Jen-Ho Tseng struggled in his Triple-A debut, but came away with the win. Chicago's No. 21 prospect didn't really show the Pacific Coast League what he was capable of until the second time he took the mound.The 22-year-old right-hander scattered three hits and a walk while striking out eight over
Jen-Ho Tseng struggled in his Triple-A debut, but came away with the win. Chicago's No. 21 prospect didn't really show the Pacific Coast League what he was capable of until the second time he took the mound.
The 22-year-old right-hander scattered three hits and a walk while striking out eight over seven innings in Iowa's 1-0 shutout of the visiting Nashville Sounds on Monday.
"Tseng throws a cutter and he didn't have it the last outing," I-Cubs pitching coach Rod Nichols said. "This outing, he did have it and that got some key outs. His changeup was outstanding too."
Gameday box score
Back in the Double-A Southern League after going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA over 22 starts there last year, Tseng posted a 7-3 record with a 2.99 ERA over 15 starts this season before his promotion on July 9. The native of Taiwan is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA over 12 1/3 innings with Iowa.
"What was fun to watch was him and the catcher, Taylor Davis. They had a gameplan for each at-bat, and he executed it," Nichols said. "The sequences they put together were outstanding. That was what made it really fun to watch."
That helped the right-hander rack up five punchouts through the first five frames, and his pitching coach was impressed with the way the battery made adjustments deeper in the game.
"The gameplan they had, they didn't stick with it the whole time, because they danced around and shifted it here and there," said Nichols, a veteran of seven big league seasons. "But each at-bat, they knew what they wanted to with each hitter. That was like, 'Wow, all right.'"
Tseng shrugged off a first-inning base hit by No. 17 A's prospectMatt Olson and retired 10 in a row. Joey Wendle, ranked No. 20, led off the fifth with a double up the middle. Tseng retired the next two batters, but lost a six-pitch battle and walked Beau Taylor. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound hurler got out of the inning when Ryan Lavarnway grounded out.
"That was basically the only inning he had to work a little bit," Nichols said, "but he was on time."
Tseng tossed a 1-2-3 sixth and stranded 19th-ranked Renato Núñez at first after a leadoff single in the seventh. By the end of the frame, he had thrown 63 of 89 pitches for strikes.
"We weren't going to send him out in the eighth and have him lose the game. He did his job and he did it efficiently and well," the Iowa pitching coach said. "This wasn't the night to push him."
Iowa's Elliot Soto went 2-for-3 with a homer.
Olson finished 2-for-4 with a triple for the Sounds.
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.