Fort Wayne TinCaps (10-18) at Cedar Rapids Kernels (16-11)
LHP Will Headean (3.22) vs. LHP Domenick Carlini (6.97)
Saturday, May 6, 2017— Veterans Memorial Stadium — First Pitch 7:35 p.m. — Game 29
LAST NIGHT: The TinCaps led 2-0 after a half inning but wound up losing to the Kernels, 12-4.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Twins Minor League Pitching Coordinator Eric Rasmussen is visiting Cedar Rapids. On April 29, 1978, Rasmussmen started for the St. Louis Cardinals against Burt Hooton and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fort Wayne’s pitching coach allowed only 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings, but Rasmussmen bested him with a complete-game shutout. The game was played in 1 hour and 33 minutes.
SUWINSKI’S CR TIES: This isn’t the first time Jack Suwinski is playing at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Suwinski previously played here in high school with his travel team, the Illinois Indians. In 2014 and ’15, Suwinski, who’s from Chicago, also played in tournaments with a team called the Chicago Scouts. One of his teammates with the Scouts was Cedar Rapids catcher Ben Rortvedt, a Verona, Wisc., native. (That team also included Gavin Lux, a top Dodgers prospect with Great Lakes.)
REY OF LIGHT: Reinaldo Ilarraza is on a 9-game on-base streak, which includes a hit in 3 straight. It’s the longest on-base streak of the 18-year-old’s young career.
TATIS VS. HAWKINS: Former Fort Wayne Wizard and current Twins Baseball Operations Special Assistant LaTroy Hawkins is visiting Cedar Rapids. During his 21-year MLB career, Hawkins faced Fernando Tatis (father of Fernando Tatis Jr.) 8 times. Tatis was 3-for-8 off Hawkins with a double and a strikeout.
ZUNICA’S POWER & PATIENCE: Brad Zunica has 11 hits this year—5 home runs, 4 doubles, and just 2 singles (1 of which was off the center-field fence and he was out at second base trying to make it a double). While his AVG is .204, his on-base percentage is .386, as he’s drawn 16 walks in 17 starts. Zunica has drawn a walk in 22% of his plate appearances (2nd best in the MWL among guys with 70+ PAs; Lansing’s Jake Thomas: 33%). Zunica has reached base in 14 of 18. His rate of 1 homer/10 at-bats is the highest rate in the league.
GREENE GETS ON: Marcus Greene Jr. has reached base in 15 of the 18 games he’s played in this year.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Jack Suwinski is tied for 3rd in the MWL in walks drawn (18)… Brad Zunica is tied for 5th in home runs (5) and 5th in walks (16)… Eguy Rosario is tied for 5th in doubles (8) and 6th in stolen bases (7)… Fernando Tatis Jr. and Reinaldo Ilarraza are tied for 9th in stolen bases (6).
AS A TEAM: In the MWL, the TinCaps have drawn the 2nd most walks (116; 4.1/G) and have the 2nd most stolen bases (28)… Fort Wayne pitchers rank 3rd in the league with 261 strikeouts (9.3/G).