The St. Louis Cardinals will be forced to watch from Cincinnati as the Memphis Redbirds play in the Triple-A Championship game tonight.
Seemingly simultaneous, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Memphis Redbirds will experience first pitch around 6pm central tonight. One- the Cardinals- begin a 3-game series with a bottom-dwelling divisional foe. The other- the Redbirds- play their final game of the 2017 season and one for all the marbles.
Tonight, the Memphis Redbirds have earned their way to the triple-A championship game and will face-off against the Durham Bulls at 6pm tonight. This one game is a winner-take-all and will crown the 2017 triple-A champs.
Taking the mound for Memphis tonight is rising-star Dakota Hudson. Hudson has appeared in three game this postseason and commands a respected 2.25 ERA. He has surrendered three runs and seven walks over these appearances all while striking out 10 batters in the postseason.
Taking the mound for Durham is left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. Yarbrough will be a tough nut to crack as he has started both game ones for the Bulls taking a win in each and with a frightening 1.38 ERA. In his two postseason starts, Yarbrough has surrendered only five hits while striking out nine batters across 13 innings.
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To make matters worse, the Memphis Redbirds have not faced a left-handed pitcher in their last 15 games. This does not bode well for the AAA-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
What does bode well is the that fact that a win tonight will push Memphis’ number up to 98 wins in one minor league season. The last time this happened was in 2006 when Tuscon’s team won the first ever triple-A championship game to lock in their 98th win.
All of this while the St. Louis Cardinals are fading from view and sitting at only 77 wins. In essence, the triple-A team has run circles around the MLB team in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Tonight’s championship game will be televised at 6pm CT on the NBC Sports Network. I imagine that the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse will have televisions glued to this game so that players can check on their minor league buddies. That is, if Mike Matheny will allow them to watch anything other than their game with the Reds.
Will you be watching? I know that I am glad that my television has picture-in-picture as I plan to have both games live on my screen. Go Cardinals and Go Redbirds!