"Movin' On Up"
Although tied for the lead atop the AL West at 26-25, Albuquerque (could that be any harder to spell?) is on their way back to the ALCS. But with 323 runs through 51 games, good for 3rd in all of baseball, they are kicking themselves for missed opportunities that could have them sitting up closer to 30-21. To date they are 3-8 in 1-run games and 1-3 in games that weren't decided after 9 innings. Slugger and clubhouse leader, Jack Hines, knows they need to be more opportunistic. "It seems like when we put up 5, they put up 6. When we plate 8, they plate 9. When we pound out 13, the other team seems to find a way to get 14. It's just frustrating, what can I say. Just frustrating." GM cincysteve couldn't be contacted for comments. Some say he was away checking on something in another world. Ha, other worlds. Like those exist!
Anyway, look for the Albatross to begin pulling away. The kind of production they're putting up doesn't usually end in losses, and I don't expect them to continue to.
Yes, Durham is 31-20. Yes, they would make the playoffs if the season were to end today. So how far can they possibly climb if they're currently 11 games over .500? Let me count the ways:
1) Durham is 1st in the AL in runs allowed (by 33 runs, no less).
2) They are 5th in the AL in runs scored.
3) 3-6 in one run games...gotta win the close ones
4) They have 6 guys with 9 or more HRs. At this pace, they'll have 6 players with over 28 HRs on the season. Absolutely unheard of!
5) They are getting on base as a team at a rate of .357.
Top to bottom, they have few holes. Rookie Adrian Castillo spoke to reporters at his locker earlier today. "We can't be worried about what other teams are doing. All we can do is go out there and try our best to put the best product possible on the field. With our talent, that's going to translate into wins, and , mark my words, a championship."
Is Castillo a prophet or a Pollyanna? Only time will tell, but we at NTC Weekly think they've got room to grow.