TigsTown MLN: SeaWolves Hot After Break

It was a short week for most of the Erie SeaWolves with two days off for the All-Star break. How did the 'Wolves that participated do?

The SeaWolves did have five players that represented the team at the game although Wilkin Ramirez and Casey Fien did not play because of injury. Dusty Ryan had an opportunity to participate in the Home Run Derby and he was 0-for-2 in the game after entering as a pinch hitter and remaining in as the catcher. Danny Christensen was a late addition to the roster and he allowed two hits and an earned run while striking out one in an inning of work. SeaWolves first baseman Ryan Roberson started the game as the designated hitter and he was 1-for-4 with a two run home run off of Robert Parnell in the fourth inning.

The week began with a big night at Jerry Uht Park with Eddie Bonine making a spot start in front of a season high 6,224 people. Bonine was hit by a line drive in the fourth inning and eventually left the game a couple of hitters later. "I seen him limp a little on it when he got the ball back and I knew it was barking on him so I made the decision to get him out of there" said manager Tom Brookens.

Bonine suffered the loss and lasted only 3 2/3 innings allowing four hits and one earned run. There was some speculation that Bonine would be called up to Detroit if he had a good start in Erie. "I would have liked to have had a little bit more control over that and have gone six or seven innings and possibly put myself in a better position to go back up but obviously the organization is going to make that decision".

The All-Star break came at a much needed time for the SeaWolves who were trailing the Akron Aeros by 22 ½ games at the break. They found themselves in the bottom of the league in many categories but pitching and defense have been inconsistent all season long.

"If you look at the team stats we're down near the bottom part of the league so that tells you where we're at" Brookens said, continuing "We're probably not as good as the other teams in the league but that being said, when we send them out there we believe they will get the job done". The pitching hasn't been very consistent but the inconsistent defense has not helped the very much. "We're not a power pitching team and consequently the ball is put in play and your defense has to make plays, we weren't very good in that area but we've come a long way and gotten better".

After an inconsistent first half of the season the SeaWolves began the second half with a four game series in Akron against the Southern Division leading Aeros. The 'Wolves remained without the services of Danny Worth and they added Wilkin Ramirez to the list of players that weren't available due to injury (Ed. note: Ramirez has been placed on the disabled list, retroactive to July 17th, with a strained quad). Ryan Roberson has been the 'Wolves best hitter of late and he too found himself out of the lineup after being hit by a pitch in his first at-bat in the Akron series.

It wasn't just Worth, Ramirez and Roberson that were out of the lineup, third baseman Kody Kirkland was called up to Triple-A Toledo. Despite the 'Wolves depleted lineup they won three out of four against Akron, the only loss came on Saturday against Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona who was making a rehab start in Akron.

Santo De Leon was brought up from Lakeland to replace Kody Kirkland on the roster and he made an immediate impact. He struggled in his first game going 0-for-4 but he had three hits in eight at-bats the next two games, including a solo home run in a 3-1 win on Sunday. De Leon was hitting .292 with four home runs in Lakeland and he is batting .250 with one home run in just three games with Erie. He was also 2-for-4 with a double on Saturday.

The 'Wolves received a couple of quality starts in the four game series in Akron. Josh Rainwater has been one of the most consistent pitchers this season but he struggled in his only start this week, lasting only 4 2/3 innings and allowing 12 hits and five earned runs. Lauren Gagnier followed up a start that he lasted only 2/3 of an inning by shutting down the Aeros for six innings. Gagnier allowed only four hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out two.

The SeaWolves best pitcher the last two months has been closer Casey Fien and he showed exactly why this week. Fien earned a save in all three SeaWolves victories this weekend. Fien has 12 saves and has struck out 41 batters in 44 innings of work. Fien earned the role of closer after Freddy Dolsi was called up to Detroit and Brett Jensen went on the disabled list with season ending surgery.

The 'Wolves will play eight games in the next seven days at Jerry Uht Park, hoping to build on their success in Akron. The 'Wolves will play five games against Binghamton including a doubleheader on Tuesday to complete their season series. Binghamton leads the series with Erie taking six of nine and two out of three in Erie. Luis Marte will start on Monday, it will be his first start since being placed on the disabled list on May 23. The 'Wolves complete their eight game home stand with a three game series against the Bowie Baysox. Bowie has take 12 out of the last 14 against Erie since the 'Wolves swept Bowie to start the season.

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