TigsTown MLN: SeaWolves Road Woes Continue

The Erie SeaWolves followed up last week's successful home stand with a less than inspiring week on the road. The 'Wolves dropped two of three to both the Binghamton Mets and the Harrisburg Senators.

The 'Wolves have not fared well against Binghamton or Harrisburg all season, winning only three of nine against Binghamton and four of 12 against Harrisburg. They still play 10 more games against Harrisburg and four against Binghamton, all at Jerry Uht Park in Erie.

The 'Wolves dropped four of six this week but they have finally found a closer and they earned there first come from behind victory of the season. The 'Wolves had not won a game all season when they trailed after six innings until a 5-4 victory on Wednesday. Will Rhymes played the role of hero with a two-out, two RBI triple in the top of the ninth. Rhymes has quietly had a very productive season for the SeaWolves, hitting .272 with 32 RBI. Rhymes has bounced around the lineup but he has settled into the lead-off role since Max Leon was called up to Triple-A Toledo.

It took until the middle of June for the SeaWolves to have a closer emerge but Casey Fien has settled into that role of late. He has earned a save in each of the SeaWolves last three victories bringing his season total to six. In his last 10 appearances Fien has pitched 9 2/3 innings allowing only five hits and one earned run while striking out 13 and walking two. It has been a roller coaster season for Fien who was really good in April and than he regressed in May before turning things around and earning the role of closer for the 'Wolves.

The SeaWolves starting pitching has continued to pitch much better, led by Danny Christensen who won the Eastern League Pitcher of the week award last week. Christensen was the losing pitcher in a 4-3 loss to Harrisburg on Friday but he pitched seven innings and he allowed four earned runs in the loss. In his two starts last week Christensen was 1-0 with 14 innings pitched and two earned runs allowed, he also had a season high eight strikeouts on June 10 against Portland. In his last six starts he is 4-1 and he has allowed more than two earned runs only once.

Andrew Kown has been one of the 'Wolves best pitchers at times but he has lacked consistency all year. He pitched 8 1/3 innings and allowed only two earned runs on Wednesday but he received no offensive support and suffered a 3-2 loss. Kown is 4-8 with a 4.74 ERA on the season but he has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last five starts.

Offensively the SeaWolves have received a huge contribution from Ryan Roberson since he returned from Toledo last week. Roberson has hit safely in 15 straight games including seven before being promoted to Toledo and eight since he returned. On Sunday he was getting a day off until he was called upon to pinch hit in the top of the eighth with the score tied 3-3. He connected on his second home run in as many games to keep the hitting streak alive and increase his home run total to 11. His 11 home runs are second on the team to catcher Dusty Ryan.

The 'Wolves had catcher Max St. Pierre called up to Toledo this week and Adrian Casanova was called up from West Michigan. Casanova wasted no time making an impact on the 'Wolves lineup going 2-for-4 in his only game in the lineup. They also received Wilkin Ramirez back from Toledo and he was 2-for-7 in his two games since returning to the Erie lineup.

The 'Wolves will continue their road trip with a four game series in Trenton beginning Monday. The 'Wolves pitching rotation for the series in Trenton is Josh Rainwater (4-2, 4.84 ERA) on Monday, Andrew Kown (4-8, 4.74 ERA) on Tuesday, Ben Fritz (2-2, 5.59 ERA) on Wednesday and Danny Christensen (4-5, 3.73 ERA) on Thursday. That will mark the end of a season long 10 game road trip as the SeaWolves return home on Friday against the Harrisburg Senators. Friday night will be Tom Brookens bobble head night at Jerry Uht Park to kick off a six game home stand.

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