Results tagged ‘ Orem Owlz ’

The Playoff Picture (as of September 5)

Statistics are as of the morning of September 5.

Here’s an update on the playoff status for each of the Angels affiliates.

SALT LAKE — The Pacific Coast League plays a 144-game schedule. Unlike lower levels, it’s all one season, not divided into two halves. The Bees are 72-70, 1½ games behind Tacoma (73-68) in the Pacific North division with two games to play. The Rainiers have one fewer game to play as their May 26 game against Oklahoma City was cancelled due to rain and won’t be made up. The Bees lost last night 6-5 to Reno while the Rainiers won 3-1 at Fresno. The Bees must win both remaining games at home against Reno (68-73) while Tacoma must lose both remaining games at Fresno (74-68) for Salt Lake to go to the post-season.

ARKANSAS — The Texas League plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Travelers finished 26-44 in the first half, 16 games behind Northwest Arkansas in the North division. They’ve clinched last place with a current second-half record of 27-41, and have lost ten in row. They have two games left to play at home against Springfield, and then Travs fans can look forward to receiving next year many of the players on Rancho Cucamonga’s title-contending team. Speaking of which …

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The California League also plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Quakes finished 39-31 in the first half, good but not good enough to win the Cal League South, falling seven games behind Lake Elsinore (46-24). The Storm have been more like a squall in the second half, currently at 35-33, two games behind the first-place Quakes (37-31). High Desert (36-32) is in second place, one game behind Rancho, and one game ahead of Lake Elsinore. The Quakes have two games left at Lancaster, while the Mavericks have two games left at Lake Elsinore.

The Cal League has a rather convoluted playoff procedure, in part because they add an extra tier of playoffs. Click here to read the playoff procedures. Basically, the first-half team (Lake Elsinore) gets a bye while the second-half winner plays the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three playoff. Should the Storm win the second half too, then the teams with the second-best and third-best records would play. If you look at the overall records, Lake Elsinore is in first at 81-57, five games ahead of Rancho Cucamonga at 76-62 and eight ahead of High Desert at 732-65. With two games games left to play, the Mavericks can’t catch the Quakes for the second-best record. All that appears to be at stake right now is home field advantage for the first-round mini-series; the team with the better finish is the home team for Games #2 and #3.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Midwest League also plays a 140-game schedule split into two halves. The Kernels won the Western Division first half with a 43-25 record, so they’re automatically seeded into the post-season. They’re currently 37-31 with two games to go. The current roster bears little resemblance to the first-half powerhouse. Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin were traded to Arizona. Garrett Richards and Orangel Arenas were promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. Fabio Martinez Mesa has been on the disabled list since August 1 with right shoulder tendonitis and won’t be available for the playoffs. League MVP Mike Trout was also promoted to Rancho along with third baseman Luis Jimenez. Randal Grichuk has returned from the disabled list, which will help, and Carlos Ramirez has hit much better in the second half.

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). Ten days 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 2-9. The Owlz lost last night 11-10 at Idaho Falls. The Ghosts also lost, 15-4 at Ogden, so they remain in second place at 17-16 while the Owlz are in third at 16-16. Ogden at 20-12 is 3½ games ahead of Casper and four ahead of Orem. (The half-game difference comes from an Owlz’ rainout August 30 at Billings that won’t be made up, and an Ogden rainout at Great Falls the same day.)

Should Ogden win both halves, they’ll face the team with the second-best overall record. Right now, that would be the Owlz at 35-35, 1½ games ahead of Casper (34-37). Orem has five games left, starting with today on the road at Idaho Falls (25-46 overall). They finish with four games against the Raptors, two at home and then two at Ogden. Casper is at Ogden today, then at home against Idaho Falls for four. The Owlz are fairly well-positioned to qualify for the playoffs, but they’ll have to play better during their remaining five games to outrun Casper.

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.

The Playoff Picture (as of September 4)

Statistics are as of the morning of September 4.

Here’s an update on the playoff status for each of the Angels affiliates.

SALT LAKE — The Pacific Coast League plays a 144-game schedule. Unlike lower levels, it’s all one season, not divided into two halves. The Bees are 72-69, a half-game behind Tacoma in the Pacific North division. They just completed a four-game sweep of Fresno and beat Reno last night 11-4, while Tacoma (72-68) lost 10-7 in 12 innings at Fresno. The Bees have three left at home against Reno, while Tacoma will be on the road at Fresno for three. So the Bees still have a pulse.


