It’s way too early in the season to panic or draw many conclusions from the results besides wins or losses. But there are some alarming trends to keep your eye on.
In five games (of the six they’ve played) the Senators have been trailing their opponent as the game entered the seventh inning. Further proof of their early game woes is that their team batting average during the first six innings of games is .211 and from the seventh inning on a more robust .312.
Admitedly it’s a small sample size, but there’s no denying that the Senators’ at-bats later in the game are more focused and more productive. Manager Matt LeCroy said after the game, “A lot of it is concentration I think. Early in the ballgame to me is when you win or lose. We have to direct our attention more towards the first pitch of the ballgame.”
He also realizes that playing from behind is a recipe for disaster, “It’s hard to play catch up. It’s fun and exciting, but it’s tough to come out on top a lot when you’re down.” So far, the Senators have been able to flick a switch and turn on the offense late, but over time the deficits will be too large and the outs remaining will be too few. That’s exactly what happened Tuesday night when their carriage turned into a pumpkin as the clock struck midnight on their 9-7 loss to the Rock Cats.
Player of the Game: Destin Hood (3-5, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 3B)
From the Windup
• Steven Souza showed fantastic plate discipline as he walked his first four at-bats and finally put the ball into a play with a single in the 9th. His night pushed his average to .389 and his on-base percentage to .577 good enough for fourth best in the Eastern League.
• Prior to tonight’s game, the bullpen had been excellent collectively pitching to a 1.73 ERA in 26 innings with 25 strikeouts. Neil Holland and Pat Lehman put a chink in the armor however as their outings almost doubled the ERA as a team to 3.41.
• The Senators managed to load the bases five different times during Tuesday night’s contest and only cashed in twice when Destin Hood cleared the bases with a triple in the seventh inning and when Justin Bloxom knocked in two in the ninth inning.
• Down 3-0, the Senators pulled off a coup in the fourth inning when they cut down two different runners at the plate on two successive plays. First, Brian Broderick made a great athletic play to shovel a suicide squeeze attempt to Sandy Leon in time to apply a tag. Secondly, Steven Souza fired a bullet home to nail the runner as he tagged up on a potential sacrifice fly.
• Attendance was once again pitiful at an announced 1,752. Seriously people, I’m not sure what you are waiting for. The weather was beautiful and this team is young and exciting.