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September 21 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs @ Omaha Storm Chasers

September 21, 2022

IOWA CUBS (65-77) @ OMAHA STORM CHASERS (69-73) Wednesday, September 21, 2022 • 12:05 PM • Werner Park • Papillion, NE Game One: LHP Wyatt Short (5-2, 3.43) vs. LHP Angel Zerpa (0-0, 1.80) Game Two: TBD (0-0, -.--) vs. LHP Austin Cox (7-7, 4.19)


Wednesday, September 21, 2022 • 12:05 PM • Werner Park • Papillion, NE

Game One: LHP Wyatt Short (5-2, 3.43) vs. LHP Angel Zerpa (0-0, 1.80)

Game Two: TBD (0-0, -.--) vs. LHP Austin Cox (7-7, 4.19)

TODAY’S GAMES: The I-Cubs and Storm Chasers will play game two and three of their six-game series this afternoon, with Wyatt Short facing off against Angel Zerpa in game one of the doubleheader. Short will look to take the team-lead in the win column, entering today’s game with a 5-2 record and a 3.43 ERA. The southpaw has made five consecutive starts for Iowa after making just one in his first 19 games to start the year. In all, he has allowed 24 earned runs on 53 hits and 31 walks while striking out 55 batters over 63.0 innings pitched over 24 games for the I-Cubs. Zerpa is set to make his fifth start of the year for the Storm Chasers, spending the majority of his season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He has made 13 starts for the Naturals, pitched in three games for Kansas City and made four starts with Omaha entering today’s game. Over those four games, he has allowed just one earned run on two hits and one walk. The earned run and two hits allowed both came against Iowa back on July 22. In the second game of the doubleheader, Iowa’s pitcher is to be determined, while Austin Cox will toe the rubber for the Storm Chasers in the second game, set to pitch in his 28th game with Omaha and make his 25th start. In his first 27 games, the southpaw is 7-7 with a 4.19 ERA, allowing 63 earned runs on 152 hits and 48 walks while striking out 89 batters. Opponents are hitting .280 against him in his 135.1 innings, while Iowa is hitting .240 as a team against him in 13.0 innings. He is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts against Iowa, allowing six earned runs on 12 hits and three walks while striking out eight.

GOING YARD: In just his fifth game back after not playing for two weeks, Alexander Canario was responsible for four of Iowa’s 12 runs scored last night. The outfielder clubbed his first Triple-A home run in the first inning, a solo home run to give Iowa an early 1-0 lead. It was his first home run since he hit two in his final game with Double-A Tennessee on August 21. The Cubs’ No. 9 ranked prospect hit a two-run shot in the fourth and another solo blast in the seventh to give him a three-home run game. It was the first three-home run game of his career and the ninth career multi-home run game of his career. Canario now has 34 home runs this year, tying him for third with Matt Mervis among all Minor League players this year, both three behind the leader. He is the first Iowa Cubs player to have three home runs in a single game since Mike Freeman did so on April 30, 2018, also against the Omaha Storm Chasers at Principal Park.

SHORT START: When Wyatt Short takes the mound in game one today, it will be for his fifth consecutive start for the I-Cubs. Entering the 2022 season, Short had logged just two career starts in 171 appearances, but as of today, he has started six of 24 games he has appeared in this season. Despite his inexperience as a starter, Short has pitched at least four innings in all six starts, earning the win in three of them. His most recent start against Memphis is the only one of the six that has seen him allow more than one earned run, and in that start he allowed just two. He has recorded more strikeouts than walks in each of the six starts and now holds a 1.61 ERA (5ER/28.0IP) out of the rotation. That compares to a 4.89 mark (19ER/35.0IP) when pitching out of the bullpen. Short has already set single-season career highs in starts and innings pitched (63.0IP), while his 55 strikeouts put him 11 away from tying his career high in that category. The southpaw is also just one win away from tying his single-season career high for wins, and the five victories he has already collected are tied for most on the I-Cubs’ active roster.

DID HIS PART: Jonathan Holder relieved Iowa’s starter Matt Swarmer last night, stranding a runner to put an end to Omaha’s five-run third inning. Holder came back out and threw two more innings and did not allow a single base runner. The righty retired all seven batters he faced, throwing 2.1 perfect innings, striking out three of the seven batters he retired. Holder was Iowa’s only pitcher to not allow an earned run, while two allowed one earned run and the other two allowed four and five earned runs, respectively.

DOING DAMAGE: Alexander Canario and John Hicks combined to hit a double and all four of Iowa’s home runs last night, driving in nine of the team’s 12 total runs. Canario went 3-for-5 with three home runs, driving in four runners out of the two-hole. From the cleanup spot, Hicks did his part, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run of his own, driving in five. Hicks extended his hitting streak to six games, three shy of his season-long nine game streak done back on May 26 to June 7. The catcher is hitting .259 on the year, but is hitting .282 (80-for-284) with 22 doubles and 18 home runs since May 5. In those 76 games, he has also driven in 48 runs. It’s not all offense for Hicks, as he has also thrown out 20% of runners this year, good for the best rate on the team.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Iowa is set to play in their fifth official doubleheader of the season today, and they bring an 0-2-2 record in with them. The majority of the I-Cubs’ doubleheader days have been on the road, with the sole exception being August 3, when they played two against Toledo. After being swept on April 8 in Buffalo and then swept again in Toledo on June 9, the I-Cubs have split both of their two most recent doubleheaders, including the one at Principal Park and their most recent chance on September 4 in Columbus. On top of the four official doubleheaders, Iowa has also played more than one game twice this year due to suspended contests. The first one of those matchups was September 9 in Jacksonville and the second was last Sunday against Memphis. On both of those occasions, Iowa lost both the conclusion of the suspended game as well as the seven-inning contest that followed.

AGAINST OMAHA: Iowa and Omaha are set to play games two and three of their six-game series today, with Iowa currently leading the series 1-0 after their 12-11 win last night. The I-Cubs and Storm Chasers have played 16 games this year entering today, with Iowa currently leading the season series 12 games to 4. Through those 16 games, Iowa is outscoring the Storm Chasers by 24 runs, at 92-68. Their 12-4 record against Omaha this year puts their overall all-time record at 321-293, going 144-158 on the road against the Storm Chasers. After scoring 12 runs last night, Iowa has now scored five or more runs in 11 of their 16 games against Omaha.

SHORT HOPS: This series marks the last chance for Iowa this year to earn a series win on the road, entering the series with no road series wins, five road series ties and six road series losses so far in 2022…with zero errors last night, Iowa is currently on their longest errorless game streak (five) of the season…the I-Cubs took nine walks last night, tying their season high; it was the fourth time this year they have taken nine walks and the first since April 26…four home runs in a single game for Iowa ties their season high set back on April 19 against Louisville…last night marked the first win of the year for Iowa when they allow 10 or more runs; entering the game they were 0-15 this year when allowing 10+ runs.