The Tennessee Smokies piled on the runs in the third inning of Friday night’s game, but it almost did not happen. To be honest, it should not have happened.

With two outs in the third and Matthew Szczur on first, Logan Watkins lined one into the outfield. Szczur turned for home, and as the throw came into the plate it was clear Szczur was going to be safe by a mile. The catcher fielded the ball a few feet in front of the plate and, as Szczur was crossing home, turned his attention to holding Watkins at second.

Meanwhile, Szczur did not touch home. As he ran across the plate he stepped right over the bag, and the umpire noticed. Szczur immediately circled back around, touched the plate, received an acknowledgement from the umpire, and trotted into the dugout (where he was no doubt harassed for missing the plate). More to the point, the catcher still had the ball when Szczur missed the plate. Had the BayBear’s catcher (or pitcher, who should have been backing up the play) been paying attention, Szczur would almost certainly have been tagged out, the run would not have counted, and the inning would have been over in embarrassing fashion for the home team.

As things turned out, though, Szczur was the first of seven Smokies who would cross the plate that inning. Even worse for Mobile, Tennessee’s margin of win was six runs. If that catcher had been paying attention and tagged Szczur out, Mobile might have won the game.

Whoops.

And now on to the rest of the games. We’ll be doing this one Lightening Round style. My vacation is drawing to an end and I have many miles to go before I sleep.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs pulled away in the latter innings for a 5-3 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies used a huge third inning to cruise to an 11-5 win.
Daytona – Daytona played two on Friday. They won the first one 4-3, but fell in the nightcap 11-5.
Peoria – The Chiefs fell behind early and could not recover in this 8-2 loss.
Boise – Boise scored six times in the second inning, but they lost anyway 7-6.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs had Friday off.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Adrian Cardenas homered in the eighth inning of this contest. Given how good of a hitter he is, I was surprised to see that it was just his third Iowa home run this season.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Szczur, Junior Lake, and Rubi Silva all went long in this contest. Jae-Hoon Ha bounced one off the wall in straightaway center that would have been out in either of the allies.
  • [Daytona] Eliesser Bonne and Christian Villanueva both homered for the Cubs in Game One. Those two home runs accounted for all the Cubs’ scoring in that win.
  • [Peoria] Dustin Geiger homered and drove in both of Peoria’s runs.
  • [Boise] – Marco Hernandez had a three hit night, and Albert Almora and Jeimer Candelario added two hits apiece.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Look for Tony Zych to get a long look from the Cubs in spring training. His motion is a little unorthodox, but that works in his favor. He has a very quick delivery that, combined with the jerkiness and his velocity, should make life more difficult for batters. He does take too long between pitches, but that is my only complaint. I would not be surprised to see him in Chicago’s bullpen sometime next summer.
  • And speaking of Tennessee pitchers, I liked what I saw from starter Dallas Beeler as well. Beeler has some work to do before he’s ready for the big stage, but I think he’ll get there. His ceiling is probably that of a 3/4 starter.
  • Despite the loss, Boise remains on the doorstep of the clinching their division. They could wrap things up this weekend.


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