Sunday, July 17, 2011

Haymakers Motorin'

Troy, NY: Rarely does a General Manager's plan for a season ever work like they should. The quote about the best laid plans comes to mind. There is always an x-factor, either a freak injury or an important player has a down year which almost always derails the train and an adjustment needs to be made to keep a team pushing to the playoffs. But the Haymakers 5th year GM Ken Anderson seems to be laughing in the face of Robert Burns so far this season. Everything seems to be working for Troy; through 102 games they currently sit at 72-30, the best record in the league.

The biggest reason for their success has been due to the outstanding bats of Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista. Bautista, who came into this season with a career 40 homeruns, has exploded for 32 so far this season and is tied for the league lead. He has driven in 84, six behind league leader and teammate Josh Hamilton who has 90 in only 102 games. Hamilton is having an outstanding season, sporting a league best .394 BA, with 40 doubles and 24 homeruns. In one epic three game series at Pietruska Park on July 15-17, Josh went 11 for 14 with 7 homeruns and 20 RBI's. The Haymakers aptly swept the series, and this reporter is going to go out on a limb and say that was probably the best offensive production in a three games series in the history of the league. Both players have been contributing nicely to a
team with a league best .274 team average.

That kind of offensive production usually makes the lives of a pitching staff much easier, and the arms of Troy are not disappointing. The team is second in the league in ERA at 3.35, and are lead by staff ace Chris Carpenter who is 13-3 with a 3.58 ERA. Newcomer Francisco Liriano, who was picked up in a trade for Homer Bailey and a draft pick, is 7-1
with a 2.20 ERA in 11 starts with the team. The bullpen has been doing their job by taking advantage of their ability to matchup against their opponents. The group of wily veterans are 21-10 with a 2.87 ERA are led by setup man Mike Adams. Through 34.2 innings Adams sports a 0.26 ERA and is 3-0.
The team has been great in the field as well. The anchor of the defense is 2Bman Brandon Phillips, who has been a vacuum all season. The combined up the middle defense had made a
total of 4 errors, and the team as a whole had made a league low 36 errors while being tied for the league lead in turning 122 double plays.

Take that great hitting and good pitching, combine that with a league best fielding percentage of .991 and it's hard to find something bad to say about anything going on in Troy this summer.