TigsTown MLN: 'Hens Homering to History?

The World Famous Mud Hens have maintained a slim lead in their division for a second straight week, now sitting one game in front of second place Louisville after taking a pummeling by the Durham Bulls on Wednesday.

During the Hens' road trip they were able to take three out of five from Charlotte as they played the four scheduled and made up for a postponed game from last month. The Mud Hens currently are 0 for 2 in a four game series versus Durham and are sporting a 26-15 record, (.634).

While pitching has been less then brilliant over the past week the offense continues to pound the ball and produce runs. On the year the Mud Hens have now produced a total of 67 home runs, which leads all of professional baseball, including the majors.

In fact, the Mud Hens have a 27 home run lead over second place Charlotte in the International League and an eight home run lead over the Florida Marlins, the MLB leader. Although the Mud Hens corner infielders can be accounted to have contributed almost half of the home runs produced by the club (29 to be exact) the Mud Hens have seen round trippers from 15 different players on their staff. The club is on course to hit 236 home runs this season which would be a club record.

Third basemen Mike Hessman and First Basemen Jeff Larish are on course to have career years. Hessman leads the team, the International League and all of professional baseball with 18 home runs. At this rate he is on course to hit 60 home runs this season! To bring this into a correct perspective, Hessman won the IL MVP award and Tops INT Player of the Year award in 2007 while hitting 31 home runs and he didn't hit his 18th home run until June 8 in 2007. In other words, Hessman could potentially double his 2007 HR stat. 1B Larish is also putting up extremely pretty numbers, knocking eleven out of the park and is third in the league in walks with 22.

Other players worth noting are DH Timo Perez who has gone 9 for 30 in the last eight games. During this stretch he has a double, a triple, a home run, five RBI, three runs, 2 SB and 3 BB. (Key word: versatility!) RHP Eddie Bonine is the International League Leader in wins with seven and has yet to be issued a loss. Closer Blaine Neal is also a league leader with 13 saves in as many chances and RHP Chris Lambert's ERA of 2.31 is sixth in the league. He trails Buffalo's Jeremy Sowers by .10 in his ERA and Sowers has seen MLB time this year and is currently sporting a 2-2 record while Lamberts record is 5-1.

Recent Double-A Erie call-up Freddy Guzman has done well in his debut with the Mud Hens. The switch hitting outfielder is hitting a small .231 but has two triples in 26 at bats. He was hitting .281 with Erie and had six triples with 15 stolen bases (out of 20 chances) in 121 at bats. Guzman, who is anything but a power hitter is the only man on the Mud Hens roster with more then 20 AB and no home runs.

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