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September 19 Game Notes: Iowa at Omaha

September 19, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Iowa Cubs News Release


Sunday - 1:05 PM - Werner Park - Papillion, NE

RHP Dakota Mekkes (0-2, 4.19) vs. RHP Ronald Bolaños (0-3, 6.26)

TODAY'S GAME: Today's game marks the series finale of the six-game set between the Iowa Cubs and Omaha Storm Chasers, and the final game of the regular season for both teams as well. After today's game, the two will play 10 games in the Final Stretch, with the season ending with a five-game series of the I-80 rivalry at Principal Park. Getting the spot-start for Iowa today will be righty Dakota Mekkes, set to make his first career minor league start. The righty is 0-2 on the year with a 4.19 ERA, allowing 16 earned runs on 27 hits in 34.1 innings pitched. On the season, Mekkes has walked 19 batters compared to 31 strikeouts, with opponents hitting just .213 against him. He will face off against Ronald Bolaños, making his second start of the series for the Storm Chasers. Bolaños lost the first matchup on Tuesday, allowing seven earned runs on six hits in just two innings of work. He walked four batters and didn't strike anybody out, surrendering two home runs in that outing. In his eighth start of the year today, the righty will be looking for his first win with Omaha, currently holding an 0-3 record with a 6.26 ERA.

HE'S A HITTER: Though the I-Cubs lost their first game since he joined the roster, Brennen Davis continued his success last night in Omaha. The Cubs No. 1 prospect went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in game five, extending his hitting streak to five games since his promotion to Triple-A. He is the fourth player this season to collect a hit in each of his first five games with Iowa, and a hit in today's finale would tie him with Trent Giambrone for the longest such streak this season at six games. Davis has now notched multi-hit games in four out of five he's played with Iowa, and has reached base safely at least twice in all five games. He is now 9-for-20 with Iowa with four extra-base hits, three walks, five runs scored, and six RBI. Davis is hitting .450 at Triple-A with a .522 on-base percentage, and he is slugging .950

HEATING UP: Despite the loss, Levi Jordan had a good night at the plate last night, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI triple, a sacrifice fly, and a run scored. The performance was Jordan's sixth multi-hit game and his fourth multi-RBI game of the year with Iowa, and the triple was the first of his career at the Triple-A level. The two-hit night continued what has been a standout series for Jordan, as he has now gone 5-for-10 with a double, a triple, a home run, two walks, four RBI, and two runs scored this week in Omaha. It has been a positive turn for the infielder, who opened the month with a 2-for-22 streak through his first eight games. The five hits he's collected so far are tied for his most in a series this season, and the previous five-hit series also came in Omaha. Jordan is now a career .310 hitter at Werner Park (9-for-29) and has collected two of his three Triple-A home runs this season in Omaha.

BAD BEGINNINGS: Bryan Hudson made his Triple-A debut with the I-Cubs last night, becoming the 44th pitcher this season to take the mound for Iowa. His promotion was far from seamless, as he gave up seven runs, four of them earned, in his inning of work. That ties him with Matt Swarmer for most runs allowed by a pitcher in their 2021 Iowa debut. Hudson entered in the seventh in relief of Marcus Walden and immediately walked the first batter he faced. After pitching into a fielder's choice to momentarily prevent a run from scoring, Hudson gave up a grand slam to Angelo Castellano. Three pitches later, he surrendered another long ball to Erick Mejia. Hudson returned to start the eighth inning, but only recorded one out before reloading the bases and giving up his second grand slam of the game, this time to MJ Melendez. The seven total runs were a new season high for Hudson, who never allowed more than three in an outing with Double-A Tennessee this season. The total is also just one off from his career high of eight runs, which he allowed once in 2017 and most recently in 2018 while pitching for Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. It was the fifth outing of Hudson's career in which he's allowed at least seven runs, but all four of the previous outings were starts that lasted at least 3.2 innings. He is the fourth Iowa pitcher this season to allow a grand slam, but the first to allow more than one.

WATCH IT FLY: With four home runs last night, Omaha got their season total to a whopping 203. They are the first team in all of Triple-A to reach the 200 home run threshold, leading the next closest team, the Reno Aces, by 13. Two of those home runs last night were grand slams, making it five total grand slams this year that Iowa has allowed, three of those have now been hit by Omaha. The Storm Chasers have played 29% (35-of-119) of their games against Iowa this year, and have now accounted for 34% (70-of-203) of their home runs on the season against the I-Cubs. Ryan McBroom leads all of Triple-A with 31 home runs, setting a single-season franchise record for the Storm Chasers. Of those 31 long balls, eight have come against Iowa, good for 26% of his total. In 29% of their games this season, Omaha has scored 31% (203-of-647) of their runs against Iowa, recorded 29% (294-of-1010) of their hits, driven in 32% (194-of-612) of their RBI and stolen 35% (51-of-144) of their bases against Iowa.

AGAINST OMAHA: The I-Cubs and Storm Chasers will play the final game of their regular season today, a regular season that featured 36 games between the two teams. Going into the 36th game, Omaha leads the season series 19-16, going 11-7 at Principal Park and just 8-9 at Werner Park. Despite losing by 11 runs last night, Iowa already has the series won and will look to bounce back and take five-of-six from the Storm Chasers today. With 14 runs scored last night, the Storm Chasers have now scored over 200 runs against Iowa this year. Through their 35 games played, Omaha is now out-scoring Iowa by 17 runs, 203-86.

NEED TO BE BETTER: With last night's loss to lefty Jake Kalish, Iowa is now 9-22 on the year when facing a left-handed starter. They scored just two runs (one earned) in six innings last night, walking twice compared to seven strikeouts. On the season, Iowa as a team is hitting .230 (239-for-1037) against lefties, compared to .250 (729-for-2913) against right-handed pitchers. Iowa has struck out 308 times when facing a southpaw, good for 30% of their at-bats, compared to striking out in 28% of their at-bats against righties. Only two players on the I-Cubs active roster with more than 10 at-bats are hitting above .300 against lefties; Levi Jordan (.400) with 20 at-bats and Johneshwy Fargas (.313) with 16 at-bats.

SHORT HOPS: Greg Deichmann and Levi Jordan both tripled last night, marking the first time Iowa has had two triples in a game all year...with a win today and a Louisville loss, Iowa could move into sixth place of the Triple-A East Midwest division for the first time since September 1...for the second time this year, a position player was the only pitcher to not allow a run for Iowa's staff when Bryan Serra threw a scoreless frame last night.

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