RANCHO CUCAMONGA — What goes around, comes around. On Saturday night, Lake Elsinore started rehabbing Padres’ pitcher Chris Young and shut out the Quakes, 5-0. Last night, it was Rancho’s turn to play the Rehab Card, as the Angels’ Joel Piniero delivered five innings of no-hit ball before giving up two runs on three hits in the sixth. The Quakes had a 4-2 lead going into the 9th, scored three in the top of the frame, then Allan Dykstra hit a three-run homer off Eddie McKiernan in the bottom of the inning to make it interesting, but Rancho won 7-5 to even the series. Darwin Perez was 3 for 4 with a homer, Mike Trout was 3 for 5 with a triple and stolen base, and Dillon Baird hit two doubles. The best-of-five series shifts to Rancho Cucamonga starting tonight for Games #3 and #4. Ryan Chaffee will start for the Quakes.
OREM — It was the one game to decide who would win the Pioneer League South Division and go on to the championship series. The Owlz scored seven runs in the top of the 1st, but no lead is safe in the Pioneer League. The Ogden Raptors scored three in the bottom of the 1st, and four in the bottom of the 4th to tie it at 7-7. In the end, Ogden outscored Orem 12-9 and that ended the 2010 season for the Owlz. Jake Rife was 3 for 5 with a homer and double. Although they won’t go on to the title series, this marks the tenth straight year that the Provo Angels/Orem Owlz franchise has gone to the post-season under Tom Kotchman since the franchise moved from Helena for the 2001 season.
A reminder that webcast links for the playoff games are on the FutureAngels.com web site home page.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes dropped Game #1 of their five-game series. Literally. They committed seven errors in their 5-0 loss at Lake Elsinore. Rancho had only four hits, with a double by Luis Jimenez the only extra-base hit. The Padres’ Chris Young started on rehab assignment with the Storm and pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven while giving up only three hits and a walk. The Angels get their rehab revenge tonight as Joel Piniero takes the mound for the Quakes. Game time is 5:05 PM PDT.
OREM — They’re still alive. Down one game to none in their best-of-three series, and down 10-8 after seven innings, the Owlz scored three runs in the top of the 8th and six in the top of the 9th to win 17-10 at Ogden. (Typical high-scoring Pioneer League game …) Travis Witherspoon was 3-6 with a homer. Andrew Heid and Kole Calhoun also had three hits. Wes Hatton homered and doubled. Starter Donn Roach gave up four runs (two earned) on three hits in 5 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts and a walk. So it’s Game #3 for the South Division title. Ogden-Raptors.com reports Pil Joon Jang will start for the Owlz. Game time is 4:00 PM MDT / 3:00 PM PDT.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes begin tonight their five-game series with the Lake Elsinore Storm for the California League South Division title. Games #1 and #2 are in Lake Elsinore, Games #3 and (if necessary) #4 are in Rancho Cucamonga, and (if necessary) Game #5 is at Lake Elsinore. Garrett Richards will start tonight for the Quakes, with the Padres’ Chris Young making a rehab start for Lake Elsinore. The Angels announced last night that Joel Piniero will make a rehab start with the Quakes in Game #2 Sunday night. It doesn’t seem right that rehabbing major leaguers should be eligible for minor league playoff games.
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kernels were eliminated last night, as they lost 6-2 to Clinton. The game was delayed nearly an hour due to rain, and announced starting pitcher Stephen Locke was scratched due to a bad back, so Tyler Kehrer took the start. Kehrer didn’t get out of the first inning, giving up three runs on two hits and three walks while recording only one out on a strikeout.
OREM — The Owlz lost Game #1 of their Pioneer League South Division playoff series, 2-1 to Ogden. Kole Calhoun hit a solo homer in the first inning to give the Owlz an early 1-0 lead. Heath Nichols pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings and A.J. Schugel tacked on another inning-and-a-third. In the top of the 9th, Justin La Tempa gave up a one-out two-RBI single that gave the Raptors the lead. The Owlz got the tying run to third in the bottom of the 9th, but pinch-hitter Kaleb Cowart grounded out to end the game.
