After finishing second in the Appalachian League West Division and playing the role of the road warriors in the postseason, the rookie Redbirds capped off the year by winning their third Appalachian League crown in five years. In the clincher, Johnson City defeated Danville, 4-2, on Friday, Sept. 5.
The Cardinals finished the regular season 37-31, just one game behind Elizabethton and three ahead of Kingsport in the Appy League West. In the playoffs, the Cardinals went 4-2 during the week. Of the four wins, only one, the championship, was at Howard Johnson Field, while the other three were road victories at Elizabethton and Danville.
Behind the Cardinals 37-31 regular season record
Longest winning streak – six games (Sunday, Aug. 3 – Saturday, Aug. 9)
Longest losing streak – six games (Monday, July 7 – Saturday, July 12)
Series sweeps against – two (Elizabethton, Burlington)
Series by – one (Greeneville)
Record against the Appalachian League West –22-17
Record against the Appalachian League East – 15-14
Home record –18-15
Road record – 19-16
Behind the Cardinals 4-2 record in the playoffs
The Cardinals opened the playoffs on Aug. 31 with a loss to Elizabethton at home but went on to sweep the final two games to advance to the championship round, which opened on Sept. 3 at Danville. After winning the opening game, the Cardinals dropped the second game before clinching the title.
2014 Appalachian League All-Star team
Johnson City finished sixth in the Appy League in batting with an overall average of .250.
The team slugged 32 home runs and struck out the least amount of times compared to other teams with only 465. Johnson City hitters collected 267 RBI and accounted for 325 runs scored, third-most in the league.
The Cardinals finished the 2014 regular season with a 3.93 ERA, only seventh-best in the league. However, 37 wins was fourth-most and their 24 saves were high in the league.
Casey Turgeon led the attack for the Cardinals at the plate, finishing with a .306 batting average. Outfielder Blake Drake (.282) led the Cardinals with six home runs in the regular season while Casey Grayson (.283) knocked in 46.
Shortstop Oscar Mercado was first in the league with a whopping 26 stolen bases in the regular season.
Juan Perez (5-3) logged a team-high 58 innings pitched and was slightly edged out for lowest starter’s ERA by Landon Beck (3.24 to 3.19). Dailyn Martinez led with six wins but finished with a 4.55 ERA.
Oscar Mercado stole seven bases during the postseason and batted .400 with five RBI during the six games. Casey Grayson led the Cardinals with a .429 BA.
Link to master article with all 2014 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that will include our selections as the GCL Cardinals Reliever, Starting Pitcher and Player of the Year.
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