LONG ISLAND DUCKS: After Suffering Two Routs In Sugar Land, Still Plenty Of Time To Make This A Series.
President/GM Michael Pfaff Has His Work Cut Out For Him.
After a pair of games between the Atlantic League's two division leaders, the series between visiting Long Island and the Sugar Land Skeeters has been a one sided affair. They like things big in Texas, and so the Skeeters have thus far been putting up big numbers against Ducks pitching.
In Friday night's series opener, well over 5,500 fans watched Sugar Land jump all over Long Island starter Nick DeBarr, pouncing on him for ten runs, nine earned, in just 2.1 innings pitched. He surrendered ten hits and walked four. The Skeeters scored four runs in the first, three in the second, and three more in the third. Long Island's bullpen then limited Sugar Land to just one more run over the next six innings, en route to an 11-3 loss.
In Game Two on Saturday, the Ducks gave their starting pitcher John Brownell a three run lead to work with, but they received an awful lot of help to do so. In the top of the second, Sugar Land starting pitcher David Pauley walked the first three batters he faced. Dan Lyons singled to drive in a run. But then Long Island picked up two more on ground ball outs. Who can argue with scoring three runs, but David Pauley conceivably could have been knocked out of the box with one or two big hits. Instead, he induced outs, and avoided an even bigger mess. That became a mute point however. Sugar Land picked up two runs in the bottom of the frame, and proceeded to rout the Ducks from there. Four more runs in the fourth and three in the eighth spelled a 9-3 victory for the Skeeters.
In two games played, Sugar Land has abused Long Island pitching for twenty total hits and twenty runs. While Long Island posted identical three run, seven hit games. Tonight they'll play Game Three of six. Long Island's Matt Way will climb the hill, opposed by Sugar Land's Cesar Carillo. There is still plenty of time for Long Island to turn this into a series instead of a rout. But Michael Pfaff clearly has a problem on his hands. Without Dontrelle Willis, and the previous departure of others, his depleted starting pitching is a glaring weakness, and unlike last season or the year before, I'm afraid the Ducks aren't as potent offensively either. His Ducks certainly have their work cut out for them.