The minor league regular season is over. Nearly 200 players on six rosters have logged thousands of innings over hundreds of games, and that’s just the U.S. teams. Soon will begin the process of sifting through that mountain of data and learning what it is we learned this year. For the most part that work will wait until the conclusion of the major league season, though. In the meantime we have some playoffs to look forward to, and those postseason games start tonight.
Daytona is at home against first half division winner Dunedin (Blue Jays system) at 7:05 PM ET. An old Cubs farm hand, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, takes the mound for Dunedin, and Corey Black takes the hill for the Cubs. Bibens-Dirkx has pitched well this season, so this could be a pretty good game.
In the Northwest League, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants system) visit the badly slumping Boise Hawks at 6:45 PM MT to kick off the Short-Season A playoffs. Paul Blackburn is the starter for the Hawks; Salem-Keizer sends Chase Johnson to the mound. Boise had little trouble scoring on Johnson the last two times they faced him, and those two occassion happen to be Johnson’s last two starts. Blackburn, on the other hand, shut Salem-Keizer down for five innings on Aug 23 before struggling some on the 29th. I think the advantage in this matchup goes to the Hawks, but it depends on Blackburn’s ability to harness his stuff. If his control is on I think the Hawks are in good shape.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - Iowa gave up two in the first, but only got one of them back. They end their season with a 2-1 loss.
Tennessee - The Smokies fell behind early, and despite chipping away through the middle innings they still came up short 4-3.
Daytona - Daytona had the day off.
Kane County - Kane County scored in the bottom of the ninth to end their season on a high note. They won 5-4.
Boise - Boise slumps into the postseason as the losers of five in a row after this 10-6 loss at home.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks gave up 2 runs in the first inning, but nothing after that. He finished his 6 innings having allowed that pair of runs on 6 hits and 2 walks with just one strikeout.
- [Iowa] Mike Olt went 0 for 2 with 2 walks. He finished the season on a hot streak, though, hitting .333/.488/.467 with 10 walks and 9 strikeouts over his last ten games.
- [Tennessee] Eric Jokisch wrapped up his regular season by allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits over 5.2 innings. He walked no one and struck out 7.
- [Tennessee] The Smokies used an army of relievers in this one, and all of them pitched well. P.J. Francescon was perfect in his inning of work, and A.J. Morris, Armando Rivero, Hunter Cervenka, and Frank Batista all picked up one out each.
- [Tennessee] Third baseman Christian Villanueva hit his 19th homer in the fourth inning of this one. John Andreoli reached twice on a walk and a single and stole his 17th Double A base.
- [Kane County] Scott Baker had the start in this game. Through 5 innings he gave up just 2 runs (only one earned) despite allowing 7 hits. He walked one and struck out a pair.
- [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario finished 3 for 5. Shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio also finished with 3 hits.
- [Boise] Rony Rodriguez finished strong. His 2 for 3 performance included a double, a pair of walks, and an outfield assist.
- [Boise] With Jeffrey Baez and Shawon Dunston at the top of lineup, speed should be no problem for the Hawks in the playoffs. Dunston has produced all season, but it remains to be seen how Baez will handle the Northwest League. He tripled and walked in this game, but he also had 3 strikeouts.
- The first rounds in both the Florida State League and Northwest League playoffs are best of three. Both Daytona and Boise will have to win at least one game on the road to advance.
- The Smokies are traveling to Birmingham (White Sox system) to take on the Barons in a best of five series starting Thursday night. This is the only of the three Cubs-involved series on MiLB.TV, but you can listen to all the postseason games for free from the team website at game time.