The Tennessee Smokies are the second half winners of the Southern League North division and the first Cubs farm team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season.
This is a good day.
Now the Smokies can consider lining up their rotation for the playoffs, give some key players a day or two of rest, and generally relax a little as they play out the rest of the season and wait for their shot at the Southern League crown. And make no mistake, this team has a real chance to win that crown.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - Iowa beat first place Omaha 2-1.
Tennessee - Start with a shut out, add a division title, and you have the Smokies 6-0 win.
Daytona - The Daytona game was suspended after three innings with the Cubs leading 2-0.
Kane County - Kane County lost this one 4-2.
Boise - The Hawks got three in the seventh to not only beat Hillsboro 4-3, but to also reclaim a share of first place.
Arizona - Arizona, along with most of the rest of the Arizona Rookie League, was rained out.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Yoanner Negrin pitched the entire game for the Cubs. He allowed the one run on just 6 hits and a walk while striking out 6.
- [Iowa] Mike Olt walked three times in this game, and Jae-Hoon Ha singled twice and picked up an outfield assist.
- [Tennessee] This was a glimpse of the Matt Loosen we saw in Daytona. Through 7 innings he allowed just 3 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 7. Armando Rivero and Frank Batista completed the game.
- [Tennessee] Javier Baez hit his 18th Double A home run and now leads the Smokies in that category (despite playing just 48 games there). He finished 2 for 3.
- [Tennessee] Matt Szczur (2 for 2) and John Andreoli (1 for 2, 2 walks, 14th steal) also had good days at the plate.
- [Kane County] Willson Contreras, Marco Hernandez, and Oliver Zapata all had multi-hit games for the Cougars.
- [Boise] The bullpen pitched very well in this one. Jasvir Rakkar struck out 6 in his 3 shutout innings, Loiger Padron pitched 2 no hit innings and struck out 2, and Eddie Orozco fanned 3 in a one-hit ninth.
- [Boise] Carlos Penalver finished 2 for 2 with 2 walks and his 8th steal. Kevin Encarnacion hit his 6th home run.
- Iowa is at home, and they are the best home team in the division, so this may not be quite over yet. They trail Omaha by five games, but with Omaha in town they have the chance to cut into that gap. They will still need to climb over Memphis as well, and their margin for error is virtually nonexistent. Their elimination number is down to three. The odds of Iowa sneaking in to the playoffs are very slim, but there is a chance.
- Daytona’s magic number is down to four. That could shrink today, though, if the weather holds. They complete two games and play a third one. And then they have a doubleheader tomorrow.
- Kane County is out of the playoff race, but they are on MiLB.TV. Most of the players on that team will go to the video black hole that is the Florida State League next season, so watch them while you can. This series against Wisconsin is one of your rare chances.
- The Northwest League South division is a three way tie between Boise, Hillsboro, and Salem-Keizer. Salem-Keizer is already in the playoffs as a result of winning the first, and if they win again the other playoff team would the team with the next best overall record. Boise holds a ten game lead over Hillsboro in that particular race. To make the playoffs all Boise has to do, then, is finish ahead of the Hillsboro Hops.