Erie MLN: Return Home Doesn't Help Slump

After starting the season on the road for six consecutive games, the SeaWolves returned to Erie for their home opener at Jerry Uht Park this past Thursday. The club split four games with Bowie but was swept by the Trenton Thunder in a three game series. A 2-5 record in their first week at home was not ideal but the team did show signs of progress and perseverance.

In both of Erie's victories this week, the team had to comeback from being down early, especially in an 11-10 victory against Bowie in 10 innings on April 14th.

Playing Catch-Up

Unfortunately versus both the Baysox and the Thunder the SeaWolves found themselves down early. In every home game thus far, the ‘Wolves have trailed their opponent by one run or more after the 2nd inning. The club has had to play hard to try and overcome these early game deficits but often to no avail.

Also, trailing early does not reflect kindly upon Erie's starting pitchers. The starting pitchers for the team have struggled greatly this week. In four of the last seven games, the starting pitcher has allowed one or more runs in the first inning.

Starting pitcher Jay Voss is off to a rough start this season. Voss is 0-3 in three starts, allowing 17 H and seven earned runs through 10 1/3 innings pitched resulting in a 6.10 ERA. On April 17th against Trenton, Voss pitched only one inning before leaving the game due to an injury. Voss has undergone an MRI to evaluate his elbow, and more about his status should be known in the coming days.

However there have been some promising performances from the mound thus far. Relief pitchers Ryan Robowski and Michael Morrison have both had strong outings for the Seawolves. Pitching solid in the middle innings, Robowski and Morrison have kept Erie close in tight games. For the season Robowski has a 1.15 ERA and Morrison has only allowed three hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.

Protect the Plate

To put it simply the team is allowing a high number of runs night after night. As a team, Erie is tied with Portland for the highest team ERA at 5.01 in all of the Eastern League. The SeaWolves have also allowed the second most homeruns in the league with 15 so far. Lastly, strikeouts have also been very rare for the ‘Wolves with a league low of only 80. These stats reflect just how drab the club's overall pitching has been lately. If the team wishes to be competitive night in and night out these numbers have to improve.

Hey Batter Batter!

As a team, the SeaWolves were disciplined and patient with bats in-hand this week resulting in several highly contested games. The club had better run production compared to the previous week, averaging just over four runs a game against Bowie and Trenton.

Rob Brantly, Niuman Romero, and Jordan Lennerton all had stellar performances at the plate during the SeaWolves first week at home. Rob Brantly had eight hits and four RBIs in just five games while second baseman Niuman Romero stayed hot by having 11 hits and three RBIs over the course of all seven homes games, thus improving his batting average to .333 for the season.

However, the star of the week has to be Jordan Lennerton who has recently been blistering the baseball. The left handed first baseman from Langley, British Columbia has tallied nine hits, six RBIs, and four home runs in his last seven games. In a 5-7 loss against Bowie on April 15th, Lennerton had two solo home runs as well as three runs batted in. Lennerton currently has a .293 average and a .326 OBP.

Looking Ahead

Starting tonight Erie hits the road again to play two familiar foes. The SeaWolves will be in Bowie for another four game series against the Baysox, followed by traveling to Trenton for three games, with the hopes of returning the favor of a sweep the Thunder. The club looks to regain momentum this week after falling from fifth to sixth place in the Western Division of the Eastern League by capturing several road victories.

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