Not sure if it was just a light sports week or what, but the local paper did a feature on yours truly today. In case you are out of the Daily Times viewing range, it is available here….
Now off to much more important matters. West Virginia is coming to town to open a five-game series tonight. ‘Birds really need to lock away this series. West Virginia has been at the bottom of the Northern Division all season long. They are 38-51, coming off a three games to one series loss to Lexington. The Shorebirds took the last series with West Virginia, three games to two at Appalachian Power Park between June 29 and July 3.
Kenny Moreland is on the hill today. What does that mean? The Shorebirds bullpen can probably relax for the first six innings. Moreland has gone through the sixth inning in six of his eight starts for the ‘Birds. He is coming off a seven-inning gem against Hickory back on July 7. Including tonight, seven of his nine starts have come here at Perdue Stadium.
I interviewed Kenny recently on the trip to New Jersey. If you missed it, take a listen here.
Take care all!
Here are a few reasons why the Shorebirds have a chance to compete in the second half…
1) They took a series from the best team in the South Atlantic League, Lakewood, at their home ballpark (3 games to two). Further, it was the first series loss of the entire season for Lakewood!
2) The starting pitching for the Shorebirds has been awesome. Here are the last seven Shorebirds starters and their lines…
7/12 Brent Allar – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 8 K, 1 BB
7/11 Matt Hobgood – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB
7/10 Bobby Bundy – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 2 BB
7/9 Patrick Kantakevich – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6 K, 2 BB
7/8 Jesse Beal – 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB
7/7 Kenny Moreland – 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
7/6 Luis Noel – 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 10 K, 0 BB
The totals are as follows: 41.0 IP, 26 H, 2 ER, 36 K, 7 BB – that is unreal!
3) The Shorebirds have a very patient top of the order. Brian Conley ranks second in the league in walks (62) and Ty Kelly is fourth in the league with 45. Always important to have guys at the top that get aboard. Conley is second in the league in OBP (.413) while Ty Kelly is 15th in the SAL (.365).
4) ‘Birds are playing well against the Northern division. The Shorebirds are 29-36 against the North. The 29 wins against the division are the second most in the division behind Lakewood (43). The Shorebirds have 39 games remaining against teams in their division.
5) Recent Power Surge – Garabez Rosa, Ty Kelly and Steve Bumbry all hit homers in the Lakewood series. If those three guys can add home runs on a more consistent basis, the Shorebirds will have a shot.
6) Josh Dowdy is the man at the end. There is probably not another more reliable closer in the South Atlantic League. He is 15 for 15 in save opportunities with a 1.23 ERA. No need to say anything more.
Enjoy the second half and let’s support this club!
Everytime a player in this organization gets the call to the next level, it seems like he dominants. Why is that? Is it adrenaline? Is it sheer coincidence?
Well, last night (7/12/10) Luis Noel debuted in the Carolina League and was unhittable against the Kinston Indians. In six innings, he allowed a mere two hits and no runs. Noel also struck out seven batters and walked only one. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise because Noel had been pitching very well for the Shorebirds of late. In his final SAL start, he went eight full innings and struck out 10 batters.
Who can forget Nathan Moreau’s Carolina debut. He goes from Charleston, West Virginia to Salem, Virginia on two flights and proceeds to throw the first nine-inning no hitter in the Carolina League since 2004 (individual). He fanned six in the game against the Red Sox farm club and did not walk a batter. Moreau is now 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA through three starts. He has allowed only seven hits in 19.0 innings pitched. Moreau’s success in the CL should probably come as no surprise also. In his final two SAL starts, he went 12.0 innings and allowed only nine hits and two runs. He also fanned 12 and walked just two.
Remember first baseman Joe Mahoney from 2008 and 2009? He was recently promoted to Double-A Bowie. In his debut on July 9, he went 3-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Zach Britton’s debut in Triple-A is also one to remember. On July 1, he tossed a six-inning shutout against Charlotte in his International League debut. He allowed only three hits. Britton struck out four and did not walk a batter. Britton won 12 games for the Shorebirds in 2008 and now he is knocking on the door step of the major leagues.
I think it is a combination of being ready for the promotion and maybe a little extra blood flowing through the system.
Who is going to be next to receive a call to the next level?