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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Iowa Cubs dominant in final homestand series against St. Paul

The+Iowa+Cubs+dominated+the+St.+Paul+Saints+in+their+final+homestand+of+the+year%2C+winning+four+of+the+five+games.+The+Chicago+Cubs+will+now+look+to+create+similar+success+in+the+final+stretch+of+the+major+league+season.+PHOTO+courtesy+of+Flickr
The Iowa Cubs dominated the St. Paul Saints in their final homestand of the year, winning four of the five games. The Chicago Cubs will now look to create similar success in the final stretch of the major league season. PHOTO courtesy of Flickr

The Iowa Cubs opened their final homestand of the year against the St. Paul Saints on Sept. 12. Including that first game, the Cubs had a record of 3-1 on the homestand series, as of writing this article, before their final two games on Sept. 16-17. 

In their second to last game, on Sept. 16, the Iowa Cubs got off to a strong start in the first three innings. The Cubs scored three runs in the first inning on an RBI double by first baseman Matt Mervis and two runs on an error by Saints shortstop Hernán Pérez. In the second inning, the Iowa Cubs put up another run on a leadoff home run by third baseman Chase Strumpf, extending their lead to 4-0. In the third inning, the Cubs scored two more runs on an RBI single by left fielder Brennen Davis and a sacrifice fly by center fielder Cole Roederer, extending their lead to 6-0.

The Cubs scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth to extend their lead to 7-2 and would go on to win by a score of 7-5.

Some notable offensive performances include designated hitter Jared Young, who had two hits in four at-bats, including a triple alongside a run. Strumpf went 2-4, with the only home run of the night for either team. On the pitching side, Caleb Kilian went six innings only allowing three hits, two earned runs, one walk and struck out four, delivering a quality start.

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The Iowa Cubs have enjoyed a successful 2023 season, improving to a 78-62 record  and trailing the St. Paul Saints by only one game for first place in the West International League standings.

The Chicago Cubs roster has had some major changes within the past couple of weeks. The Cubs have called up their No. 25 prospect reliever Luke Little, No. 14 prospect outfielder Alexander Canario, No. 10 ranked prospect starting pitcher Jordan Wicks and No. 1 prospect — ranked No. 12 in all of MLB — outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong.

These four prospects enjoyed a successful stint with the Iowa Cubs this season, with Canario putting up a .276 batting average, an .866 OPS with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 36 games. Crow-Armstrong, meanwhile, had a .271 batting average, an .829 OPS, six home runs, 22 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Wicks made seven starts for the Iowa Cubs, posting three wins and no losses, a 3.82 ERA over 33 innings and 1.182 WHIP. Little made eight relief appearances for the Iowa Cubs, totaling a 1.54 ERA and 1.286 WHIP over 11.2 innings and striking out 16.2 batters per nine innings.

The Cubs called up these four prospects in their pursuit of a playoff push. Wicks perhaps has had the biggest impact so far, filling a big hole in the Cubs starting rotation after a recent injury to starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. Wicks has three wins and no losses in his first four major league starts, with a 1.99 ERA over 22.2 innings pitched and a 1.059 WHIP.

Canario has only had one plate appearance in the major leagues, with it ending in a strikeout. Little has made two big league relief appearances, pitching a scoreless ninth inning while striking out two in his MLB debut. Crow-Armstrong has gone hitless in his first eight major league at bats but showed off his stellar defense in his first MLB start against Colorado, making two highlight reel catches in the outfield.

With the Chicago Cubs calling up some of their top prospects for a playoff push, the Iowa Cubs also look to finish the season with the top overall record in the International League West.

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