TODAY'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Oklahoma City RedHawks play game three of a four-game series to finish the 2014 regular season. The RedHawks are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Houston Astros.
THE BAGEL BOYS: Three Cubs pitchers combined on the team's league-leading 15th shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the RedHawks last night. The club already set a franchise record with their 14th shutout in a win last Monday at Tacoma. The Cubs have shutout every team in the American Conference except Nashville and have blanked five teams multiple times this year, including four against New Orleans. Last night was the Cubs' second shutout of Oklahoma City this year. Five of the Cubs' shutouts have come at home and 10 on the road. The previous team record of 13 shutouts was set in 1985.
DALLAS BEELER'S CLUB: RH Dallas Beeler (9-6) allowed four hits in seven innings to earn the win last night. Beeler finishes the season on a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings and five straight quality starts. He has worked at least six innings in each of his last 17 starts. Beeler ranks fourth in the league with a 3.40 ERA (47ER/124.1IP), is second with a WHIP (1.16), and fifth in opponents' average (.245).
HERE HE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY: RH Blake Parker finished the game last night and earned his league-leading 25th save. With the save, he tied the franchise's single-season record set by Jermaine Van Buren in 2005. Parker is already the franchise's career saves leader with 66. On Monday, Parker was named as the relief pitcher on the All-PCL team. Van Buren is the only other I-Cub to receive that honor. No Iowa reliever has ever led the PCL in saves. The last Iowa pitcher to lead the league in saves was Laddie Renfroe in 1991 when the Cubs played in the American Association.
JONNY ON THE SPOT: 1B Jonathan Mota went 2-for-2 with a homer off RedHawks' starter Luis Cruz that got the Cubs on the board in the fifth inning last night. Mota has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is batting .368 (14-for-38) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, six runs scored, and five RBI during this stretch.
VS. OKLAHOMA CITY: The Cubs lead this series 2-0 and lead the season series 8-6. The Cubs lost two-of three in Bricktown, July 4-6, but won three-of-five in their second visit to Oklahoma City, July 11-13. The teams split their first four-game set at Principal Park, July 11-13, including a double-header split on July 12. Last year, the Cubs and RedHawks split the season series 8-8, with both teams finishing 6-2 at home. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 123-112, including a 67-50 mark at home.
HOME SWEET HOME: Last night's win guaranteed the Cubs a winning record at Principal Park this season. The Cubs have finished with a wining record at Principal Park in 13 of the last 14 seasons. The Cubs need one more victory to guarantee a winning record for the season. The Cubs haven't had a winning record since 2010 after finishing at .500 or better in five straight seasons from 2006-'10.
RYAN'S HOPE: OF Ryan Kalish smacked a two-run homer in the eighth inning last night. He has seven home runs in 85 games with Iowa this year, and three have come against the RedHawks. The Cubs are tied for second in the league with 37 home runs this month.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Since joining the Cubs on June 19, 3B Kris Bryant leads the PCL in total bases (149) and is tied for the league lead in extra-base hits (36). He ranks second in OPS (1.043), is tied for second in home runs (21) and runs scored (53), and tied for third in RBI (51) and slugging (.629). In his first full season of pro ball, Bryant is batting a combined .326 (158-for-485) with 43 home runs and 109 RBI in 136 games between double-A and the I-Cubs this season. Bryant leads all of minor league baseball in homers, extra-base hits (78), total bases (323), slugging (.666), and OPS (1.103). He is second in RBI, runs scored (114), and OBP (.437).
PLAYING FOR PRIDE: When Omaha beat Colorado Springs yesterday afternoon, the Cubs playoff hopes were extinguished. The Cubs had a one-game lead in the division race on August 14, but fell out of the top spot with a season-high eight-game losing streak, August 15-22. The Cubs have held at least a share of the division lead for 76 days this season.