Before I get to tonight’s playoff action, there were a lot of honors given out to players in the Cubs system since Monday.
First, the Cubs “official” Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month Awards went to infielder David Bote and Trevor Clifton of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans! Congratulations to both of them.
Secondly, two Smokies players, catcher Victor Caratini and utility player Chesny Young were named to the Southern League post-season All-Star team! Well-deserved for both of them.
Next, South Bend’s Matt Rose was named Midwest League Player of the Month for August!
And finally, Emeralds pitcher Manuel Rondon was named Northwest League Pitcher of the Year! Additionally, Ems manager Jesus Feliciano was named the NWL Manager of the Year. Congratulations to both of them.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans crushed the Salem Red Sox, 8-1 in game one of their best-of-three first round playoff series.
Trevor Clifton held the Red Sox in check for six innings, allowing just one run on five hits. Clifton struck out six and he walked only one.
The Pelicans won this game with a six-run third inning. Donnie Dewees led off the inning with a walk and nine of the first ten batters in the inning reached base, including an RBI single by Dewees. He was 2 for 4 tonight and scored after that walk.
Jeffrey Baez had an RBI single in that third inning and a solo home run in the fourth. Baez was 2 for 5 with two runs scored.
Third baseman David Bote went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the first inning that opened up the scoring and an RBI single in the third. Bote was also hit by a pitch.
Shortstop Andrew Ely was 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the third inning. He later scored in the third on the Dewees single.
Game two of the series will take place tomorrow night in Salem.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs lost to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 3-2 in 11 innings in game one of their best-of-three series.
This game was all about pitching. Starter Oscar De La Cruz allowed just two runs, one of which was unearned, on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked no one.
Pedro Araujo came on for John Williamson in the seventh inning with two on and two outs. He got a strikeout to end the threat. Araujo pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and gave up two hits. He struck out three and walked no one.
Jared Cheek started the bottom of the 11th giving up an infield single to David Gonzalez, which shortstop Isaac Paredes made worse by throwing the ball away and letting the runner get to second. Cheek then immediately balked the runner over to third. It looked like Cheek would get out of the mess when he got a groundout that kept the runner at third and a strikeout. But a two-out single to center field by Jose Zambrano ended the game.
The final line on Cheek was 1.2 innings, allowing one run (it was earned) on three hits. He struck out three and walked one batter intentionally.
South Bend took the lead in the top of the second when Eddy Martinez led off the inning with a single and later came around to score on a single by Alberto Mineo. Martinez was 2 for 5 and Mineo was 1 for 5.
Connor Myers singled in the fourth inning and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. He was 1 for 4.
South Bend had plenty of chances in this game to win as they left 10 runners on base and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Game two is tomorrow night in South Bend.
Manuel Rondon gave up two runs on four hits over the first five innings. It was the first time that Rondon allowed more than one run in a start since July 2, when he also allowed two runs. Rondon was a bit off, as you can see in that he walked four batters, which is the most he’s given up in any start in the Cubs organization and ties a career-high. Rondon struck out two.
The Ems had a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Dakota Mekkes walked the first batter of the inning and then allowed a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. After the runner on first stole second, catcher Tyler Payne allowed a run to score on a passed ball, although the runner on second was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
The Ems lost in the tenth when Michael Rucker gave up a one-out double and a two-out walkoff single. Rucker pitched two-thirds of an inning. He struck out two and intentionally walked one batter.
Right fielder Robert Garcia tied the game up 1-1 with a home run in the third inning. He was 1 for 3 with a walk.
Shortstop Zack Short would give the Ems a 2-1 lead in the fourth with an RBI double. He was 2 for 4.
The Emeralds and Hops will play game two of their best-of-three series tomorrow night in Eugene.