The Peoria Chiefs lost their game at Quad Cities on Thursday, but still clinched their first postseason berth since 2009 thanks to a Beloit Snappers loss at Wisconsin.
Peoria entered the day needing only a win or a Beloit loss to get in the playoffs, and the Snappers dropped both of their games against the Timber Rattlers. The first Snappers loss — completion of a postponed game from July 13 — happened early during the Chiefs game, so Peoria no longer needed a win to clinch.
Despite scoring first, the Chiefs trailed the River Bandits 8-1 after six innings. Peoria attempted a late rally, scoring five runs in the 8th inning, but fell 8-6 to Quad Cities.
The Chiefs celebrated their postseason berth in the visitors locker room at Modern Woodmen Park. When they face the Kane County Cougars in the first round of the playoffs, they will end what currently is the longest postseason drought in the Midwest League.
Now affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chiefs were a Chicago Cubs farm team the last time they reached the playoffs. The 2009 team included a few future MLB All-Star players: Chris Archer (6-4, 2.81 ERA, 119 Ks in 109 IP), Josh Harrison (.337 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 16 SB in 79 games), and D.J. LeMahieu (.316 BA, 30 RBI in 38 games).
The River Bandits also will be in the playoffs after winning the Western Division in the first half of the season. They will face the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the first round.
TinCaps win 17th in a row at home
The Fort Wayne TinCaps continued their second-half dominance at Parkview Field, winning their 17th consecutive home game Thursday. (Their 16th win broke the old franchise record for consecutive home wins.)
The TinCaps are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. They lead the Eastern Division by four games over the West Michigan Whitecaps, who also are in good shape to reach the postseason with the Lake County Captains and the South Bend Cubs trailing them by seven games with 11 games left in the regular season.
The Lansing Lugnuts and the Great Lakes Loons won Eastern Division playoff berths in the first half. They will face each other in the first round.