UPDATE 11:00 AM PDT — In response to an e-mail … The half-game difference between Salt Lake and Tacoma is due to a Rainiers game against Oklahoma City on May 26 that was rained out. The game was cancelled because the two teams do not face each other again in 2010. The minors pretty much don’t care about making up games that may impact a title race, so Tacoma will continue to have that half-game advantage on Salt Lake through season’s end.


ARKANSAS — The Texas League plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Travelers finished 26-44 in the first half, 16 games behind Northwest Arkansas in the North division. They’ve clinched last place with a current second-half record of 27-40, ten games behind third-place Springfield, with three games to play.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The California League also plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Quakes finished 39-31 in the first half, good but not good enough to win the Cal League South, falling seven games behind Lake Elsinore (46-24). The Storm have been more like a squall in the second half, currently at 35-32, two games behind the first-place Quakes (37-30). High Desert (35-32) is tied for second place with Lake Elsinore. Rancho has three games left to play, on the road at Lancaster. The Mavericks have three to play at Lake Elsinore.

The Cal League has a rather convoluted playoff procedure, in part because they add an extra tier of playoffs. Click here to read the playoff procedures. Basically, the first-half team (Lake Elsinore) gets a bye while the second-half winner plays the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three playoff. Should the Storm win the second half too, then the teams with the second-best and third-best records would play. If you look at the overall records, Lake Elsinore is in first at 81-56, five games ahead of Rancho Cucamonga at 76-61 and nine ahead of High Desert at 72-65. With three games left to play, the Mavericks can’t catch the Quakes for the second-best record. All that appears to be at stake right now is home field advantage for the first-round mini-series; the team with the better finish is the home team for Games #2 and #3.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Midwest League also plays a 140-game schedule split into two halves. The Kernels won the Western Division first half with a 43-25 record, so they’re automatically seeded into the post-season. They’re currently 36-31 with three games to go. The current roster bears little resemblance to the first-half powerhouse. Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin were traded to Arizona. Garrett Richards and Orangel Arenas were promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. Fabio Martinez Mesa has been on the disabled list since August 1 with right shoulder tendonitis and it’s unclear whether he’ll be available for the playoffs. League MVP Mike Trout was also promoted to Rancho along with third baseman Luis Jimenez. Randal Grichuk has returned from the disabled list, which will help, and Carlos Ramirez has hit much better in the second half.


UPDATE 9:30 AM PDT — I checked with Angels management about Fabio’s status. He won’t pitch in the playoffs but could pitch in fall instructional league.


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). Ten days 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 2-8. The Owlz just dropped two out of three at home to Casper, and lost last night 5-2 at Idaho Falls. The Ghosts also lost, 8-6 at Ogden, so they remain in second place at 17-15 while the Owlz are in third at 16-15. Ogden at 19-12 is 2½ games ahead of Casper and three ahead of Orem.

Should Ogden win both halves, they’ll face the team with the second-best overall record. Right now, that would be the Owlz at 35-34, 1½ games ahead of Casper (34-36). Orem has six games left, starting with two more on the road at Idaho Falls (24-46 overall). They finish with four games against the Raptors, two at home and then two at Ogden. Casper is at Ogden for two more, then at home against Idaho Falls for four. The Owlz are fairly well-positioned to qualify for the playoffs, but they’ll have to play better during their remaining six games to outrun Casper.

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.

The Playoff Picture (as of September 3)

Statistics are as of the morning of September 3.

Here’s an update on the playoff status for each of the Angels affiliates.

SALT LAKE — The Pacific Coast League plays a 144-game schedule. Unlike lower levels, it’s all one season, not divided into two halves. The Bees are 71-69, 1½ games behind Tacoma in the Pacific North division. They just completed a four-game sweep of Fresno (73-67) and have four games left at home against Reno (67-72). Tacoma (72-67) will be on the road at Fresno for four. So the Bees still have a pulse.

