Bottom line: Cubs 2 out of 3. Not bad. Since Myles had a hard night last night, which we'll blame on the newborn, I volunteered to fill in today with my semi-annual OV post. You get what you pay for.
Iowa Cubs vs a Better Team: postponed.
Divine intervention saves us again.
Eric Jokisch was named Cubs Minor League pitcher of the month for April, and he earned it too. 26K, 6BB. That’s pretty good. .240 BAA, which I guess probably means his BABIP was about normal when you factor out the strikeouts, so I assume that’s not a fluky month. If you want a really sabery analysis of the minor leagues, you need to go help Myles change diapers or work the kinks out of dmick’s back. For me, sabermetrics are like dogs and cats, I like them a lot, when someone else takes care of them. Traditional stats: 3-1, 1.84 ERA over 5 starts. Check that shiny ERA. It would be nice if this guy could stay healthy. 149 IP at AA over three years suggests that is an issue.
So to celebrate his success, the Smokies started Jokisch last night.
Jokisch now has an ERA of 3.34. 6 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 3 innings will do that to you. Math sucks. The Smokies only had 4 hits and two walks, no one had 2 of any of these and no power at all. Jae-Hoon Ha hurt his back the other day and hasn’t played since. So the star of the day yesterday was the sun, which is producing some pretty spectacular solar storms right now that shawndgoldman is not keeping us in the loop about. Shawn’s been totally unreliable now that he has a real job.
By the way, the Smokies website banner is using “It’s a 9 inning vacation” as a theme. Wow. They are Committed.
OK, let’s talk about some baseball now.
Daytona Cubs 11 @ Lakeland Flying Tigers 5. 6th win in a row.
I don’t know the rules about the jinx the DylanJ and dmick have on last night’s starter. So let’s just say his first name is the initials of the clothes that kids wear to bed, and his last name is a combination of the words that fill in the blanks: _________ Fries (or ________ Toast) and not pro but _____. Anyway, this nameless guy really un-sucked. 6.0 IP, 5K, 3H, 1BB 0 Runs. I guess he’s had some bad luck this year, because his ERA is 4.80 but he’s struck out 27 against only 7 BB and 29 H in 30.0 innings. His K:BB ratio is up 54% compared to last year, so far. In 1.2 innings, Starling Peralta tried to give it all back, allowing all 5 Flying Tiger runs on 6 hits. Cubs were up 9-0 before Peralta got started, so I guess he had some breathing room.
With 11 runs, you’d expect some great hitting lines, and you would not be disappointed. Here is the best one: John Andreoli—3 for 4 including 2 triples. Scored 3, drove in 1 and added a walk. The batting by the rest of the team was pretty balanced, which you really have to like, eh? Nine other players scored 1 run each. Only one other Cub had 2 hits, Ben Carhart, plus he had a SB. Everyone else contributed. Jorge Soler hit his 3rd HR of the year, a solo shot, his only hit of the night, but he walked twice and drove in another run. Taylor Davis, whose name I can’t recall ever seeing at OV before, added a 2-R pinch homer. Javier Baez and Zeke DeVoss each drove in 2 runs without getting a hit. Baez’s RBI’s came on a sac fly and a bases-loaded HBP. DeVoss drove in runs with a walk and a sac fly.
Fifth win in a row to climb to .500 and 4th in the MidWest Western Division. What’s with the naming convention in this league? It’s a geographical muddle. MidWest Eastern and MidWest Western. Ugh. Surely with their legendary history, they could be leaders on division names.
Felix Peña gets his first win of the year with a good night. 7.0 IP, 4H, 1BB, and 7 K, giving up one run. Justin Amlung closed the game with 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB and a K. Oh, and a balk. A based-loaded double play saved Amlung in the 8th.
Dan Vogelbach displayed his peripheral skills with 2 BB in 4 PA and scored a run. Plus he got his third stolen base of the year. He is fourth on the team in steals, with 10% of the team total. What month is it again? Jeimar Candelario had the same line as Vogelbach, but no SB. What is this, Mirror day? YOu have to like it when hitters contribute even if they don't hit that day. The Cubs Way seems to be working on the first Saturday in May in low minors, but I don't want to get over-enthusiastic yet. Bijan Rademacher was 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Oliver Zapata hit a 2-R HR while batting 2 for 4. Everyone else had a hit. Wilson Contreras’s hit was a 3-R double.