Senators 12, Curve 5
• The Senators topped double-digit runs for the first time since June 27th and only the sixth time all season. Manager Matt LeCroy on the resurgent offense, “I thought we had some good at-bats, a good plan to look for the middle of the field. That was good for our pitching staff because I was short. We need every run and the offense did a nice job giving us extra runs when we needed it.”
• The top of the order was the catalyst as Billy Burns and Brian Goodwin combined to go 6-for-8 with seven runs scored and four RBIs. What’s made the difference for LeCroy’s squad in the final week of the season? “Speed and Billy’s ability to get on and work. Goody can hit. I see him able to drive runs in because he can hit into the gaps, hit homers. I know he started out slow this year, but his last half has been really, really good. He’s swinging at better pitches, making better contact, using the other side of the field. Souza being here. It’s just a different energy with those two guys. Anything can happen. You misplay a ball and they can score. A lot of things you can do with those two guys at the top.”
• Goodwin is becoming a difference maker in this lineup hitting second behind Burns. In the last eight games, he’s batting .310 and more impressively slugging .621. “Sometimes when you hit leadoff guys tend to do things a little bit different, take more pitches and all that. But with Burnsy there (leading off), in the 2 hole he knows he can bunt some, he can do some things,” LeCroy said, “He knows they’re going to be quick to the plate so they may elevate the ball, a lot of fastballs. So if he can continues to hit the ball the other way, he’s pretty dangerous.”
• Hitting coach Eric Fox and LeCroy have worked with Goodwin to refine his setup and swing and it’s paying off dividends now. “I think he’s in a better position. Earlier in the season he had a real awkward setup, a very unathletic setup. He was in his legs. He still has a little bit where he comes up some and it gets him into trouble. He’s got a better foundation. Hitting starts with that. It’s allowed him to have better rhythm and better timing. He’s not missing the pitches he missed earlier. He’s not chasing at much as he had because his rhythm and timing have been a lot better.”
• Another possible reason for the win? The new mantra sweeping the dugout and the grounds crew as they donned new shirts for the game, “On Base!”
• Nate Karns earned his ninth win of the season and notched eight Ks on the night moving himself into fourth best all-time for a single season with 148 strikeouts. “I thought he competed well. His pitch count got up there in the seventh. I was hoping to get that out of him, but you could just tell he was running out of gas. Running the bases took a little bit out of him,” LeCroy said the big righthander.