ARKANSAS — The Texas League plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Travelers finished 26-44 in the first half, 16 games behind Northwest Arkansas in the North division. They’ve clinched last place with a current second-half record of 27-39, ten games behind third-place Springfield, with four games to play.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The California League also plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Quakes finished 39-31 in the first half, good but not good enough to win the Cal League South, falling seven games behind Lake Elsinore (46-24). The Storm have been more like a squall in the second half, currently at 34-32, two games behind the first-place Quakes. High Desert (35-31) is in second place, one game behind the Quakes and one game ahead of Lake Elsinore. Rancho has four games left to play, on the road at Lancaster. The Mavericks four to play at Lake Elsinore.

The Cal League has a rather convoluted playoff procedure, in part because they add an extra tier of playoffs. Click here to read the playoff procedures. Basically, the first-half team (Lake Elsinore) gets a bye while the second-half winner plays the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three playoff. Should the Storm win the second half too, then the teams with the second-best and third-best records would play. If you look at the overall records, Lake Elsinore is in first at 80-56, five games ahead of Rancho Cucamonga at 75-61 and eight ahead of High Desert at 72-64. The next best team is Lancaster, 27 games behind Lake Elsinore, so it would seem that the Storm, the Quakes and the Mavericks are all a lock for the post-season. All that appears to be at stake right now is home field advantage for the first-round mini-series; the team with the better finish is the home team for Games #2 and #3.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Midwest League also plays a 140-game schedule split into two halves. The Kernels won the Western Division first half with a 43-25 record, so they’re automatically seeded into the post-season. They’re currently 35-31 with four games to go. The current roster bears little resemblance to the first-half powerhouse. Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin were traded to Arizona. Garrett Richards and Orangel Arenas were promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. Fabio Martinez Mesa has been on the disabled list since August 1 with right shoulder tendonitis and it’s unclear whether he’ll be available for the playoffs. League MVP Mike Trout was also promoted to Rancho along with third baseman Luis Jimenez. Randal Grichuk has returned from the disabled list, which will help, and Carlos Ramirez has an OPS (OBP + SLG) of .870 in the second half after a putrid .596 first half.

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). Ten days 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 2-7. The Owlz just dropped two out of three at home to Casper, so the Ghosts have gone into second place at 17-14 while the Owlz are in third at 16-14. Ogden at 18-12 is 1½ games ahead of Casper and two ahead of Orem.

Should Ogden win both halves, they’ll face the team with the second-best overall record. Right now, that would be the Owlz at 35-33, 1½ games ahead of Casper (34-35). Orem has seven games left, starting with three on the road at Idaho Falls (23-46 overall). They finish with four games against the Raptors, two at home and then two at Ogden. Casper is at Ogden for three, then at home against Idaho Falls at four. The Owlz are fairly well-positioned to qualify for the playoffs, but they’ll have to play better during their remaining seven games to outrun Casper.

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.

The Playoff Picture (as of August 31)

Statistics are as of the morning of August 31.

Here’s an update on the playoff status for each of the Angels affiliates.

SALT LAKE — The Pacific Coast League plays a 144-game schedule. Unlike lower levels, it’s all one season, not divided into two halves. The Bees are 68-69, 3½ games behind Tacoma in the Pacific North division. Salt Lake has seven games left, none of them against Tacoma. They’re at home for the rest of the season, with three games against Fresno (73-64) and four against Reno (65-71). It’ll take a collapse by Tacoma to give the Bees a shot at the post-season.

ARKANSAS — The Texas League plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Travelers finished 26-44 in the first half, 16 games behind Northwest Arkansas in the North division. They’ve clinched last place with a current second-half record of 27-36, nine games behind third-place Tulsa, with seven games to play.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The California League also plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Quakes finished 39-31 in the first half, good but not good enough to win the Cal League South, falling seven games behind Lake Elsinore (46-24). The Storm have been more like a squall in the second half, currently at 31-31, three games behind the Quakes and High Desert who are tied for first at 34-29. Rancho has seven games left to play — three at home starting tonight against High Desert, then four on the road at Lancaster. The Mavericks would seem to have the tougher schedule — three at Rancho, and finally four at Lake Elsinore.

