Iowa Cubs (55-44) @ Nashville Sounds (41-57)
Saturday, July 20 • 7:05 p.m. • First Tennessee Park • Nashville, TN
RHP Colin Rea (11-2, 3.17) vs. RHP Seth Maness (5-3, 5.55)
TONIGHT'S GAME: Iowa and Nashville play the second game of the set tonight at First Tennessee Park. The I-Cubs narrowly missed a come-back victory last night as they scored three in the eighth to pull within a run after trailing by at least three runs since the second inning. The rally fell short as Iowa fell to 17-13 in one-run games -- a mark that still paces the PCL.
REA-N MAN: Iowa turns to Colin Rea to make the start tonight. The righty leads the PCL with a 3.17 ERA and 11 wins, while placing in the top-five in nearly every pitching category. With win number 12, Rea would be the first I-Cub since Jake Buchanan in 2016 to claim a dozen victories in a season. The last Iowa pitcher with more wins was Nate Teut with a 13-8 campaign in 2001.
POWER PUNCH: Iowa gave up eight home runs Thursday to set a franchise record. The previous mark was set on July 26, 2007 against Colorado Springs. Three different I-Cubs allowed homers in the game including a career-high three powered off starter Tyson Miller and three off catcher Taylor Davis in the ninth inning. Nashville kept the trend and tagged Iowa pitching with four home runs last night -- three off of starter Matt Swarmer. Swarmer is tied with New Orleans' Hector Noesi with the PCL lead in home runs with 26. Swarmer also moved into a tie with Mitch Atkins (2009) for fourth-all time in Iowa franchise history in single season home runs.
BATTING CAGES: Oklahoma City tagged Iowa pitching with 18 runs off 20 hits Thursday. It was the most hits in a game for an Iowa opponent since the staff allowed 21 on April 27, 2013 at Omaha. 18 earned runs marked the team's highest total since matching a franchise record with 19 earned runs allowed on May 13, 2011 vs. Colorado Springs. Iowa dropped that series 1-3 and was outscored 53-31 as the Sky Sox put up double-digit runs in each of the four games.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Mark Zagunis has not reached base in two-consecutive games as an I-Cub for the first time since June 3-5, 2018. Through a span of 300 games across four seasons with Iowa (2016-19), Zagunis has reached base in 246 contests. He holds a career .275 batting average and a 388 OBP and has 174 walks against 290 strikeouts.
AGAINST NASHVILLE: Iowa and Nashville last met for a five-game series at Principal Park April 24-28 in which the I-Cubs took the series 3-2. In the final game of the set, the two teams totaled 34 runs, 36 hits, 34 walks, nine home runs, 15 pitchers used and 585 pitches thrown. The action lasted 5 hours and 12 minutes as Iowa won the game 19-5. Iowa set a franchise record with 15 runs in the first inning and tied a modern PCL record (since 1958) with first-inning runs. The I-Cubs also set a franchise mark with 15 walks in the game.
BULLPEN BOMBINGS: Iowa's bullpen was dominant through 12 games June 18-30, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.20 ERA (5ER/37.1IP), 11 walks, 48 strikeouts and no home runs allowed. In 16 games since, Iowa relievers are 3-3 with a 5.20 clip (36ER/62.1IP), 35 walks, 88 strikeouts and 10 long balls. The 'pen has put together five scoreless outings in this span, including a dominant 5.1 shutout frames on Wednesday in which the staff allowed just three hits, walked none and fanned nine.
HOME RUN HIGHWAY: Iowa has given up at least one home run in 10-straight games for a total of 27 over this span. Offensively, the I-Cubs have homered in 10 of their last 12 games with a total of 18 long balls. Iowa has allowed the fifth-fewest home runs in the PCL with 132, but has allowed the third-most since June 30 with 35 over 17 games.
WALK THIS WAY: Ian Happ drew a pair of walks last night to capture sole possession of the PCL lead with 61 walks this season. Happ is closing in on his career high of 70 free passes set in 2018 with Chicago. If Happ maintains his walk rate, he would be the first I-Cub to lead the league in walks since Daniel Vogelbach did so with 97 free passes in 2016 -- though the first baseman was traded to Seattle in July and spent the latter half of the season with Tacoma. Prior, Mark Gillaspie was the last I-Cub to accomplish the feat with 77 walks in 1985.
SHORT HOPS: Phillip Evans went 2-for-4 last night and leads the team with 27 multi-hit games this season...Iowa is 12-13 in the first game of a series this season...Matt Swarmer fanned eight last night -- one shy of a season high.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.