First Half Final
Long Island Ducks: Sugar Land Skeeters intercept Flock's migration towards a potential first half title; Ducks drop 5 of 6 in Texas rendering anticipated showdown against Somerset Patriots meaningless.
July 8, 2015, Wednesday - Atlantic League All-Star Game
What more could they have done?
The Ducks posted two 10-game winning streaks in June, en route to the finest first half in their organization's history, yet, are left lamenting their costly slip against the Sugar Land Skeeters, and the resulting failure of not capturing a 1st half flag.
The Ducks started June five games out of 1st place. They won their first 10 games of the month, then after losing a series opener to the Bluefish, proceeded to win another 10 in a row, right up until their dreadful encounter with the Skeeters.
The Ducks lost 5 of 6 games in Sugar Land. Meanwhile, the Patriots continued playing relentless baseball.
Long Island then swept 4 games from Lancaster, and took 2 of 3 from the Patriots to end the first half. As it turned out, the Ducks finished second in the Liberty Division, 3.5 games back of the Somerset Patriots.
What could have been....?
Not much else to say, really.
Only thing left is to give credit where due - the Somerset Patriots played phenomenal baseball over the season's 1st half. They posted their own 10-game win streak in June en route to setting an Atlantic League record 50-20 first half mark.
If Ducks fans really want to ruffle their own feathers, they should additionally blame the league's division realignment..., again. Had things stayed they way they were, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs would have finished 4-games back of the Ducks. Instead, the Blue Crabs captured the Freedom Division 1st half flag.
Seems like everyone is benefiting except Long Island, hmm?
It gets worse..., in a manner of speaking.
The Long Island Ducks will start the second half of the season without what was the Atlantic League's pitching triple crown contender, Mickey Jannis. The knuckler's contract was purchased by the New York Mets on July 1st. Upon his departure, he was leading the league with 67 strikeouts and a 1.18 ERA, and was third in the circuit with 6 victories against just 2 losses.
Good luck to Mickey Jannis, of course. I'm look forward to watching him rise through the Mets system. He reported to (A+) Port St. Lucie.
However, losing Jannis is a big blow, as Long Island's starting rotation really hit its stride once Andrew Barbosa signed on. The Ducks and GM Michael Pfaff are now left scrambling to minimize any recurrent instability this may cause.
If you remember, usual reliever Eric Niesen opened the season in the starting rotation. That did now work out well, and Niesen was ultimately moved to Bridgeport on May 31st (completing an earlier transaction). Starter Mark Rogers also started the season in the rotation, and likewise struggled this season. He was similarly dealt to the Bluefish on June 30th.
Michael Pfaff wasted no time though. On the same day, the Ducks signed 39-year old southpaw J.C. Romero, whom last pitched in the majors for St. Louis and Baltimore during the 2012 season. He spent the 2013 season pitching AAA baseball in the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians organizations. In 2014, he made 20 appearances during the Puerto Rican winter league season. This year, Romero made 5 appearances for Puebla of the (AAA) Mexican circuit prior to signing with the Ducks. So far, he has thrown 3.2 innings in 3 appearances.
* * * 2015 * * *
(Blue Crabs - Skeeters - Barnstormers - Revolution)
(Patriots - Ducks - Riversharks - Bluefish)
the Ballpark at Harbor Yard
Lew Ford is participating in the Home Run Derby.
2015 Long Island Ducks ~ Atlantic League All-Stars:
- SP - Ian Marshall - 12 starts, 71.0 inn, 3-4 record w/ 3.04 ERA, 43 strikeouts
- RP - Ryan Kussmaul - 31 games, 33.1 inn, 3-0 record w/ 2.70 ERA, *22 Saves
- 1B - Jon Griffin - .239/.312/.389, 9 HR, 45 RBI
- SS - Dan Lyons - .327, 5 HR, 38 RBI
- 3B - Cody Puckett - .274, 4 HR, 24 RBI
- OF - Lew Ford - *.361/*432/*.556, *96 Hits, *26 Doubles, 8 HR, *58 RBI
- OF - Bryan Sabatella - .302, *54 runs, *20 Stolen Bases
- * Leads Atlantic League
Lew Ford, who turns 39-years old in August, is an obvious choice for 1st half Atlantic League MVP. His .361 batting average is 34 points better than the league's 2nd leading hitter and team mate, Dan Lyons.
In fact, the league's top four hitters play for the Long Island Ducks. Delta Cleary Jr. is 3rd in the circuit with a .326 mark, and Reegie Corona is 4th with a .325 average.
While Jon Griffin's slash appears light, he has nonetheless provided the pop expected of him. He is part of a pack tied for 2nd in the circuit with 9 home runs. Griffin's 45 RBI are second only to Lew Ford, whom leads the league by a wide margin with 58 RBI.
Shortstop Dan Lyons wielded a particularly lethal bat in June. As the customary #9 batter in the order, he is 2nd in the league in hitting, and 4th in the league with 38 RBI.
The table setter, Bryan Sabatella (.302/.360) is 4th in the league in doubles, 3rd in hits, and leads the Atlantic League in runs scored and stolen bases.
Let's Go Liberty Division..