Exciting Moments at the Iowa Cubs Game: A Home Run Story

Experience the thrill of Friday night’s Iowa Cubs game through our latest blog post. Read about the heart-pounding moment when an Iowa Cubs player narrowly dodged a 95 mph pitch, only to hit a spectacular home run over the right-field fence, electrifying the crowd. Check out the full story and enjoy the attached photo capturing this unforgettable moment.

The legend of Chicago Cubs top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong took another big leap forward Friday night when he crushed a pitch after being nearly hit in the head with a 95 mile-per-hour fast ball at Principal Park in Des Moines.

After doubling and scoring in the first inning, Crow-Armstrong came up to bat with one out in the fourth inning and the Iowa Cubs ahead 3-0. After the first pitched from Indianapolis Indians hurler Wily Peralta skipped past him, the next pitch sailed over Crow-Armstrong’s head.

Crow-Armstrong took exception to the latter pitch and started talking (complaining?) to catcher Dylan Shockley and home plate umpire Johnathan Parra. After a minute or two, I-Cubs manager Marty Pevey came out of the third base dugout and got in between Crow-Armstrong and Parra. Parra objected to something Pevey said and tossed the veteran skipper out of the game.

But that wasn’t all. Crow-Armstrong stepped back into the batter’s box and proceeded to smash Peralta’s offering over the right-field fence. The 22-year-old Californian pumped his fists and appeared to talk to the Indians’ infielders as he rounded the bases and received a hero’s welcome at home plate. The blow gave the I-Cubs a 4-0 lead and they never looked back.

Crow-Armstrong’s night was just beginning. He doubled and scored in Iowa’s three-run sixth inning and doubled and scored again in the home team’s five-run seventh inning. He led the I-Cubs’ 16-hit attack with four hits in five at-bats including one homer and three doubles, which were good for 10 total bases. He also scored four of his team’s 12 runs.

Crow-Armstrong started the season in Iowa and was called up to the big leagues when Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger was put on the injured list. Crow-Armstrong hit .236 with 13 hits in 55 at-bats during his short time in Chicago. He drove in nine runs and collected his first major-league home run, two doubles and one triple. It was a far better showing than his cup of coffee with Chicago in 2023 when he went hitless in 14 at-bats under manager David Ross, who used him mostly as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

Crow-Armstrong already has major-league Gold Glove potential. During his brief stay in Chicago, he recorded the fastest time running from first to third base. The only question has been his hitting. I’m not sure why, given that he’s hit .297 in four minor-league seasons. If not this season, Crow-Armstrong surely will be the Chicago Cubs’ regular center fielder next year. If that happens, that would force Bellinger to first base, assuming Bellinger resigns with the big-league Cubs.

Whatever happens, I know this: Crow-Armstrong is the most exciting Cubs’ prospect since Javier Baez. He plays with a flair that is contagious and fans love. Perhaps that comes from his parents, Ashley Crow and Matthew Armstrong. His mother is an actress best known for her role of Sandra Bennet on the television Heroes. His father is an actor known for his roles in Turks, The Profile and Heroes. Matthew Armstong has ties to Chicago in that he attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He played football in high school and was a two-time defensive player of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference.

Yes, it was a good night all around. Right fielder Alexander Canario went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run, sacrifice fly and three runs-batted-in. Even the catcher, Bryce Windham, went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple.

The pitching was superb. Left-hander Jordan Wicks, making a rehab appearance, showed he’s about ready to return to Chicago as he pitched two scoreless innings, struck out three, and issued no walks. His replacement, Chris Clarke, got credit for the win by tossing four innings of two-hit, shutout ball. Clarke struck out three and walked one batter. The next pitcher, Daniel Palencia, struck out three in one and two-thirds innings with the aid of his 100 mile-per-hour fastball. Palencia has had stints in Chicago and Iowa, however, when his control deserts him. His successor, Riley Thompson, shut down the Indians in his one and one-third inning of work.

When it was all said and done, Crow-Armstrong had stolen the show. It’s no wonder he was named the player of the game for the I-Cubs. As much as I’d like to see him spend the next three months in Des Moines, it’s games like last night that will force the Chicago Cubs to seriously consider making Crow-Armstrong their regular center fielder sooner rather than later.

Once that happens, you can add his name to the list of Chicago Cubs who blossomed at the highest level of the minor leagues with the Iowa Cubs.

Photo above: Pete Crow-Armstrong takes a cut during an Iowa Cubs game in August 2023.

Steve Dunn is the author of a new book about the history of professional baseball in Des Moines, ‘Pug,’ ‘Fireball,’ and Company: 116 Years of Professional Baseball in Des Moines, Iowa. He is having a book signing event at Barnes & Noble at 4550 University Avenue in West Des Moines from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 3. For more about the book or to order a copy, go to pugfireballandcompany.com.


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