I’m a bit surprised that Cowart, one of the Angels’ first-round picks last June (#18 overall), wasn’t in the starting lineup. Cowart was assigned to Orem on the last day of the regular season after playing with Tempe. The Angels did something similar last summer with Mike Trout, who joined Cedar Rapids at season’s end after playing with Tempe in his first pro year. Trout had only a token appearance in the Kernels’ 2009 post-season. I guess the feeling is that the players who earned the post-season should be the ones who take the field, but minor league rosters turn over so much that the post-season roster often has little in common with the roster on Opening Day. If it were me, I’d want Trout or Cowart in the lineup because he improves my chances to win.
So the Owlz are down 1-0 in their best-of-three series. They must win tonight and tomorrow at Ogden, or they’re eliminated. Donn Roach (4-1, 6.04 ERA) is the announced starter for Orem.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes won 7-1 over High Desert to take the mini-series 2-0. They go on to face Lake Elsinore, which had a bye due to their first-half title, in a best-of-five series for the South Division championship. The series starts Saturday night at Lake Elsinore; Garrett Richards is the reported starting pitcher. Games #1 and #2 are in Lake Elsinore, Games #3 and (if necessary) #4 are at Rancho, and Game #5 (if necessary) is at Lake Elsinore.
UPDATE 2:45 PM PDT — A Quakes press release reports the Storm starting pitcher for Game #1 will be Padres’ right-hander Chris Young, assigned to Lake Elsinore on rehab. Now that’s just cheatin’. 🙂
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kernels lost 8-2 to Clinton to even their best-of-three series at one apiece. The deciding game is tonight at Cedar Rapids, with LHP Stephen Locke (8-7, 4.37 ERA) the announced starting pitcher. The winner goes on to face the winner of the Quad Cities – Kane County series, with Kane County the home team tonight.
OREM — The Owlz ended the regular season last night with a 14-12 win at Ogden in 10 innings. Kaleb Cowart, one of three Angels’ picks in the first-round of the June 2010 draft (#18 overall), was called up from Tempe and homered. His addition to the roster will be a big boost for the Orem offense. The Owlz finished the regular season 39-36, while the Raptors finished 44-31. The two teams play in a best-of-three series for the South Division title starting tonight at Orem, with Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 at Ogden. Although the Raptors have the better overall record, the Owlz were 11-5 this year against Ogden and just finished a four-game sweep — two in Orem, then two in Ogden. But in a short series, of course, anything goes. Heath Nichols (4-2, 3.57 ERA) is the announced starting pitcher for the Owlz.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes won Game #1 of their three-game series with the Mavericks, 12-5 at High Desert. Angel Castillo hit a grand-slam. Alberto Rosario, Mike Trout, Dillon Baird and Richard Cates also homered. Starter Manuel Flores gave up four runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks. Orangel Arenas starts for the Quakes tonight at Rancho Cucamonga. The winner of the series will face Lake Elsinore in a best-of-five series for the South Division title.
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kernels won Game #1 of their three-game series with the LumberKings, 3-2 at Clinton. Starter Ariel Pena gave up one run on one hit in 5 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks. David Carpenter got the win in relief, striking out three in 1 2/3 innings. John Hellweg notched a save. Jose Jimenez was 2 for 3 with a homer. Buddy Boshers will start for the Kernels tonight at Cedar Rapids, according to LumberKings.com. The winner of the series will face the winner of the Quad Cities – Kane County series in a best-of-three matchup for the Western Division title.
OREM — The Owlz clinched the South Division wild-card with a 4-2 win over Ogden. The Raptors won both halves of the division race, so they will have the home field advantage in their best-of-three playoff series starting Friday night. Game #1 will be at Orem, while Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 will be in Ogden. The two teams finish the regular season tonight at Ogden; as of this morning, the Owlz have won 10 of 15 games this season between the two teams, although overall the Raptors (44-30) have a better record than Orem (38-36).
