Late Night Heroics Supercharge Cubs System on a Monday Night

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I had every good intention of sitting down to watch the Cubs game at seven last night. Problem was I get too wrapped up in the minor league games before I turned my attention fully to the big league game.

It all began in South Bend…

Adbert Alzolay - Photo by Rikk Carlson
Adbert Alzolay – Photo by Rikk Carlson

The original plan was I was just going to watch three innings of South Bend. I wanted to get a good glimpse of Adbert Alzolay pitching and to watch Eloy Jimenez  as well as Eddy Julio Martinez. That idea worked out really well as Eddy cranked a solo homerun, his first, into the left field stands. While the Chicago Cubs were on the TV, I kept focusing on the computer and South Bend more than the TV as those Cubs were being no hit by Brandon Finnegan.

As for Alzolay, his fastball looked really good down in the zone the first three innings. He was around 91-92 miles an hour. When he went to his curveball, it just wasn’t there. Soon, the Bowling Green Hot Rods found a way to get through to the curve. Alzolay wound up going five innings and giving up four runs (3 earned) while striking out five.

It was a back and forth game after the fifth inning. South Bend came back to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth going and they headed to the ninth to close it in. Bowling Green scored one run to tie it.  

In the bottom of the ninth, PJ Higgins came on and flew out softly to center. Up to this point in the game, Eloy struggled mightily, striking out three times on the evening. Being 0-4 didn’t bother him, though. The first pitch Eloy saw in the bottom of the ninth he deposited into the left-field stands to give the Cubs a 7 to 6 victory!

While all this was happening, I quickly turned over to the Myrtle Beach game. It, too, had been a sea-saw affair since the fifth inning. Down 4-2, heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Pelicans used four walks in the inning to bring themselves within one run. Top prospect Ian Happ stepped up to the plate and drilled a ground rule double over the right-center field fence to score Shawon Dunston, Jr. and Rashad Crawford. The 5-4 victory moved the Pelicans to 3-2.

At this time, I turned my full attention to the big league club. They just got their first hit in the seventh inning when David Ross looped a single into left field. Then, shortly thereafter, Jason Heyward drilled a line drive single to score Ross and Matt Szczur to pull the Cubs within one..

In the bottom of the eighth, Ben Zobrist and Jorge Soler walked. The Reds brought in righty Jumbo Diaz to replace left handed pitcher Tony Cingrani. Addison Russell responded by putting a 99 miles per hour fastball into the left-field bleachers. The crowd erupted as the homer put the Cubs up 5 to 3. Hector Rondon came in and mowed down Cincinnati in the ninth to seal the win.

It was an amazing night for the organization as three teams came from behind late to win. The Iowa Cubs also won for the first time this season as Javy Baez homered and Willson Contreras went 4 for 5 in the win.

Overall, the organization went 4-1 on the day.

And this is only Monday!

*Ed. Note – This article will appear on CubsInsider.com in a somewhat different format.

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