The Cubs organization recorded their first walkoff homer of the season. The starting pitching excellence on display in Chicago last night extended throughout the Cubs Minor League system as well. Unfortunately, the rotten injury luck appears to be as well.
Duane Underwood, Jr. survived some spotty command and some bad luck in the 1sr inning, eventually settling in and delivering a strong outing. Trent Giambrone provided a big 3-run blast to give the Cubs a late lead. They were unable to put the game away in the top of the 9th as the Baby Cakes pushed across a run against James Norwood. The Cubs would not be denied the victory, however, as the red hot Dixon Machado delivered a walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the frame.
- Dixon Machado: 3-4, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI
- Trent Giambrone: 1-3, HR (2), R, 3 RBI
- Josh Field: 2-4, 2B, 2 R
- Duane Underwood, Jr.: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K (6.75)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Jen-Ho Tseng, a two-time Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year, was released yesterday. After rocketing through the system and becoming the youngest starting pitcher to make his debut since Sergio Mitre, Tseng encountered nothing trouble at the AAA and MLB level. Once he failed to make the Iowa rotation this season, the Cubs designated him for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Allen Webster earlier the week. Once he cleared waivers he still could have been assigned to Iowa, but the Cubs clearly felt more comfortable with the arms they already have in place, and those soon to be summoned from Tennessee, so chose instead to grant him his freedom to pursue his career elsewhere.
Victor Caratini isn't the only young player dealing with a potentially broken hand interrupting a fast start, as Zack Short has also hit the IL after being struck by a pitch the other day. Early reports are he could be out a while. Short had been one of the top hitters down in Iowa the first week of the season.
The final score gives no indication, but this game featured a second brilliant pitching performance from Thomas Hatch to open the 2019 season. He tossed 5 innings of no-hit ball, striking out 4 and allowing just 1 walk. Combined with his 5-inning shutout debut, he has now held the opposition scoreless over his first 10 innings while allowing just 3 base runners and striking out 11. The key to his early success has been command of all three of his pitches. He is keeping the ball on the edges or darting just off the plate with his secondaries without leaving many pitches in the middle of the zone.
The Smokies carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 8th before Jordan Minch got bombed for 5 runs, blowing the save.
- Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (0.00)
- Manuel Rondon: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (0.00)
- Johnny Pereda: 1-2, 2 BB
- Jared Young: 1-4, HR (3), R, RBI
- Nico Hoerner: 1-3, BB, CS (1)
Bryan Hudson gave up a two-run shot in the 1st but then got dialed in from there, looking impressive over his final 4 innings of work. It has been an encouraging start for the still 21-year old lefty. He appears to be engaging his lower half more and just looks more fluid throughout his delivery. It has led to improved control and consistency with his stuff. His cutter and curve were both sharp in the outing and this is now his second straight start where he has missed some bats instead of completely relying on inducing ground balls..
It has been a slow start for Aramis Ademan, but the young SS appears to have added a little size and strength in his upper body. He struck the ball with authority in a couple of his plate appearances, including a two-run homer, his first of the season. Hopefully this game will get him going.
- Bryan Hudson: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K
- Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 2 K
- Aramis Ademan: 1-3, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, BB
- Carlos Sepulveda: 2-4, R
It wasn't as pretty as Thomas Hatch's performance, as he did walk 4 batters and give up 1 hit, but Cam Sanders did match the 5 zeroes he hung on the scoreboard. What Sanders did well was keep the ball on the ground, recording 10 outs on the infield against just one in the air.
- Cam Sanders: 5 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K (0.00)
- Peyton Remy: 2.1 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (W, 1-0, 6.14)
- Ethan Roberts: 1.2 IP, BB, 2 K (S, 2, 2.25)
- Levi Jordan: 2-4, 2B, R, RBI
- Jonathan Sierra: 1-3, RBI, HBP, SB (1), CS (1)
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap