JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – As the Major League Baseball regular season comes to a close, it is time to update a year where Steve Cishek will get a chance to throw a pitch in the postseason for the first time in his career and Will Gardner, Greg Jones and Brett Langhorne wrapped up their first seasons at the professional level.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Steve Cishek – RP, Chicago Cubs
Season Stats: 4-3, 2.18 ERA, 80 Games, 78 K, 70.1 IP
Capping one of his most dominant seasons as a big leaguer, the nine-year veteran ranked second in all of baseball with 80 appearances, the most of his career. As one of the most valuable relievers in 2018, the right-hander ranked 10th among all bullpen hurlers with a 2.18 ERA. Cishek ranked eighth in the league in holds with 25 while ranking 11th among relievers in opponent's batting average with a .176 clip.
Helping guide the Cubs to the second-best record in the National League, Cishek's club plays in a Wild Card Game on Tuesday after the team went 53-27 in his appearances this year. The 32-year-old did not allow a run in 63 of 80 outings. Over a 13-game stretch from July 26 through Aug. 24, the hurler allowed just five base runners during a 12 2/3 innings scoreless effort with 16 punch outs. He did not yield a run over his final nine appearances of the regular season.
Cishek struck out multiple batters 18 times including five efforts with three strikeouts in a year where he K'ed 78, his second-highest total in the big leagues.
To add to a great season, he collected his first-career hit on April 22 in Colorado. In the top of the seventh, he dropped down a bunt down the third-base line. A couple batters later, he scored on a double to left-center field by Javier Baez.
Steve Cishek locked down the 45th #Cubs save of the season, which means you can enter to win this experience: https://t.co/paqL7pWuS5 #CubsRelief@Biofreeze available at Walgreens pic.twitter.com/YFLlQNt4Dx— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 16, 2018
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Will Gardner – RP, Bristol Pirates (Rookie – Pittsburgh Pirates) and West Virginia Black Bears (Low-A)
Overall Season Stats: 0-2, 1.75 ERA, 19 Games, 30 K, 25.2 IP
Bristol Stats: 0-0, 0.82 ERA, 8 Games, 15 K, 11 IP
West Virginia Stats: 0-2, 2.45 ERA, 15 K, 14.2 IP
A 21st round selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the right-handed hurler had a short stint in the Appalachian League appearing in eight games allowing one earned run in 11 innings. Foes hit .128 against him as he racked up 15 strikeouts and three saves. His first-career save came in his second-career outing on June 25. In two stanzas, the former all-conference reliever allowed a hit and walk while striking out four against Pulaski. It was one of two multi-inning saves for Morristown, Tenn. native.
On July 23, Gardner was called up to Pittsburgh's low-A affiliate, West Virginia where he completed the year. Opponents did not fare much better tallying a .245 batting average in 11 appearances. The hurler ended the season on a high note throwing 3 1/3 shutout stanzas to wrap up the year with six strikeouts, two in each outing.
Greg Jones – C, Boise Hawks (Rookie – Colorado Rockies)
Season Stats: .161/.242/.179, 17 Games, 3 RBIs, 1 2B, 9 Hits, 5 Runs
In his first professional game, the Maryville, Tenn. native reached base three times with two hits and a walk against Spokane on June 16. Jones produced his first multi-RBI effort on July 15 with a game-tying two-run single in the seventh against Vancouver. His second multi-hit effort of the year came on Aug. 17 when he went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored at Eugene.
Brett Langhorne – INF, Danville Braves (Rookie – Atlanta Braves)
Season Stats: .281/.375/.341, 52 Games, 24 RBIs, 7 2B, 2 3B, 52 Hits, 23 Runs, 8 SB
The two-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection saw time at three infield positions, first base (13), shortstop (2) and third base (33). After going hitless in his professional debut, Langhorne tallied two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs against Pulaski on June 20. He reached base safely in 40 of the 52 games during the season doing so multiple times in the same game on 26 occasions.
Langhorne pieced together a season-long seven-game hitting streak July 8-16 where he went 10-for-25 (.400) with six walks, seven runs scored and three RBIs. He posted 17 multi-hit efforts, including four with three knocks and six multi-RBI games.
The biggest game of the year came on July 26 at Kingsport, the New York Mets farm club. Langhorne went 2-for-4 with a walk and drove in seven runs. It was a part of a stretch where he had four straight multi-hit games reaching base safely in 11 of 19 plate appearances scoring four times.
BRAVES WALK OFF!!!— Danville Braves (@DanvilleBraves) June 21, 2018
It takes 11 innings, but Brett Langhorne singles in Henry Quintero to give the D-Braves their first win of the 2018 season! pic.twitter.com/pivpYB1AjK
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