I’ll also note that Damon Berryhill, Ogden’s manager, was Rancho Cucamonga’s hitting coach in 2002.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes begin a three-game series tonight against the High Desert Mavericks. Game #1 is tonight in Adelanto at 7:05 PM PDT. Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are Thursday and Friday at Rancho Cucamonga. The winner goes on to face Lake Elsinore for the South Division title. The Storm got a bye for winning the first half. The Quakes won the second half and the Mavs are the division’s wild card.
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kernels begin a three-game series tonight against the Clinton Lumberkings. Game #1 is tonight at Clinton at 6:35 PM CDT / 4:35 PM PDT. Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are Thursday and Friday at Cedar Rapids. The Kernels won the Western Division first half, while Clinton won the division’s second half wild card. The winner goes on to play the other quarterfinal winner for the division title.
OREM — The Owlz won 5-3 over Ogden, while the Casper Ghosts also won 7-6 over Idaho Falls. Orem and Casper are playing for the South Division wild card. With two games left, the Owlz have a 1½ game lead over Casper. The wild card winner goes on to play the Ogden Raptors, who won both halves of the Pioneer league South Division title race. Orem is at Ogden the next two nights, while Casper will be at home hosting Idaho Falls. One Owlz win or Ghosts loss puts Orem in the playoffs.
Statistics are as of the morning of September 7.
The regular season is over for the full-season minor leagues. The Pioneer League still has a few days to go. Here’s an update on the playoff status for each of the Angels affiliates.
SALT LAKE — The Bees finished 73-71, 1½ games behind Tacoma in the PCL Pacific Conference North Division. Bobby Cassevah, Hank Conger, Kevin Frandsen, Matt Palmer and Mark Trumbo were called up to Anaheim after the season finale.
ARKANSAS — The Travelers finished with an overall record of 55-85, worst in the Texas League. They finished last in the North Division in both halves — 26-44 in the first half, 29-41 in the second half. The Travs sent two 2010 players to Anaheim, Michael Kohn and Jordan Walden.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The Quakes finished with an overall record of 78-62, three games behind South Division rival Lake Elsinore (81-59) for the California League’s best record. Rancho was 39-31 in the first half, then 39-31 in the second half which won them the second-half title. The Quakes will face the High Desert Mavericks (75-65 overall) in a best-of-three series starting Wednesday; Game #1 is in Adelanto, then Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are at Rancho Cucamonga. The winner goes on to face the Storm for the South Division title.
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kernels finished with an overall record of 82-56, third-best in the sixteen-team Midwest League. Cedar Rapids won the West Division’s first-half title with a 43-25 record; in the second half, they finished 39-31. They’ll face the Clinton Lumberkings (74-65) in a best-of-three series starting Wednesday night at Clinton, with Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 at Cedar Rapids.
OREM — The short-season Pioneer League plays a 76-game schedule divided into two halves of 38 games each. The Owlz finished 19-19 in the first half, four games behind Ogden (23-15). Two weeks ago, Orem appeared poised to go off on another one of those famous Tom Kotchman runs as they won eight of ten between August 13 and 22 to move into first place for the second-half title, but since then have gone 3-10.
The Ogden Raptors have clinched both halves of the South Division title, so the team with the second-best overall division record will play Ogden in the playoffs. In that race, the Owlz are 36-36, 1½ games ahead of Casper at 35-38. (The half-game difference comes from an Owlz’ rainout August 30 at Billings that won’t be made up.) Both Orem and Casper have three games left. The Owlz play tonight at home against the Raptors, then go on the road at Ogden for two. The Ghosts host Idaho Falls at home for the remaining three. One Orem win and one Casper loss are enough to clinch the post-season for the Owlz.
TEMPE — The Arizona League plays a 56-game schedule which ended Sunday August 29. The Angels finished 24-31, last in the AZL East, so no playoff this year for the rookie league team.