Cubs Minors Daily: I-Cubs finish season with eight-game losing streak
|Monday, October 4, 2021, 8:41 AM- -|
Not only did the Chicago Cubs season come to an end on Sunday, but so did every aspect of baseball within the organization as the final minor league contest of the year was played. That matchup was between the Omaha Storm Chasers and Iowa Cubs as the Cubs looked to treat the home fans at Principal Park to a winning afternoon.
Unlike the Cubs, who managed to walk away with a 3-2 win on Sunday, things didn't go as smoothly for Iowa despite leading 3-2 heading into the eighth. At that moment, Omaha rallied for four runs across the next two innings as they swept the Cubs final in their final series of the season, sending Iowa to 51-78 on the season.
OMAHA STORM CHASERS 6 – IOWA CUBS 3The final series of the season didn't go as planned for the Cubs as they got stuck facing one of the best if not the best offense in all, Minor League baseball. Looking at the scores across the first three games, you can see how much of a challenge it is facing this team as the Cubs continue to play shorthanded while they continued to help out the Major League team.
Sunday was a bit more refreshing as Iowa was able to keep the Storm Chasers offense in check for seven innings holding the lead 3-2. However, like all great offenses do, they find ways to capitalize, and that is what Omaha did, rallying for four runs late to win 6-3. After putting together a successful run with AA Tennessee, Dakota Chalmers made the start for Iowa, allowing one run in two innings of work. He gave way to Blake Whitney and several other arms as the Cubs tried to piece together one final game this season.
Not only has Omaha scored a ton of runs this series, but they have had a knack of scoring first, and that was once again the case on Sunday, with Edward Olivares picking up an RBI single for the early 1-0. That lead didn't last long as the Cubs not only responded in the second, but once again in the third to take the lead right back.
After putting together several good moments with South Bend, 2021 fifth-round pick Liam Spence has had quite a first taste at professional ball. In 20 games across three levels, Spence only hit .175, but a .455 in a few games in AAA, including back-to-back games with an RBI as his single tied things up in the second. One inning later, and Levi Jordan put the Cubs on top as his sacrifice fly gave the
Cubs a 2-1 lead.
At the time, that score appeared to be enough for the Cubs to win as neither team was able to push another run across until the seventh inning. However, in that inning, Erick Mejia tied things up using his seventh homer as it was now a 2-2 game. Once again, the Cubs wasted no time grabbing the lead right back as Spence cashed in with a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the game to make things 3-2 in favor of Iowa.
Looking to hold onto that lead, Erich Uelmen ran into trouble walking two of the first three hitters he faced before being pulled in favor of Aneuris Rosario. Like Uelmen, Rosario struggled with his command early, walking the first hitter he faced to load the bases. One batter later, it was his defense not doing him any favors as a costly error not only allowed Dairon Blanco to reach base, but brought two runners home as Omaha took the lead for good 4-3. Add a Mejia double, and the Storm Chasers capped off the three-run frame leading 5-3.
Knowing they needed offense in a hurry, Brennen Davis reached base with a walk in the eighth, but had that sandwiched between a trio of strikeouts with no further damage done. MJ Melendez added an RBI groundout in the top of the ninth to put Omaha up 6-3 as the Cubs were down to their final at-bats of the season.
Hoping to send the fans home happy with a walk-off win in their final game of 2021, Jordan managed to reach base with a one-out walk hoping to set things up for the offense. Unfortunately for the Cubs, he would be the final baserunner of the game as Iowa ends their 2021 campaign on an eight-game losing streak falling 6-3 to Omaha.
The final Final from Principal Park this season. See you next year! pic.twitter.com/qGExj6gcYK— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) October 3, 2021
Despite a rough season overall, there are several key stories to watch for this weekend, and the biggest of those stories will be the top prospect, Davis. After opening the season with South Bend, Davis made it all the way to AAA, where he hit a .268 with four homers. For the season, Davis showed why he is a top 15 MLB prospect hitting a .260 with 15 homers and 53 RBIs. He will be given every opportunity to make the MLB roster next spring and will be contributing soon.
Christopher Morel is another intriguing piece to watch moving forward. The once top 10 prospect fell to No. 20 this season primarily because of the prospects the Cubs acquired this season. Despite posting a .223 average across both AA and AAA, Morel showed signs of life, with Iowa hitting a .257 in his brief stint. He also added 18 homers, good for the third system behind Trayce Thompson and Nelson Velazquez, while adding 66 RBIs and 18 steals.