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August 7 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens

August 7, 2022

IOWA CUBS (47-57) vs. TOLEDO MUD HENS (52-51) Sunday, August 7, 2022 • 1:08 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA RHP Hayden Wesneski (0-0, -.--) vs. LHP Daniel Norris (0-0, 3.86)

IOWA CUBS (47-57) vs. TOLEDO MUD HENS (52-51)

Sunday, August 7, 2022 • 1:08 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA

RHP Hayden Wesneski (0-0, -.--) vs. LHP Daniel Norris (0-0, 3.86)

TODAY’S GAME: Iowa and Toledo will play the series finale today, with Toledo up three games to two. Righty Hayden Wesneski is set to make his Chicago Cubs organizational debut today after being acquired for reliever Scott Effross back on August 1. In 19 starts with Scranton Wilkes-Barre, the right-hander went 6-7 with a 3.51 ERA, striking out 83 batters compared to 28 walks. Wesneski led his team in WHIP (1.15) and ERA (3.51) among qualified arms before he was traded, coming in as the Cubs No. 8 ranked prospect according to On the other side, Daniel Norris will make his second start of the week against his former organization. The southpaw started game one of the series back on Tuesday, August 2, tossing 2.2 innings of two-run ball. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out one in the outing, his second start since joining the Mud Hens.

NOT HOW YOU PLANNED IT: After recording one out in the sixth inning, Javier Assad surrendered his second solo home run of the outing, knocking him out of the game. He was followed by righty Raynel Espinal, making his first appearance with the I-Cubs. It was his first game since Thursday, July 28. The 30-year-old came over to Iowa from the Sacramento River Cats when Dixon Machado was traded to the San Francisco Giants. Espinal went 5-5 with a 5.29 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) for Sacramento this year prior to getting traded, allowing 49 earned runs on 87 hits over 83.1 innings pitched. He walked 38 compared to 102 strikeouts over that span while opponents hit just .268 against him. Unfortunately for Espinal, his I-Cubs debut didn’t go exactly to plan. The Dominican Republic native walked two of the first three batters he faced with a double in between them. He threw a wild pitch and allowed a two-run single before retiring the final two batters of the inning. His second inning went better, allowing just one single around two strike outs and a ground out, but the damage had been done. Espinal allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three, putting his ERA with Iowa at 16.20 and his WHIP at 3.00.

A TOUGH DECISION: For the fifth time this year, Iowa lost a game started by Javier Assad, moving him to 0-2 on the year with Iowa. The righty spun his best game yet since his promotion, allowing just two earned runs on two hits while walking one and striking out eight. Both runs he allowed came on solo blasts after keeping Toledo hitless through the first four frames. It marked his second straight outing going at least five innings and allowing three or less earned runs, striking out 14 batters compared to just two walks.

EXTRA-BASE HICKS: Catcher John Hicks went 1-for-4 with a double last night, tying him for the team-lead with 15 doubles this year. Through his first five games this series, Hicks is now hitting .333 (6-for-18) with five runs scored. All six of his hits have gone for extra bases, with three doubles and three home runs. With those six extra-base hits he has driven in four runs, while walking once and striking out four times.

DEBUT DAY: The Cubs’ new No. 8 ranked prospect, Hayden Wesneski, will take the ball for his first start as an I-Cub today after joining the organization via trade on August 1. His first start with Iowa will be his 20th overall this season, with all of the previous 19 coming with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wesneski dominated for much of the season as a RailRider, tossing five or more innings in 13 of his 19 starts and limiting opponents to three or fewer earned runs in all but two of his outings. He has made five quality starts this year - five times more than his entire new team has completed in the same time - and won six decisions, which is more than any active Iowa pitcher. Wesneski comes into today’s game ranked third among qualified International League pitchers in WHIP (1.15) and fourth in ERA (3.51). Comparing his stats from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against his new teammates, Wesneski would rank first in starts and innings pitched (89.2) while landing second in starter ERA to Matt Swarmer (2.78) and second in strikeouts (83) to Caleb Kilian (89).

AGAINST TOLEDO: Toledo will enter the series finale today up 3-2 in the current series after their victory last night. The Mud Hens dominated last night in their 6-0 shutout win, holding Iowa to just six hits. The win gave them not only a one-game lead in the series, but also a one game lead in the season series at 9-8. They also took the season scoring lead by one run with their six-run win, going up 81-80. Toledo is now 18-11 all-time against Iowa while going 4-7 here at Principal Park against the I-Cubs.

SHORT HOPS: Iowa will play as the Demonios de Des Moines in today’s finale, wearing their alternate Demonios uniforms; so far this year, the I-Cubs are 2-2 in specialty uniforms…with Javier Assad throwing 5.1 innings last night, it marked just the second series this year in which Iowa has had two starts of more than five innings; the first time it happened was on May 10 and 14 against Omaha…Matt Mervis collected two hits last night, the only I-Cubs player to record a multi-hit game; he accounted for 33% of Iowa’s six hits as a team…Darius Hill had his career-high 12-game hitting streak snapped last night, going 0-for-3 out of the leadoff spot.