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boise hawksWith their 14-3 blowout loss at the hands of Hillsboro last night, the Boise Hawks became the third Cubs farm team to make the playoffs. Ok, so technically they made the playoffs a little earlier in the evening when Salem-Keizer blew out Eugene. That S-K win meant the Hawks made the playoffs no matter what happened in their game.

It also doesn’t matter that the Hawks will finish third in the second half in their division.

What does matter is that the Hawks have a very good 41-34 full-season record.

Thanks to Salem-Keizer’s win last night, the best Hillsboro can do is tie for first. S-K owns that tiebreaker (head to head record) meaning that the S-K Volcanoes are guaranteed a second half title. However, since S-K won the first half title they were already in the postseason. That means the second postseason slot in the division goes to the team with the second best record for the entire season, and that team is the Boise Hawks.

The important thing, though is that the Hawks are in the playoffs. Hopefully they can shake off this nasty slump they have fallen into before they start playing those postseason games.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa
Friday – The Cubs began their descent out of postseason contention with this 3-2 loss in Nashville.
Saturday – Another loss to Nashville, this time by a final of 7-2.
Sunday – Iowa tied it up in the ninth and finally beat the Sounds on Sunday. The final in ten innings was 3-2.

Tennessee
Friday – The Smokies offense looked playoff ready in this one. Tennessee won 12-1.
Saturday – A run in the fifth proved to be the difference as the Smokies won again 4-3.
Sunday – The Smokies beat Chattanooga yet again, this time by pulling ahead in the ninth. The final was 4-3.

Daytona
Friday – The Cubs used a big eighth inning to pull away for this 11-6 win.
Saturday – The winning streak came to an end on Sunday, though, as the Cubs lost 5-1.
Sunday – Daytona broke the tie in the sixth inning and went on to pick up the 7-4 win.

Kane County
Friday – The Cougars scored first, but they still lost 8-2.
Saturday – After returning home the Cougars were thoroughly beaten 9-0.
Sunday – They rebounded on Sunday, though, and came away with the 11-2 win.

Boise
Friday – Boise fell behind early and never caught up. They lost 10-6.
Saturday – This was just a bad game. Not only were the Hawks no hit, they also coughed up four errors in a 5-0 loss.
Sunday – They committed three more errors in this 14-3 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] We saw both the good and the bad of Mike Olt this weekend. On Friday he finished 3 for 4, and on Saturday he struck out 4 times.
  • [Iowa] Jae-Hoon Ha turned in a good game on Saturday. The center fielder picked up an outfield assist, hit his 13th Triple A double, and finished 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 stolen bases.
  • [Iowa] There were some positives on the mound in Triple A this weekend as well. Brooks Raley delivered 5 innings of one hit ball on Friday, a game in which both Chang-Yong Lim and Zach Rosscup pitched well in relief. Justin Grimm struck out 6 in his 6 innings on Sunday. He was followed by impressive performances from both Rosscup and Marcus Hatley.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Loosen pitched 4 innings in relief on Sunday, and they were 4 impressive innings. He allowed no hits, 2 walks, and struck out 5. It was his second consecutive very good outing for Tennessee.
  • [Tennessee] Javier Baez homered in back to back to games this weekend and now has 20 in Double A. He has also lowered his Double A strikeout percentage to about 28% (about 25% in August). That is still high, but the trend line is continuing downwards.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies were busy on the basepaths as well. Matt Szczur stole his 22nd on Friday (while finishing 2 for 4 with 2 walks), John Andreoli added two more on Saturday to bring his total to 16, and that same day Arismendy Alcantara swiped his 31st bag.
  • [Tennessee] Given that Justin Bour lost a large chunk of the season, his 18 home runs for Tennessee are quite impressive.
  • [Tennessee] We saw some flashes of progress from Brett Jackson over the weekend. On Friday he doubled, tripled, and walked on his way to a 2 for 3 game. And then on Sunday he doubled again as he finished 2 for 5. It isn’t much, but it is a start. If nothing else, a productive Jackson could be a big help to the Smokies during their playoff run.
  • [Daytona] The Cubs hit 5 home runs on Friday. The sluggers behind that power surge were: Zeke DeVoss (his 5th), Dustin Geiger (his 17th), Kris Bryant (his 5th), Bijan Rademacher (his 2nd), and Pin-Chieh Chen (his 2nd). DeVoss also stole his 37th base in that game.
  • [Daytona] But that was just Friday. Before the weekend was over DeVoss would be up to 39 steals.
  • [Daytona] Bryant would not stop with his homerific Friday either. On Sunday he walked, doubled, and tripled, and factored into about half the Cubs’ runs.
  • [Kane County] Trevor Gretzky hit his first Low A home run on Sunday. Through his first 12 games at that level the young left handed hitter is hitting pretty well. His line currently reads .310/.326/.357. I think that SLG will go up quite a bit over time as he fills out his 6’4″ frame.
  • [Kane County] Nathan Dorris had a pretty good start for Kane County on Sunday. Over 5 innings he allowed just one run on 4 hits while striking out a batter. His Midwest League ERA is now a very respectable 2.87.
  • [Boise] Kevin Encarnacion is up to 8 home runs for Boise now. He is also hitting a very impressive .356/.429/.552 with 20 walks and 31 strikeouts.

Other News

  • If you want to know what the best food in a ballpark is, ask the season ticket holders. If you want to know the best food in an entire league, though, you better ask a radio guy like Boise’s Mike Safford. His account of his culinary journey through the Northwest League is mouth-watering. I was surprised (and a little jealous) to see that Hillsboro is serving a Banh Mi Sandwich in their stadium. It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Arizona is not listed above because their season ended on Thursday. After tomorrow’s column (recapping today’s games) the non-playoff teams will vanish as well.
  • Remember that today is the season finale for the minor leagues.  After this we are into the playoffs with Tennessee, Daytona, and Boise.
  • David

    Rosscup seems to be having a hellava year! 14 K’s/ 9 this year in AA & AAA. Is he ready to make the team out of spring training? Does he have enough innings in the minors?? Starting to like the makeup of the bullpen next year, if all goes right. Would love for the FO to add yet another arm this offseason- a veteran.

    • David

      Russel, Stropp, Rosscup, Parker, Villanueva & Free agent guy. Vizcaino? I still think Arrieta can be damn good as a closer/ set up guy.

      • cub2014

        Bullpen could be a strength next year:

        Greg,Strop,Russell,Parker with Villanueva
        and Rusin as long relievers with Lim and
        Rosscup to close out the pen. Then you
        still have Vizcaino & Fujikawa coming back
        later in the year. Guys in Iowa coming back
        and forth: Sanchez,Coleman,Bowden,Dolis
        Rondon,Schlitter,Mateo,Rodriguez

        • Werner

          Russell is a worry. It’s amazing his arm hasn’t fallen clean off this year. Maybe they could trade for super strong tape to hold it together next year.

  • Steve

    Glad to see numerous Cub farm teams making their league playoffs. That’s a strong indication that there should be at least a few players playing at the Friendly Confines by 2016.

  • jj

    Gretzky’s homer was a monster, out of the park over the RF deck. Beautiful swing. Still he needs more than to fill out, he looks like he needs about 40 pounds.

  • cubspong

    Yea, pretty jealous. Bahn Mi is fantastic. Luke, if you are ever in Chicago, there is a place in Vietnamese town in Chicago called Ba Le where they have really good Bahn Mi sandwiches.

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