As I write this report, the team just won the third game of the series. LaCurtis Mayes had a rough inning but Jose Rada had a great two innings, assisted by a ninth inning homer from Robert Stock. Mike Blazek had a very solid outing on Wednesday against Clinton. He had 6 Ks in five innings and only gave up two earned runs.
I can't put my finger on the problem but Eric Fornataro is still struggling. He throws hard - throws well - but Clinton has had him figured out recently and it has made him look bad. Chris Corrigan made his return to the team after having started the season here. He looks like he spent his time in EST and Batavia perfecting his game and he shows great improvement.
Matt Adams continues to amaze fans and opposing pitchers alike. He now leads the league with 21 home runs, 40 doubles, 86 RBI, a slugging average of .554 and 243 total bases. He also carries an OBP of .916 but that only gets him third in the league. When considering only players who have been here more than half the season, he leads the team in every offensive stat. Can anyone say League MVP?
Alan Ahmady and Rainel Rosario have both added a lot of excitement to the late season. They are each getting key hits just when the team needs a boost. I have seen both of them lifting the mood of the entire team and bringing about rallies to win. They have been here almost a month but they are still seen as 'newcomers' to the fans.
We said good-bye this week to Chris Notti. He was suspended by the Cardinals for the remainder of the season. I certainly hope that he works hard during the off season and comes back strong in spring training. He was just becoming the solid pitcher that we needed and he will be missed in the playoff run.
Speaking of playoffs, since the Bandits qualified as the wild card in the first half, it doesn't matter if they maintain their first-place spot in the second half or not. They will play in the first-half wild card spot in the first round of the playoffs.
I still have concerns about individual players, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will save those ongoing reports for my season wrap-ups. My current hot list includes Luis Mateo who is getting more solid on his hits and he's getting tougher on defense. Devin Goodwin is adding excitement to every game with hits and key defensive plays. Frederick Parejo has a way of getting the team fired up at just the right time. My 'rising star' this week is Robert Stock - he seems to be getting it all together just in time for the playoffs.
With some luck and better weather, I'll have some player interviews for the last few articles of the regular season. I'm already dreading the end of the year.
Thanks for reading!
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