Saturday Twin-Bill at Bethpage Ballpark
Long Island Ducks
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: A sweep of the Bees, and even a five game winning streak still barely enough to distance themselves from Somerset Patriots.
Heading into Saturday's double-header against the Lancaster Barnstormers, the Ducks are winners of five in a row, and remain undefeated during their current home stand.
By virtue of one more loss in the Liberty Division standings, the relentless second place Patriots are similarly 7-2 over their last nine games, and enter today's action against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs a mere half game behind Long Island.
Including today's double-header, the Ducks have 14 games remaining in June, then 10 games to go in July before the first half expires.
The indefatigable Lew Ford continues leading the Atlantic League with a .348 average, while Fehlandt Lentini is still third with a .345 mark, and is 7th in the league with 31 RBI.
Three Ducks starting pitchers rank among the league's top six in ERA. Mark Blackmar leads all with a stellar 1.94 ERA; Jack Snodgrass is fourth with a 2.97 mark; John Brownell is heating up and now rates sixth with a 3.09 ERA.
Meanwhile, Jack Snodgrass leads the circuit with 67 strikeouts, with Darin Downs a close second with 62 strikeouts.
In his last three starts, John Brownell has only allowed five earned runs through 23 innings pitched, while fanning 24 batters and only walking four. On June 11, he struck out double-digit batters for the second time this season.
Tyler Colvin and Sean Burroughs are in the midst of serving a 7-day stint on the disabled list, with shortstop Dan Lyons ailing from a strained hamstring as well.
New Kids in the Pond
General Michael Pfaff signed two players during the week that was.
- Pitcher Dustin Richardson, 32, gained 29 games of MLB experience between the 2009 and 2010 seasons with Boston. Drafted by the Red Sox in the 5th round of the 2006 amateur draft, he additionally went on to serve in the respective systems of Florida, Atlanta, L.A./Anaheim, and the L.A. Dodgers. Now an 11 year minor league and independent circuit veteran, he formerly pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. At all levels, he boasts a career 46-36 record and 4.35 ERA through 776 innings pitched. He owns a career 1.394 WHiP, and a 9.5 K/9 average covering 378 games, and 84 career starts.
- Second baseman Carlos Hughes, 27, was reacquired, after appearing in 35 games for the Ducks last season. He previously played for the Sussex County Miners of the CanAm League, and for the Camden RiverSharks. In 2014, he also played for the Las Vegas Train Robbers(!) of the independent Pecos League.
Revisiting a favorite pet peeve of mine - had the Atlantic League not realigned the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Somerset Patriots, the Ducks could presently be leading the Liberty Division by six games over second place New Britain. In fact, we could even be speaking of a mini dynasty were it not for Somerset's division presence over the last few seasons... perchance to dream.
Just gotta play the game...
By The Way...
Nice appearance by Long Island closer, and eight year major league veteran Todd Coffey on MLB Network last week, giving the Atlantic League and the Ducks a lot of exposure.