The Cal League has a rather convoluted playoff procedure, in part because they add an extra tier of playoffs. Click here to read the playoff procedures. Basically, the first-half team (Lake Elsinore) gets a bye while the second-half winner plays the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three playoff. Should the Storm win the second half too, then the teams with the second-best and third-best records would play. If you look at the overall records, Lake Elsinore is in first at 77-56, four games ahead of Rancho Cucamonga at 73-60 and six ahead of High Desert at 71-62. The next best team is Lancaster, 24 games behind Lake Elsinore, so it would seem that the Storm, the Quakes and the Mavericks are all a lock for the post-season. All that appears to be at stake right now is home field advantage for the first-round mini-series; the team with the better finish is the home team for Games #2 and #3.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Midwest League also plays a 140-game schedule split into two halves. The Kernels won the Western Division first half with a 43-25 record, so they’re automatically seeded into the post-season. They’re currently 33-30 with seven games to go. The current roster bears little resemblance to the first-half powerhouse. Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin were traded to Arizona. Garrett Richards and Orangel Arenas were promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. Fabio Martinez Mesa has been on the disabled list since August 1 with right shoulder tendonitis and it’s unclear whether he’ll be available for the playoffs. League MVP Mike Trout was also promoted to Rancho along with third baseman Luis Jimenez. Randal Grichuk has returned from the disabled list, which will help, and Carlos Ramirez has an OPS (OBP + SLG) of .845 in the second half after a putrid .596 first half.

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). A week 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 then lost five in a row before winning on August 29. That left them 15-12, but only a half-game behind the Raptors (16-12) who went into their own tailspin.

Should Ogden win both halves, they’ll face the team with the second-best overall record. Right now, that would be the Owlz at 34-31, 2½ games ahead of Casper (32-34). Orem has ten games left, including three at home against Casper on September 1-2, including a makeup doubleheader. They finish with four games against the Raptors, two at home and then two at Ogden. The Owlz are fairly well-positioned to qualify for the playoffs, but they’ll have to play better during their remaining ten games to outrun Casper.

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.

The Playoff Picture

Statistics are as of the morning of August 28.

The minor league seasons are coming down to the last days, so let’s take a look at each Angels affiliate and see where they are in their respective title chases.

SALT LAKE — The Pacific Coast League plays a 144-game schedule. Unlike lower levels, it’s all one season, not divided into two halves. The Bees are 67-67, 2½ games behind Tacoma in the Pacific North division. Salt Lake has ten games left, none of them against Tacoma. After two more games in Colorado Springs (59-74), they’ll be at home for the rest of the season, with four games against Fresno (73-61) and four against Reno (64-69).

ARKANSAS — The Texas League plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Travelers finished 26-44 in the first half, 16 games behind Northwest Arkansas in the North division.They seem doomed for a similar demise in the second half, with a 27-33 record. The Travs have ten games left, including six against the Springfield Cardinals who are 33-27, in third place six games ahead. It’s unlikely they’ll even catch Springfield, so it looks like the Travs will wind up in last place for both halves.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The California League also plays a 140-game schedule divided into two 70-game halves. The Quakes finished 39-31 in the first half, good but not good enough to win the Cal League South, falling seven games behind Lake Elsinore (46-24). The Storm have been more like a squall in the second half, currently at 30-30, two games behind the Quakes and High Desert who are tied for first at 32-28. Rancho has ten games left to play — three at home against Lancaster (23-47), three at home against High Desert, then four on the road at Lancaster. The Mavericks would seem to have the tougher schedule — only three more at home against Lake Elsinore, then three at Rancho, and finally four at Lake Elsinore.

The Cal League has a rather convoluted playoff procedure, in part because they add an extra tier of playoffs. Click here to read the playoff procedures. Basically, the first-half team (Lake Elsinore) gets a bye while the second-half winner plays the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three playoff. Should the Storm win the second half too, then the teams with the second-best and third-best records would play. If you look at the overall records, Lake Elsinore is in first at 76-54, five games ahead of Rancho Cucamonga at 71-59 and seven ahead of High Desert at 69-61. The next best team is Lancaster, 24 games behind Lake Elsinore, so it would seem that the Storm, the Quakes and the Mavericks are all a lock for the post-season. All that appears to be at stake right now is home field advantage for the first-round mini-series; the team with the better finish is the home team for Games #2 and #3.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Midwest League also plays a 140-game schedule split into two halves. The Kernels won the Western Division first half with a 43-25 record, so they’re automatically seeded into the post-season. They’re currently 32-28 with ten games to go. The current roster bears little resemblance to the first-half powerhouse. Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin were traded to Arizona. Garrett Richards and Orangel Arenas were promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. Fabio Martinez Mesa has been on the disabled list since August 1 with right shoulder tendonitis and it’s unclear whether he’ll be available for the playoffs. League MVP Mike Trout was also promoted to Rancho along with third baseman Luis Jimenez. Randal Grichuk has returned from the disabled list, which will help, and Carlos Ramirez has an OPS (OBP + SLG) of .878 in the second half after a putrid .596 first half.

