SOUTH BEND, IN - While the common fan might think that a matchup between two of the top three teams in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League would see a significant amount of offense, Tuesday morning's game developed into a rubber-game between the South Bend Cubs and Dayton Dragons. Though neither team scored in the first 6 1/2 innings, Wladimir Galindo homered in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cubs the one run needed to secure the 1-0 win.
The game saw only seven hits between both teams while a total of 14 runners were left on base. The Cubs (24-13) made up for last night's loss with today's victory and are once again 1.5 games out of first place behind the Dragons (26-12) and the West Michigan Whitecaps (25-12).
SHUTOUT CONTRIBUTORS: Cubs starting pitcher, Bryan Hudson put together his best outing of the season against the Eastern Division leading Dayton Dragons. In 5.0 innings pitched, Hudson shutout the Dragons offense while only allowing three hits.
In 11 innings pitched so far in the month of May, Hudson has a 1.64 ERA, which is nearly 8.5 runs better than his 10.13 ERA throughout two games started in April.
"I've been working towards it all spring and as I got here so it felt really good," Hudson said of his best performance. "Today I had solid command of all of my pitches, but I felt best about my rhythm; no matter what happened, I kept the same tempo and I think that's what made it the best for me today."
Duncan Robinson came in to relieve for Hudson beginning in the sixth inning. While throwing 4.0 inning of relief, Robsinon picked up his fifth win of the season to make him 5-1 with a 1.34 ERA and earn South Bend their fourth shutout of the year.
"I'm very privileged to have [Robinson] behind me because I think me and him are a great duo and he's a fantastic pitcher all around," said Hudson about Robinson's efforts to hold on to the shutout. "No matter where he comes in, he's going to get the job done."
This season it has been apparent that Team Manager Jimmy Gonzalez plans to use Robinson's pitching versatility as both a starter and reliever. So far this season, the Dartmouth alum has proved he can excel regardless of when he enters the game.
As a starter he is 2-1 in three games started while his other three wins have come over the span of four relief appearances.
"Having a shutout always puts some pressure on," said Robinson who entered with the game tied 0-0. "It's funny because before the game I was telling Brian [Lawrence], 'this time we're going to do it, just us two. We're going to finish the game, and not use the bullpen.' After the game we kinda just looked at each other and smiled and said, 'we did what we said what we we're going to do.'"
MINIMAL OFFENSE: The first and only run of the ballgame came in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wladimir Galindo's solo home run to right-centerfield to give South Bend the first lead of the ballgame as well as their first lead of the three-game series.
Dayton had runners on first and second base with two outs in the fourth and fifth innings; however, a groundout and a strikeout prevented the Dayton offense from scoring on either of the two chances.
The Cubs did not have a runner in scoring position all game, but there was no need for one as Galindo's homer provided all the offense the Cubs needed to tie the series 1-1 heading into tomorrow's final game.
REMARKABLE DEFENSE: A handful of Top-10 worthy plays were made, most of which came from second base throughout the early morning game.
South Bend's defensive highlight reel immediately continued from the night before with Zack Short's impressive stop at second base as he threw the ball while falling to the ground to record the out and add to his resume of impressive defensive plays. Short also went on to make notable backhanded plays in the third and fourth innings.
The Dragons second baseman, Brantley Bell also showed an impressive glove, snagging Isaac Paredes hard hit grounder behind second base to record the first out of the fourth inning. Yet, after so many impressive stops coming from Short, Bell's play almost seemed routine.
Cubs: Manuel Rondon is scheduled to start tomorrow's 10:35 a.m. final game of the three-game series. The left-hander is 4-1 with a 4.91 ERA in seven games this season.
Dragons: The Cincinnati Reds' Midwest League affiliate will send Max Wotell to the mound in the final game of the series before heading back home to take on the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Wotell's only outing this season lasted a short 3.0 innings while giving up two earned runs for a 6.00 ERA.
Photo credit: Emma Reese
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.