Randy Ready assesses the Beavers first half

Wednesday night the Beavers played the Tucson Sidewinders in what proved to be a thrilling game. After being dominated by starter Yusmeiro Petit, who struck out 10, the Beavers slowly chipped away at Tucson's 3-0 lead.

Matt Antonelli singled in the tying run in the ninth and in the tenth, Nick Hundley drove in Will Venable to win it.

A day later, they got a strong outing from Justin Germano and held on to win 3-2.

The Beavers improved to 36-35 in what has been a strong if somewhat up-and-down year.

Just about at the halfway mark, I asked manager Randy Ready for his thoughts on the first half of the season.

How do you think the first half has gone?

Randy Ready: I think we've hung in there pretty good. Salt Lake has kind of fallen back a little bit to get us back in the division. The speed of the game is starting to slow down for some of the younger, first-year Triple-A guys. I think we'll be a lot more consistent in the second half.

How do you anticipate the younger guys doing in the second half?

Randy Ready: If I look back on '07, the same thing happened [in Double-A San Antonio]. There was a quick promotion, moving them fast through the system and the speed of the game, it took them a while to adjust to it.

If I reflect back on that and look at it as our cup is half full and not half empty for (Nick) Hundley, (Will) Venable, (Matt) Antonelli, along with our young pitchers, I would anticipate that those guys would really start putting their game together and being a lot more consistent the second half.

Would you say there are specific areas to work on or just overall improvement?

Randy Ready: If you're talking about the position players, [the goal is to] become complete players and to be more consistent and contribute more consistently offensively. That's the business we're in, we're constantly working on weaknesses and maintaining our strengths.

For the pitchers [it's] just to be more consistent and give us more quality starts between now and September.

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