Winning 11 of 13 games seemed as much fairy tale as wishful thinking a month ago. Even the most die-hard Defenders fan would have likely said that sort of success is a stretch. Here we are, however, July 9 and that is exactly what the Defenders have done.
Not to junx them, but with another game versus the Mets tomorrow morning and four with the woeful New Hampshire squad starting Friday, Connecticut could be 16 of 18 going into the all-star hiatus.
What's more is the lineup looks dangerous. There's some power and there are some guys who are great for contact or situations. Let's not forget the ability to run bases.
Of course, the pitching is still what makes this team click. Adam Cowart, who has been up and down, was clearly up Wednesday. I came away impressed with his make up as he got a dangerous Moises Alou to ground out weakly with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Ronnie Ray and Josh Sharpless did their parts in relief.
What really caught my attention came after the game. Manager Bien Figueroa said he has his eyes on a four-game set at Portland 12 days from now. That takes some brass when you are 2-8 against the Sea Dogs. But he has every reason to be confident. No longer are the Defenders two hot hitters three or four spots apart in the lineup. Right now, names like Haines, Sandoval, Rohlinger, Wald, Martinez-Esteve, Witter and Richardson are doing damage.
There may actually be postseason play at Dodd this season and based on the sparse crowds the past two nights, no one cares.
FYI: Nate Bump will miss his scheduled start tomorrow because of a sore right shoulder. He will likely not be pushed back a day, but start his next time through, which would be the first game back from the break. A little rest should do him good.
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