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September 20 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs @ Omaha Storm Chasers

September 20, 2022

IOWA CUBS (64-77) @ OMAHA STORM CHASERS (69-72) Tuesday, September 20, 2022 • 6:35 PM • Werner Park • Papillion, NE RHP Matt Swarmer (3-3, 3.28) vs. RHP Daniel Mengden (7-5, 4.41)


Tuesday, September 20, 2022 • 6:35 PM • Werner Park • Papillion, NE

RHP Matt Swarmer (3-3, 3.28) vs. RHP Daniel Mengden (7-5, 4.41)

TONIGHT’S GAME: The I-Cubs and Storm Chasers will play game one of their six-game series tonight, with Matt Swarmer taking the ball for Iowa. Swarmer is set to pitch in his 20th game of the year for Iowa and make his 14th start, looking to get over the .500 mark. He enters tonight’s game with a 3-3 record and a 3.28 ERA this year, allowing 27 earned runs on 60 hits and 28 walks over 74.0 innings pitched. In those 74 innings he has struck out 81 batters, allowing his opponents to hit .214 against him. Swarmer has had success against the Storm Chasers this year, going 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two starts. In those two starts he has allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks, striking out 15 batters over 10.2 innings pitched. Omaha is hitting just .086 against Swarmer through the two games. On the other side, Daniel Mengden will toe the rubber for the Storm Chasers, set to make his 19th start of the year in his 24th game with Omaha. The righty is 7-5 with a 4.41 ERA, allowing 50 earned runs on 92 hits and 51 walks, striking out 85 batters along the way. He has allowed 19 home runs over his 102.0 innings, allowing opponents to hit .243 against him. In his lone start against Iowa this year, Mengden allowed just one earned run on four hits and four walks, striking out five over his 5.0 innings.

BACK-END BLUNDERS: In Iowa’s suspended game from Saturday that was completed on Sunday, the I-Cubs lost by a score of 8-4. They were up 1-0 after five innings, but then Memphis’ offense exploded for five runs. They did so against Cam Sanders, who suffered his eighth loss of the year and his first blown save, allowing five earned runs on three hits, three walks and a home run. Before that outing, Sanders had been great, not allowing an earned run over his last five games. Over those 10.1 innings, he had allowed five hits and six walks while striking out 11 batters. His five earned runs were the most he has allowed in a single outing since July 13 against Buffalo when he was still being used as a starting pitcher. Iowa’s offense came back with two more runs to trail 5-3, but the Redbirds struck again, for three more runs against Cayne Ueckert to put the game away. Ueckert allowed three earned runs on five hits and a walk over his two innings of work. The right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three outings and thrown just five scoreless outings over his last 17 games since June 24. Sanders and Ueckert combined to allow all eight runs Memphis scored in the game on eight of the 10 hits the I-Cubs gave up, surrendering four of the team’s six total walks.

THE STREAK LIVES ON: Back on May 29-June 15, Dixon Machado recorded a hitting streak of 14 games with Iowa, the longest for any I-Cubs player on the year at that time. Over those 14 games, the shortstop his .333 (19-for-57) with eight runs scored, four doubles and six runs batted in. He also took eight walks compared to striking out just five times, padding his on-base percentage to .415 over the stretch. Machado was traded to the San Francisco on July 31, playing his last game with Iowa on July 29. Despite not playing with the I-Cubs for the last two months of the season, his 14-game hitting streak still lives as the longest streak by any player on Iowa this year. With just nine games left and the longest active hitting streak at five games, nobody can surpass Machado’s streak. John Hicks would be the only player that is even able to tie it, if he plays in every single game the rest of the way and gets a hit in all nine games.

LIMITED OFFENSE: The I-Cubs scored just five runs in their 13-innings played on Sunday, six of those innings to complete Saturday’s suspended game and the other seven for Sunday’s series finale. Two of the five runs Iowa scored came on bases loaded hit by pitches, while the other three were all scored via the home run ball. In Saturday’s suspended game, the I-Cubs went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 men on-base. In the finale in which they scored just one run, they went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. After scoring seven runs in Friday’s win against Memphis, Iowa has scored just five runs on 16 hits, going 0-for-13 while leaving 19 runners on-base in their last two games. In those two games, they struck out a total of 19 times while taking five walks.

NEW SPOT, NO PROBLEM: Danis Correa started the resumption of the suspended game on Sunday and threw two perfect innings of relief. Although the effort counts as a relief effort for Correa, he started the game back up in the fourth inning, something he hasn’t done since 2017 in rookie-ball, where he made eight starts. Since then, the righty has made 62 straight relief appearances. Correa is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 games with Iowa this year.

BACK IN ACTION: Erick Castillo had been struggling at the plate recently, going 0-for-14 with two strikeouts over his last five games. Over that span from September 4 to September 14, he reached base just once when he got hit by a pitch. The catcher snapped out of the streak with a two-hit game in Saturday’s suspended game, going 2-for-4. It was his eighth multi-hit game of the year with the I-Cubs, getting two hits in 24% (8-of-34) of his games. Castillo’s five game hitless streak was his longest of the year with Iowa.

AGAINST OMAHA: Iowa and Omaha are set to play the final six-game series between the two teams and of their 2022 season. After this six-game series, each team will have just three games left on their schedule to complete the 2022 campaign. The I-Cubs and Storm Chasers have played 15 games so far this year, with Iowa currently leading the season series 11-4. With just six games left to play, they have officially won the season series against Omaha, entering the series up seven games on the year. In those first 15 games this year, Iowa is outscoring Omaha by 23 runs, at 80-57. In each of the first six-game series between the two teams, Iowa scored exactly 31 runs, scoring 18 runs in the three-game series after the All-Star break. Their 11 wins and four losses this year has moved their all-time record overall against Omaha to 320-293, going 143-158 on the road against the Storm Chasers.

SHORT HOPS: In Sunday’s series finale against Memphis, Iowa’s bullpen didn’t allow a single hit, marking the first time since June 28 against Columbus and just the fifth time all year the bullpen hasn’t surrendered a hit…Iowa’s pitching staff hit just one batter last series against Memphis, setting a season low for a six-game series; on the other side, Iowa got hit by six pitches last series, tying a season high for a six-game series…Darius Hill leads the team with 31 multi-hit efforts this year for Iowa, tying the amount of last year’s team leader, Abiatal Avelino, with nine games left to play.