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Smyly Dazzles in Cubs 7-1 Dismantling of 'Rattlers

May 21, 2024 - Midwest League (MWL)
South Bend Cubs News Release

South Bend, IN - For the third time in his career, Chicago Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly pitched for the South Bend Cubs on a rehab assignment. On a humid and warm Tuesday afternoon, the Cubs defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 7-1 in the opener of six games, and Smyly shined. In three perfect innings, Smyly put up all zeroes, but struck out five Rattlers to help lead South Bend to victory.

The former Arkansas Razorback Smyly took the hill and worked with his battery mate, Casey Opitz, also a former Razorback. Smyly said later that Opitz did not mention that he went to the same school, a true pro. What did work though, their chemistry together.

Smyly came out firing and punched out the first man he faced, working a 1-2-3 inning. The lefty, making his first start of 2024, after pitching in nine games prior with the Chicago Cubs in April, sent down the side in order as well in the 2nd and 3rd. The southpaw left in a scoreless inning, but soon after departing, South Bend grabbed the lead.

In the bottom of the 3rd, base hits by Brett Bateman and Pedro Ramirez brought home three total runs. For Ramirez, it was a triple, and South Bend got to Wisconsin starter Mark Manfredi for the first time.

After a cool down period, Smyly spent some time talking with us outside the clubhouse, and said that he was pleased with his rehab outing after being placed on the injured list with a hip issue.

"It felt really good health wise, my hip felt really good and my mechanics in general too," Smyly said. "I hit my spots, and made really competitive pitches. That was great to execute at a high level."

The Razorback connection of the battery also worked beautifully. Opitz caught a brilliant game, and he added a big swing as well. After the Cubs got their fourth run on an error, Opitz hammered a home run over the left field wall for a two-run shot. 6-0 Cubs in the 4th.

Out of the bullpen, Aaron Perry brought the good stuff in piggyback relief, cruising with five innings of one-run baseball. The lone tally came via a sacrifice fly RBI. He earned the victory, with his ERA standing at 1.46.

Felix Stevens added a late home run, and Yovanny Cabrera recorded the final three outs to ice the opener win.

With Smyly's third time pitching at Four Winds Field, he was happy to be back in Downtown South Bend.

"It's so nice to drive over from Chicago and not have to jump on a plane to go somewhere." Smyly said. "The facilities here are great too, and better than some Double-A and Triple-A facilities."

The Cubs will look for a 2-0 series lead with a morning game between these two set for tomorrow at 11:05 AM. Right-hander Nick Hull is the expected starter for South Bend.

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