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). A week 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 they’ve lost four in a row to fall to 14-11, 1½ games behind the Raptors. Should Ogden win both halves, they’ll face the team with the second-best overall record. Right now, that would be the Owlz at 33-30, four games ahead of Casper (29-34). Orem has 12 games left, including two at home against Casper on September 1-2. They finish with four games against the Raptors, two at home and then two at Ogden. Barring a total collapse, it looks like the Owlz will reach the playoffs for the tenth straight year the franchise has been in Utah County, but they’ll need to play better to get past Ogden in the first round.

TEMPE — The Arizona League plays a 56-game schedule which ends Sunday August 29. The Angels are 23-30, last in the AZL East, so no playoff this year for the rookie league team.

Owlz Capture the Flag


Owlz manager Tom Kotchman won his fourth pennant in six years Saturday when his team beat Missoula 13-10.

 

Is there a better manager in minor league baseball than Tom Kotchman?

Kotch has taken the Provo/Orem franchise to the post-season every year since it relocated to Utah County from Helena, Montana in 2001. He won a pennant at Provo in 2004, then the franchise moved six miles west to Orem where he won pennants in 2005 and 2007.

Now add 2009 to the list.

The odds were against them, but the Owlz won 13-10 last night at Missoula to win their fourth pennant in six years.

Although they had the best overall record in the league at 51-25 (.671), they lost Game #1 at home in their best-of-three series against the Osprey. That meant they had to win Games #2 and #3 on the road at Missoula.

The Owlz won Game #2 Friday 10-0 on a complete game shutout by Stephen Locke to force Game #3, winner take all.

Orem got out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st thanks to a three-run homer by Casey Haerther, but the Osprey answered with three in the bottom of the first off Orangel Arenas. The Owlz added single runs in the 3rd and 4th, then posted six runs in the 5th for what seemed like a safe 11-3 lead.

Going to the bottom of the 9th, the Osprey trailed 13-4, but started to chip away against the Owlz’ bullpen, their weak spot most of the year. By the time David Carpenter struck out Jae Yun Kim to end the game, Missoula had whittled down the deficit to 13-10.

Kotch is quite happy with his dual life as a Florida scout and short-season manager, but I often wonder what would happen if he was handed the opportunity to run a big league club the way he wants, similar to Mike Scioscia’s arrangement in Anaheim.

The Owlz’ webcast failed early in the game, apparently due to the loss of an Internet connection in the Missoula broadcast booth, but I did capture Missoula’s webcast. Click Here to listen to the Osprey webcast of the Owlz’ pennant victory. (WIndows Media Player required.)


UPDATE September 22, 2009 — The Owlz’ front office informed me they didn’t lose their signal during the game, so why it didn’t work here in Florida is beyond me. Anyway, all their post-season games are archived at audio.oremowlz.com.

The Playoff Picture


Carlos Ramirez was 5 for 5 with two homers and two doubles, as the Orem Owlz won Friday 10-0 at Missoula.

 

After losing Game #1 Thursday at home to the Osprey, the Owlz got on the bus for the 550-mile ride for Missoula, facing the unlikely task of winning Games #2 and #3 on the Osprey’s home turf to take the Pioneer League pennant.

But after last night’s 10-0 rout, the Owlz have given themselves a fighting chance to capture the flag.

Stephen Locke pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only four hits while striking out five and walking one.

The Owlz hit six homers, a Pioneer League playoff record for one game. Eleven of their fifteen hits were extra base hits.

Catcher Carlos Ramirez was 5 for 5 with two homers, two doubles and a single.

Kevin Ramos, Justin Bass, Casey Haerther and Michael Wing also homered.

So it’s winner take all tonight at Missoula.

Orangel Arenas starts for the Owlz. During the regular season, he was 4-3 with a 4.65 ERA in 69 2/3 innings. In his last three starts, he gave up 11 earned runs in 11 innings. His last start was on September 10. Missoula starts Charles Brewer, 7-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. He was selected by the Angels in the 18th round of the June 2006 draft, but he didn’t sign. The Brewers got him this year in the 12th round out of UCLA after his junior year.

