And just like that, the Cubs have a farm team playing for a league championship.

The Boise Hawks scored three times in the third inning and then held on for a 3-2 win at Yakima. With their two road wins the Cubs’ Short-Season A franchise won the best of three series two games to one and moves on to face Vancouver in the championship series. The Hawks played a five game set in Vancouver at the end of August and won three of those five. Boise just might be the favorite here.

The Northwest League Championship Series is also a best of three affair. Game One will take place tonight in Vancouver. After a travel day tomorrow, the series will conclude on Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) in Boise.

  • Willson Contreras scored the Hawks’ first run on a wild pitch in the third inning. Later that inning an RBI single by Daniel Vogelbach drove in Boise’s other two tallies.
  • The Hawks won this game despite not having an extra base hit all night. The six walks they drew helped their cause, as did the stolen bases by Gioskar Amaya and Albert Almora.
  • Do you believe in clutch? Vogelbach’s go ahead single is his first and (so far) his only hit of the playoffs.
  • Felix Pena pitched seven shutout innings in this game. The right hander allowed just five hits and struck out two.
  • After Brian Smith ran into some trouble in the eighth, Eduardo Orozco stepped up for the five out save, striking out two in the process.

The most unbelievable line on the box score the last one. In a home playoff game the Yakima Bears managed to draw just 368 fans. No wonder that franchise is moving to Hillsboro, Oregon next season.

  • Fishin Phil

    ” In a home playoff game the Yakima Bears managed to draw just 368 fans.”

    I believe that is one of the saddest thingse I’ve ever read. :(

    • BD

      I didn’t know the Hawks were in Tampa to play the Rays.

  • baldtaxguy

    I think Baseball has a glitch of Almora’s stats – 1000 PA’s?

    • baldtaxguy

      Never mind, it just changed, maybe user error on my part

  • ssckelley

    I think this team would give the Nationals a better game than the Cubs.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Is their bus capable of making it to Vancouver?

    • Luke

      I’m not sure. Is it an amphibious bus?

      • CubFan Paul

        Hilarious. I’m out of coffee filters. Grrr

  • Curt

    ok I’m just asking but and I do understand that building yr roster with yr own drafted players is the right way to go but bring a big market team is it really a necessity to be this bad, couldn’t you be both building the farm system and be competitive at the same time.

    • Mick

      Do you realize how many players we’d need to sign in order to be competitive? We’d need to sign: Youkilis-2 years $20mil
      Hamiliton-4 years $80mil
      Swisher-4 years $60mil
      Bourn-4 years $60mil
      Greinke-6 years $100mil
      Anibal Sanchez-4 years $60mil
      Dempster-2 years $25mil

      That’s roughly $105 million in 2013 salary. Add in the rest of the Cubs’ salaries plus a few bullpen additions and that puts us at around $180 million. We could shave a little off of that by non-tendering guys like Volstad, Stewart, and Wells to help bolster the bullpen.

      Our lineup would look like this:


      and rotation:

      SP Greinke
      SP Dempster
      SP Garza
      SP Sanchez
      SP Samardzija

      So, this is what it would look like if we tried to compete while building from within. I think I’d rather just be bad for a few seasons.

  • EdgewoodDirk

    I think you absolutely can build and be competitive at the same time.

    The rub, though, is that the farm system (in most cases; I’m sure there are statistical outliers) usually needs to be good first before you can really start winning on a regular basis. Then, once the farm system is in place, management needs to be smart and keep it that way so you’re always building while you’re winning.

    Or, you know, just fall into Strassburg/Harper/Zimmerman. That can really help, too. 😉

    • RoughRiider

      You have to lose ugly to “fall” into Strassburg/Harper/Zimmerman. Which is exactly what the Cubs are doing.

      • EdgewoodDirk

        For. Sure.

        I haven’t really checked, though; are there talents on par with Harper and Strassburg that the Cubs could conceivably draft? Seem like those were two ‘fortunate’ years to pick first (if any team can really ever be called fortunate when they’re losing).

        • DocPeterWimsey

          are there talents on par with Harper and Strassburg that the Cubs could conceivably draft?

          No. You expect guys like them come up once every decade or so: having two in back-to-back years was exceedingly improbable. (If you’ve ever read Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series, that basically was two Ta’Vern from the same village!) For there to be two of them in one year would already have the scouts in a frenzy trying to predict which one would go #1 and which would go #2. As it is, next year’s draft is very murky.

          • TWC

            Oh, come ON, Doc!

            Three Ta’veren!

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You’ve been channeling too much saidin, bro….

              • TWC

                I’m midway through my re-reading of the entire series in advance of the last volume. I’m up to my neck in Aes Sedai and their like.

            • hardtop

              how is it possible for this to come up twice in as many weeks. this really is a site for nerds.

          • EdgewoodDirk

            That was my thought, too.

            And you COULD NOT have used a better reference, for my money!

            So, would cleansing Saidin be comparable to the Cubs winning a World Series? 😉

            • TWC

              Cleansing saidin was far, far easier I think.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Cleansing saidin would be equivalent to simultaneously giving Hendry batting prospects batting eyes and Hendry pitching prospects control, I think.

              • Cubbie Blues

                What would Hendry do with batting eyes and control? Isn’t he a little old to be playing ball?

  • Lifepainter

    I would like to see some of these prospects in the bigs in a few years. I would like to see MLB change the September call-up rules where each team had to call up at least one guy from each level of the minors. Ex: One from AAA, AA, A, Rookie League, ect…Then we could see what they really have in the farm system.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The point of September call ups is not to show the fans what is in the farm system. It’s an anachronistic system for showing managers and coaches the talents of minor leaguers for next year. Remember, spring training used to be for getting guys back into game shape after 4 months of no athletic activity, so that was not going to be a very good guide. Remember also that information was difficult to disperse and digest: managers could not look at video of minor league performances or get detailed graphical breakdowns of players performances, strengths, etc..

      It is very probable that we are seeing the final years of the big September call-ups. At the very least, expect to see a freely changing 25-man active roster on any given day, with some youngsters dropping in and out of the roster on a case-by-case basis.

  • Leroy

    The problem is we haven’t had very success at drafting in the first round–Hopefully Theo can change that.

  • cub4life

    Awesome. Luke is there any way that we can get a kinda preview post and then a box score post to see what we have down there other then the main guys?

    • Luke

      I generally try to talk about more than just the main guys. If I don’t mention anyone you haven’t heard of on any particular day, it’s probably because they didn’t do much. I don’t have the length, or the time, to list everything that all players do so I have pick and choose who and what to include. I do link back to the box scores, though.

      • cub4life

        Ok, sounds good. Thanks for the time and the continued posting of the minor leagues.

  • terencem

    “Do you believe in clutch?”!


  • Charlie

    As a Cubby fan, it is nice to know that there is a promising future. Tell the boys in Boise to keep up the good work. We are expecting a lot from them here in the windy city.