Snapped in Style: How to Break a Losing Streak
HLS isn’t in the business of recapping games — we leave that to press box neighbors Tommy Thrall and Kevin Burke over at BlueWahoos.com. But yesterday’s 8-2 triumph is an outlier that facilitates a need to stop and reflect on a much-needed win.
In the broad view, Pensacola stands seven games out of first place in the South division and six games below .500. They also fell to the Biscuits (17-13) four games to one, dropping their second straight set. However, yesterday’s victory allayed deeper concerns and capped an offensive resurgence three games in the making.
Entering Sunday’s match, the Wahoos (11-17) actually outhit the Biscuits over the last two nights despite a pair of losses. The affectionately-dubbed “Win in Pink” cemented a first for Pensacola this season; the Wahoos outhit their opponent for the first time in a five-game series, slashing 42 hits — and thirteen for extra bases — against Montgomery’s 37.
The weekend set was the first occasion in which Pensacola recorded ten-plus hits in two consecutive games, as well as the fourth and fifth time overall. With the highest run count since April 24 and most hits since the Jacksonville mandate, the Fish set their hitting struggles straight.
Eight of nine starters recorded hits, while the odd man out Ryan LaMarre reached base twice and scored a run. Four players recorded multi-hit games: Brodie Greene (3-for-5, 2B), Tucker Barnhart (2-for-4, RBI, R), Bryson Smith (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R), and Michael Gilmartin (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R). The last Wahoo listed — the on-again, off-again Gilmartin — broke a five-game hitless streak in the effort and smashed his first home run in Double-A. With LaMarre included, every Pensacola player reached base at least once.
A prominent statistic in the Pensacola game notes noticed that the Wahoos had the lowest batting average in all of minor league baseball (.211 entering Sunday) as well as the lowest run tally (77). The blowout victory raised their average six points to leave the cellar and left the Nashville Sounds as the worst run-producer on the farm. It’s worth noting that the same blurb was prefaced with the fact that the Wahoos were 6-0 were they scored four runs or more; the Win in Pink makes it a perfect 7-0.
Starter Tim Crabbe finally earned the run support he deserved. Receiving only six runs from his offense in five starts, he left the seventh inning with a seven-run lead after tossing a gem. The Arizona Fall League honoree yielded only one earned run on only four hits, claiming a season-high six strikeouts and walking one.
In retrospect, the good guys are 1-4 in their last five games. Yet that win means more to the young team than the record shows and gives everyone a boost of momentum as they hit the road. Jacksonville has surged to a second-place pace as Pensacola rolls into the Baseball Grounds, but a strong series ends that. The Wahoos can drop Jacksonville to third at the very least and jump a spot in the standings at best. With the bats fired up and ready to go, it’s safe to say that the Blue Wahoos are tickled pink over the opportunity they now encounter.