The Flying Tigers continue to gradually turn their season around. After finishing last week 3-3 and two weeks ago 3-4, Lakeland finished their past week 4-3, slowly turning their season around and spreading out their production to not only surprises, but their promises.
Another week into the season it turns out to be another switch in production. While Lakeland's previous producers –Tony Plagman, Wade Gaynor, Gustavo Nunez, Jordan Lennerton—have slowed down, their more promising prospects –Daniel Fields and Avisail Garcia—have (finally) begun to live up to their promise.
After slow starts the two and six hitters have begun to show a sprout.
Stud outfielder Daniel Fields is 10-for-26 in the past week with one homer and a double-taking 11 RBI. Fields, who has, at a progressive pace, increased his plate-appearance efficiency, walked six times while not striking out once. He, along with fellow upcoming outfielder Avisail Garcia, has picked up for the rest of the slow lineup.
Garcia, who now sits at a growing .225, jacked two bombs in the past seven games while smacking seven hits in the past 21 at-bats. He drove in six while stealing a rare, yet expected, stolen base.
The two have helped the team notch four wins while the rest of the lineup have not been their previous selves.
Gustavo Nunez, the most aggressive Flying Tiger and lead-off batter, has set the tone for the rest of (besides Fields and Garcia) the lineup. While being hot of late, Nunez has only five hits in 23 at-bats, and his usual producers, first basemen Tony Plagman and Jordan Lennerton are a combined 7-for-49 while driving in a lowly three runs.
They did, though, as a consolation, blast three home runs.
Lakeland still scored an unprecedented 36 runs in the past week.
The first bullpen blemish
Just hours before this article, on May 18th, the Flying Tigers' bullpen experienced their biggest blunder of the year. It was unexpected, of course, especially with the way they have been performing, but how long could it be basically spotless?
Closer Kenny Faulk surrendered his first loss of the year after giving up three runs (two earned) to the Jupiter Hammerheads. It was only his first blown save of the year. Faulk was a victim to one of Avisail Garcia's two outfield errors and, besides two strikeouts, has his ERA rise to a still "lights out" 1.62.
Aside from him, the other offensive melter Ryan Robowski also had a slip-up. On the twelth Robwski allowed two earned runs on two hits and one homer, which unfortunately rose his stellar and unexpected ERA. Fortunately he regained his trust on the 16th while pitching 2 1/3 perfect innings while striking out five of his seven Charlotte hitters.
Robowski's ERA still sits at a trustable 1.50.
Besides Faulk's surprising, yet excusable, outing, his ERA is at 1.62.
The Tigers look to continue their hitting off of weaker pitching. In the next week, and in the next week, they'll face Jupiter for three games and play Brevard County for four straight.