SOUTH BEND, IN -In Game 1 between the South Bend Cubs and the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Jose Paulino threw seven shutout innings while only allowing four hits to help the Cubs to a 1-0 victory with his best start of the season.
When the Chicago Cubs dealt their top-pitching prospect, Dylan Cease to the Chicago White Sox as part of a five-player deal for José Quintana, the South Bend Cubs lost their most reliable starter. Yet, with Paulino's outstanding outing, it looks like he is beginning to return to his remarkable 2016 form that helped the Cubs down the final stretch last season.
With the shutout, South Bend can now revel in the fact that they can compete, and win, against the best teams in the league with last night's 7-4 victory over the Western Division-leading Quad Cities River Bandits and tonight's 1-0 win over the third place Kernels.
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cubs got off to a good start with a run in the bottom of the first on Alberto Mineo's RBI-double to score Andruw Monasterio taking the first and only lead of the game.
After the first inning run from the Cubs, neither team scored throughout the remaining eight innings as both starters ruled the mound only allowing six total hits through the first seven frames.
In the top of the eighth, Cedar Rapids' Caleb Hamilton singled to put the tying run on first, but the Cubs responded by replacing Paulino on the mound with Wyatt Short who induced two consecutive groundouts to keep the Kernels potential tying run stranded.
Short then threw a groundout and picked up two strikeouts to end the game and nail down his ninth save of the season.
PAULINO'S REMARKABLE OUTING: After going 4-2 in with a 5.12 ERA in his first 12 games started, the Chicago Cubs No. 11 prospect worked flawlessly through seven and one-third innings only surrendering four hits to shutout the Kernels in Game 1 of the three-game series.
Since the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 20, Paulino has gone 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five appearances (one game started) to provide a little consistency in the midst of adverse times for the Cubs in the second half.
In 2016, the 6-foot-2 lefty went 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA while splitting time between Short-Season Eugene and South Bend. However, his 0.51 ERA in six games started for the Emeralds helped disguise his 3.51 ERA with the Cubs over seven games started last year.
Cubs: South Bend has not announced their starter for tomorrow as they are still realigning their rotation since losing Dylan Cease in the Chicago Cubs' trade with the Chicago White Sox that sent José Quintana to the North Side.
Kernals: Cedar Rapids will send Anthony Marzi to the mound for Game 2. Since signing with the Minnesota Twins on July 1, Marzi has gone 2-0 for the Kernals with a 0.66 ERA in two games started.
Photo credit: Emma Reese
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.