Nolan Gorman went 0-4 on Thursday and won’t appear in this write up, but hey, the kid celebrates 19 today!
Iowa Cubs 9 at Memphis Redbirds 8
Jake Woodford (SP) - 5 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
Rangel Ravelo (1B) - 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Joe Hudson (PH) - 1-1, HR, 2 RBI
Andrew Knizner (C) - 1-4, BB
Memphis and Iowas produced a late inning thriller on Thursday.
The two entered extra innings tied 4-4. As a quicker reminder, all minor league games put a runner on second automatically in extra innings. Memphis went with Jesus Cruz in the top of the tenth frame to face the demoted Ian Happ. Cruz retired Happ on a groundout, before forcing Phillip Evans into a groundout that advanced the runner to third. Cruz then balked, allowing Robel Garcia to score the go-ahead run. He’d escape the inning with a strikeout.
Memphis stared down defeat with Ramon Urias stepping in to face Tim Collins. Urias was able to reach on a fielding error at third base, putting runners on first and second. Tommy Edman then bunted the pair over, setting the stage for Drew Robinson. Robinson responded with a sac fly to center that tied the game. Knizner was then intentionally walked to bring in Tyler O’Neill, who struck out on five pitches to end the threat.
Everything fell apart in the eleventh. Cruz allowed a run on two singles and a walk before being pulled in favor of Chasen Shreve. Shreve allowed two singles of his own, bringing in three more runs to give Iowa a four run lead.
The Redbirds put on a rally in the bottom of the eleventh, but in the end it wasn’t enough to make up for the bullpen blowup. Rangel Ravelo singled in the runner that started on second, then came around on a Joe Hudson two-run pinch hit home run. Things were looking up, but Edmundo Sosa and Ramon Urias both went down quickly swinging early in the count.
The loss drops Memphis to 18-16 on the year. The series finale with Iowa begins tonight at 7:05pm CDT.
Springfield Cardinals 7, NW Arkansas Naturals 4
Austin Warner (SP) - 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR
Justin Williams (DH) - 2-4, 2B, RBI, K
Dylan Carlson (CF) - 1-4, 3B, RBI, BB, 2 K
Chris Chinea (1B) - 1-4, HR, RBI, K
Springfield jumped out in front with a three run third inning and never relinquished the lead. Brian O’Keefe and Jose Martinez got the inning started with a pair of leadoff singles, and a Dylan Carlson walk after a line out loaded the bases. Freshly uninjured Justin Williams stepped in and singled to left, bringing in O’Keefe. Evan Mendoza recorded the second out of the inning, grounding into a force out at home. Outfielder Johan Mieses then grounded up middle to score Martinez and Carlson.
The Cardinals brought the hammer down again in the bottom of the sixth. A Chris Chinea home run extended the lead to 4-1 before a single, a walk and a fielding error brought around another run. Dylan Carlson then stepped and ripped a, RBI triple to center, his second on the year. Williams brought around Carlson to score, this time on a fielding error at second. The Naturals threatened with two runs in the top of the eight, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
The win moves Springfield’s record to 13-20. They’ll continue the series against the Naturals tonight at 7:10pm CDT.
South Bend Cubs 4, Peoria Chiefs 1
Alvaro Seijas (SP) - 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Freddy Pacheco (RP) - 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Ivan Herrera (C) - 2-4, 2B, K
Brady Whalen (1B) - 2-4, RBI
Watching minor league games is always hit or miss. Some stadiums put on high quality broadcasts with useful camera angles, while others opt for lazy cameras sat behind the catcher. Unfortunately Peoria falls into the latter bucket. The good news is, South Bend puts on one of the best broadcasts in the Midwest League, using a slightly offset centerfield camera like a sane baseball club. It makes it so much easier to get a read on prospects, and for that reason alone this series is must watch for me.
The big takeaways from my viewing yesterday come on the pitching side of the ledger. The South Bend cameras allowed for a major-league caliber look at pitch movement and location, something that’s far and few between in the low minors.
Alvaro Seijas was up and down, sandwiching rough second and third innings between a stellar first and solid fourth and fifths (it’s worth noting that they were dealing with light rain in the second and third). He sat low-90’s with his fastball, showing a good amount of sink. The breaking ball was a true plus pitch per usual, working with powerful 11-5, sometimes even 10-4 shape. All in all, no different from my previous looks. What the camera angle did shed light on, however, was Seijas’s arm action. He’s throwing from a lower slot, yes, but there’s a fairly pronounced wrap in the back now to go along with violence on the follow through.
As for Pacheco, this was my first look at him this year. So far, he’s been striking out the world:
Freddy Pacheco - May 9
He sat mid-90’s with his fastball, working mostly low in the zone with late arm-side zip. Pacheco also featured a pair of secondaries, and the jury is out on which one is superior at this point. His short-slider flashed hard, late bite, but he hung it up too often. My money is on the changeup, with flashed nasty late drop at times despite some issues slowing down his arm. It’s a relief only profile, but one that’s struckout handfuls of batters at every stop.
With the loss, Peoria has fallen back below .500. They’ll try to reach break even tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
MEM: Genesis Cabrera
SPR: Harold Arauz
PEO: Jacob Schlesener