Series 3: Long Island @ York

Year after year, the Atlantic League keeps on trucking along and a few things stay the same.

Bizarre player transactions regularly occur. Quality players are always jettisoned off to affiliated clubs. And you can usually count on the Long Island Ducks being pretty good.

This year is no different. The Ducks are off to a 5-1 start, which has them one game behind the surprising Camden Riversharks for the Atlantic League’s best record. Friday, Long Island arrives at Sovereign Bank Stadium and the York Revolution has a very important series on its hand.

Yes, the players and coaching staff will continue to preach that the season is still young. They’ll say that even after the Long Island series is over. But if York happens to take a sweep at home, it will be 2-7 and off to a horrific start with six straight road games looming. York will also have to make a trip to division rival Somerset next weekend, which is always a tough place to visit.

So this is an important series to see where the Revs are at. They looked OK in taking two of three from Southern Maryland, but let’s be honest. The Blue Crabs did not look like a contender in this series. Now let’s see how York fares against some real competition.

Player to Watch: Aaron Rakers (York). Rakers finds himself in the Revs’ rotation by default because of the injuries to Pete Munro and Landon Jacobsen. He only lasted three innings while allowing five earned in his first outing against Camden and Raker’s ability to fill in as a spot starter could go a long way toward helping York in this series. The Revolution bullpen has been on fire lately (two runs allowed in 19 2/3 innings), but it would be nice to get some innings out of Rakers to allow that group some rest. Manager Chris Hoiles will also probably need a spot starter on Saturday night to throw against former major leaguer Jason Simontacchi. That won’t be Reid Price after Price threw three innings Thursday night. But Hoiles has considered starting Price along with Travis Phelps.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to starting him (Price),” Hoiles said. “He has the stuff to start. He has the poise to start and he showed me a lot tonight (Thursday). He’d really only been in for one inning at a time, and extending him tonight to three, he looked pretty good. We’ve got a few guys in the bullpen that we could probably start if we need to. Phelps is possibly another one.”

Long Island Notes: Ray Navarrete continues to be a force in the Atlantic League. He went 4-for-4 in an 8-5 victory over Lancaster Thursday night and launched the game-winning three-run homer off of Ryan Cullen in the ninth… Long Island swept Lancaster at home by scores of 2-0, 3-1 and 8-5… Entering Thursday’s action former major leaguer Carl Everett was fifth in the league with a .421 batting average… Luckily, York will miss Randy Leek in this series. Leek is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in eight innings after one outing… Entering Thursday, 2007 Atlantic League All-Star Kevin Haverbusch was hitting .333 with five RBIs.

York Revolution Notes: Matt Esquivel came alive in the Southern Maryland series. He finished the three games 5-for-11 with a homer… Kenny Perez has been having trouble finding a groove at the plate, but he’s delivered some key hits. He had an RBI single with the bases loaded in a 9-0 win over Southern Maryland and also had a clutch RBI single in the 6-3 loss to the Blue Crabs… Matt Padgett is having trouble getting himself going. He finished the Southern Maryland series 2-for-11… Entering Thursday’s game, York’s starters had a 6.62 ERA. The bullpen’s ERA was 2.35.

Pitching Probables: (York’s starters first)

Game 1: Aaron Rakers (0-0, 15.00 ERA) vs. Jim Magrane (0-0, 9.82 ERA)

Game 2: TBA vs. Jason Simontacchi (first start)

Game 3: Wayne Franklin (1-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Jon Searles (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

*Steve Russ photo.

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One Response

  1. Reid Price is a force.

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