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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: August 31

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The Ems won a huge game. AZL Cubs 1 even up their championship series.

Wyatt Short
Wyatt Short
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

So I had an interesting evening on social media, which I’ll tell you about. Since it’s Saturday, not too many of you are going to read it, but who cares?

Jeff Passan Tweeted out that Josh Donaldson had been traded, but he didn’t say to which team. That led to much speculation. Seeing a chance to work a Cubs minor league angle into the story, I wrote:

I mean, I may not ever be first with the news, but I’m always accurate, right?

Obviously, I was referring to the 2008 Rich Harden trade that sent Donaldson from the Cubs to the Athletics. The fact that other than Donaldson, every player mentioned in that Tweet is out of baseball should have been a dead giveaway, right? None of them have even played in the majors since 2013. Only Murton even played last year and that was just seven games in the Tigers minor league organization before hanging it up.

My readers, for whom the Tweet was aimed, got it. OK, one of them got fooled for a second, but got it pretty quickly. It got a good reaction.

Then came the morons who started to berate me for spreading false rumors. I just told them that everything in the Tweet was correct (which it is), which made some of them even angrier. They also seemed to come from Ohio, although I didn’t check out all of them.

Moral of the story is: never overestimate the intelligence of a fanbase that still venerates Chief Wahoo.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were stopped by the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 6-5 in ten innings.

Starter Kyle Ryan allowed four runs on four hits over 3.2 innings. Two of those four hits were home runs in the fourth inning. Ryan walked five (yikes) and struck out two.

Brian Duensing threw a scoreless inning in a relief appearance, although he did give up a hit and a walk and got out of the inning with a 8-4 lineout double play.

Danny Hultzen was promoted to Iowa and gave up a run in his one inning of work.

The loss went to Jesse Hodges, who pitched the tenth inning and allowed the unearned run on one hit. Hodges walked one and did not strike anyone out.

Third baseman Jason Vosler hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his 23rd of the season and eleventh with Iowa. He was 1 for 4 with a walk.

DH Chris Coghlan hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. Coghlan went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. He also scored twice. It was Coghlan’s fourth home run this season.

Left fielder Mark Zagunis went 2 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base. He scored twice.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies reeled in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds), 3-2 in ten innings.

A strong start for Justin Steele, who gave up just one run on three hits over six innings. Steele struck out five and walked just one.

The Blue Wahoos scored a run in the top of the tenth inning on an error by second baseman Trent Giambrone. But Wyatt Short got the win anyway when Tennessee scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Short pitched two innings and allowed one unearned run on no hits and no walks. He struck out one.

The first three Smokies batters of the game reached on a hit, scoring one run. The Smokies didn’t have another hit until the tenth inning, and then just one. Shortstop Zack Short was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the tenth to drive in the winning run. Short also doubled and scored in the first inning. He was 1 for 4.

Center fielder Wynton Bernard drove in the tying run in the bottom of the tenth with a bases-loaded walk. Bernard was 0 for 1 with three walks.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Rained out in Frederick. Doubleheader on Saturday.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were run over by the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), 6-1 in their final home game of the year.

Enrique De Los Rios started and took the loss. He gave up five runs on seven hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Third baseman Cam Belago doubled and scored South Bend’s only run in the second inning. He was 1 for 4.

South Bend only managed four hits tonight.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds sacrificed the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants) 7-3. The win gives the Emeralds a one game lead over the Volcanoes for the final playoff spot with three games to play. It also gives the Ems the tiebreaker advantage.

Faustino Carrera pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just three hits while collecting his fifth win. Carrera struck out seven, walked two and hit one batter.

The Ems broke this game open with five runs in the fourth inning. Right fielder Jonathan Sierra went 2 for 4 with three RBI and one run scored.

Second baseman Levi Jordan had a pair of doubles in a 3 for 4 game. He also scored twice.

The Ems start a three-game series at last-place Boise on Saturday. The Volcanoes are at first-place Hillsboro. A win by Eugene and a loss by Salem-Keizer would clinch a spot in the postseason.

By the way, Eugene’s overall record this season is 30-43, which is the worst record in the Northwest League. They could tie for the worst record if they sweep Boise. They are 16-19 in the second half. Yet they still control their own destiny for a playoff spot.

AZL Cubs

AZL Cubs 1 shut out the AZL Dodgers, 2-0 to even up the best-of-three championship series at one game apiece.

Didier Vargas threw 6.2 innings and surrendered just two hits. He struck out seven and walked just one.

Fauris Guerrero completed the shutout and got the win with 2.1 more innings of scoreless baseball. Guerrero struck out five and didn’t walk anyone, although he did hit one batter.

The game was scoreless until the eighth inning when Christopher Morel led off the frame with a single. He went to second when the next batter, Yonathan Perlaza. walked. Morel went to third on a fly ball and then scored on a sac fly. Morel was 1 for 5 and Perlaza was 2 for 3 with a double and the walk.

The two teams will end their season tomorrow and one team will end up as league champions.