Congratulation to our Triple-A affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, who captured the Pacific Coast League championship for the first time in Diamondbacks franchise history. [They previously won it in 1993, as the Tucson Toros] The Sidewinders beat the Round Rock Express 6-3, in Texas, to complete a sweep of the series and progress to the Triple-A "World Series" game. There, they'll face whoever is the International League champions (still ongoing, between the Toledo Mudhens and the Rochester Redwings), on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
The Sidewinders used a five-run rally in the seventh to come from behind. They came into that inning 3-1 game, but RF Jon Weber tied things up with a two-run single. Brian Barden then hit a two-run homer, and Robby Hammock followed with a moonshot estimated at 465 feet. Ross Ohlendorf started for Tucson, and allowed two earned runs on five hits, over 5 2/3 innings. Casey Daigle got the win in relief, and Mike Koplove picked up the save. Weber, Hairston, Hammock and Brito had two hits apiece.
A hearty "Well done!" to Missoula as well, since the Ospreys likewise completed a sweep of the Pioneer League championship series, defeating the Idaho Falls Chukars 7-2 in Game 2 on Thursday night. Osbek Castillo and Hector Ambriz combined on a four-hitter, the only runs conceded coming on a two-run homer off Castillo in the fourth. The Ospreys continued their display of power pitching by fanning 14 Chukars, with Ambriz striking out the side in the ninth to seal the victory.
Missoula scored three in the first and then, after their lead was cut to one, added three more in the fifth, all those coming on a home-run by Shea McFeely. Second-baseman Sean Smith also went deep in the seventh. Smith and the Ospreys' leadoff batter, center-fielder Tyler Jones, each had a pair of hits and scored two runs, with Jones stealing two bases as well. It's their first title since 1999, their debut year, and they were a perfect 4-0 in postseason play.
These victories show that the D'backs farm system is strong, both immediately and further down the line. The Tucson victory is particularly impressive, given the number of players they lost, because they were taken up to the big leagues. They won their playoffs without Drew, Quentin, Young, EdGon or Slaten, so that would seem to indicate the depth of roster that they have available. This seems to extend right down through the system, so keep an eye out for the less well-known names mentioned above. Someday, you may be wearing a jersey with "McFeely" on the back!
As noted by William K, Alberto Callaspo immediately got called up by Arizona: the report refers to "a rash of injuries", but the only one I can think of is Drew's various niggling bumps and bruises (hand, groin, etc.). It's probably likely that he'll be treated very gently over the rest of the year, and I've no problem with that. There's no point in taking the slightest risk in games that are, basically, meaningless - except every fifth day when, by god, we'd better put out our very best team behind Brandon Webb.