Iowa Cubs update
Odd that both the C-Cubs & I-Cubs are idle today.
The locals have punched their playoff ticket and begin a best-of-five series in Round Rock tomorrow night, albeit with a carcass of a roster now that fire marshals have revised MLB dugout capacities upward. Game three and any others required are slated for Des Moines over the weekend.
Down five games in ten days and plunging like a stock market correction, the I-Cub divisional lead that’s been in double digits much of the summer has been cut to five as the PCL regular season enters its final week. Granted, it still sits at five with only eight games remaining, but the last four are versus the onrushing Memphis Redbirds, winners of nine of their last ten (including a series sweep of Iowa), here in Des Moines, culminating with the season finale on Labor Day.
The I-Cubs headed to Memphis late last week with a road record that was the envy of their parents and a magic number of nine. Had they swept the four-game set with the Redbirds, they’d be returning home tonight with a chance to clinch their quarter of the PCL and lock in their spot in the divisional playoffs. Instead of the broomers, alas, they were doomed and got broomed.
Opening Day, 2018. Ian Happ swatted the first pitch of the MLB season into the seats in Miami. Addison Russell was all over the box score of that game. 2/3 at the plate, stole a base, turned a couple of DPs, got picked off, hit by a pitch and made an error.
The I-Cubs have added some wrinkles to the traditional doubleheader format this year. Call it schedule change brought about by the rising tide of global warming. This IS the Pacific Coast League, remember, and Des Moines IS the city where a game was once played in front of an official attendance of zero due to floodwaters surrounding the ballpark.
Opening Day featured a twinbill in anticipation of inclement weather, not in consequence of it.
Double A made his Triple A debut last night in Des Moines and earned, what else, a grade of A.
The Iowa Cubs are 2-6 out of the gate. The winning percentage will surely climb from the nadir of .250, but the place in the standings? Maybe not. The Cub-board isn't completely bare, but the big bone Chicago has to throw at their poor fans here in Des Moines this season is still rounding into form at EXST in the desert.
Never far from the big leagues, Des Moines will feel like an especially reasonable facsimile during the brief five-game homestand that opens tonight.
Tomorrow night features a pregame ring ceremony where more of those gaudy World Series spoils will be awarded. Rob Zastryzny and Jake Buchanan are players on the swag roster and select I-Cub brass are included too.
Five innings were enough tonight.
At one point the I-Cubs trailed 5-0 and the Vice-Cardinals from Memphis had all of one hit, that being a single. Rarely is so much made from so little. When Carlos Pimento was excused from further duty he'd thrown 80 pitches in three innings, only 35 of them strikes. I think he walked eight.
Well, he passes the eyeball test with flying colors. Entering the ballpark in the top of the first you know something new has been added to the home team as soon as you fix on the leggy right fielder. Clear from the mezzanine behind home plate you can’t help but notice that pair of long, thick Cuban stogies as he lopes under the game’s first out.