BJ Murray – Pic via Tennessee Smokies

I always find it strange when three games take place early and then one later on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes, I go and do other things and get caught up on the games later. Not today, though, I started with Tennessee at 1 PM and that was a good thing.

The Smokies put up a four-spot in the first. After BJ Murray walked to drive in a run, Cole Roederer smacked a two run single to give the Smokies a 3-0 lead. Nelson Maldonado’s sac fly brought in Murray to make it 4-0. That would hopefully be enough for Kohl Franklin who was looking to right his ship after his last start where he gave up 6 earned in two-thirds of an inning.

Things started off very well for Kohl. He blazed through the first two innings with 3 Ks and no hits. Haydn McGeary gave him a 5-0 lead with a bases loaded groundout off the pitcher’s glove. A BJ Murray double made it 9-0 and then Jordan Nwogu hit this bomb!

Kohl made it through 4 today with 6 Ks and looked good. He did give up 2 runs, but with a 7 run lead, Kevin Graber pulled him after 78 pitches, half of which seemed to come in a lengthy fourth. Then again, he only gave up 2 hits and walked just 1.

The Smokies would go on to win 12-5. That gives the Smokies a 7.5 game lead over the Trash Pandas with 24 games left.

Hitter of the Day

BJ Murray went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI on the day.

Murder of the Day

This ball was just destroyed. Someone call the cops.

Dingers Return to Iowa

Nick Neidert has been taking the ball and eating innings for Iowa but it has not been with the best results. Today was one of those days. The Bats got to him in the third for three runs. Iowa got on the board in the fourth with a Yonathan Perlaza single. A PJ Higgins walk brought in a second run. Solo shots by Jake Slaughter and Yonathan Perlaza gave the I-Cubs a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. They added on another run in the sixth as a Chase Strumpf double brought in David Bote to make it 5-3.

Unfortunately, the bullpen melted down as recent signee Edwin Uceta gave up 3 runs as Louisville took a 7-5 lead. Chase Strumpf hit a solo shot to close the gap in the bottom of the eighth.

Unfortunately, the other new guy, Richard Bleier, gave up 2 more in the ninth to make it 9-6 Louisville. Luis Vazquez hit a two-run single to close it to 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth. And that’s how it ended.

Power Drainage

As for South Bend, not much going on with that offense. They managed four hits today with Matt Shaw getting half of them. The pitching struggled as well as West Michigan has pretty much dampened South Bend’s playoff hopes with the 5-0 shutout. The Cubs are now 7.5 games back of Peoria with 18 to play. Matt Shaw needs to go to Tennessee soon, very soon.

That Leaves the Beach…

Coming into the game, Marino Santy was scoreless in his last 17. He got tagged for four in the first. So much for that streak. Then he gave up four more in the second to make it 8-0. At that point, it was time to turn off the game for a while and go cook some pork chops and roast some asparagus. After supper, I checked in again and it was 14-2. Oof. Time for a walk.

The only highlights to come from the 16-3 drubbing came from Brian Kalmer who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and a HR. Cristian Hernandez also went 2-for-4 and Jose Romero had 4 Ks over 3 scoreless innings.