With only three weeks remaining in the Major League Baseball regular season, the Minor League Baseball postseason is in full swing.
The Palm Beach Cardinals were named co-champions of Florida State League, along with the Tampa Yankees, as the result of winning their respective divisions — and the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma leading to schedule complications.
The Peoria Chiefs’ season ended earlier this week, when they dropped the second and third games of a best-of-three series to the Quad Cities River Bandits after a wild, walk-off win in the series opener.
In relevance to the Cardinals, the Memphis Redbirds are the only farm team still in action. The Redbirds split the first two games of a best-of-five set with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in Memphis before the series shifted for the final three. The Redbirds dropped the third game on Friday, 16-15, before an 11-8 win in Saturday’s matchup.
And so, it all comes down to Sunday’s matinee Game Five. The Redbirds will send Matt Pearce to the mound for a chance to advance to the PCL Finals. Should they advance, the Redbirds would take on the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Pearce made 27 starts between Springfield (17) and Memphis (10) in the regular season, posting a combined 1.23 WHIP and 99:30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 164 innings of work. It will be Pearce’s first appearance of the postseason, as the Redbirds worked with a five-man rotation that also includes Dakota Hudson, Kevin Herget, Ryan Helsley, and Zac Gallen.
As the Redbirds enter Sunday’s pivotal affair, a pair of key hitters include infielder Aledmys Diaz and outfielder Magneuris Sierra. Diaz has five hits — three doubles and two homers — in 12 at-bats with five runs batted in and three runs scored. Sierra, on the other hand, is just getting his feet wet in Triple-A. The 21-year-old is 4-for-13 with a double, two walks, two runs driven in, and three runs scored thus far.
Today’s game begins at 2:30 PM Central time from Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, Colorado.