Down on the Cubs Farm: Ian Happ stockpiling walks, Miller impressive, more

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by - Correspondent -
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

I want to take a short timeout to wish all the mothers out there a belated happy Mother’s Day. Without you, none of us would be where we are today. Today’s addition of down on the farm will be a bit different as I will breakdown the entire weekend from each team in less detail than usual.

IOWA CUBS 7 – Memphis Redbirds 4 (Friday): The Cubs closed out the series with Memphis on a positive note as Matt Swarmer and company picked up the 7-4 win. Iowa only needed two innings of offense to get the job done, scoring three in the first and four in the third. Phillip Evans took control in the first inning connecting for a three-run homer. Evans added an RBI in the fourth inning as well.

Ian Rice and Jacob Hannemann each picked up RBI’s in the fourth inning to give Iowa the 7-0 lead. The big inning for Memphis came in the sixth when they pushed across three runs before adding their fourth run in the eighth, but Iowa managed to hold tough for the 7-4 win. Swarmer picked up the win going six innings and allowing three runs. James Norwood earned his third save of the season. Robel Garcia led the way on offense with three hits, while Evans picked up a pair of his own to go with his game-high four RBI’s in the win.

Happ has reached base in 21 of his last 22 games and has 22 walks and only 12 strikeouts during that time.


IOWA CUBS 3 – Omaha Storm Chasers 4 (Saturday): The Cubs returned home Saturday and were rudely greeted by Omaha falling 4-3. Collin Rea took his first loss of the season, allowing four runs in just five innings. However, only one of those runs were earned, and most of that damage was done in the fourth when Omaha plated three runs to take a 4-0 lead. Brian Duensing, Tim Collins, Dillon Maples, and Randy Rosario pitched three scoreless innings out of the pen to give the Cubs offense a chance to come back.

Offensively, the Cubs found themselves down 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth before the offense finally got going. Trent Giambrone was responsible for the first two RBI’s as his single made it 4-2. Garcia added an RBI single in the sixth, but it was not good enough as Iowa fell 4-3. Now with the AAA team, Victor Caratini wen 1-5 as his rehab stint continues. Ian Happ was 1-3 with 2 BB.

IOWA CUBS 2 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5: The Cubs can’t seem to solve Omaha at the moment dropping game two of the series 5-2. Alec Mills took the loss in this one tossing 6 2/3 innings and allowing five ER, but it was the three-run seventh that did him and the Cubs in. Dakota Mekkes and Junichi Tazawa finished things off on the mound.

Offensively, the Cubs were held in check as Jim Adduci, and Dixon Machado were responsible for the two RBI’s in the loss. Donnie Dewees was held hitless again as his average dropped to .315. Caratini struggled and went 0-4, while Happ went 0-1, but took three walks in the loss.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1 – Chattanooga Lookouts 4 (Friday): The Smokies are happy to be done with the Lookouts as they walked off the Smokies 4-1 in 10 innings Friday to earn another win. Making his second start with Tennessee, Oscar De La Cruz showed why he is the top pitching prospect, tossing six scoreless innings with seven punchouts and just two hits. His ERA sits at .82 since returning.

Both offenses were held in check through six innings until both exchanged runs in the seventh. Jhonny Pereda was responsible for the Smokies lone run on his second double of the season for the 1-0 lead. After the Lookouts tied things up 1-1 in the bottom half of that inning, it was Jose Siri delivering the knockout blow with a walk-off three-run shot in the 10th for the 4-1 Lookouts win. Pereda and Luis Vazquez each picked up a pair of hits. Roberto Caro and Charcer Burks earned the other two.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 – Birmingham Barons 1 (Saturday): Looking to rebound from a tough loss on Friday, the Smokies turned to one of the fastest rising arms in all of minor league baseball Tyson Miller. Once again, Miller did more than impress, tossing seven innings of one-run ball to drop his season ERA to 0.94. That is the lowest ERA in the league for qualified starters.

