more he gets stretched out.

Final score – Vicious Smokies 10, Mississippi Braves 1.

Stats of the Day

Birds Now on a Losing Streak

According to the movie “Bull Durham,” winning 3 in a row is a winning streak. Therefore, according to some mathematical principles, then the opposite is true. The Pelicans fell behind early and lost 4-0 to Columbia even though they were only out hit 6-5.

I-Cubs Play a Tennis Match Masquerading as a Baseball Game

This game saw the Cubs jump out to a two run lead thanks to a two-run double by Jake Slaughter in the first. Indianapolis scored 1 in the second, then David Bote drilled a two run double to make it 4-1 in the third only to Indianapolis scored 3 in the fourth. Then each team traded runs in the fifth. Strange fact of the game up to this point – Iowa scored in every other odd inning while the Indians put runs across every other even inning. In the seventh, the Cubs failed to score but the Indians held serve in the eighth to take a 6-5 lead. The Indians added three more in the ninth to win 9-6. Nelson Velazquez hit 2 dingers on the night, ng one in the ninth for a final score of 9-6.

3 Hit Club

Reivaj Garcia had 3 for Myrtle Beach which was half of their total on the day.

Moises Ballesteros, of course, is in the club.

And Jake Slaughter completes the trifecta today as he went 3-for-5.

Hot DSL Fact

The Hot Guy in the DSL this week that I talked about the other day, Alexey Lumpuy, stayed hot going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. Still no Derniche as well as no Ramon Eriandys this week.

Hot ACL Fact

Alexis Hernandez hit a 3-run dinger tonight. After that AB, he was hitting .355 with a 1.004 OPS.