DJ Herz – Pic by Tennessee Smokies

Hug watch season has officially begun. If the Cubs are going to be buyers, they will have to use their prospect capital to do so. Thankfully, no one left the field or bench tonight. But it could happen tomorrow as well. With no games on Monday and all the games on Tuesday taking place after the deadline, the window for hugs this year is pretty finite.

So Much for That Hot Streak

Myrtle Beach got an hour’s head start tonight against Fredericksburg. Drew Gray sailed through the first two innings and then ran into some trouble in the third. By the time the inning was over, the Nats put up a 5 spot. The Pelicans got 2 back in the fourth on a Parker Chavers dinger that also brought in Andy Garriola. That remained the score until the eighth when Yovanny Cabrera had a meltdown and the Pelicans had to bring in catcher Malcolm Quintero to pitch. The final score was 12-2.

Trouble on the River

In Peoria, Michael Arias uncharacteristically gave up a run in the bottom of the first. And then he gave up another in the third to make it 2-0 Chiefs. This was in spite of missing a lot of bats, 5 to be exact. However, the Chiefs tagged him for four more runs to make it 6-0, Peoria. The Cubs only managed 3 hits on the night until the ninth inning. Then three two-out doubles resulted in 2 runs as Peoria won 7-2.

DJ Deals Again as the Starting Pitcher of the Day

The game I wanted to see tonight was Tennessee. DJ Herz was on the bump he sailed through the first inning on just 14 pitches. The second inning saw him walk two but he was able to work around it. The Smokies got a run in the third on a PCA solo homer. 

The third saw DJ get back to being “efficient DJ” as he used just 45 pitches. In the fourth, DJ rolled through the Trash Pandas as he struck out the side giving six on the day on just 59 pitches. At that point, he had not allowed a hit. He gave up one on the fifth and then a throwing error on a pickoff play resulted in an unearned run. DJ finished after 5 innings. He had 9 Ks on the night. That’s a pretty good night.

The Smokies took the lead in the seventh as Levi Jordan and Owen Caissie both singled in a run apiece. Then later in the inning, Pablo Aliendo drove in two with a triple to make it 5-1. At this point, I felt pretty confident about the game at that point based on how the Smokies’ pen has been doing as of late. Samuel Reyes pitched the sixth and seventh and did not allow a hit or a run. In the eighth, Porter Hodge came in and he gave up a run to make it 5-2. In the ninth, the Smokies put the game out of reach as they tacked on a few more to make it 7-2. In the ninth, Cayne Ueckert came on to close it out and he did for a Smokies win.

Pinball Baseball in Memphis

As for Iowa, they got on the board first against Memphis in the top of the second. They took a 3-0 lead on a PJ Higgins sac fly and two singles by Yonathan Perlaza and Matt Mervis. With Wesneski in Chicago, the Iowa rotation is a little light. As a result, Brendon Little started instead. He looked pretty good doing it too! He got through the first two frames on just over 20 pitches. And then he hit the third and gave up 3 runs. Iowa took the lead on 3 singles in the fourth. Then, Carlos Guzman made his Triple-A debut in the bottom of the fourth. He gave up 2 runs to make it 5-4 Memphis. PJ Higgins tied it up at 5 in the sixth and then Matt Mervis gave the I-Cubs the lead driving in Yonathan Perlaza. In the seventh, the Cubs loaded the bases and came away with nothing.

Keegan Thompson pitched extremely well in relief for Iowa tonight with 2 scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings and he left with 4 Ks. Jeremiah Estrada came on in the seventh to try and shut down the Redbirds. He got the first guy out, then walked three in a row, struck out a guy, and then proceeded to give up a grand slam. At that point it was 9-6.

Needless to say, but Yonathan Perlaza quickly got a run back with a solo shot. Then with two outs, the Cubs scored two more runs on a single by Jared Young. At that point, it was 9-9. Chris Clarke held serve in the bottom of the eighth. So, it was all nines to begin the ninth.

Darius Hill lead off the inning with a double and then Perlaza went yard again. Wow! David Bote then doubled to drive in Mervis and it was 12-9 at that point. And they just added on one more for good measure. Manny Rodriguez came on to end it. He struck out the first two guys he faced. Then a squeaker to PJ Higgins ended the game after he threw to first.

Bat Toss of the Day

3 Hit Club

Miguel Pabon got himself a double and two singles.

4 Hit Club and the Hitter of the Day

Yonathan Perlaza had four hits as he had a single, double, and 2 homers. That’s a good night!