Revs return home hot for Ducks
The York Revolution will return home Monday for the first of a four-game set against Long Island. And the Revs will do so coming off a three-game “sweep” of the Camden Riversharks. I say sweep because York was originally scheduled to play two games at home and two away against Camden over the weekend, but Friday’s home game was rained out.
York took care of the Riversharks in dominating fashion as well, outscoring Camden 28-3 in the three games. The Revs have now gone 5-1 in their last six, 6-2 in last eight, 7-4 in last 11, 10-6 in last 16 and 13-8 in last 21 games.
The Friday rainout has been rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, which was originally going to be an off-day for York.
Standings: It’s been hard for the Revs to gain any ground on Lancaster Barnstormers, who have stayed white-hot in the second half by winning the first-half Atlantic League Freedom Division title by a whopping nine games over the Revs. Lancaster (68-38 overall, 23-13 second half) sits 3.5 games up on York (55-50, 19-16) in the second-half division race (through Sunday). Instead, it looks like York will have to focus on making into the playoffs via wildcard.
After winning the first-half Patriot Division by five games over Camden, Long Island (52-53 overall) is a league-worst 13-23 in the second half of the season thus far. Southern Maryland (50-56, 20-16) and Bridgeport (49-55, 18-16) appear destined to battle it out for the second-half Patriot Division title. As a result, it looks like just one wildcard spot will be open for the taking.The wildcard is determined by a team’s overall record, not just the second half.
As it stands now, York is 3.5 games up on the Somerset Patriots (53-55, 18-20) in the lone wildcard spot. Bridgeport (50-55, 19-16) is five games back, while Camden (48-56, 14-21) sits 6.5 games out and Sugar Land (47-60, 18-19) is nine games back. Looking at York’s schedule, after the Revs play Long Island in four games at home this week, York will finish out the regular season with 19 of their final 29 games on the road. Six more games are scheduled between York and Somerset (at Somerset for three Aug. 24-26, at York Sept. 14-16.
Pitching: While York’s offense has been hot as of late, so has the pitching, especially the starters. York’s starting pitchers have held opponents to a combined nine earned runs in the last eight games, good enough for a 1.52 ERA (53.1 innings). The Revs have held opponents to three runs or less in seven of their last eight games. Since a 17-6 drubbing at the hands of Lancaster on July 27, York has held opponents to an average of three runs over the next 21 games.
That’s good news now that it seems starting pitchers Lorenzo Barcelo and Matt DeSalvo might not be able to join York, if at all, for quite some yet. The cat’s been out of the bag for awhile now that the Revs are interested in bringing the pair of pitchers back to York. Only problem is, York has to wait until either are available after their respective clubs finish the year. Barcelo likely could have been with York earlier this year had his Mexican League club not made the league’s playoffs. But Barcelo’s Veracruz ballclub keeps winning in the playoffs. And there’s really no timetable as to when DeSalvo could get back from playing in Taiwan, where he suits up for the Lamigo Monkeys as part of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (I thought that season would wrap up soon, but Lamigo just picked up Long Island pitcher Mike Loree last week, so I guess not).
Lorenzo, who is 7-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 20 starts in the Mexican League this season, had joined York late last year to help the Revs down the stretch. In six regular season starts for the Revs last year, the 6-foot-4 right-hander had a 3.96 ERA. DeSalvo was even more impressive in the first half of the 2011 season before being plagued by injuries in the second half. Over 106.1 innings last year, DeSalvo accumulated a 6-3 record and 3.89 ERA in 18 starts and five relief appearances. The right-hander struck out 108 batters.
A part of me wonders if the comments made by Revs’ skipper Andy Etchebarren in July has had any impact on the performance of Revs’ starters recently. Back then, Etch’ had said he was looking at possibly bringing in three pitchers in August (DeSalvo and Barcelo were likely two of them), and was hoping his club could just play .500 ball until then.
York starters Corey Thurman (11-3, 4.45 ERA) and Ryan Feierabend (5-3, 2.55 ERA) have been good to dominant for most of the year. Lefty Derrick Gordon has also been pretty good since coming over from Sugar Land, putting together a 3-2 record and 3.38 ERA over six starts in a Revs’ uniform.
So, it’s likely lefties Chris Cody and Chris Waters may have been the odd men out had York acquired any starters this month. Both have been back and forth for most of the year. But they have done a good job of solidifying their starting roles as of late. Cody has held opponents to two earned runs or less and tossed at least six innings in four of his last five starts, bumping his ERA down to 4.34 on the year. He tossed 6.1 innings of scoreless ball against Camden in a winning effort Sunday afternoon. Waters has been equally impressive, holding opponents to three earned runs or less in each of his last four starts over a combined 24 innings. He has looked dominant in his last two starts, combining for 13.2 innings pitched and holding opponents to three earned runs.
York will need that starting rotation to keep up the good work in the final month-and-a-half of the regular season if it wants to have a shot at the playoffs.