Iowa Cubs (0-1) @ Round Rock Express (1-0)Thursday, Sept. 5 • 7:05 PM • Dell Diamond • Round Rock, TXRHP Tyson Miller (3-5, 7.58) vs. RHP Brandon Bielak (8-4, 4.41)
Iowa Cubs (0-1) @ Round Rock Express (1-0)
Thursday, Sept. 5 • 7:05 PM • Dell Diamond • Round Rock, TX
RHP Tyson Miller (3-5, 7.58) vs. RHP Brandon Bielak (8-4, 4.41)
TONIGHT'S GAME: Iowa makes its first postseason appearance since 2008 and just its fifth since joining the PCL in 1998. Including last night's loss, Iowa is 5-12 against the Express and 3-6 at Dell Diamond this season. Last night was Iowa's fourth extra-inning loss to Round Rock of the season.
AGAINST ROUND ROCK: Round Rock has had Iowa's number in recent seasons, holding a 51-27 edge since 2015. Iowa's last winning campaign vs. the Express came with a 9-7 season series in 2014.
ON THE HILL:Tyson Miller gets the ball against Round Rock tonight for the second time this season. Miller, 24, is the youngest pitcher on the I-Cubs' roster. The righty earned Southern League All-Star honors after going 4-3 with a 2.56 ERA through 15 starts with Double-A Tennessee, before he was called up to Iowa for the first time in July. Miller has tamed his Triple-A ERA to 4.86 (9ER/16.2IP) through his last three starts and has 17 strikeouts compared to five walks. He is coming off his first quality start with Iowa, having allowed three runs through 6.2 innings on Aug. 31 vs. Memphis.
ROSTER ROTATION: Since Sept. 1, Iowa has made 25 transactions. The club sent seven players to Chicago including pitchers Brad Wieck, Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay, Duane Underwood Jr, and position players Albert Almora Jr., Robel Garcia, and Taylor Davis. Charcer Burks and Jordan Minch, up from Double-A Tennessee, both made their Triple-A debuts over the weekend, while Craig Brooks and Michael Rucker also joined Iowa's roster from the Double-A affiliate. Yesterday, Iowa added catcher Jhonny Peralta and outfielder Connor Myers from Tennessee. It is both player's first stint on a Triple-A roster.
SIT 'EM DOWN: Matt Swarmer finished the season with a league-leading 137 strikeouts. Swarmer is just the fourth Iowa arm in history to accomplish the feat and the first since Paul Abbott had 127 Ks in 1995. He joins the company of Vida Blue (165K, 1970) and Bill Brennan (143K, 1993). Swarmer also finishes in a tie for third in the PCL in innings pitched (151.1) and tied for fifth in the league in wins (10).
WELL WHAT HAPPENED WAS: Last time the I-Cubs won their division, they faced the Oklahoma City Redhawks, a Texas Rangers' affiliate, and lost three games to two in the first round. Iowa's Game 5 was a 16-5 route in which the Redhawks out-hit the I-Cubs 12-10, but drew nine walks and blasted six home runs -- including a fourth-inning grand slam off the bat of Travis Metcalf. Iowa has won just one championship in its 51-season history with an American Association title in 1993. Tuffy Rhodes hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 7 to win it for the Iowa Cubs.
DOUBLE OR NOTHING:Phillip Evans collected his 30th double of the season Monday. Evans is the first Iowa Cubs with 30 two-baggers in a season since Jost Vitters (32) in 2012. Evans finished the regular season in a five-way tie for 11th in the PCL in doubles. Sacramento's Mike Gerber led the way with 41.
OVER THE LINE: Jim Adduci finished the regular season batting .301 after hitting .217 (23-for-106) through his first 33 games. He became the first I-Cub to hit over .300 with 100+ games in a season since Josh Vitters batted .304 through 110 games in 2012. Adduci is the first left-handed hitter to accomplish the feat since Brian LaHair hit .331 through 129 games in 2011.
HE'S A MACHINE:Vimael Machin is serving his third-career stint with Iowa and his second of 2019. Machin made his Triple-A debut with Iowa with a brief 14-game call-up in 2016. In 26 Triple-A games, Machin is batting .312 (15-for-48) with five RBI and a .459 on-base percentage. He's started just 10 times through his Iowa career.
EXTRA, EXTRA: With last night's extra-inning loss, Iowa fell to 6-8 when tied after eight innings and to 2-6 in extra frames. The I-Cubs are 1-4 all-time in postseason extra-inning contests. The one victory secured the American Association Championship for Iowa in 1993 with an 11-inning, walkoff win in Game 7.
SHORT HOPS: P.J. Higgins is batting .333 (24-for-72) with a .419 OBP through his last 23 games...Last night, Dillon Maples allowed his first runs with Iowa since July 31 and blew just his second save of the season.