Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lake County, Food and Mother Nature

The Lansing Lugnuts and Lake County Captains were the two hottest teams in the Midwest League entering the three-game series this past weekend.

The Captains suffered through a 10-game losing streak in the early part of the year. After they lost back-to-back games on April 21st and April 22nd Lake County went 17-7 before Saturday’s series opener against the Lugnuts and hadn’t lost back-to-back games since.

The Lugnuts had a record of 16-8 in that same span.

So Jesse and I had high expectactions for this series and they were met as Lansing took two of three on the road and gave Lake County their first back-to-back losses in about a month.

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The series was dominated by pitching. The combined score was Lansing: 5 Lake County: 3. 

Blake McFarland tossed four scoreless innings on Saturday. Do not be surprised if we see McFarland, a career starter in college and in the pros before this year, in the starting rotation at some point this season. 

Since Jesse Hernandez allowed 13 hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings against Dayton on May 11th, Hernandez has thrown 14 innings and allowed two runs in two starts. In both starts he matched his career-high with seven innings pitched. 

Sancholino combined on a shutout in the second game of the series, it was the fifth time this year Aaron Sanchez and Justin Nicolino have combined to shutout their opponent. 

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Lansing had committed 20 errors in 12 consecutive games entering the series against the Captains.


They snapped that streak with a pair of errorless games to start the three-game set. They went 33 consecutive innings without committing an error until they had two defensive miscues in the 11th inning of the finale that allowed the Captains' walk-off run to score.  

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Offensive Notes:

Kevin Pillar went 1-for-11 in the series but he mashed the ball. He hit the ball right on the screws in almost every at-bat and frankly just had some bad luck.

Quote of the Blog: In the words of Yogi Berra, “Ya gotta hit ‘em where the ain’t.”

Chris Hawkins was 0-for-his-last-18 two at-bats into the Lake County series, but went 5-for-11 in his final 11 at-bats in the three-game set. Although Hawkins has fallen into a couple of mini slumps this year he has quite remarkably kept his batting average above .300 throuhout the season.

After the season-opening three-game series against Great Lakes, Hawkins had a batting average of .200. He promptly recorded three hits in four at-bats in the fourth game of the season which put his average at .357 and it has not dipped below .300 since. 

For the record, his high water mark was a .368 average on April 21st.

Andy Burns is establishing himself as one of the top position player prospects on the Lugnuts. He is athletic enough to play great defense at third, short and second. He is also showing great power to both left and right field. He leads Lansing with seven longballs, he is second on the team with 20 RBI, fourth in the league with a .541 slugging percentage and second in the league with 22 extra basehits.

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The food at Classic Park is delicious. Their hot dogs are spectacular and have a garlic seasoned casing... they are really good.




I wanted to get the $20 “Moby Dick” sandwich that is bigger than Jesse’s head but there is no way I could broadcast after that monster. They even had a table on the concourse that was reserved for people to sit at and eat this beast of a sandwich.



The broadcast booth is quite tiny at Classic Park. 




Since I have returned from the Horizon League softball tournament, Mother Nature is 8-for-8 in gorgeous days. 



Now the Lugnuts welcome Dayton to Lansing for a three-game series. Its the first meeting in Michigan's state capital between the Lugnuts and Dragons. The Lugs are 7-0 against Dayton and have outscored them 49-16 this season. 





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