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September 19 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs at Louisville Bats

September 19, 2023 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release


IOWA CUBS (79-62) @ LOUISVILLE BATS (72-70)

Tuesday, September 19 - 5:35 PM - Louisville Slugger Field - Louisville, KY

RHP Samuel Reyes (3-2, 4.71) vs. RHP Brett Kennedy (4-3, 4.38)

TONIGHT'S GAME: Iowa will kick off their final series of the 2023 season tonight with Samuel Reyes on the mound. Reyes will make his fourth start of the year for the I-Cubs and third consecutive. In his last two outings, the righty is 0-2, they are the only losses he's suffered this season. He allowed eight runs across 6.0 innings combined, giving up 11 hits with three being home runs. The tough outings inflated Reyes' ERA to the 4.71 it is entering tonight, prior to those outings it was a 1.80. Reyes has seen Louisville twice this season, coming out of the bullpen both times. He spun 4.2 scoreless innings against the Bats, allowing just one hit across the two relief appearances. Opposite Reyes is Brett Kennedy for Louisville. Kennedy is set for his 15th start of the year for the Bats. The righty has collected a 4-3 record with a 4.38 ERA this season. In the month of September, Kennedy has allowed 10 runs in 8.0 innings, giving him a monthly ERA of 11.25. Across his two starts in September, Kennedy has walked six hitters while striking out nine. On the season, he has 66 strikeouts compared to 26 walks. Kennedy has not yet faced the I-Cubs in his 46-game Triple-A career.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The I-Cubs wrapped up their home slate for the 2023 season last week versus the St. Paul Saints and ended on a high note. Iowa won the Principal Park finale on Sunday with a 1-0 shutout, which marked its fifth consecutive win after it fell in the series opener to the Saints. The five-straight wins also pushed Iowa to having a .500 record of 18-18 at home during the second half of the season. On the year, the I-Cubs successfully defended their home ballpark with a record of 42-31 for a .575 winning percentage. Coming into this final week Iowa has the seventh best home winning percentage in the International League and the third best home winning percentage in the West division. The I-Cubs were also able to surpass their home record from a season ago when they went 38-37 in 2022. For Iowa, its 42 wins at the friendly confides of Principal Park are the most wins at home since the 2013 season when it went 44-28.

RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN: Iowa's franchise historical statistics have been tracked since 1969 when they were affiliated with Oakland. Since then, they have been affiliated with the White Sox, Astros, and for the last 42 seasons, the Cubs. This seasons iteration of the I-Cubs has been one for the record books as they have or are on their way to setting multiple new franchise records. Last week, the I-Cubs did something that no team since 1969 had ever done, surpassing the long-standing record of 849 runs scored set by the 1998 team. Coming into tonight, Iowa has tallied 859 runs this year. This accomplishment is not the only franchise record the 2023 Iowa Cubs offense has set or is within reach of setting, however. Entering tonight's game, they also hold the franchise record in walks taken with 697, blowing past the previous high of 596 set in 1984. Their 826 runs batted in is also a franchise record, with the previous record being 802 from the 1998 team. Along with holding each of those records, this 2023 team also currently has hit 199 home runs, second to just the 1998 team which hit 216, 518 extra-base hits, second to just the 1998 team which hit 524 and they are in fourth with 292 doubles behind the 2008 (298), 2001 (302) and 2004 (315) teams. With six games left in its season, Iowa would need to average exactly three home runs per game to get the record, just over one extra-base hit (1.16) to have the extra-base hit record and exactly four doubles to set the franchise record in doubles.

SECOND SAVE: Relief pitcher Bailey Horn picked up his second save of the season as he helped secure the 1-0 victory over the St. Paul Saints this past Sunday. In his outing, the left-hander spun 2.0 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed, no walks, and one strikeout. Horn is the 11th different pitcher to record at least one save for the I-Cubs this season and is just one of six pitchers to record at least two saves. Picking up saves hasn't necessarily been Horn's forte this season, however, as he is just 2-for-5 on save opportunities. Meanwhile, the Waco, Texas native has been a reliable arm out of the bullpen despite his saves record. The 25-year-old was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Iowa on April 29 and since then he has gone 7-2, with his seven wins tying for the second most on the team, and has logged a 4.76 ERA. Horn has appeared in 38 games for Iowa and over 51.0 innings of work has totaled 56 strikeouts compared to 27 walks to go along with 27 earned runs allowed off 52 hits.

BACK IN THE FOLD: Another bullpen arm that Iowa has back in the rotation is right-hander Jeremiah Estrada. The 24-year-old was recently called back to the I-Cubs after spending just over a month in the Arizona League. In his most recent outing, which came on Sunday versus the Saints, Estrada threw a scoreless, hitless frame with no walks allowed and one punchout. Estrada has made just two appearances since being called back up to Iowa and has looked good with no hits or runs allowed, two walks, and four strikeouts in that span. The Indio, California native has spent the majority of his 2023 season with Iowa but did see two separate stints up in the big leagues with Chicago. During his time with the I-Cubs this year, Estrada has tallied a record of 0-1 with a 6.66 ERA. He has logged 24.1 innings of work in 23 appearances with 35 strikeouts, 26 walks, 18 earned runs allowed off 22 hits, and has one save in two opportunities as well.

ONE MORE TO 80: The I-Cubs are currently riding a five-game win streak and need just one more to reach the mark of 80 wins on the season. If Iowa does reach the 80-win mark either tonight or at some point in the series against Louisville it would be just the fourth team in the International League to do so this season. By reaching 80 wins it would be the most wins by Iowa since the 2015 season when it went 80-64 and the ninth time in franchise history a team has achieved that feat. The most wins that the I-Cubs can achieve this season is 85 and they would have to sweep Louisville to accomplish that. If that did happen, however, they would tie the franchise record for wins in a season which is currently held by the 1993 and 1998 ballclubs.

AGAINST LOUISVILLE: The I-Cubs and Bats are set for their third six-game series of the 2023 season. Iowa took the series victory in April and the team split the series in August. The I-Cubs lead the season series 7-5 entering tonight, with each of those games coming from Principal Park. Iowa leads the all-time series against Louisville 29-25 but trails 9-12 in games at Louisville Slugger Field.

SHORT HOPS: Iowa is 14-11 in series openers this season; they are 1-1 in series openers versus the Bats...The I-Cubs recorded just three hits on Sunday afternoon, it is the second-lowest total for any game this season, they had just two hits on August 27...As Chris Clarke earned his fifth win of the year on Sunday, Iowa now has six hitters with five or more wins this year, there were just three I-Cubs with five or more in 2022...Iowa's bullpen improved their record to 48-29 (.623), the starters have a losing record of 29-33 (.468).


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