The AZL Cubs 1 needed a win to stave off elimination last night, and they got it. Two Cubs pitchers, Didier Vargas and Fauris Guerrero, combined to pitch a two hit shutout and the offense scraped up a run in the eighth and an insurance run in the ninth to force a decisive Game Three tonight.
If the Cubs beat the Dodgers tonight, they will win the Arizona Rookie League Championship for the second year in a row and extend the Cubs’ organizational streak of consecutive years with a championship to six years.
That’s right. Six years. The general public would probably date the dawn of the Cubs organizational success to 2015 when they made it to the NLCS (for the first of three straight years (and counting)), but the roots of that success go much deeper. The culture of winning was well entrenched in the farm system when 2015 rolled around, and Cubs prospects were getting regular playoff experience. I suspect that culture paid off in 2016 when so many very young Cubs played such a large role in winning the World Series.
Maintaining that consecutive years with an organizational title streak probably doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but you have to admit it is a pretty cool streak. I’d like to see it keep going.
Of course, if Arizona doesn’t get it done tonight, the streak isn’t dead. Eugene can still sneak into the playoffs, and that Chicago team is looking pretty good as well. As for me, I’d just as soon get it out of the way tonight.
- Kyle Ryan: 3.2 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 5 BB, 2 K
- Danny Hultzen: 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H
- Rob Zastryzny: 1 IP, 1 BB
- Chris Coghlan: 2 for 5, 2B, HR
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 4, BB, SB
- Jason Vosler: 1 for 4, HR, BB
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 4, 2B
- Justin Steele: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Wyatt Short: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 K
- Zack Short: 1 for 4, 2B
- Wynton Bernard: 0 for 1, 3 BB
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans were rained out.
- Enrique De Los Rios: 5 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 K
- Maikel Aguiar: 3 IP, 2 K
- Cam Balego: 1 for 4, 2B
- Faustino Carrera: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K
- Ivan Medina: 1 IP, 1 H
- Luke Reynolds: 1 for 4, 1 H, 1 BB
- Levi Jordan: 3 for 4, 2 2B
- Jonathan Sierra: 2 for 4
- D.J. Artis: 0 for 2, 2 BB
- Didier Vargas: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K
- Fauris Guerrero: 2.1 IP, 5 K
- Edmond Americaan: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Yonathan Perlaza: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
- Eugene now holds a one game lead over Salem-Keizer with three games to play. They also hold the tiebreaker. Basically, if Eugene wins two games in their final series against Boise, they make the playoffs. If they win once and Salem-Keizer loses once, Eugene makes the playoffs. The odds are in Eugene’s favor.
- And how about the game by Eugene’s 19 year old Faustino Carrera. Facing a nearly must win game on the road, the lefty struck out seven and scattered just three hits across six innings. For the season his ERA is 2.54.
- Not to be outdone, the pitcher who struck out seven over 6.2 innings of two hit ball for Arizona was 19 year old lefty Didier Vargas. His season ERA is 3.27.