Crushing the Numbers: 8/6/13 to 8/12/2013
Freedom rang in Florence for the Crushers to start the week, as they took two of three games to start the road trip. Then, they proceeded to slam Joliet, sweeping the slammers and outscoring them 29-12 in the series. They’ve now upped their record to 43-31 on the season.
After going on 5-1 on this vacation, the Crushers return home to kick off a seven-game home stand against the Washington WildThings and Frontier Greys, two teams that, considering how well Lake Erie is playing, they should crush.
Enough of the bad puns; let’s start crushing the numbers from the last week.
Who’s Crushing it:
6 G, 12-24, .500 BA, 1.455 OPS, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 2B, 7 R
Moldenhauer was featured in this part of the notebook last week, and the return of Russ “Moldenpower” was widely heralded. The Crushers mashing first baseman has more than returned; he has taken over. Half of the Moldenhauer’s hits this week went for extra-bases and his 9 RBI were a team high. His OPS can be broken down to a .538 on-base percentage and a .917! slugging percentage. His OPS for the week is a season high for any Crusher hitter. Moldenhauer doesn’t have to keep hitting at such a high level, but he is poised to carry the lineup into the playoffs.
6 G, 6-19, .316 BA, 1.079 OPS, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 5 R
Hertler is doing everything asked of a leadoff hitter right now. The centerfielder is a sparkplug at the top of the lineup, and is creating plenty of RBI situations for the middle of the Crushers batting order. Not only is his batting average on the week very good, but he sports an on-base percentage of .500. That’s exceptional. As long as Hertler continues to do what he’s doing, the Crushers will hurtle into the playoffs (okay, now the puns are really done).
6 G, 7-23, .304 BA, .768 OPS, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 4 R
What has gotten into Juan Sanchez? Whatever it is, the Crushers have to be thrilled with his production over the last three weeks. Sanchez is getting timely, game changing hits, and he is a hot bat at the bottom of the order. Having a threat in the 7, 8, or 9-hole in the lineup extends the Crushers order and only makes them more dangerous. The interesting thing about Sanchez’s week: three of his hits, including the homerun, and all six of his RBIs came in the final game of the road trip, the 15-5 throttling of the Slammers.
Who’s Getting Crushed:
6 G, 5-25, .200 BA, .231 OBP, .300 SLG%, 5 K, 1 DP
As one middle-of-the-order hitter gets hot, another cools off. That’s been the story of the Crushers lineup this season. Right now it is Bowman going through a dry spell. He has struck out as many times as he has hit himself on base, and despite having numerous chances to drive in runs, his team scored 44 times on the week, he only came away with two RBIs. While the Crushes offense is doing okay in spite of Bowman’s struggles, it is important for the all-star right fielder to get back on track for the stretch run.
4 G, 3-14, .214 BA, .286 SLG%, .599 OPS, 1 K, 1 CS
Berard’s certainly been on a wild roller coaster ride this season. He has gone from speedy super-sub, to dazzling lead-off hitter, into manager Jeff Isom’s dog house, back to super-sub status, to now just a bench player that offers some speed. He’s still going to get playing time, but he isn’t offering very much with his bat. When he does get on base, he can cause trouble, but hitting .214 like he did this week isn’t going to get him on base enough to do any serious damage.
1 G, 0.1 IP, 3 W, 3 ER, 81.00 ERA
Michael Jahns barely even saw the mound this week, yet here he is. He had one of those outings that give relievers nightmares. I just a third of an inning, Jahns failed to throw strikes. He issued a free pass to three of the four batters he faced, and all of them came around to score. The damage he did this week inflated his season ERA to 8.30. He isn’t really deserving of such a high ERA, but it’s going to take a long time for that number to come down. Unfortunately for Jahns, he doesn’t get enough work to bring that number back to a reasonable level.
Comings and Goings via I-90:
Jason Wilson, who pitched in 15 games with the Florence Freedom this summer, was brought in for a spot start on Monday. He only pitched in two innings, giving up three runs. He was relieved by Connor Whalen, who pitched two innings and earned the win. Adam Beach pitched the final five innings, earning his first career save. It is unclear if Wilson will become a fulltime member of the starting rotation, or was just called upon for a spot start. Beach may take over as a long reliever in the bullpen, but the fact that he pitched five innings means he is still stretched out enough to remain in the rotation.
14.2: The number of scoreless innings pitched this week by the Crushers bullpen. Dale Dickerson, Brad Duffy, Brandon Smith, Jordan Wellander, and Mickey Jannis all contributed out of the pen.
6: The number of games the Crushers have played in which they have scored 10 or more runs this season after the final two games in Joliet.
5: The number of those six games that the Crushers have won. Their only loss came in the game in which they scored their highest total of the season, when they lost to Rockford 18-17.
After another strong week, the Crushers now have a 2.5 game lead for the second wild card spot. With 21 games to go, they can lock up a playoff spot for themselves by just continuing to do what they are doing.
The Crushers still have a chance to win their division, too. They are only 1.5 games behind the Beach Bums for first place, and end the season with a three-game series against Traverse City at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The Crushers kick-off a four game set with the Washington WildThings with a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 5:05 p.m. Matt Rein will be on the mound for the first game, and Dave Middendorf will start game two.