First Place on the Line
Last night featured the type of game that good teams win, or that bad teams lose–it all depends on whose side you take. Facing Dayton in the finale of a three-game series, the TinCaps were down 2-0 after five innings, having been befuddled at the plate all night long by Dragons starter Robert Stephenson. He was dominant, striking out seven batters and not issuing a single walk for his second straight start. Stephenson, a first-round pick in 2011, allowed just one unearned run.
And then either a) the bullpen came in or b) the bats came to life. The Dragons brought in Wandy Peralta, a pitcher who was 0-3 and had an ERA of 5.14. He left the evening with a record of 0-4 and an ERA of 6.14, after giving up four runs (three earned) in just an inning of work. Peralta, it is safe to say, is not the best pitcher in the Dayton bullpen. The Dragons pitching staff has also been the worst in the league ERA-wise, with a staff mark of 4.80. Fort Wayne checks in at 3.67, which is fifth.
Peralta gave up a two-run homer to Brian Adams in the sixth, and two more runs were charged to his tab in the seventh, after he left with runners on base. Even though the TinCaps trailed, 4-1, yesterday, they still made a valiant comeback effort to win the game, 5-4.
They won their sixth consecutive game, and they are still just one game behind first-place South Bend and Bowling Green heading into tonight’s home game with the Hot Rods.
Bowling Green took two out of three from the TinCaps when they squared off last month in Kentucky, and two of the games were blowouts (Bowling Green won 10-5 and 12-6) before the TinCaps eked out a 3-2 win in the series finale. The Hot Rods have the best staff ERA in the league at 2.69 (second place is Burlington at 3.44), and they also have the second-most wins in the league (23). This will be a big series for the TinCaps who can go into first place with a series win, or fall further back if they dont.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, I chat with catcher Rodney Daal about his quintlingualism (made that word up, but he speaks five languages) and how Spongebob was one of the first shows he watched from the U.S. when growing up in The Netherlands:
Mike Stud…take it away!