Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 09/06/10

The Iowa Cubs reduce their magic number to one but come up short in their first chance to clinch. Two Cubs minor league managers are named the Manager of the Year for their respective leagues. One Cubs minor league skipper is ejected from a game in the first inning. Three Tennessee Smokies are named postseason All-Stars. The Daytona Cubs and Peoria Chiefs are both eliminated from playoff contention. All four Cub full season affiliates end the year with records over .500!

All that and more in today’s Down on the Farm Report!

AAA-Iowa Cubs – (82-61)
The Iowa Cubs only needed a win on Sunday to clinch the Pacific Coast League American North and sail into the postseason, but they failed to get the job done. The lead is now only one game as the Iowa Cubs square off with the second place Memphis Redbirds today at 1:05 in the final game of the regular season. Jay Jackson (11-8, 4.58 ERA) will be on the hill this afternoon.

If the Redbirds are victorious in today’s game, both teams will finish the regular season with a record of 82-62. The first PCL tie-breaker goes by the record between the two clubs. Iowa has an 8-6 edge in the season series going into today, so that mark will be even as well with a Memphis win. The number two tie-breaker is record against division opponents. The Redbirds would take that category, so with a win today they would advance to the postseason.

Ryne Sandberg added to his resume and trophy case on Friday, when he was named the 2010 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. This award was given based on the voting of the league’s managers, GMs, broadcasters, and media. Sandberg was 11 first place votes ahead of the runner-up. The Hall of Fame second baseman is in his fourth year of minor league managing and will be a strong candidate to take over the Chicago Cubs next season.

The Albuquerque Isotopes took home a 13-3 stomping of the I-Cubs in the finale of that series at Principal Park on Thursday. Brad Snyder hit a solo homer in the first to extend his season total to 24. Jason Dubois got his first triple of the year. Austin Bibens-Dirkx was hurt by two gopher balls and left after allowing five runs in five innings. The ‘Topes broke it open against Jeff Gray, scoring five times in an inning and a third. Click for full box score.

The biggest series of the year, which happens to be the final series of the season, started on Friday. The I-Cubs beat Memphis in game one 4-2 to put themselves in a much better position. Snyder homered again, while Matt Camp and Jason Dubois had two hits each. Chris Carpenter went six innings and allowed only two runs, but it was Luke Sommer who picked up his first Triple-A win in relief. Jeff Stevens worked around two walks in the ninth and ended up with his tenth save. Click for full box score.

Iowa reduced their major number to clinch the PCL American North to one on Saturday by stomping the Red Birds 8-5. Leadoff hitter Jim Adduci went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Bobby Scales jacked a three-run homer and ended up with four RBI on the day. Chris Robinson and Jason Dubois enjoyed multi-hit games as well. Mitch Atkins went six innings and got his eighth win of the season. Click for full box score.

Ryne Sandberg’s team was hoping to celebrate a division title on Sunday, but it was not in the cards. The Iowa Cubs suffered a heart-breaking 8-7 defeat in 15 innings. They had six at-bats where they needed to score only one run to clinch the postseason, but the offense came up short. The bats did rally to erase an early 7-2 Memphis edge, but there was no Iowa scoring after the sixth inning. Jim Adduci and Bobby Scales worked three walks each, Bryan LaHair launched his 25th homer, and Jason Dubois went 3-for-5. Jeff Samardzija was hammered, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. Seven different Iowa pitchers worked in the game. The final one was Jeff Gray, who surrendered the winning run in the four hour and 35 minute contest. Sandberg spent most of the time watching the game in the clubhouse, as he was ejected in the first inning by third base umpire Barry Larson. Memphis manager Chris Maloney was also tossed, his coming from first base umpire Jason Arends in the sixth. Click for full box score.

AA-Tennessee Smokies – (85-53, 43-26)
The Tennessee Smokies will be in Carolina to play the Mudcats today at 1:00 CDT in the final game of the regular season. After that, it’s time for the games that really count. The Smokies battle rival West Tennessee in the first round of the Southern League playoffs. They will kick off the series with the Jaxx on Thursday night at 6:15 CDT at Smokies Park.

Tennessee’s Bill Dancy was named the Southern League Manager of the Year! Dancy became the second skipper in the Cubs system to earn the honor this weekend. He capped off a grand week that began with his 1,600th career win and also included the Smokies clinching of the second half title. Three Smokies players also received postseason honors. Brandon Guyer, Brett Jackson, and Tony Campana were all named Southern League postseason All-Stars. In addition, Campana was honored as the “Hustler of the Year“.

The Smokies dropped the rubber match of the three game series in Jacksonville on Thursday by a score of 6-2. Tennessee managed two runs on just three hits- singles by Campana, Lalli, and Thomas. Rafael Dolis took the loss, allowing four earned runs to cross the plate in his 5.2 innings. Click for full box score.

The Carolina Mudcats edged Tennessee 5-4 in ten innings on Friday night. The ‘Cats pushed across a run against Esmailin Caridad in the bottom of the tenth to win it. Steve Clevenger went 3-for-5 with three doubles to boost his average to .317. Tony Thomas and Brett Jackson both went 2-for-4 with a triple. Tony Campana stole his 47th base of the year and Jackson swiped number 16. Starter Trey McNutt gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings. Click for full box score.

The Mudcats led 5-3 going to the eighth on Saturday, but the Smokies scored three in the eighth and four in the ninth to prove why they’re the top team in the Southern League and win 10-5. Brandon Guyer had a perfect day, reaching base in all five of his trips to the plate via three hits and two walks. Russ Canzler went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBI. Ryan Butcher was sent to the showers early after allowing four runs in three innings, but the bullpen picked up the slack. Blake Parker went two shutout innings to record his fifth save. Click for full box score.

