Tuesday, August 23, 2011

L.I. Ducks ~ Ace; Mike Loree Sold To PITT Pirates

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

LONG ISLAND DUCKS:  Mission Statement of the Atlantic League May Turn Out to be Long Island's Downfall.

Their Ace Pitcher; The Atlantic League's Triple Crown Leader; Gets Sold to Pirates.

Add MIKE LOREE to the List of Ducks Pitchers Gone-Bye...  The Contracts of the Ducks' Three Best Pitchers - Mike Loree; Mike Parisi; Shane Youman; all sold leaving the Ducks' Rotation Bare.

Duck Pond; We have a Problem.

On August 22nd, the Ducks' Ace; Long Island's new single season record holder for wins; All-Star Game starting pitcher; and the Atlantic League leader in all three pitching Triple Crown categories; Mike Loree; had his contract sold by the Long Island Ducks and purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He will be assigned to AA-Altoona Curve.

There-in lies the mission statement of the Atlantic League; ...to get guys back into the Major Leagues.  And I think we all knew it was just a matter of time before he got picked-up.  But, oh what a blow to the Ducks' championship hopes this is.

Matt Padgett saved Monday night's game with a big double in the eighth inning to give the Ducks their first lead of the game and a 5-4 final score over the Blue Crabs.  It was a statement game of sorts.  They seemed flat for most of the night upon learning their ace pitcher had been sold away earlier that day.  And they were fresh from getting swept in Camden over the weekend.  But they did what they've done for most of this season regardless of who is on the mound.  They pounded out three late runs in the eighth inning while their strong bullpen made the lead stand.

Yesterday, Valerio De Los Santos made the fill-in start in place of the departed Mike Loree.  And Valerio's performance echoed some things I said about the Ducks' Staff moving forward; and their outlook for the upcoming playoffs.  The loss of pitchers Mike Parisi and Shane Youman were huge blows to take.  Now, losing Mike Loree is crippling.

In Tuesday night's game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; the last pitcher to win a game for the Long Island Ducks; Mark Diapoules took his regular turn in the rotation and promptly got hammered.  In two+ innings, he allowed four hits; eight runs; and walked three.  He left the game with his team behind 8-2 at the time.

As of right now, the Ducks are still clearly the best team in the League with an overall 67-33 record.  But their season just got very, very interesting.  I already expressed my concerns for this team in Monday's post.  Check that out.  But today, concerns just got upgraded to a really big problem.


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