The minor league season is coming to a close and that means playoff races. The good news for the Hartford Yard Goats (70-55) is they are the only Rockies affiliate with a shot at the playoffs. The bad news is, after this weekend, they sit seven games out with 15 games to play. The Reading Fightin Phils (82-44) still lead the Eastern League Eastern Division with the Trenton Thunder (78-49) not far behind.
Lest one lose sight of the accomplishment here, the Yard Goats have managed to put up the third best record in the Eastern League without playing a game in Hartford. Former Yard Goat David Dahl recently described how the experience of playing an entire season on the road has prepared him for life in the big leagues.
News and Notes, August 16 - August 29
|Aug 16||v||Bowie (in MD)||W 4-3||Aug 23||@||Binghamton||4:35 pm|
|Aug 17||v||Bowie (in MD, Gm 1)||W 4-0||Aug 24||@||Binghamton||4:35 pm|
|Aug 17||v||Bowie (in MD, Gm 2)||W 2-1||Aug 25||v||Harrisburg (in NH)||3:05 pm|
|Aug 18||v||Bowie (in MD)||L 3-5||Aug 26||v||Harrisburg (in NH, Gm 1)||11:05 am|
|Aug 19||v||Trenton (in NJ)||L 0-2||Aug 26||v||Harrisburg (in NH, Gm 2)||TBD|
|Aug 20||v||Trenton (in NJ)||W 3-1||Aug 27||v||Harrisburg (in NH)||11:05 am|
|Aug 21||v||Trenton (in NJ)||L 2-10||Aug 28||OFF DAY|
|Aug 22||@||Binghamton||L 3-6||Aug 29||@||Richmond||5:05 pm|
Correlle Prime was placed on the inactive list for the Yard Goats, but for a pretty awesome reason.
He was added to the roster on Monday, replacing Omar Carrizales (no. 31 PuRP), who went on the 7-day disabled list.
Ryan McMahon (no. 6 PuRP) (along with Dom Nunez) has continued to rake in the second half. He’s cooled off a little bit from a very hot July (.286/.346/.561), but he still has a .811 OPS since the All-Star Break.
We still haven’t seen Antonio Senzatela (no. 8 PuRP) on the mound and at this point we likely won’t unless he’s healthy enough to head to the Arizona Fall League.
If you weren’t convinced Yency Almonte (no. 18 PuRP) had star potential, perhaps this week should convince you of his prospect pedigree. He threw a seven inning complete game on August 17 (allowing three walks, four hits and four strikeouts) and followed that up with six innings on Monday where he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. He’s walking more and striking out fewer batters since his promotion to Double-A at the beginning of August but still has shown he’s capable of getting advanced hitters out.
July was not a good month for Sam Howard (no. 23 PuRP). In five starts he had a 6.41 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP with just 15 strikeouts in 26 2⁄3 innings—a far cry from his 2.47 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 65 2⁄3 innings for Modesto. However in August he’s recaptured his strikeout capabilities (24 in 21 2⁄3 innings) while managing to keep batters off the bases (1.38 WHIP) and keep the Yard Goats in games (2.49 ERA). If he can continue this run of form he will justify the aggressive promotion plan from the Rockies.
Alex Balog (no. 29 PuRP) has struggled in his time with the Yard Goats, putting up a 4.09 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP and a 29:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 50 2⁄3 innings.
Spotlight On: Eyewitness Accounts
It was likely the last best chance for the Yard Goats this season. They came into a weekend series six games out of a playoff spot and it just so happened they were playing the team they were chasing, the Trenton Thunder. Michael James was there with all the details, from questionable managerial decisions to standout performances and everything in between.
Dunkin Donuts Park Update
Josh Solomon wants to see the Yard Goats play ball in Hartford next season. He wants it so much that he’s willing to, as the building’s tenant, loan the money the city needs to make that happen.
"I'm desperate," team owner Josh Solomon said. "I don't want the decision to be taken away form me and somebody else decide where we play next season. And I'm afraid that's where it's going if we don't do something. And we've tried to wait and be patient, but nothing has come of it."
Last week we got news that the city had paid the architect, an important step to getting developers back on site, but it seems that Solomon wanted a little more assurance.
The Yard Goats head back to New York to face the Binghamton Mets (58-67) for a three-game set and then their final faux-home series in New Hampshire against the Harrisburg Senators (64-62) for four games.
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