Monday, May 21, 2012

Life with the best team in the Midwest League

Anything that occurs regularly can be taken for granted.

This brings us to the 31-12 Lansing Lugnuts.

We don't know what tonight will bring, nor next week, nor next month. What we do know is that the Lugs have the second best record in all of the Minor Leagues, trailing only the 34-9 St. Lucie Mets.

Far from increasing arrogance or complacency, everyone around the team continues to react with enjoyment and amusement by the continued success.  Manager John Tamargo, Jr., just shakes his head and smiles.  Hitting coach Kenny Graham gives a laugh.  Pitching coach Vince Horsman folds his arms, his eyes hidden behind sunglasses, quietly (secretly) proud.

The reasons for success are plain to see:  On days that Aaron Sanchez and Justin Nicolino pitch, the Lugs are 8-1.  When David Rollins pitches, the Lugs are 7-2.  When Noah Syndergaard and Anthony DeSclafani pitch, the Lugs are 7-2.  Pitching, particularly when coupled with an air-tight defense, wins games.

(Amazing stats:  Justin Nicolino has 30 strikeouts compared to just 3 walks in 31 innings.  Aaron Sanchez  has a 0.58 ERA and is limiting batters to a .104 batting average.  Good heavens.)

So... are we taking them for granted yet?  Are we shrugging our shoulders at another save from Ajay Meyer?  Are we coming to expect nothing less than strikeouts and scoreless innings from the starting rotation?  Are we surprised when a day passes by without another Lugnuts' victory?

No, I don't think so.

I think fans, like the Lugnuts, are loving this, enjoying each win more and more, as the Lugs draw nearer and nearer to the postseason.

The magic number is 18 to clinch a playoff berth...



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