Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Atlantic League Championship Series Preview

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE


Wednesday - September 28, 2011

Freedom Division Champions


Liberty Division Champions

Bethpage Park

LONG ISLAND DUCKS:  The Atlantic League's Top Two Clubs About to Square Off as Both Organization Seek Their Second Championship Flag.

The 2011 Atlantic League Finals showdown pits this year's regular season champion; as Long Island finished with the League's best record; against last season's Atlantic League defending champion; the York Revolution.

The Ducks took care of the Wild Card Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in a decisive three games to one manner to capture the Liberty Division crown.  York and the Lancaster Barnstormers were stretched to five games and still needed an extra inning to decide the Freedom Division champ.

The Clinchers:

Ducks Are First Half Liberty Division Champs
Ducks Win Second Half Title
Ducks are Liberty Division Champs

York Wins Freedom Division
Revs Clinch Pennant in Thrilling Series


Here's the Long Island Ducks vs. York Revolution head-to-head splits this season:

Ducks hold the advantage in overall record; 10-7.  One game was rained out.
In the first half, the Ducks were 5-4 against York.
In the second half, they went 5-3 against York.
Playing in York, the Ducks played to a sub .500, 4-5 record.
Playing home in Long Island, the Ducks took care of their Pond well with a 6-2 record.

The York Revolution and the Long Island Ducks were clearly the year's two best teams.  They were the only clubs to finish the season with more than seventy wins.  The Ducks owned the best league  mark with a 74-47 record.  York Revolution finished with a 71-53 record.


Between Long Island and York, the Championship Series will feature the Atlantic League's top five hitters for batting average.  Kraig Binick of the Ducks won the League's batting title with a .343 mark.  Second in the circuit at .330 was York's Chris Nowak.  Long Island Duck Matt Esquivel's .328 average placed third.  York's Vince Harrison batted .327; and Ramon Castro's .323 ranked fifth in the League.

In power production, the Duck's top two home run hitters were Ray Navarrete and Javier Colina with 27 and 25 respectively.  York Revolution's top bopper was Chris Nowak with 25 home runs.

The Atlantic League RBI leader board reads like a Long Island Ducks' line-up card.  Four of the League's top six run producers play for the Ducks.  Javier Colina (90); J.R. House (81); John Rodriguez (81); Ray Navarrete (79); all ranked third through sixth in the circuit.  The League leader from Bridgeport topped everyone with 95 RBI.  York's outfield veteran; Jose Herrera; led his team and ranked seventh in the League with 77 RBI.

This series also brings together the League's top two pitchers squaring off against each other.  Long Island's Mike Loree topped the Atlantic League in this year's Triple Crown categories.  He was first in wins with a 14-5 record.  Loree was first in strikeouts with 131 and first with a 1.98 ERA.  The runner up in all three categories was York Revolution pitcher; Corey Thurman.  He ranked second in wins with a 13-3 record.  He came in second to Loree in strikeouts with 111 of his own.  But in ERA, his second ranked 3.33 mark was considerably higher than Mike Loree's number.

York's Matt DeSalvo will probably get matched up against Long Island's Josh Banks.  While still expected to prove quite capable for Long Island, the book is still out on Josh Banks.  Matt DeSalvo owns the third best strikeout total in the League.  He pitched to a 6-3 record with a 3.89 ERA which ranked fourth this season.

And perhaps York's young hurler; Shaun Garceau; who also was among the League leaders in strikeouts with 102; gets matched up against Bob Zimmerman; Mark Diapoules; or Ruddy Lugo in a possible game three scenario.


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