One night after being eliminated from playoff contention, the West Michigan Whitecaps put on a pitching performance to remember.
Whitecaps SP Marcelo Carreno and RP Slade Smith dominated the Dayton Dragons, racking up 20 strikeouts in 9 innings without giving up a single walk. Carreno, who earned his 9th victory of the season, struck out 13 batters while giving up only four hits in six scoreless innings. Smith pitched the last three innings, striking out 7 batters while giving up one run and four hits.
Every Dragons starter struck out at least once, except for Joe Terry, who went 3-for-4 with a double.
The 20 strikeouts were the most in a 9-inning game in the 19-year history of the Whitecaps. In a game against the Great Lakes Loons earlier this season, the Whitecaps struck out 21 batters, but they needed 16 innings to do it.
River Bandits eliminated; Cougars still in hunt
The Quad Cities River Bandits were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday night, but they didn’t go down without a fight to the finish. They scored four runs in the top of the 9th inning but still fell a run short, losing 6-5 to the Beloit Snappers.
The Kane County Cougars, on the other hand, remain in the playoff hunt after beating the Peoria Chiefs 6-5 while the Burlington Bees’ game rained out. A Bees win or a Cougars loss clinches a postseason berth for Burlington, with two games remaining in the season.
Where I’m ending the season
I’m in Cedar Rapids, where I’ll catch the last two games of the regular season for the hometown Kernels and the visiting Clinton LumberKings (second-half Western Division champions). On Sunday, the first 1,000 fans will receive a Mike Trout “wobblehead” — how that is different than a bobblehead, I don’t know — and on Monday we’ll be entertained by Midwest Dueling Pianos and hopefully get to take advantage of some good deals on Fan Appreciation Day.
Somebody we won’t get to see is Frazier Hall, who played first base for the Kernels this year. He found out Friday he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the July 24 Barry Enright deal.
Hall batted .254 with 13 HR and 50 RBI in 126 games with the Kernels.