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September 13 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints

September 13, 2023

IOWA CUBS (74-62) vs. ST. PAUL SAINTS (80-58) Wednesday, September 13 • 12:08 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA RHP Nick Neidert (5-7, 5.60) vs. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (6-6, 5.07)

IOWA CUBS (74-62) vs. ST. PAUL SAINTS (80-58)

Wednesday, September 13 • 12:08 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA

RHP Nick Neidert (5-7, 5.60) vs. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (6-6, 5.07)

TODAY’S GAME: Iowa and St. Paul will play game two of their six-game series today, with St. Paul currently leading the series after their victory in the opener last night. Iowa will send Nick Neidert to the mound looking to even the series, his 24th start of the year and 27th game overall with Iowa. In his first 26 games, Neidert is 5-7 with a 5.60 ERA, allowing 66 earned runs on 125 hits and 40 walks, striking out 80 batters in 106.0 innings pitched. The righty is second among active I-Cubs starters in innings pitched and first in games started. In three starts against the Saints this year, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs on 19 hits and five walks, striking out 15 batters in 11.1 innings pitched. St. Paul has hit .339 against him as a team entering today’s game. On the other side, the Saints will send Simeon Woods Richardson to the mound, making his 21st start in his 23rd game overall. The righty is 6-6 with a 5.07 ERA, allowing 58 earned runs on 99 hits and 56 walks, striking out 87 batters over his 103.0 innings pitched. He has pitched in three games (two starts) this year against Iowa, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Woods Richardson has given up nine earned runs on 14 hits including three home runs while walking seven and striking out 16. In three games, Iowa is hitting .286 against the right-hander.

REHABBING NICELY: The I-Cubs have a pair of pitchers currently on Major League Rehab assignments in their arsenal with Nick Burdi and Brandon Hughes. Both Burdi and Hughes continued their rehab work with appearances in last night’s ballgame versus St. Paul and looked solid out of the bullpen. Hughes came into the game first as his number was called to pitch the top of the sixth inning. In his outing, the left-hander tossed a scoreless, hitless frame with no walks allowed and one strikeout. Burdi came into the game in the top of the eighth inning and had a similar performance to Hughes. The hard-throwing right-hander also spun a scoreless, hitless inning with one walk, a hit batter, and a punchout. For Hughes, this was no doubt his best outing with Iowa this season. The 27-year-old is in his second rehab stint with Iowa this year as he went on the injured list back on June 12 with knee inflammation. In seven appearances with Iowa Hughes has a record of 2-0 with a 7.71 ERA, seven strikeouts and five walks over 7.0 innings of work. Burdi was placed on the injured list just one day after Hughes on June 13 with an appendicitis issue. He originally started the season with the I-Cubs and in total has appeared in 17 games with four saves, a 2.70 ERA, 28 strikeouts, and nine walks in 16.2 innings.

TOP OF THE LINE: In last night’s game versus the St. Paul Saints nearly all of the offensive production came from the top half of the order. The No. 1-5 hitters for the I-Cubs collected five of the teams’ six hits and went a combined 5-for-20 (.250) at the plate. Each batter collected at least one hit and scored/drove-in Iowa’s only run of the contest. Iowa’s top half has been on fire at the dish as of late as the 1-5 hitters also shined in the game last Saturday versus Omaha. In that game, that group collected nine of the team’s 12 hits, drove in all eight runs, hit three homers and hitters went an impressive 9-for-20 (.450) against Omaha’s pitching. Over Iowa’s last three games the top half of the order has gone 23-for-60 (.383) with 17 RBI and five home runs.

DROPPING THE OPENER: With last night’s last to St. Paul the I-Cubs have now lost three consecutive series openers. The losses have come against St. Paul, Omaha, and Toledo with the I-Cubs being outscored over those three series openers 25-16. It isn’t the worst stretch of series opening losses for Iowa this season, however. The longest streak of series opening losses in 2023 is four-straight from May 31-June 20. On the flip side, Iowa does have a longer winning streak when it comes to series opening games. The I-Cubs won five consecutive game ones between June 28 and July 25.

GO FOR TWO: The I-Cubs have had a knack for the double throughout the duration of the 2023 and it continued last night. Three out of the teams six hits versus the Saints went four doubles with Yonathan Perlaza, Jared Young, and P.J. Higgins each recording a two-bagger. Higgins’ double provided the only run of the night for Iowa in the third inning. For Perlaza, it marked his 38th double in 2023, which ranks first in the International League. In franchise history the Venezuelan is now tied for third for the most doubles in a single season. As a team, the I-Cubs have belted a total of 282 doubles this year, which is the fourth most in the International League. They still have some work to do if they want to catch the all-time record of doubles hit in a season, however. That mark was set by the 2004 squad when they collected 315 doubles.

AGAINST ST. PAUL: After last night’s loss, Iowa now trails the season series to St. Paul by one game, at 9-10. The two teams entered last night’s contest completely even, going 3-3 at Principal Park and 6-6 at CHS Field this season. With Iowa now trailing the current series 1-0, they also trail at home where they are 3-4 and overall, where they are 9-10. St. Paul has enjoyed playing Iowa since 2021, as they are now 46-32 overall against the I-Cubs, going 19-12 at Principal Park and 27-20 at CHS Field. With their loss last night, Iowa’s losing streak to St. Paul this year extended to a season-long four games.

SHORT HOPS: A win today would give Iowa 75 wins on the year, tying their total from 2019 as the most since winning 80 games in 2015…Iowa is 14-6 overall on Wednesday games including going 8-2 in Wednesday home games...the I-Cubs are now 2-8 in the month of September, tying the number of losses they had in all of April, when they went 15-8...both teams walked four and struck out 11 last night; for Iowa, it marked the fifth time in their last six games they have struck out 10 or more times offensively.