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April 16 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. Louisville Bats

April 16, 2024 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release


Tuesday, April 16 - 6:38 PM CT - Principal Park - Des Moines, IA

LHP Thomas Pannone (2-0, 0.57) vs. RHP Brett Kennedy (0-1, 3.60)

TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs host the Louisville Bats for the first of a six-game series tonight...Iowa will send left-hander Thomas Pannone to the mound, who will make his fourth start of the season...right-hander Brett Kennedy is slated to make his third start of the season for Louisville.

SUNDAY'S FINALE: The I-Cubs fell in the series finale on Sunday at St. Paul by a score of 13-11...despite the loss, Iowa's 11 runs were a season high and their 14 runs were also a season high...the I-Cubs won the series, taking four of the six games and have won two of their three series this year.

IN THE STANDINGS: Despite Sunday's loss, Iowa remains just 1.0 game of first place Omaha in the International League West standings with Omaha...since the I-Cubs lost the first two games of the season at Omaha in extra innings, they have won nine of their last 13 games, including a four-game win streak from April 6-10.

AGAINST LOUISVILLE: Iowa and Louisville play their first series of the season beginning tonight...the two clubs faced each other in the last series of the 2023 season with Iowa winning the first three games and Louisville taking the last four...the I-Cubs went 10-7 vs. the Bats last season and tallied a 7-5 record at Principal Park.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MATT!: Iowa Cubs infielder Matt Mervis is celebrating his 26th birthday today, and shares this date of birth with Major League All-Star Nolan Arenado and Hall of Famer Paul Waner, who played in MLB from 1926-1945...he also shares a birthday with Chance The Rapper, actor Martin Lawrence and former UFC superstar Nate Diaz...on Saturday, Mervis hit his third home run in his last two games and became the second I-Cub to homer in back-to-back games this season, along with Patrick Wisdom (4/9-10)...during the series at St. Paul, Mervis slashed .429/.478/1.095 (9-for-21) with four home runs and six RBI...during that span, he ranks among International League leaders in total bases (1st), home runs (T-1st), extra-base hits (T-1st), slugging percentage (2nd), OPS (1.573, 4th) and hits (T-7th)...on Friday, he tallied his first multi-homer game of the year and the third of his career, with his last one coming on May 10, 2022 vs. Beloit with Advanced-A South Bend...he became the second I-Cub this year to have a multi-homer game, following Luis Vázquez on Tuesday.

CANARIO TO THE SHOW: Outfielder Alexander Canario was called up to the big leagues yesterday...the Cubs' No. 10 rated prospect ( played in 13 games with Iowa and slashed .269/.377/.481 (14-for-52) with five doubles, two home runs and seven marks his second stint in Chicago with the first coming in September of 2023 in which he played in six games and batted .294 (5-for-17) with one home run (grand slam) and six RBI.

NOTHING EASY: The I-Cubs pitching staff had an International League-leading 3.23 ERA heading into the series finale at St. Paul on Sunday, but gave up 13 runs in that game that made their ERA jump 67 points to 3.90...despite this, Iowa's 3.90 ERA still ranks fourth best in the IL, trailing leader Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 3.39 mark...I-Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 3.73 ERA (21 ER in 50.2 IP) which ranks second in the International League, behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (3.67).

FIRST IMPRESSION: Prior to Saturday's game, right-handed pitcher Porter Hodge was added to the I-Cubs roster...Hodge tossed a scoreless seventh inning and earned the win in his first outing in Triple-A...he topped out at 99.6 mph which is the fastest pitch by an I-Cub this season...he is the Cubs' No. 27 ranked prospect, according to, and gives Iowa seven players that appear on the Cubs' Top 30 prospects list.

STAY HOT: Iowa's shortstop Luis Vázquez tallied his third three-hit game of the season Sunday (all since April 9)...since April 5, Vázquez is batting .500 (15-for-30) with seven runs scored, three home runs and five RBI...during that span, he ranks among International League leaders in hits (T-1st), batting average (2nd), OPS (4th, 1.343),home runs (T-4th), slugging percentage (7th, .800).

SHUT IT DOWN: The I-Cubs got their second shutout victory of the season Friday night at St. Paul, winning 6-0...Iowa's last shutout came in a 2-0 win at Omaha on March 31...Jameson Taillon (3.2 IP), Hayden Wesneski (4.1 IP) and Carl Edwards Jr. (1.0 IP) combined for the shutout.

LITTLE LEAGUE HOMER: Cubs' No. 16 ranked prospect BJ Murray Jr. hit an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning Friday night, giving him his first homer of the marked the first inside-the-park homer by an I-Cub since Taylor Davis turned the trick on Aug. 20, 2017 at Nashville.

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