TigsTown MLN: Inconsistent Pitching a Problem

The Erie SeaWolves struggles started in week two of the season and continued into week three, dropping series to both the Bowie Baysox and the Altoona Curve. After winning only twice this week the SeaWolves are now 8-8 and in second place three games behind the Harrisburg Senators in the Southern Division.

Inconsistent pitching has been the downfall for the 'Wolves in the early portion of the season. The pitching staff have allowed 10 or more runs in five of the 16 games they have played. They have allowed a league high 88 earned runs giving them a 5.49 ERA, the highest in the Eastern League. They are the only team in the league with an ERA above five.

The pitching staff has struggled but there are a few bright spots after three weeks. Danny Zell earned his second victory this week improving his record to 2-0. Zell has pitched 10 1/3 innings posting a 2.61 ERA with a save and seven strikeouts. Casey Fien has also been solid although he allowed his first earned run of the season in a loss against Altoona on Saturday night. The loss dropped Fien to 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA in nine innings pitched. The 'Wolves expect the bullpen to get a boost with Brett Jensen returning from the disabled list.

The pitching staff has struggled but the offense has remained red hot, leading the league with 102 runs scored and 19 home runs. They are also tied with 27 stolen bases and they have scored 10 or more runs in five of their 16 games played.

The offense has been led by Freddy Guzman and the both catchers, Dusty Ryan and Max St. Pierre. Ryan was 0-for-3 on Saturday night, ending his season high five game hitting streak but his average remained above .300. He is hitting .306 with three home runs and 11 RBI, making him one of four players with three home runs.

St. Pierre continues to lead the team in batting average, hitting .333 up till this point. St. Pierre a walk-off single in the 'Wolves 11-10 victory over the Bowie Baysox on Wednesday, completing a six game home stand. It was the second time this season that St. Pierre has helped Erie win in their last at-bat. His 10th inning bases clearing double propelled the 'Wolves to a 9-6 victory over Bowie on April 5.

Freddy Guzman has also remained hot with his team high seventh multi hit game on Saturday night. He is hitting .329 with two home runs and a team high 15 RBI. Guzman is also leading the Eastern League with four triples and eight stolen bases. He gave the team a scare on Wednesday when he appeared to injure his right leg but he remained in the game and hasn't missed any time.

When the season began it was unclear where the SeaWolves offensive power would come from but it has been a complete team effort. They have received home runs from nine different players and in addition to Ryan, Jeff Frazier, Deik Scram and Ryan Roberson all have three home runs. Roberson hit two home runs in the SeaWolves' 13-4 victory over Altoona on Friday night.

Erie will start the week by completing a six game road trip with a visit to Southern Division leading Harrisburg. The 'Wolves will play a three game series with the Senators that will conclude on Wednesday. They will return home on Thursday for a four game set with the Altoona Curve. They are 1-2 against both the Senators and the Curve this season.

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