The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are locked into the post season.
The Arizona Cubs have also now clinched a post season slot, and their playoffs are already under way. These playoffs are all single game rounds – no best of five or seven series here – and the opening round was last night. The Cubs had a bye into round two, and that game is tonight.
Iowa is still mathematically alive for the postseason, but it will not be easy. The Cubs are as close as they have been in a long time, just four games back of Oklahoma City, but they are running out of calendar. Fortunately they start a five game series in Oklahoma City today. Unfortunately the magic number for OKC is just six; in other words, if the Cubs lose three times in those five games it is all over. They really need a sweep, and they’re about to lose some players to the big league team.
Eugene is in better shape, but their margin for error is also nearly zero. The Emeralds are in first place, but by just one game over Hillsboro. More concerning is that they are just tied with Salem-Keizer in the overall standings. If Hillsboro passes Eugene to win the second half title, then the second playoff slot will go to the best season record between Eugene and Salem-Keizer (unless there is a tie, in which some messy and potentially complex tie breakers come into play). Eugene, then, needs to keep winning and stay in first to be really sure of locking up a playoff slot. They’ll have to do it on the road at, you guessed it, Salem-Keizer and Hillsboro.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa pounded out eighteen hits on their way to this 9-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies pulled ahead in the sixth and held on for a 4-3 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans were rained out.
South Bend – The Cubs withstood a late rally to pull off the 4-3 win.
Eugene – The Emeralds took possession of first place with a big 10-4 win over Hillsboro.
Arizona – The Cubs had the night off.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Dallas Beeler struck out 7 over 8 innings of work while allowing a run on 2 hits and a walk. Trevor Cahill allowed one hit and struck out one in the final frame.
- [Iowa] Javier Baez, playing third base, finished 4 for 5. Baez now has a 16 game hitting streak and is hitting .324/.385/.527 for the season. His season strikeout rate is down to a very healthy 24.3%.
- [Iowa] Emilio Bonifacio doubled twice and finished with 4 hits. Taylor Davis added 3 hits.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli stole his 29th base and finished 2 for 4 with a walk.
- [Tennessee] Felix Pena struck out 6 over 7 innings while allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.
- [Tennessee] Jeimer Candelario homered (his 4th for Tennessee) and finished 2 for 2 with 2 walks.
- [Tennessee] Ryan Dent finished with 3 hits, and Stephen Bruno added 2.
- [South Bend] Ian Happ doubled, homered (his 5th for the SB-Cubs) and finished 2 for 2.
- [South Bend] Erick Leal struck out 4 over 6 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk in the process.
- [Eugene] Carson Sands struck out 5 over 6 innings. He allowed 2 runs (one earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks.
- [Eugene] Ian Rice homered for the 2nd time with Eugene, doubled, and finished with 2 hits.
- [Eugene] Also finishing with 2 hits were Donnie Dewees, Eloy Jimenez, and Blake Headley. Dewees also stole his 16th base.
- If you’ve been watching or listening to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans this year, then you have enjoyed the play by play of Nathan Barnett. And if you have enjoyed his work, then you are not alone. Barnett, in his second year as the man behind the microphone, was recently named the Broadcaster of the Year for the Carolina League. If you haven’t yet tuned into a Pelicans game, then you are really are missing out.
- Speaking of the Pelicans, they also recently set a new franchise record for average game attendance. The only thing stopping them from setting a new total attendance mark was Mother Nature and the abnormally high number of rain outs. This comes on the heels of South Bend also setting a new attendance record this year and is yet another indicator that the Cubs are really, really popular. Did you hear that people who give baseball teams lots of money for TV contracts?
- The Tennessee Smokies are not mathematically eliminated yet, but any combination of Smokies’ losses or Montgomery wins that adds up to two will finish off the Cubs’ Double A affiliate. A come back isn’t out of the question, but it is immensely improbable. South Bend is in similarly bad shape with an elimination number of just three.