Monday, June 25, 2007

Road woes continue


Baseball fans love stats but Silver Sox fans probably don't like that one. It is the teams record on the road this year.

The Sox came home for a short 2-game series and swept the expansion St. George Roadrunners. Things seemed to be clicking and then the bus pulled up for the trip to Long Beach.

And, after getting swept by the Armada, things just looked ugly. Two of those games saw the Silver Sox get shut out. One had a season high 5 errors committed by the Sox and they now have 37 through 16 games, the most in the league. Four of the nine starting position players are batting under .200. And the team found out it now has its third player gone for the season when it was released that J.J. Sherrill will have season ending surgery. And, J.J. Johnson is on the shelf and the status of #3 starter, Keaton Everitt, is still up in the air. The team hasn't released any information on him but he missed his last start and was pulled after a couple of innings from his start prior to that.

The road trip continues tonight with a three game stand in St. George. On a positive note, Reno has crushed St. George with an 2-0 record and a combined score of 10-2 when they first met last week. Of course that was at Peccole but if there is a team who may provide an opportunity for the Sox to break the 0-11 road record, it will be the Roadrunners. But the Sox have to buckle down and cut down on the mental mistakes.

The 37 errors, including 11 by shortstop Justin Devoir alone, need to decrease significantly. The two first place teams demonstrate that pretty clearly. First place Yuma has 22 and second place Orange County has 16.

Then, the batters have to cut down on strike outs which are way to high. Chikazawa is averaging a K every two at bats and Madrid and Done about every three at bats.

And the pitching, while getting better, has to do more. It may seem unfair when the pitching is doing a lot better but they can't count on the defense to hold small leads. The team has given up 25 unearned runs this year. That means control has to be a focus. Wild Pitches (11 in 16 games) and poor Strike Out to Walk Ratios (Bergman for example has 14 SOs to 13 walks) are areas of concern.

25 unearned runs, by the way, means the Sox spot the opponents over a run and a half per game on average. You add the team ERA of 4.36 and that means, again on average, that the offense has to score 7 or more runs to win each game. With a team batting average of .225 and less than a home run a game (they have 14 on the season) that is just not going to happen consistently. Their runs per game average is 3.75 by the way.

And for one last stat, the season is 21% over. With a little over 3/4 of a season left, time to turn things around is slowly expiring. Though Yuma has come back to earth a little, they are still 12-6 and have a 7 game lead on the Silver Sox. That will quickly become a double digit lead by the half if the Sox can't turn it around quick.

On the positive side, the team has 21 stolen bases, 38 extra base hits, and, with one exception, the starting pitchers have a WHIP around 1.00. So the opportunities to score are happening and or being manufactured and the starting pitchers are not putting a lot of guys on base to come around and hurt them later.

Here's hoping they have a little magic up their sleeve and Les' new pitcher pick-ups will stay as solid as they have looked early on to take some pressure off of the starters...


Peeaanuut said...

I do have to agree that the errors are what hurt you guys. LB didnt play exceptional baseball, accept for yesterday. Hopefully you guys can pick up a W in Utah and maybe demoralize them so it is easier for us to sweep them.

FlyerFan said...


Keith said...

Well, we got a win yesterday. I'm sure Les and the boys will take whatever then can these days, especially on the road.

But it doesn't mean they are playing any better. They got all the offense going off the worst pitching in the league (team ERA of 7.72) and still gave up 10 runs to a team that has only managed 3 wins this year.

Meanwhile, another pitcher misses a start as Nick Moran had shoulder tightness (again nothing put on the website about that or the other starter, Everritt, who was quietly placed on the inactive list for ???). So they give a start to a reliver (Josh Evans)who got blasted for 5 runs over 3 IP. Jason Martinez and Adam Nikolic were decent but Mike Peck has his second bad outing with 3 runs and two walks given up without getting a single out. Then there were the two errors including a grounder back to the pitcher that he overthrew to the first baseman.

So a Win, but not out of the woods yet. It might be a good confidence builder to beat St. George but I'd definitely like to see it through good pitching and good defense before I buy in that the Silver Sox are back on track.