Offensively, the Smokies backed him with five runs of support as Tennessee scored one run in five different innings. P.J. Higgins, Pereda, Christian Donahue, and Connor Myers earned those RBI’s as the Smokies also picked up an unearned run I the victory. Higgins, Vazquez and Vimael Machin all had two hits in the win.


MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 1 – Carolina Mudcats 5 (Friday): It was not a great start to the weekend series as Carolina cruised 5-1 for the win Friday. Alex Lange took the loss as he falls to 1-5 with an 11.17 ERA on the season. The Pelicans managed just five hits in the ballgame, with Carlos Sepulveda picking up the lone RBI in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1 before the Mudcats ended the game with four unanswered runs.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 7 – Carolina Mudcats 9 (Saturday): It was a slugfest Saturday night as the two teams combined for 16 runs. Unfortunately, it was the Mudcats coming out on top picking up the 9-7 win. Luis Lugo took a no-decision in this one tossing 5 1/3 innings allowing three ER. Ryan Kellogg took the loss giving up three runs (0ER) in just 2/3 of an inning.

The Pelicans were much better offensively despite only scoring in three innings. After scoring one run in the second courtesy of Jhonny Bethencourt RBI ground out to tie things 1-1, Myrtle Beach used consecutive three-run innings in the sixth and seventh to take the lead before falling late. Aramis Ademan gave the Pelicans a 2-1 lead in the sixth with his single before Kevonte Mitchell made it 4-1 with a homer.

With the Mudcats plating three of their own to draw even once again, Myrtle Beach used another big inning to retake the lead. This time it was Grant Fennell responsible for all three RBI’s, connecting for his first homer of the season to give the Pelicans a 7-4 lead. The Mudcats closed within 7-6 in the eighth after a Mario Feliciano homer, before he walked it off with a three-run shot in the ninth for the 9-7 walk-off win.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 – Carolina Mudcats 7: Looking to avoid the sweep following the heartbreaking loss Saturday, the Pelicans turned to No. 2 pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay as he made his first start of 2019. You could see the rust as it has been nearly a year since he last threw a pitch in AAA. Despite his rough outing allowing six runs (5ER) in four innings, his shoulder felt fine which is the most important thing to take away.
Both Pelicans runs came in the second inning as the Ademan and Mitchell combo were at it again. Ademan plated the first run for Myrtle Beach with a triple. Mitchell followed that up with a sacrifice fly to tie the game up 2-2. That tie was short-lived as a three-run bottom of the second gave the Mudcats the lead for good before adding two more to complete the three-game sweep 7-2. Ademan, Mitchell and Tyler Payne all had two hits in the ballgame as they were the leaders on offense.


SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 – Peoria Chiefs 2 (Friday): Looking to continue their recent hot streak, the Cubs turned to Riley Thompson in hopes of another series win. Although Thompson was brilliant on the mound allowing two runs in five innings to drop his season ERA to 1.86, he did not pick up a decision in the ball game as the offense for South Bend came alive late to pick up the win 5-2.

Jonathan Sierra gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead singling in the bottom of the third. After the Nolan Gorman home put Peoria on top 2-1 in the fourth, Levi Jordan tied things up 2-2 in the bottom half of the frame as his bunt single brought in D.J. Artis.

With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, South Bend looked to take the lead for good. With Jordan standing on third, Eric Gonzalez hit a slow tapper to the pitcher who was good enough to plate the winning run and 3-2 Cubs lead. South Bend would add a pair of runs in the seventh on two wild pitches as they picked up the 5-2 win to improve to 19-15 on the season.

With Saturday’s contest getting canceled due to rain and not being made up, the Cubs will have two days off before returning to the field tonight. Jordan, Sierra, and Nelson Velazquez were responsible for all six hits as the three of them had two apiece. Victor Caratini went 0-2, as this was his final game with South Bend before moving to Iowa for next stage in the rehab process. South Bend also took 12 walks in the win.



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