'P' Stands for Pitching?
The first hint that it was not a normal night at Principal Park came when the national anthem was whistled.
Then a thing uncommon in the PCL, where there are typically lots of bombs bursting in air, broke out - a pitchers' duel! The scoreboard practically had the night off as Nashville, behind undefeated Mike Fiers, nipped the I-Cubs, 1-0.
All was not lost for the home team - hardly. The enigmatic Jay Jackson recorded his 6th consecutive quality start and matched a career high with 11 whiffs in his six inning stint. He was succeeded by Bobby [there's no Roberts in baseball!] Coello who continued his sparkling work out of the bullpen with three more scoreless frames. Since moving exclusively to relief duty Coello has worked 34 innings, allowing a mere 18 hits while walking 13 and fanning 46. The non-starter ERA is 1.04; the BAA .158! Significantly, he's been touched for no home runs after serving up 11 in 60 innings as a starter. If he keeps this up, call him Robert-0.
Watch out for Fiers in the NL Central. He's 7-0 since promotion from Double A and his cumulative body of work for the summer shows only 80 hits permitted in 120 innings. He never exceeded 90 on the scoreboard radar last night but complete game shutouts in this league are about as rare as whistled anthems.
As for record-breaking slugger Bryan LaHair, he was in the lineup after shoving Joe Hicks even deeper into franchise trivia with his 38th homer of the season the night before. He flew to the warning tracks in both left and right while playing 1B after a recent run in left. On my way to the park I heard him interviewed on the pre-game radio show where he strongly hinted that he has reason to believe any playing time he gets upon call-up to Chicago will be in the outfield. He also mentioned that, thanks to lots of vacancy in the right-field bleachers Tuesday night, it was his wife that was able to fetch his record-setting long ball. Ah, the charms of the minor leagues.
Andrew Cashner is on hand and slated to work an inning tonight after manning a post as bullpen sentry last night while Coello loosened.