Iowa Cubs Game Notes - September 5 vs. Colorado Springs

By Iowa Cubs | September 5, 2016 1:15 PM

TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and Colorado Springs play the final game of 2016 today. Iowa goes for the series sweep and if successful, would execute its third season-ending sweep since 2005 (Omaha (2006) and Oklahoma City (2014)). Iowa has swept every home finale of the last three seasons with is last loss in the final set at Principal Park coming in 2012. Despite a losing season, Iowa has ended on a high note by winning 20 of its last 30 games and going 17-12 in August. Colorado Springs was in the pennant race until a week ago but has been stifled by Iowa in this series, getting outscored 13-4 in the first three games. The Sky Sox will finish second in the PCL American North Division and the Iowa Cubs will trail in third. 

ABOUT YESTERDAY: Drew Rucinski took a perfect game bid into the fifth inning, but a single by Josmil Pinto with one out ended the effort. It was the second time this season Rucinski had a viable perfect game going as he pitched flawlessly into the sixth inning on May 27 against Albuquerque. Rucinski still ended up with the win after 7.2 innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Taylor Davis and John Andreoli helped the offense with three walks each, while Bijan Rademacher and Munenori Kawasaki each tabbed multi-hit games. 

ATTENTION GETTERS: Iowa has had a record-breaking season, some in the less-desirable categories and some in more positive light. Drew Rucinski ends his season third in franchise history in earned runs allowed (103), tied for fifth in starts (28) and tied for second in losses (15). Armando Rivero also writes his name in the book, ranking fourth with 12 holds. John Andreoli claims the record for strikeouts in a season (161), is third in walks (61), and tied for third in games played (139). 

OUR ALL-STAR: Armando Rivero put the cap on a brilliant season with 2.2 one-hit innings of work Saturday. The righty posted a 2.13 ERA in his second full season with Iowa and amassed a 5-3 record. The 2016 PCL All-Star whiffed 105 batters in 67.1 innings to pace the league in strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio (13.97) and also leads the PCL with a .169 opponent batting average. The righty set career bests in ERA, innings pitched (67.1), wins and whiffed batters. 

TEAM TOGETHER: Iowa has set several records as a team as well. The squad comes in at second in franchise history in GIPD (132), is third in triples (51) and second in strikeouts from the pitching staff (1189). If the I-Cubs can post a flawless game today, they would set a new record for fewest errors in a season with 96. 

END ON A HIGH NOTE: Munenori Kawasaki took a few days off after hitting a 0-17 skid and nursing a thumb injury. He came back with fire yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. It was the shortstop's first multi-hit game since he went 3-for-3 on July 21 against Salt Lake. 

AGAINST COLORADO SPRINGS: Iowa and Colorado Springs will end up with a rain-shortened 15-game matchup this season. Iowa secured the season series with a win yesterday, edging the Sky Sox 8-6. The I-Cubs also lead in all-time series 106-87. Logan Watkins has excelled against Colorado Springs this season as he has hit to a .467 average (14-for-30) with seven RBI. John Andreoli has also done his fair share of damage vs. the Sky Sox, collecting a .360 average (18-for-50) with 10 extra-base hits -- including three homers -- and 12 walks. 

POWER PLAY: The Iowa starting staff has stepped up and contributed 24.2, three-run innings over its last five games. Both Drew Rucinski and Jordan Pries contributed quality starts and wins in this span. Through these five games, starters have walked five and struck out 25. 

NOW WALK IT OUT: Taylor Davis has been a walking machine, grabbing eight free passes in his last four games -- including three, two times. Davis has 30 walks on the season, and has drawn 18 of them in 18 games since August 10. . 

CAN'T STOP THE FEELIN': John Andreoli matched his season-best with a nine-game hitting streak. The outfielder is 11-for-35 with four doubles, four RBI, seven stolen bags and six walks over this span. 

TRIPLE DIP: Drew Rucinski helped his effort yesterday with an RBI triple off the wall. It was the first triple of his career and Iowa's first since August 22 at Memphis. 

CLIMBING Ks: John Andreoli secured the Iowa franchise record for strikeouts in a season with 161 on the year. Andreoli whiffed a season-high 44 times in May but had seen a dip in his Ks as the season went on. The outfielder has returned to old habits as of late, striking out 15 times in his last 10 games. 

ROAD RUNNER: John Andreoli nabbed his 41st stolen base of the season yesterday to reach 200 career minor league stolen bases and has at least one in each of his last five games. Andreoli is the first PCL player to swipe 40-plus bags in a season since Dee Gordan in 2013 (49).

BYE, BYE, BYE: Iowa whiffed 10 Sky Sox batters last night to bring its season total to 1189. This mark ranks second in Iowa franchise history for the most strikeouts in a season, trailing only the 2001 squad with 1228. The I-Cubs struck out a season-best 18 batters on August 13 at Fresno. 

THE I-CUBS ARE MY CUBS: Iowa has welcomed 495,050 fans to Principal Park this season. It needs less than 5,000 fans today reach half a million fans for the second year running. Currently, Iowa ranks fifth in the PCL, averaging 7,389 fans per contest. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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