Our Squirrels have had key players removed from the lineup for various reasons, but the playoffs are still in sight! The upcoming home series, the last of the season at the Diamond, is absolutely vital if the Squirrels hope to continue playing beyond the regular season.
It’s the last week of the season and Richmond is a game-and-a-half behind Bowie for the wild card. Last week could have been much better. Fortunately for the Squirrels, Bowie stumbled a bit. The biggest trouble for Richmond is that the Giants called pitching stud Eric Surkamp to be with the big league team during the stretch run. That means if Richmond is going to win the Eastern League, they are going to have to do it without their best player. To make things worse, their most consistent hitter, Roger Kieschnick, went on the DL and may not be back for the rest of the season
A four game set against the worst team in the Western Division provided no relief for Richmond. In Game 1, it was a late run that would break the tie and secure the victory for Altoona. In Game 2, some early run production put Richmond up 4-0, eventually holding on for the win. Game 3, the Curve were able to get to Clayton Tanner for 4 runs and win the game 4-3. The series finale was another rough game for Richmond, as Altoona took it to Justin Fitzgerald for the 6-2 victory.
It was all Chuck Lofgren for the first 5 innings of Game 1, as he held the Aeros to a single run. Akron would score two more, but it would not be enough as the Squirrels went on to win the game 4-3. In Game 2, David Quinowski started for Eric Surkamp and it didn’t go well; Akron was able to gain the 7-5 win. Game 3 took 10 innings, but the Squirrels pulled ahead for a dramatic 3-2 win. In the series finale, Richmond was forced to have their second emergency start of the series because Clayton Tanner was designated for assignment. This time it was Wilmin Rodriguez who took the mound, but the result was no better as Akron won the game 5-2.
vs. New Britain Rock Cats
This will be the final series at the Diamond. Richmond has been strong at home all season and they desperately need to come away with a series win if they hope to make the playoffs. Standing in their way is an equally talented New Britain club, who is coming off a 3 game sweep of Trenton. The Rock Cats will provide some challenges for Richmond, especially Shortstop, Brian Dozier, who is hitting .325 with 4 homers over his past 10 games. The Squirrels will also have to watch out for lefty Andrew Albers who has only given up a total of 4 runs in his past 3 starts.
Richmond finishes the season back in Altoona. Altoona will have just finished a series with Bowie, where they will have hopefully helped keep the Squirrels in contention for that wild card spot. Curve infielder, Brock Holt, is playing some good ball right now. Over the past 10 games he is batting .310. Pitcher Phillip Irwin provided some headaches last week as he went 7 innings strong and only surrendered 2 runs on 4 hits.
Squirrels to watch
- Francisco Peguero – This guy has been on fire over the past week. He is batting .454 with 1 HR and 6 R during the past 8 games.
- Ryan Verdugo – With Surkamp gone, it will not be up to Verdugo and Fitzgerald to be the stoppers in this rotation. Verdugo pitched two solid games over the past week, giving up a total of only 3 runs over 13 innings.
At the Diamond
- Monday – Tonight will be “Bring your Dog to the Park” game. I’d watch my step
- Tuesday – Fireworks
- Wednesday – Fireworks
- Thursday – Fireworks
photo by GammaMan