The regular season winds down for most teams in Minor League Baseball, with Labor Day rapidly approaching. But for the Lakewood BlueClaws, the fun is about to begin.
Two weeks from today, Lakewood will take the field for their second post-season in team history, likely down at the Cannon against Kannapolis. The BlueClaws, 28-27 in the second half, are a different team than the one that won the first-half title at 42-26, but anything can happen in a two out of three series, as is round one of the post-season.
Kannapolis has won 17 of their last 20 games, including 10 in a row, and they currently have a five game lead on second-place West Virginia…13 to play.
“The last week we’ll sit down with Gorm Heimueller, Chuck LaMar, and Bob (Milacki), and talk about the pitching,” said BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan. “We’ll look at the situation, say this guy will start game one, etc…The last week, we’ll give guys some rest, maybe play them five innings, so they’re fresh and ready to play. It is kind of a double-edged sword. You want to give them some rest, but not throw off their timing.”
He added: “The playoffs are a fun time. It took me a long time to get into the playoffs as a player, and these guys are lucky enough to get there in their first couple of seasons.”
Two Lakewood Issues
1. A Bat…Solution: OF Brian Gump, added yesterday to a team that had scored just 62 runs in their previous 20 games…Gump went 1-2 with two walks and a HBP last night, an 8-0 Lakewood win.
2. Bullpen Arm…Solution: RHP Santo Hernandez, added back to the BlueClaws from Clearwater two weeks ago, Santo has thrown 5.1 shutout innings with two saves and a win. He’s given up just four earnred runs in his last 39.1 innings with Lakewood.