"We're in a rough skid right now," said manager Phil Nevin. "If you think about though we are only a few games out of a playoff spot, and one more run like we had earlier in the season and we are right back in it."
Over the last week Erie (27-37) has faced the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Portland Sea Dogs.
The Sea Dogs swept Erie last week losing the final game on Thursday, June 10, 1-0. Thad Weber was brilliant, but the ‘Wolves offensive woes continued. The ‘Wolves completed the home stand getting swept by New Hampshire, before getting on the bus to make the trip to Portland.
Portland (34-30) took the season series against Erie after winning the first game 1-0. Duane Below took another tough decision for the ‘Wolves.
Erie finally broke their eight-game losing streak in big fashion defeating the Sea Dogs 9-3. Erie finishes their three game series against Portland on Thursday, before traveling to New Hampshire (40-25) for a three game series against the Fisher Cats.
What Can Brown Do For You?
Brooks Brown was once a first round draft choice (34th overall) of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the University of Georgia in 2006. He came to the Tigers organization via a trade in 2009.
Last season Brown spent most of the year as a starter, but came into this season working out of the bullpen. Brown moved into the starting rotation when L.J. Gagnier was promoted to Triple-A Toledo.
Since moving into the starting rotation on May 16, Brown has compiled a 1-3 record, with a 4.95 ERA. His numbers are skewed by a rough start against the Altoona Curve on May 22, where he gave up seven earned runs. If you take that start away Brown has solid 3.00 ERA.
"His pitch count is getting back up," said Nevin. "He's got a heck of an arm, and he is a talent."
Spending most of his time as a starter early on Brown has had to work himself back into the role of being a starter.
"He's been a starter most of his career so this is probably where he feels most comfortable," Nevin said.
Brown worked his longest outing of the year against New Hampshire pitching seven innings, and allowing only two earned runs.
"Definitely getting more comfortable being a starter again," said Brown. "My key is to throw strikes."
Brown has become one of Erie's more consistent pitchers along with Andy Oliver. His development will be crucial to strengthening the Erie rotation and Brown has possibly made himself a prospect again with the Tigers organization.
Weber Earns well Deserved Victory
Many of you probably remember Thad Weber because he threw a no-hitter last season. Well TigsTown's No. 25 prospect has faced some tough luck this season along with some of the other pitchers.
In his last 10 games the starter is 4-5 with a 4.16 ERA.
He opened up this past week for Erie losing a tough 1-0 decision to Portland on June 10. He worked eight strong innings allowing only one unearned run.
"The start was good," said Weber. "I worked through some mechanical issues and used my defense." "I was aggressive in the zone, and I'm pretty happy with the start."
Weber not only got the well-deserved win, but also broke the team's eight-game losing streak in the process. The right-hander worked seven shut out innings, striking out six. He is not a strike out pitcher so Weber relies on his defense to make plays behind him.
Iorg Shines with Glove, but Struggles continue with Bat
TigsTown's No. 11 prospect Cale Iorg plays defensive like few others. Right now he could play in the Major Leagues, the only thing holding him back is his bat.
In his last 10 games the shortstop has hit an abysmal .205. His plate discipline has not improved either, striking out nine times in 39 at-bats. On the season his strike out to walk ratio is 6.45/1. He has 33 hits on the season and 71 strikeouts.
Despite his struggles Iorg remains confident that he will break out of this slump and find his hitting stroke.
"I'm starting to feel comfortable and hopefully I'll come out of it," said Iorg.
Earlier in the season Iorg experimented with a leg kick and has just recently gotten rid of it. "We did away with the leg kick so that I can get my foot down and try to recognize pitches quicker," Iorg said. "These struggles are going to happen, I just need to relax."
- Cesar Nicolas suffered an oblique strain and will miss some time. He has been one of the ‘Wolves most consistent hitters on the season leading Erie with a .279 batting average.
- Erie finishes their series against the Fisher Cats before returning home for a seven game home stand. The ‘Wolves will play four games against the Trenton Thunder plus finish a suspended game from May 27. Richmond then comes to town for three games.