A great pitching performance by the Smokies staff of Chris Archer, Jeremy Papelbon, Scott Leverton, and Aaron Shafer helped Tennessee to a 3-2 win on Sunday. Brett Jackson went 2-for-3 and scored twice, while Brandon Guyer and Nate Samson had two hits each. Tony Thomas hit his 11th homer of the year, most of which have come in the second half. Click for full box score.

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs – (75-64, 41-28)
The Daytona Cubs had a great season that included a wild 14-game winning streak, but in the end it was not enough for a playoff berth. They finished 11 games over .500 overall. Their second half record of 41-28 was only good enough for second place, two games behind the Florida State League North champion Tampa Yankees.

The Daytona Cubs beat Clearwater 5-4 on Thursday to stay in playoff contention. D.J. LeMahieu, whose batting average is now .314, went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI. Rebel Ridling (HR, three RBI), Jose Valdez (3-for-4), and Kyler Burke (2-for-5) had big games as well. Nick Stuck made his final start of the year and allowed three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. Click for full box score.

The D-Cubs postseason hopes evaporated with Saturday’s 3-2 ten-inning loss to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Junior Lake kept Daytona alive with a clutch two-run homer to tie it with two outs in the ninth! Brooks Raley allowed seven hits but only one run and struck out seven in 5.2 innings. David Patton served up the winning run in the tenth to fall to 2-5 on the year. Click for full box score.

Kyler Burke went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s 3-1 loss, but his season average of .214 is still very modest. Ryan Flaherty drilled a run scoring double in the eighth to account for the only Daytona tally. Oswaldo Martinez made his final start of the season and took the loss to drop to 3-7. Alex Maestri allowed two runs, but only one was earned and he fanned eight over four innings. Click for full box score.

Buddy Bailey and the D-Cubs had their season end on a high note with a 6-0 victory in front of a Flying Tiger crowd of just 517 on Sunday. Rob Whitenack pitched a masterpiece, allowing just two hits over seven shutout innings. Ryan Flaherty, D.J. LeMahieu, Greg Rohan, Jake Opitz, and Jose Valdez all enjoyed multi-hit games. D.J.’s 2-for-4 day solidified his team leading .314 average. Flaherty, who finished the year hitting .286, posted two RBI in the season finale. Click for full box score.

Class-A Peoria Chiefs (70-65, 32-34)
Just one game remains on the Peoria Chiefs Midwest League schedule in the year 2010. Although they will miss a return trip to the playoffs, manager Casey Kopitzke has led his team to an over-.500 record. Kopitzke will travel to Mesa where he will be at the helm in the Arizona Fall League. The emergence of Su-Min Jung, a no-hitter by Nick Struck, the cycle by Hak-Ju Lee, and a victory at Wrigley Field are among the big story lines for Peoria this season.

On Saturday night at O’Brien Field, the Peoria Chiefs handed out their player awards for the 2010 season.

Justin Bour, Matt Cerda, Stephen Grife, and Trey McNutt all went home with hardware. Bour, who leads the club in hits, RBI, and homers, was named the Peoria MVP. Matt Cerda won the Ryne Sandberg award, which is handed out to the player who best exemplifies professionalism, dedication, work ethic, community service, and the ability to play the game the right way. McNutt, now with Double-A Tennessee, was named the Pitcher of the Year for his 6-0 record prior to his June 27th promotion. Reliever Steven Grife was given the Community Service Award for doing the most player appearances throughout the season.

The Kane County Cougars made their move just in time on Thursday. The Cougars scored three against Peoria right-hander Yohan Gonzalez to snatch the lead in the bottom of the seventh, just before the rain struck. After an hour and 14-minute delay, the game was ruled official and the Chiefs fell 5-3. Logan Watkins delivered his first homer of the year in the top of the first. With the loss, the Chiefs were mathematically eliminated from the division race. Click for full box score.

The Cougars beat the Chiefs for the third straight night on Friday, this time by a final of 4-2. Brett Wallach had control problems walking three in four innings. He allowed only two hits, but one of them was a homer, so he was charged with three runs. Wallach drops to 0-4 as a Chief after going 6-0 in the Dodgers chain to start the season. Jeffrey Lorick surrendered one run in three innings. Peoria outhit Kane County 6-4, but walks plagued the pitching staff. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs opened up a three game series with the Quad Cities on Saturday by routing the River Bandits 8-2. Matt Cerda had an amazing day going 5-for-5 with three doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored. D.J. Fitzgerald tripled and drove in a run. Ryan Searle got the win to improve to 7-8 despite allowing two runs in five innings. Click for full box score.

The Quad Cities got off to an early 1-0 lead in last night’s late game by getting on the board in the first inning. The score stayed that way until at least the seventh. Frank Batista allowed just the one run on three hits in 5.2 innings. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs will be in the Quad Cities this afternoon (1:00 CDT start) to close out the 2010 season.

Updates from Boise
The Hawks concluded their season hosting Yakima at Memorial Stadium last night. Going into that game, they had an overall record of 34-41, so 2010 will be a sub-.500 campaign. Alvaro Ramirez led team in batting average (.350), OBP (.377), and SLG% (.476). He was promoted to Peoria a few days ago to help the Chiefs finish out their season.

Down on the Farm Notes
Check out my twitter at www.twitter.com/cubsfarmupdates for updates throughout the postseason. Bi-weekly Down on the Farm reports right here on the CCO will continue until both the Iowa Cubs and Tennessee Smokies postseason runs have concluded! If you have any questions or comments regarding these posts, email me at cubsblogmailbag@aol.com.

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

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