Series 6: Newark @ York

Editor’s Note: Learn why Travis Ezi would be one of the best center fielders in the major leagues here.

Sure, the familiar faces are gone.

There’s no Victor Rodriguez. No Marcus Nettles. No Javier Colina. (And no Mark Woodyard, for you Atlantic League die-hards out there).

But Newark is still the team that pounded the York Revolution last season. Newark was 15-3 in games against York in 2007 and that dominance — especially in the second half — was one reason the Bears went on to the Atlantic League Championship.

The two teams will resume their battle Tuesday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium and although the season is only 16 games old, this matchup with the Bears could prove to be a crucial turning point in the Revs’ first-half campaign. York {6-10} is already 2 games behind the Bears {8-8} and 2 1/2 back of Somerset {9-8} in the Freedom Division. With a sloppy week, that deficit could double and we all know how the Revs fared last year when playing catch-up in the division.

So York needs to do what it has done best so far this year — protect its home turf. The Revolution won five of six on its last homestand, and a similar result will be needed on this six-game stay in the White Rose city to even out York’s atrocious road record (1-9). Luckily, Newark appears to be a team the Revs match up with well. Newark sports a 5.37 ERA — by far the worst in the Atlantic League — and this could be a series where we see York’s offense come alive. We hope…

With that said. let’s take a look at the series with the Bears.

Newark Notes: Outfielder Cory Aldridge enters the series as the Atlantic League’s fifth best hitter. He has a .362 average and has scored 14 runs, which is good for second in the league. Aldridge also has a .569 slugging percentage — good for fourth in the league… Former Revolution infielder Vic Gutierrez is hitting only .176 in his last 10 games… Outfielder Val Majewski is hitting .345 in his last 10 with 12 RBIs… 2007 Atlantic League Championship Series MVP Jose Herrera is hitting .346 with seven RBIs in his last 10… Newark has a 5.54 team ERA so far in May, which is second-worst in the Atlantic League in that span just ahead of Lancaster (5.59)… Aldridge (11) and Bobby Hill (10) both enter the series with impressive hitting streaks… The Bears took three of four at home against Lancaster over the weekend.

York Notes: That powerful offense? We haven’t quite seen it yet. York ranks fifth in the Atlantic League in home runs (11) and is still hitting a disgusting .222 as a team. The club also has a .309 on-base percentage… Travis Ezi leads the Revolution with a .270 batting average… After that hot start, Jason Aspito has cooled off considerably. He’s hitting .167 in his last 10 with a homer and four RBIs… Tyler Von Schell has also cooled off. He’s hitting .226 in his last 10, .234 overall and earned the dreaded golden sombrero on Sunday — striking out four times against Somerset… Matt Dryer is hitting .300 in his last 10 with 10 runs scored in that span… Dave Gassner has a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings but has an 0-1 record to show for it… Ezi is fifth in the league with a .568 slugging percentage… Aaron Myette is tied for fourth in the league with 19 strikeouts.

Pitching Probables: (York’s starters first)

Game 1: Aaron Rakers (1-1, 6.43 ERA) vs. Matt Sweeney (0-1, 8.56 ERA)

Game 2: Dave Gassner (0-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. Pat Stanley (0-0, 4.15 ERA)

Game 3: Wayne Franklin (3-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Will Cunnane (1-0, 6.55 ERA)

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