The Squirrels are inching closer to the 2nd place Bowie, helped by a strong showing from an All-Star. This will come in handy with phenom Bryce Harper coming to town this week (for real this time).
A couple days off, a long series versus their evil nemesis, and the Squirrels are back in third place, just two games behind second place Bowie. The week wasn’t all bad, because we got to see the Squirrels show off their bats in the All-Star game. But now all that is behind us, and an important and busy week is ahead of us.
@Eastern League All-Star Game
The Flying Squirrels were well represented in the Eastern League All-Star Game, and they helped lead the Western Division to a dominating 8-3 win. 2B Charlie Culberson, C Johnny Monell, and RF Roger Kieschnick combined for 5 hits, 4 runs, and 4 RBI. RHP Justin Fitzgerald pitched a perfect 3rd inning.
@ Bowie Baysox
Another trip to Bowie and another rough series for the Squirrels. Richmond hit a team in the midst of a six-game winning streak, and the Baysox were able to extend that streak to seven with a complete game effort from recently promoted Oliver Drake. Richmond was able to rally behind starter Ryan Verdugo in Game 2. Then Bowie found their bats and laid some serious wood on the ball, outscoring Richmond 15-3 to sweep the final two games from Richmond.
@ New Britain Rock Cats
The Rock Cats will welcome the Squirrels for a three-game series. They share the same record as Richmond and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Division. Left Fielder Yangervis Solarte has the second highest BA in the Eastern League (with a minimum number of ABs). Monday’s game will be a treat as two of the Eastern League’s most dominant pitchers will square off when Eric Surkamp faces New Britain’s Liam Hendriks (8-2, 2.70 ERA).
vs Harrisonburg Senators
Sure, they were just here a few weeks ago, but they are back! Thanks to a few rainouts, we get two double headers and six games over the entire series. This time, Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, will be here as advertised. He seems to have not been able to adjust to AA as quickly as everyone anticipated. Harper is only batting .218 with 0 HRs in his first eight games. I would expect that to change soon. Meanwhile, the Senators continue to lead the division with a 4.5 game lead over second place Bowie.
Squirrels to watch
- LHP Ryan Verdugo- Since peaking in late May, Verdugo had been struggling giving up 20 runs over 17 innings. Things, however, have started to look brighter as the lefty has pitched two solid out giving up only two runs over his last 12.1 innings.
- C Johnny Monell- Not sure if it was the All-Star nod that motivated him, but Johnny Monell has been on fire the past 10 games. During the stretch, he has hit .417 during that time period and has an on-base percentage of .563.
This week at the Diamond
With all the double headers, I am not sure which items will be given away at certain games. Nonetheless, here is the list of this week’s promotions
- Thursday – 00’s night. We are supposed to dress up like it is the 00’s. I’m not sure if that means that we can wear whatever we have in our closet. Oh yeah, there are also fireworks.
- Friday – It will be What if the team was named the Richmond Rhinos Night? I assume that this has something to do with that name being one of the finalists during the 2009 team name contest. Not really sure. Anyway, the hats and jerseys will be auctioned off.
- Saturday – Dress like Harry Potter night. I suppose I could do my best Hagrid impersonation. There will also be another mug giveaway. For all you Hokie and Ravens fan, Tyrod Taylor will be at the 1pm game signing autographs.
- Sunday – There will be a Christmas ornament giveaway. The ornament is an acorn. Acorns are on oak trees, not evergreens.
photo by Gamma Man