The Iowa Cubs and Nashville Sounds play the final game of a four-game series. The Sounds are the PCL affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. This is the fourth game of an eight-game home stand at Principal Park. The Memphis Redbirds, PCL affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, will be the Cubs' opponent for the final four games of the home stand starting tomorrow night.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT: The Sounds recorded their third straight win against the Cubs with a 2-1 victory in 10 innings last night at Principal Park. Brendan Katin singled in Ray Olmedo with the go-ahead run in the 10th. Olmedo also scored the Sounds' first run on a base hit by Trent Oeltjen in the first inning after bouncing a triple down the right field line. RH Mitch Atkins (0-1) gave up the hit to Katin in the 10th and was tagged with the loss. John Axford (1-0) pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief and picked up the win for Nashville. Chris Smith finished the 10th inning and earned his second save.
LAST TO WIN: The Cubs are the last team in the Pacific Coast League without a win. The last time the Cubs started the season 0-3 was in 2003 when they dropped a three-game series against Nashville at Greer Stadium. The team also dropped the first game of their next series at Memphis for an 0-4 start to the season. The team's longest streak of starting the season without a win is five games, set in 2005.
COLD BATS: The Cubs are off to a slow start offensively, batting .182 (13-for-99) with a total of six runs scored through the first three games of the season. The Cubs are one of four teams in the PCL with a team average under .200. Colorado Springs (.196), Tacoma (.170), and New Orleans (.169) are also under the Mendoza Line. Of the four, the Cubs have scored the most runs. The Sky Sox and Rainiers are tied with five while the Zephyrs have tallied four times through three games.
UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY: Coming into this season, Mitch Atkins had only five relief appearances in 132 professional games. His loss last night was his first losing decision in relief since August 5, 2007 against Montgomery in his first game at Double-A. His only other decision as a reliever is a win on July 17, 2004 in the Arizona Rookie League against the Padres.
VS. NASHVILLE: The Sounds lead this series 3-0. The Cubs and Sounds square off in eight of the first 12 games of the season with the Cubs serving as the opponent for the Sounds home opener on April 16th at Greer Stadium. These two teams are scheduled to square off a total of 16 times this year. Last year, the Sounds won the season series 9-7 and the teams split the season series at Principal Park 4-4. Nashville won seven of eight match-ups between April 28 and June 4, but the Cubs won four of the last five. Since joining the PCL, Nashville leads the all-time series 85-72, but the Cubs hold a 41-37 edge at Principal Park.
STRETCHING OUT: Cubs' starter Thomas Diamond worked five innings last night in just his second start of the last two seasons. The last time Diamond worked five innings was July 25, 2008 in win over San Antonio for double-A Frisco in the Texas League.
MICAH'S MILESTONE: Micah Hoffpauir's home run on Friday night was the 100th minor league home run of his career. He has also hit 12 home runs in the major leagues. The round tripper was the 60th of his Iowa career. He is one behind Bill Hayes (1981-84, '86) for sixth and two behind Brooks Kieschnick (1995-97) for fifth place on the Iowa career home run list. Jason Dubois is second on that list. His home run on Friday night was the 69th of his Iowa career. Brad Snyder and Bryan LaHair are also closing in on 100 career minor league home runs. Snyder has 99 and LaHair has 96.
HALL OF FAME SKIPPER: Chicago Cubs legend and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will be Iowa's manager this year. It's Sandberg's fourth season as a minor league skipper, but his first at Triple-A. Sandberg compiled a 202-215 in two years with single-A Peoria (2007-08) and last year at Double-A Tennessee. He did lead the Smokies to the second half division title last year and the team advanced to the Southern League Championship series, before losing to Jacksonville three games to one. Sandberg played 15 seasons for the Chicago Cubs and was the 1984 National League MVP. He is a 10-time All-Star and won nine Gold Glove Awards. Sandberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 31, 2005 and the Cubs retired his #23 on August 28, 2005. He is the only member of the Hall of Fame currently managing in minor league baseball.
UPCOMING PROBABLES (times CT)
|Monday, April 12
||RH Brandon Dickson (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Mike Parisi (0-0, 0.00)
|Tuesday April 13
||LH Evan MacLane (0-0, 5.40) vs LH J.R. Mathes (0-1, 9.00)
|Wednesday April 14
||RH Lance Lynn (0-0, 9.00) vs RH Jay Jackson (0-1, 5.40)
|Thursday April 15
||LH Rich Hill (1-0, 1.50) vs RH Thomas Diamond (0-0, 1.80)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.