(Photo Courtesy Long Island Ducks)
Three weeks ago, the Ducks hoped they would make the playoffs. The team was struggling and the thought was they would need help from Southern Maryland or arch-rival Somerset to make the post-season as a wild card.
What a difference a few weeks makes.
They are the hottest team in the league with a record of 9-1 in the last 10 games. Tonight they enjoyed a 14-5 laugher over Camden after taking three out of four in Somerset.
And the Ducks are now in first place by a game.
“Guys are playing better and the pitching has been more consistent,” said Ducks manager Kevin Baez. “Pretty much everybody. Hitting has been contagious and we preach to keep the line moving.”
With 29 games left in the season, the Ducks it would be difficult to fathom that they stay this hot. They are averaging 6.9 runs over the past 10 games. With that kind of offense, no wonder it’s happy times in Central Islip, but things can change on a dime. Just look at the Mets.
And Baez knows that all too well.
“We understand that,” he said. “We needed to make a push. The old cliché, one game at a time. You have to go about it like that. Good, bad or indifferent. You have to focus on the game at hand. It works.”
Even with the offensive explosion, Baez does nitpick. He thinks they can even be better with runners in scoring position. The Ducks had bases loaded with no one out in the second inning and didn’t score. But with 14 coming later, it can be forgiven.
All is good. The Ducks are getting hot at the right time. Even though Baez discounts it, there’s no doubt the Ducks will have an advantage over the next month if they stay reasonably consistent.
And with September coming around, he is also hoping for some reinforcements.
“Randy Ruiz is taking batting practice today and hopefully Lew Ford will be back if (Tijuana) doesn’t make the playoffs,” he said. “Those are two big bats. But until then, we need the other guys to pick up the slack.”
Over the past 10 games, they most certainly have done that.