I had every good intention of sitting down to watch the Cubs game at 7pm last night. Problem was, I got 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…
The original plan was just 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 the latter cranked a solo home run, 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 since the big leaguers were being no-hit by Brandon Finnegan.
As for Alzolay, the fastball looked really good down in the zone the first three innings, sitting around 91-92 mph. When he went to his curveball, however, the feel just wasn’t there. It didn’t take long for 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 5th, with South Bend coming back to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth. They headed to the ninth to close it, but Bowling Green scored one run to tie things up.
In the bottom of the ninth, PJ Higgins came on and flew out softly to center. Up to this point in the game, Jimenez had struggled mightily, striking out three time. Being 0-4 didn’t bother him, though. The first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth he deposited into the left-field stands to give the Cubs a 7-6 victory!
While all this was happening, I quickly turned over to the Myrtle Beach game. It, too, had been a seesaw affair since the 5th 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-centerfield fence to score Shawon Dunston, Jr. and Rashad Crawford. The 5-4 victory moved the Pelicans to 3-2 on the young season.
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 and the Reds brought in righty Jumbo Diaz to replace lefty Tony Cingrani. Addison Russell responded by putting a 95 mph fastball into the left field bleachers. The crowd erupted as the homer put the Cubs up 5-3. Hector Rondon then 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!