Last year, Great Falls won on the Owlz’ home field. Hopefully the Owlz will balance out the karma tonight.

The Playoff Picture

The Quakes were eliminated from the playoffs last night after losing 11-6 at High Desert. Rancho Cucamonga went much further than anyone reasonably expected. They upset the Lake Elsinore Storm in their wild-card series, then took the Mavericks to five games. Not bad for a team that finished 61-79 and lost power-hitter Matt Sweeney to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Scott Kazmir trade.

The Owlz suffered a surprising 7-6 loss at home to Missoula, to fall behind 1-0 in their best-of-three pennant series. The bullpen blew a 5-1 lead by giving up three runs in the 8th and three runs in the 9th, including a three-run homer in the 9th to Osprey right fielder Bobby Stone off David Carpenter.

Both teams are off today for the long bus trip to Missoula. Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are Friday and Saturday. I haven’t done the research, but anecdotally I know it’s very hard for a team to lose its home game #1 in these best-of-three series to sweep #2 and #3 on the road. That’s what faces the Owlz.

The Playoff Picture


Ryan Brasier pitched eight shutout innings Tuesday as the Quakes won 2-1 over High Desert. Brasier struck out seven, walked one, and gave up just three hits.

 

Still alive!

Ryan Brasier pitched what might be the game of his life to lead the Quakes to a 2-1 win over High Desert. The win evened their best-of-five series 2-2, with the deciding game tonight in Adelanto.

A sixth-round pick out of Weatherford (TX) Junior College in the June 2007 draft, Brasier was a reliever his entire professional career until June 30, when he was moved into the Quakes’ starting rotation. Ryan’s numbers with Rancho this year have been unimpressive — 5.23 ERA overall, 4.45 as a reliever, 5.56 as a starter — but his performance last night was as improbable as the Quakes’ survival in the post-season. Brasier pitched eight shutout innings, struck out seven, walked one and gave up just three hits.

The Mavericks were 83-57 overall in 2009. They won both halves of the California League’s South Division season. The Quakes were 61-79. Rancho shouldn’t have got this far, but they upset Lake Elsinore (73-67) in their best-of-three playoff series, and now they stand one game away from the pennant series. In the north, Bakersfield (75-65) is at San Jose (93-47) for Game #5 tonight.

Manuel Flores is the announced starter for the Quakes. He spent most of 2009 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, where he was 7-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 120.1 innings. In six starts with Rancho, he was 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA in 33.1 IP. He’ll face Donnie Hume, 17-5 with a 4.81 ERA in 151.2 IP for the Mavericks.

Winner take all.

Let’s not overlook the Orem Owlz. They begin their best-of-three series tonight against the Missoula Osprey for the Pioneer League pennant. Pat Corbin is the announced starter for the Owlz, according to OremOwlz.com. Game #1 is tonight in Orem, then the teams are off Thursday to bus to Missoula for Game #2 and (if necessary) #3.

The Playoff Picture

Down 2-0 in their best-of-five series with High Desert, and down 6-2 at the stretch half of the 7th inning in Game #3, the Quakes posted a run in the bottom frame thanks to Alberto Rosario’s solo homer, then three runs to tie in the bottom of the 9th, and finally scored in the bottom of the 10th to win 7-6. Game #4 is tonight at Rancho Cucamonga; Ryan Brasier is the scheduled starter.

Will Smith was a big-game pitcher in 2008 with the Orem Owlz, and he delivered a big-game performance last night for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but it wasn’t enough as the Burlington Bees won 2-1 to eliminate the Men of Corn. Will gave up a broken-bat single in the 1st followed by a two-run homer off his changeup, then settled down to allow no more runs through the 8th when he exited the game. He struck out nine, walked five, and allowed only three hits — just one after the 1st-inning dinger.

The Orem Owlz are off until Wednesday, when they host Game #1 of the Pioneer League best-of-three pennant series at Orem. They’ll face the Missoula Osprey, a Diamondbacks affiliate. Missoula’s overall record was 40-36. Because of the short series, only one game is in Orem, then Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are in Missoula. The divisions alternate by year who gets the home field advantage, and in 2009 it’s the North Division’s turn, so whomever wins the series celebrates in Missoula. The Owlz were 7-0 this year against Missoula, but that means nothing in the post-season.

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