Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
It’s been a struggle for the Batavia Muckdogs (12-17) during the month of July, as the Marlins’ Class A affiliate has lost 8 of their last 12, dropped three-straight series, fallen 5.5 games back of division-leading Mahoning Valley (17-11), and 4.5 games back of the leader in the Wild Card race – the Staten Island Yankees (17-13).
If the ‘Dogs hope to make a run at the postseason over the final month and a half of the season it must begin with a big road win over Williamsport (12-17), who they begin a three-game road set with tonight. Williamsport comes into the series sitting just below Batavia in the overall Wildcard Standings and it would be huge for Batavia to come out with a sweep, or even a series win over the Crosscutters.
The upcoming set with Williamsport is so important for the Muckdogs because of what will come after those three games. Following the series with the ‘cutters Batavia has three against Mahoning Valley, a day off, then three with Staten Island, and those six games will likely write the story as to whether or not the ‘Dogs will be able to make a run towards a postseason berth in the coming weeks.
Outside of the team’s pursuits over the next month and a half, Batavia catcher J.D. Osborne, right fielder Jerar Encarnacion, and starting pitcher Alberto Guerrero will look to continue putting together notable statistical campaigns, as they have up to this point of 2018.
Osborne leads the team (min. 50 AB) with a .344 batting average and an .886 OPS, while Encarnacion comes in just behind him with a .338 BA and an .837 OPS, as each have taken turns propelling the Muckdogs’ offense. On the mound Guerrero has been the top-starter for Batavia, and has accumulated a stellar 2.64 ERA over six starts – during which he has struck out 29 batters in 30.2 IP.
As a team the ‘Dogs rank near the middle of all main statistical categories, which perfectly displays why they are where they are in terms of the postseason standings. They just haven’t gotten quality contribution up and down the lineup and pitching staff, and must start putting it all together – beginning tonight vs the Crosscutters.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm in Williamsport.