Quad Cities River Bandits Notebook: Week 21

The Bandits seem ready for the Midwest League playoffs. Kolten Wong's return will help, too.

This is the final week of the regular season for the River Bandits. They already qualified for the playoffs in the first half of the season so they have spent the last 70 games getting ready for next week. The return of Kolten Wong this week will be a big addition both offensively and defensively for the playoffs.

In the last seven games (played August 23 to 29), the Bandits went 5-2 in one of their most dominant weeks of the summer. All week, when the pitchers weren't striking out enough batters, the defense stepped up and denied scoring opportunities. Oscar Taveras received his second recognition as Midwest League Player of the Week in the last two months.

August 23: River Bandits 11, Snappers 3 at home

Zack Russell (4.21 ERA) faced 20 batters in 5.0 innings. While he only struck out three, he allowed just two hits and no runs. Cale Johnson pitched two innings and allowed one run. Hector Corpas (currently on the 7-day DL) came in and gave up the final two runs in his two innings. Oscar Taveras and Cody Stanley each went 3-for-4 to lead the offense. Geoff Klein and Joey Bergman were each blanked at the plate.

August 24: River Bandits 4, Chiefs 2 in Peoria

YACS - yet another commuter series! Peoria is 99.5 miles from Davenport and the league rule says that if the drive from stadium to stadium is less than 100 miles, the teams commute, so the Bandits had plenty of windshield time again. In the first game there, nobody had more than two hits but Geoff Klein and Edgar Lara each homered. Lara also drew two walks. Seth Blair (4.74 ERA) made his return after a short stint on the DL. I wish I had been there to witness the start as I think it was better on the field than on paper. He pitched five innings and gave up only two hits and no runs but only had two Ks.

August 25: River Bandits 6, Chiefs 1 in Peoria

Boone Whiting (2.13 ERA) has quietly put together a great season in the mound. The professionals are saying that he'll be a good bullpen member for the Cards someday. I'm not so sure he's not going to keep starting. In 7.0 innings he gave up only three hits and one run and he struck out five. Taveras had a breakout night with four hits in five plate appearances. QC had four doubles and a triple on the night, also.

August 26: River Bandits 9, Chiefs 1 in Peoria

Anthony Ferrara (3.11 ERA) walked three, struck three out, allowed four hits and one earned run in 5.0 innings as the Bandits recorded 16 hits to support his efforts and complete the sweep of Peoria. Believe it or not, Taveras was 0-for-4 on the night. Joey Bergman, Jonathan Rodriguez, Cody Stanley and Nick Longmire each had three hits. Rodriguez, Lara, and Longmire each went long to add to the effort.

August 27: River Bandits 6, Bees 12 at home

Ryan Copeland (5.08 ERA) had a rough outing as he gave up three runs in each of the first three innings - a deficit that the Bandits didn't overcome. He recorded eight K's in 5.0 innings but it wasn't enough. Iden Nazario also had a rough time in the home opener for this last series with Burlington. He gave up three runs on two hits in 2.0 innings. Taveras was back on the bat with a three-hit effort and Chris Edmondson added a homer in the loss.

August 28: River Bandits 10, Bees 6 at home

In a complete turnaround from Saturday's game, the Bandits came back for the Sunday matinee with fire in their bellies. Trevor Rosenthal (4.11 ERA) overcame a shaky start - he gave up two runs in the first inning - and pulled together a win with 5.0 solid innings. Drew Benes had a hard time as he allowed four runs on four hits in 2.0 innings. The highlight of the game was a defensive play by Kolten Wong in which he fielded a hard drive toward second with his glove and flipped the ball to Ronny Gil without taking it out of his glove to get the last out in the top of the third inning.

August 29: River Bandits 4, Bees 5 in 12 innings at home

Zack Russell (4.24 ERA) worked 5.2 innings and gave up three earned runs, then the bullpen was called to go deep in the extra inning game. Angel DeJesus, Dean Kiekhefer, and Cale Johnson held the Bees to only four more hits on the night. Taveras continued to pound the ball with another 4-for-5 night. A bad bounce favored the Bees in the 12th inning, allowing Burlington to score the winning run. Johnson took the hard luck loss. Burlington will finish the season as the only team in the league with a winning record against Quad Cities.

The Bandits' ownership had a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday for the new all weather Sky Deck on the third base side of the stadium. It has overhead doors that can be closed on chilly evenings or opened to allow the outdoors in on nice nights. It will make a nice addition to the baseball experience. If you're close to Davenport, it's a great time of the year to come watch a playoff game!


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