It all began with snow. That’s right, snow. And cold. And blowing snow.
It had to be hard to play in it, both mentally and physically. At Iowa and at South Bend, conditions were not good for either team.
Ryan Williams had the worst start of his career as a Cubs prospect. In just three innings of work, Williams gave up 6 earned runs, walked 2 (which he usually does in an entire month), and surrendered one home run. He simply could not get the ball to do what he wanted to do, which was to go down in the zone and the Round Rock Express made him pay. The Cubs lost 7-3 but Carl Edwards, Jr. pitched well in relief, while Dan Vogelbach went 2/3 with a walk and a RBI. Willson Contreras went 2/4 and Kristopher Negron went 3/4 but neither drove in a run.
The young Cubs struggled with the snow and put up 3 errors in the first three innings as they gave up 8 runs, 5 unearned in the first three innings. Eloy Jimenez also dove for a ball he probably should have left in in front of him that lead to 2 of the runs. Still, there were a lot of positives in the 9-4 loss. Morrison did have good movement and after the jitters of the first inning, seemed to settle down. The Cubs actually out hit Western Michigan but could not capitalize on any opportunity. Eddy Martinez went 2/4 as did Eloy. PJ Higgins and Donnie Dewees both went 2/5. The young Cubs will get better. Kyle Twomey looked good in 4 innings of relief with 7 Ks. Hopefully, the weather and first night nerves will be gone tonight when Justin Steele takes the mound.
As for Tennessee and Myrtle Beach, the weather was cooperative as both teams won in the warmer climates.
Rob Zastryzny did well last night. He gave up 2 runs in 6 innings as he struck five, walked 2, and only allowed 4 hits. Chesny Young, Victor Caratini, and Bian Rademacher all homered. In addition, Young also went 2/2 with two walks. The other on base machine, Mark Zagunis, did well in his AA debut with 2 RBIs as he had a single and a walk. Jacob Hannemann continued his hot spring going 2 for 4.
Jonathan Martinez gave up one run over 5 innings and the Pelicans Pen did not give up an earned run in a 5-2 win over Frederick. The Pelicans scraped together 5 hits but used excellent base running to get across their runs. Dave Berg was impressive as the closer getting 2 strikeouts in the ninth.
What I came away impressed with from last night was the talent the South Bend Cubs have, but that talent needs to be developed to hit better in situations. They also did not give up despite being down 8 runs. Also, Jacob Hannemann might be the hottest player no one is talking about. He was outstanding at the plate leading off.
Also, Jonathan Martinez looked very sharp on the mound and would win “Pitcher of the Night” if we had such an award. I don’t think he will be at Myrtle Beach very long. And, it’s going to be hard to keep Chesny Young down in AA long, either. He is turning into a hitting master. The weather does not look to get any better today for South Bend and Iowa. The kids have to learn to play in this.
All four minor league teams are back at tonight, and all of them are at home.