And now it's over. The Northwest and New York-Penn Leagues will continue for a couple of more days, but for all of the full season leagues Monday was the final day of the regular season. It was the last day for some players to cap off strong seasons, and one last chance for others to improve stats of seasons they'd like to forget.
The Cardinals would be fair in asking where has this Chris Lambert been. In his first start with Toledo after being traded from the Cardinals, Lambert allowed one hit while striking out 10 in six shutout innings. The Cardinals' 2004 first-rounder had a 7.49 ERA with Memphis before the trade.
Matt Macri hasn't exactly set Rochester on fire since being acquired by the Twins. But Macri did finish off the regular season with a pair of home runs on Monday.
Luke Hochevar finished off a disappointing season with six solid innings–he allowed two runs and two hits. Hochevar was 4-9, 4.86 between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A Omaha. Craig Brazell finished with the minor league home run title but he fell one short of 40 as he went homerless over the final week of the season. Both will be heading to the big leagues now. Hochevar's start will not be the main memory from the season's final game as both teams agreed to share one bat. The original bat lasted until the sixth inning, when it cracked. It ended up taking two more bats to complete the game.
Brandon Wood hit a pair of doubles in a 12-5 loss to Las Vegas.
Every now and then when you're scanning box scores a name jumps out because you just don't expect to see him there. That's exactly the thought when Cedric Hunter's name pops up for hitting a home run for Portland. After being promoted from low Class A Fort Wayne to Portland, Hunter homered and stole a home run from Scott McClain.
Hunter wasn't the only Class A player making the jump to Triple-A. Andrew Bailey settled in nicely with Sacramento after a strong season with high Class A Stockton. In a spot start, Bailey allowed three hits and one run in eight innings.
Jeff Larish hit his 28th home run and Matt Joyce added his 33rd double as the Erie SeaWolves beat up on Altoona's Yoslan Herrera to win the Eastern League's Southern Division.
Johnny Cueto finished off his season with a win by holding West Tenn to two runs in seven innings while striking out eight.
Reading's Pat Overholt would have been happy if the season had ended a day early. He gave up seven runs in two innings in a loss to Harrisburg. Mike Costanzo hit his 27th home run for Reading.
Jeff Samardzija could join Overholt in that thought. He's been much better since being promoted to Double-A, but Samardzija's final start didn't go so well. He allowed four runs in four innings while getting battered around for eight hits as Chris Volstad outdueled him.
Allen Craig hit his third home run since being promoted to Springfield. In his first full pro season Craig hit .311/.367/.541 between Palm Beach and Springfield.
High Class A
Justin Maxwell had a nice bounce-back season in a career that has been noteworthy mostly for injuries. Maxwell hit his 27th home run of the season on Monday while Chris Marrero hit his 23rd. The Nationals also announced that first-round pick Ross Detwiler is being included among the September call-ups.
Anthony Cupps' rough season finished off with a highlight. Cupps threw a complete-game shutout against Stockton to improve to 4-13, 6.01.
Low Class A
Emmanuel Burriss stole two bases on Monday, giving him 68 for the season. It's hard to really evaluate Burriss' season. He had a strong second half with Augusta, hitting .321/.374/.381 with 51 steals, but that came after hitting .165/.237/.180 in the hitter-friendly California League which led to the demotion.
Matt LaPorta hit his 10th home run in 23 games since being promoted to West Virginia. Stephen Chapman also added a home run on Monday.
Fabian Williamson and two relievers combined to shut out Kane County. James Heuser deserved better as the Kane County starter threw eight shutout innings before handing the game over to the bullpen, which couldn't maintain the shutout.
Rome's Tyler Flowers hit a pair of home runs (his 11th and 12th) to finish off an impressive season for the catcher/first baseman. The 2005 33rd round pick signed as a draft and follow in 2006 and hit .279/.373/.465 in his pro debut with Danville. This year Flowers hit .298/.378/.488.
Brandon Snyder and Bill Rowell both homered and Pedro Beato threw two hitless innings as Delmarva beat Lake County.
Travis Snider also finished off 2007 with a home run, his 16th, in Lansing's 12-3 win over West Michigan.
It wasn't Drew Naylor's best outing of the season, but Naylor struck out 11 batters for the second consecutive game to beat Mahoning Valley.
Matt Latos gave up four runs, two of them earned, in 4 2/3 innings as Eugene beat Salem-Keizer.
Great Falls Juan Moreno proved to be nearly unhittable over the final month of the season. Moreno held Billings to one hit over six scoreless innings to pick up his sixth win. He allowed one run or less in six of his final seven starts striking out 38 and walking three in 43 innings.