Wednesday, June 29, 2011

L.I. Ducks ~ Waddling Towards A Playoff Spot

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

LONG ISLAND DUCKS:  Magic Number Down To Five.

Playing their best ball of the season, The York Revolution were the hottest team in the Atlantic League at the time they showed up in Long Island for a three game series.  The Revolution have been giving the Lancaster Barnstormers a run for their money in the Liberty Division.  They were winners of nine out of their last ten games.   But all that changed when they stepped foot in The Pond Tuesday.

As they continue their own romp through the League tonight and winning the first two games of this series, fads like York matter not to the Ducks.  Not when they are now the hottest team in the Atlantic League; not to mention the League's best.  And speaking of the best; Mike Loree tossed another gem, as the Ducks elevated their League best record to 36-18, as they march towards a first half Liberty Division title.

It's OK to start talking Magic Numbers now.  The Ducks hold a five game edge over South Maryland with ten games to go before the first half standings get written in ink. 

And the Magic Number is?  Five.

Ducks' starting pitcher; Mike Loree; improved all his League leading numbers.  He is now 9-1 this season and has won his last seven straight decisions.  In his longest outing of the season, he pitched 8 full innings against York and allowed no runs; only five hits; no walks; and struck out four.  He threw 101 pitches and 69 of them went for strikes.  His 1.73 ERA is magically disappearing before our eyes.

Ehren Wassermann added another fine inning of relief to finish out Mike Loree's night.  He pitched the ninth; gave up a hit and struck out one in a non-save situation.

While Mike Loree was cruising along, the Ducks gave him three runs in the third inning to work with.  Kennard Jones singled to lead off the inning and Javier Colina doubled him over to third.  With Matt Esquivel up, a dropped strike three by the catcher resulted in Kennard scoring and Esquivel reaching first base.  Javier Colina scored when Matt Padgett grounded into a fielder's choice.  J.R. House doubled home Matt Padgett for a 3-0 lead.

In the eighth inning, Kraig Binick drove home Matt Esquivel with an RBI single.  Then Kennard Jones cleared the bases with a three RBI double to left for a 7-0 Long Island lead.

***John Rodriguez missed another game, perhaps due to a lingering thumb issue.


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