Iowa Cubs @ Oklahoma City Dodgers (Postponed)
I guess this is about the only way to keep Willson Contreras from having a good day.
The Smokies had 10 hits and took 7 walks, but managed only 4 runs. Almost all of them were in the first inning (3). Jacon Hanneman was 2-4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts. Chesny Young was 1-3 with a double, 2 walks and a strikeouts. Mark Zagunis has been on fire. He was 2-4 with a double, walk and strikeout. Billy McKinney took a couple more walks and was 1-3. Victor Caratini and Stephen Bruno were each 2-4. Jeimer Candelario's slide fell even more with an 0-5 performance.
Paul Blackburn didn't have a good start. He threw only 4.2 inning, allowed 6 hits and 4 runs. He walked 3 and struckout 7. It's nice to see him striking out some batters, but he gave up a lot of base runners. Prior to the game his strikeout rate had fallen below 5. His walk rate was 2.07. Like all the other Cubs pitchers, Blackburn doesn't strike anybody out. I'm honestly not sure what this organization was thinking. I know this is the cost of focusing so heavily on position players in the draft. That's worked out beautifully, but it's left the pitching pretty bare. I guess if the biggest reason to complain about this team is that their pitching that may only potentially be of use one day kind of sucks, well, it's more than worth it. And for the record, I'd not have done anything differently than what the front office did. It's just an unpleasant result in an otherwise fantastic rebuild.
Charcer Burks played LF and batted leadoff in this one. He ws 2-4 with a double and a strikeout. The Pelicans didn't do much offensively. They only had 3 other hits. Gleyber Torres was 1-2 with a walk. Ian Happ was 1-3 with the team's only RBI. Trey Martin was 1-2 with a walk.
Jeremy Null threw 5 innings, allowed 5 hits, 3 unearned runs, walked nobody and struckout 3. There was another Dillon Maples sighting. He threw 0.2 innings, gave up 5 hits and 4 runs. He walked a batter for good measure and struck one out too. Jordan Minch cleaned up his mess.
The Pelicans had even fewer hits in this one (3). They also made 2 errors. Centerfielder Rashad Crawford was 1-4 with a double. Jason Vosler was 1-3 and Shawon Dunston Jr. was 1-2 with a walk and a strikeout. Ian Happ was 0-2 with a sac fly.
Jake Stinnett had a not so good outing. He threw 5.1 innings, allowed 12 hits and 9 runs. He walked a batter and struckout 4. Ryan McNeil threw the final .2 innings, allowed a hit, walked a batter and struck one out.
The top three batters in the order combined to go 0-11 with a walk. Ian Rice was 2-2 with 2 walks and a double. Eddy Martinez was 2-4 with a double, home run, 3 RBI and a strikeout. Bryant Flete was 2-4.
Ryan Kellog threw 6.2 innings, allowed 5 hits, and a run. He walked only 1 and struckout 7. Kellogg hasn't had a great season, but that was a pretty good start. He was in line for the win until James Norwood blew it. Norwood threw 0.2 innings, allowed 3 hits and 3 runs.