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HITTING THE ROAD
Today the TinCaps travel approximately two hours north on Interstate 69 to take on the Lansing Lugnuts at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugnuts are red hot and have the league’s best record through 39 games. Not surprisingly, they’ve got the best team ERA in the league, showing that pitching will win you games in this league. That is a promising item for the TinCaps, though, as they have the fourth best ERA in the Midwest League and the second in the Eastern Division behind Lansing.
In Tuesday’s win, Donavan Tate returned to the lineup for the first time since April 28. Tate batted leadoff and was the designated hitter for the TinCaps, going 2-4, scoring two runs and picking up an RBI. Fort Wayne has relied on that leadoff spot to be one of its most productive positions this year, and it was almost exclusively occupied by Jace Peterson until his recent injury. Kyung-Min Na had filled in at the top of the card the last four games, but was 0-14 in four games as the leadoff man. Peterson led the league in runs scored and stolen bases before his injury, and so if Tate can match some of Peterson’s production, that will be a big boost for the TinCaps.
Fort Wayne has now won three out of its last four, and four of the last seven. The TinCaps offense has showed great signs of life, especially with the two eighth-inning home runs on Monday afternoon. Clark Murphy and Casey McElroy each hit solo homers as the TinCaps turned a 4-3 deficit into an eventual 6-5 victory.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05 and I hope you can join me from Michigan’s capital city beginning at 6:45 for pregame coverage on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Manager Jose Valentin as he gives his thoughts on how his team coalesced on the homestand and the return of Donavan Tate to the lineup:
Wednesday’s series opener against Burlington was nothing shy of a pitcher’s duel. Bees starter Sean Murphy struck out 13 batters, a new career high, and TinCaps starter Cody Hebner fanned seven in a losing effort. A three-run homer surrendered by Hebner with two out in the fifth proved to be the difference as Fort Wayne lost 3-1.
From today’s game notes:
- Shortstop Jace Peterson has now reached base in seven of the last eight games, after going 2-4 on Wednesday night. The 18 runs that Peterson has scored in 20 games leads the Midwest League. Burlington’s Dusty Robinson is second with 15.
- Front End Ferocity: Starter Frank Garces ranks second in the league among starting pitchers with a .128 batting average against him. Rotation-mate Adys Portillo ranks third, with opposing batters hitting .132 during his time on the hill. After last night’s seven-strikeout performance, Cody Hebner ranks fourth in the MWL with 23 strikeouts.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from Wednesday’s game, and post-game reaction from Hebner and Fort Wayne catcher Matt Colantonio:
Well…That Was Odd
So it’s Monday night and I get home from the gym. I catch up on a few TV shows on my computer while I’m eating dinner and then I’m off to bed.
Pretty standard, right?
For some reason, I rarely sleep all the way through the night. I’ll usually wake up once or twice, glance at the clock, and then fall back asleep. That routine takes about 20 seconds.
Well on Tuesday morning at about 2:30, I woke up, checked my phone quickly, and saw that I had a couple emails and four Twitter mentions. What?
Someone had written on my Facebook wall, sent me a Facebook message, and several people had tweeted at me asking if Stuart Scott of ESPN had just said my name on the 11 PM SportsCenter. I had no idea seeing as I was asleep at 11 PM and hadn’t tweeted at him. So I tried to do a little detective work, and here’s what I found: