The Iowa Cubs and Nashville Sounds play the final game of a four-game series. The Sounds are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. This is the fourth game of an eight-game road trip to conclude the 2012 season. The Cubs are scheduled to finish the year with four games in New Orleans starting tomorrow night.
THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Four Nashville pitchers combined to shut out the Cubs in their 3-0 victory last night. Hiram Burgos (2-2) allowed four hits and struck out four in six innings for the win. Donovan Hand, Mitch Stetter, and Rob Wooten each pitched a scoreless inning. Wooten finished the ninth to earn his second save of this series and his seventh of the season. The Cubs have been shut out five times this year, including three times by the Sounds. Nashville blanked the Cubs 3-0 on April 28 and 6-0 in game two of a double-header on June 8.
TOUGH LUCK: Cubs' starter Ryan Rowland-Smith (3-6) allowed two runs on five hits in five innings for the loss last night. He is 1-2 despite a 2.40 ERA in his last three games as the Cubs have scored a total of four runs in those starts. Rowland-Smith has a 3.46 ERA (15ER/39IP) in eight starts this season, but the Cubs are 1-7 in those games. The Cubs have been shut out twice and held to one run in four of his starts. For the year, the Cubs have been held to one run or less in 27 games.
WHAT A RELIEF: Over the last 16 games, Cubs' relievers have allowed 14 earned runs in 55 innings for a 2.29 ERA. RH Jay Jackson pitched a perfect inning and has allowed just one unearned run in his last seven innings of work. RH Jairo Asencio finished the final inning on Tuesday night and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 9.1 innings pitched. RH Esmailin Caridad has not allowed a run in his last four innings pitched. RH Rafael Dolis hasn't allowed a run in his last 7.2 innings with Iowa.
FINISHING KICK: The Cubs went 6-2 against Tucson and Memphis, August 14-21, and won consecutive series for the first time this year. Since then, the Cubs have lost five of their last seven games and four in a row. The Cubs need a win tonight to avoid being swept in a series for the sixth time this year. The Cubs enter play tonight tied for their season-low at 33 games under .500.
VS. NASHVILLE: The Sounds lead this series 3-0 and lead the season series 9-6. Nashville has now won the seasons series against the Cubs in seven of the last eight years. Earlier this year, the teams split a pair of games and had two rained out at Principal Park in April. The Cubs won four of six, June 7-10 at Iowa. That series included two double-headers and the Sounds won the second game of each twin billl. The Sounds won three of four, June 30-July 3 in the Cubs' first visit to Greer Stadium this year. Last year, the Sounds won the season series 11-5, including five of eight in Nashville. The Cubs haven't won the season series against Nashville since going 12-4 in 2008. The Sounds lead the all-time PCL series 117-89 and hold a 63-39 advantage all-time in Nashville.
HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES: The Cubs lead all of minor league baseball with 54 one-run games this season. The team is 22-32 in one-run games, including an 8-22 mark on the road. This is the Cubs' highest total of one-run games since going 34-21 in 55 one-run games in 1993. The franchise record is 57 (31-26) in 1986. The Sounds are second in the PCL with 46 one-run games this season. The Cubs and Sounds are 4-4 in one-run games against each other this year.
THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS: The Cubs committed just 58 errors through their first 83 games this year and were leading the league in defense before a three error game in Nashville on July 1. Since then, the Cubs have committed 69 errors in 56 games and are currently tied with four teams for 12th in the league with a .975 fielding percentage. Last night, LH Ryan Rowland-Smith committed his third error of the year contributing to 11 total errors from the pitching staff this season.
THROWBACK NIGHT: The Cubs are wearing Iowa Oaks replica uniforms for tonight's throwback game. The Iowa franchise was called the Oaks from 1969-81. The 1969 season was the first year for Triple-A baseball in Des Moines. The Oaks were an affiliate of the Oakland A's (1969-72), the Chicago White Sox (1973-74, 76-80), the Houston Astros (1975), and the Chicago Cubs (1981) before changing to the current Iowa Cubs name in 1982. Notable almuni from the Oaks era include Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, Vida Blue, Joe Rudi, Harold Baines, and Tony LaRussa as both a player and a manager.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.