Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Triple-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Iowa Cubs Iowa Cubs

June 8 Game Notes: Iowa vs. Columbus

June 8, 2021

IOWA CUBS (10-18) vs. COLUMBUS CLIPPERS (10-19) Tuesday, June 8, 2021 • 6:38 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA RHP Robert Stock (0-3, 4.60) vs. RHP Eli Morgan (0-1, 20.25)


Tuesday, June 8, 2021 • 6:38 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA

RHP Robert Stock (0-3, 4.60) vs. RHP Eli Morgan (0-1, 20.25)

TONIGHT’S GAME: Iowa returns home tonight for the first of six games against Columbus. Robert Stock will make his second start out of the rotation after starting the year in the bullpen. He picked up the loss in his first start at Omaha last week after tossing four innings and allowing three earned runs. He’ll face off with righty Eli Morgan, who will take the ball for his fifth start of the year for Columbus.

NEXT MAN UP: After losing five position players to Chicago during the last home-stand, the I-Cubs’ starting rotation was the latest casualty of the Major League call-up during the road trip. Cory Abbott and Kohl Stewart both joined the big league roster, and neither made a start for Iowa during the series in Omaha. While Stewart was optioned yesterday and will return to Iowa for this homestand, he will serve as the only active piece of their season-opening rotation when he does. On top of Abbott’s departure, Shelby Miller’s release and the injuries to Ben Holmes and Joe Biagini - who is on the roster but hasn’t made a start since May 22 - have created a pretty high turnover rate in the rotation. In all, the I-Cubs have started 12 different pitchers in 28 games so far this season. The instability has taken a toll, as Iowa’s rotation holds a 3-14 record, with their last win coming from Kohl Stewart more than two weeks ago on May 20. The shortage is partly due to the fact that Iowa’s starters have completed the five innings required for a win in just 13 out of 28 games. The I-Cubs have received 11 starts of four innings or less and five starts of three innings or less so far this season.

BULLPEN BLUES: Iowa’s bullpen spent the first three weeks of the season on top of Triple-A baseball in almost every category, but things have gone in the opposite direction since then. In the first three series of the year, the bullpen owned a 2.19 ERA (17ER/70.0IP) and allowed nine home runs. In the two series since, they’ve pitched to a 7.21 ERA (39ER/48.2IP) - including an 8.06 (20ER/22.1IP) mark in the series at Omaha - and allowed 14 home runs.

TWO-TIMERS: Bubba Starling and Gabriel Cancel both had two-home run games on Sunday against the I-Cubs, marking the fifth and sixth players to accomplish the feat against Iowa’s pitching staff. All six of the multi-homer games have come in the last two weeks, with Damek Tomscha doing it first on May 29 for St. Paul and J.T. Riddle following him the next day. All four of the others occurred during the Omaha Series. Ryan O’Hearn hit two on June 4, Cancel hit two on June 6, and Starling hit a pair on both June 3 and June 6. Iowa is 0-6 in games in which an opposing player has a multi-home-run game.

BOMBS AWAY: Iowa’s pitching staff was hurt by the long ball in the series against Omaha, allowing 16 home runs over the six-game set. That’s the most homers the staff has allowed in a series so far this season, and it continues the upward trend that they’ve maintained so far this season. After allowing just four home runs in the first series against Indianapolis, the I-Cubs allowed eight homers in St. Paul, ten against Omaha, 11 against St. Paul at home, and then the 16 at Omaha. The 49 total home runs the pitching staff has allowed this season are the most in the Triple-A East, and third in Triple-A overall.

RACE TO THE BOTTOM: Iowa extended their losing streak to four on Sunday after dropping the series finale to Omaha. With the exception of their June 2 win at Omaha, the I-Cubs have now dropped 13 of their last 14. On May 21, the I-Cubs were 9-5, had won four straight games, and were just one half of a game out of first place. Over the 14 games since, the I-Cubs have been outscored 95-46 and have fallen to sixth place in the Triple-A East Midwest Division standings. They are ten-and-a-half games out of first place and sit only half a game ahead of the last-place Clippers, who they’ll face for the next six games. After winning two of their first three series and splitting the other, they have now lost their last two and have an overall run differential of -16.

HEATING UP: Over his last four games, infielder Andrew Romine has gotten hot at the plate. He has three multi-hit games, including two of his three three-hit games this season. The infielder is hitting .615 (8-for-13) with a double, triple, home run, two runs batted in and two walks since June 3. Over his first 23 games of the season, from May 4 to June 2, he only registered multi-hit games three times. He hit .182 (14-for-77) with four doubles, eight walks and 18 strikeouts over that span. Three of his six multi-hit games have come in his last four games as well as four of his seven extra-base hits on the year.

AGAINST COLUMBUS: Iowa and Columbus will face off for the first time in 2021. Before this year, Columbus had been a member of the International League since their founding in 1977. The Clippers were affiliated with Pittsburgh, New York-AL and Washington before beginning their relationship with Cleveland in 2008. The last time the I-Cubs faced a Cleveland affiliate was July 25, 1996, when they beat the Buffalo Dukes 8-6 on the road.

SHORT HOPS: Iowa’s pitching staff struck out only three batters on Sunday at Omaha, a season low... Iowa is 0-3 on the season when they get the same number of hits as their opponent...Avelino’s fielding error on Sunday extended the I-Cubs’ streak to eight straight games with an error.