It was a week to watch the Pacific Coast League. There were impressive games all over, but no player shined brighter than Chris Rusin of the Iowa Cubs.
There had not been a no-hitter thrown in the PCL since August of the 2009 season, and the PCL was the only full season league that did not see a no-hitter thrown in the 2013 season. On the 118th pitch of the night for Chris Rusin, he allowed a ball that looked like a sure bloop single. It was too deep over the second base bag for the shortstop or second baseman to get to, and it looked like it might fall in front of Matt Szczur in center field, but Szczur wouldn’t let that happen. He came running in and dove head first just barely able to make a phenomenal catch and the Cubs rushed the field to celebrate the first Iowa no-hitter since 1984.
As if throwing a no-hitter was not enough for Rusin, he went 2-4 at the plate and was the only Cubs player to record an RBI on his bases loaded, two run single in the second. Rusin walked two batters and struck out three in the game.
No-hitters are rare, especially in the hitter friendly PCL, but how often do you see three grand slams in a single game? The answer is three times in the history of the PCL, including the El Paso Chihuahuas and Sacramento River Cats game on Monday. It all started when Tommy Medica hit his second home run of the season in the fourth inning with the bases full of Chihuahuas. In the eighth, Michael Taylor gave the River Cats the lead with a grand slam of his own. Then, in the bottom of the ninth and the Chihuahuas down 10-9, shortstop Jake Lemmerman walked off with a grand slam to give the Chihuahuas a 13-10 win.
While the great accomplishments above came at the hands of players that are not all that highly regarded in the prospect world, Michael Foltynewicz is a top prospect, and he showed why on Monday. While facing the Omaha Storm Chasers, Foltynewicz went six innings, striking out 12, and allowed just a single hit, a solo home run for Melky Mesa.