Thanks to a late rally and a thirteenth inning game winning hit, Kane County swept Wisconsin last night and has advanced to the next round of the Midwest League Playoffs. That means the Cubs still have a chance to surpass last year’s achievement and pick up two minor league championships in the same year.
Although, if Daytona is going to win the Florida State League again, they will have to dig out of a hole first. Despite what I wrote yesterday, Daytona did begin their Championship Series last night. The bats were quiet, though, and the Cubs lost the opener.
Scores From Yesterday
Performances of Note
- [Daytona] The Daytona bullpen is solid, but they did give up three runs last night, including 2 from Michael Jensen and one by Steve Perakslis (despite striking out 4 in 1.1 innings).
- [Daytona] Gioskar Amaya stayed glowing hot as he doubled and finished 2 for 4.
- [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher also had a great night. He finished 3 for 3.
- [Kane County] Mike Olt, playing first base, doubled, homered and accounted for half the Cougars’ runs in his 2 hit night.
- [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario doubled, walked twice, and finished 3 for 4. He accounted for the other half of the Cougars’ runs, including the game winning hit in the thirteenth.
- [Kane County] Duane Underwood didn’t have his best game. He allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks over 3.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen. That bullpen then threw 9.1 innings of shutout baseball. Credit Michael Heesch, James Pugliese, Jasvir Rakkar, and Francisco Carrillo for buying the the offense the time they needed to find some runs.
- [Kane County] Shawon Dunston picked up 2 more postseason hits and 2 more postseason steals in this game. Trey Martin matched him with 2 hits, but Martin had just one stolen base. He also had one caught stealing at home.
- Daytona has one more road game this season, and it is tonight in Fort Myers. Win or lose, the Cubs will head home on Saturday to wrap up the Florida State League Championship Series. Daytona trails the best of five series 0-1. Neither starter for tonight has been announced.
- Kane County heads off to the semi-final round of the Midwest League playoffs next, and even though the schedule (as I type this, anyway) says that the semifinals begin on Sunday, I’m not falling for that trick twice. That’s the same sort of schedule that tripped me up yesterday. Regardless, I think the Cougars will get the winner of tomorrow’s game against Cedar Rapids and Burlington as their opponent, so the earliest the series could begin is Saturday. For now, though, we’ll just say that it starts when it starts and leave it at that.
- In yet another example of the Cubs’ quest to improve player development facilities across the system, Kane County will embark on some stadium renovations of their own this winter. In addition to a new video board and new seating area, the team will be adding two new hitting tunnel, an enlarged weight room, and a new video room all built to the specifications of the Chicago Cubs. On the grander array of Cubs’ organizational improvements that may be just one minor item, but it is a positive item nonetheless.
- Want to (maybe) get an early look at Kris Bryant and (possibly) Addison Russell next season? Check out the Iowa Cubs schedule. They open on the road in the relative warmth of Memphis and New Orleans before starting their home campaign on April 17. We need the major league schedule before we can start counting days and figuring out when Bryant is likely to come up based on adding the extra year of control, but it seems like that your best shot is to catch Iowa during their first home stand, April 17-24. You might be able to wait as long as the home series ending May 3, but I wouldn’t push it any further than that.