Being on the road can be difficult for young players. For the South Bend Cubs, this past week’s road trip was a disaster. Going to Great Lakes and Lansing, the Cubs lost six of seven on the short jaunt. It was equally disheartening as Jake Stinnett went on the DL for 7 days, eliminating nearly all positive aspects of the week.
The penultimate blow was a 17-2 loss on Thursday to Lansing that resulted in a four game sweep. Things appeared to go from bad to worse that night as Gleyber Torres tweaked his hamstring running to first; he was removed from the game and missed the next two nights.
When the Cubs returned home on Friday, they rode the arm of Ryan Williams to a victory as the big righty got 16 groundball outs over 8 innings. Williams did not allow a run in the 3-2 victory. James Farris came in to lock up the save after Brad Markey struggled to close it out and the losing streak ended at six.
Also coming back to life this weekend was Jake Stinnett, who made his way into the rotation after spending some time on the DL. Stinnett looked really good as he went three innings, gave up one run, and struck out three. It was one of his better outings of the year. Tommy Thorpe could not hold the 3-1 lead and the Cubs lost 6-3.
On Sunday, Jeremy Null was on the mound and he was dealing. The Cubs used a series of singles in the bottom of the fifth to defeat Bowling Green 6-2. Null did give up a massive home run to Tampa Bay prospect Casey Gillaspie but it did no harm at that point in the game. Null struck out four over six innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. His ERA is at 1.89.
For Gleyber Torres, he returned to the lineup and it was as if he never left, going 2-4 with 2 RBIs. Now hitting .331, the young prospect does not look challenged much at this level.
By taking two out of three this weekend, the Cubs are slowly shaking off the losing streak and creeping back towards .500 at 20-24 on the season.
The Cubs are home Monday afternoon in the series finale against Bowling Green. Eric Leal takes the mound before South Bend takes off to Dayton and Lake County for the rest of the week.
Who’s Hot – Pitchers
Ryan Williams – After a 0.46 ERA in April, he has stayed steady in May going 2-1 with 0.69. He could be organizational pitcher of the month if he has another good start later this week.
Jeremy Null – At 5-1, his ERA for the year is a very good 1.89.
James Farris – A month ago, his ERA was well over 5 and now is down to 2.37. In addition, he strikes out over 1.5 per inning and has accumulated 6 saves on the month. Yeah, I’d say he is hot.
Who’s Hot – Hitters
Gleyber Torres – I don’t think he has cooled off yet. He is hitting .351 over his last ten and now is the team leader in RBIs, mostly from the number two spot.
Cael Brockmeyer – He is hitting .324 over his last ten with 1 HR and 6 RBIs. He is the heart and power of this lineup in the cleanup spot.
Andrew Ely – He had big shoes to fill after replacing Chesny Young. In just 8 games at South Bend, Ely (pronounced E-Lee) he has hit .296.
Gioskar Amaya – After focusing on the transition to catcher in April and early May, his hitting is now catching up. His bat has produced an average over .300 for his last ten games. Amaya has brought his average up to .227 from its low of .192.