The final weekend of league play in the New York Penn League has arrived and there are still playoff spots and division titles to be decided. It looks like the league will come down to the very last day before we know who the four teams will be battling it out for the New York Penn League Championship. Enjoy what should be a great holiday weekend of baseball.
A third no-hitter was thrown in the league and it happened last Thursday night. Mahoning Valley used three pitchers to defeat Williamsport 8-0. The trio of Hunter Gaddis, Matt Waldron, and Luis Sanchez combined for the first no-no for Mahoning Valley since Sept. 1, 2013, vs Batavia. The no-hitter took a while thanks to a rain delay of an hour and a half before first pitch. Gaddis went the first three throwing 35 pitches and striking out six hitters. Waldron took over the next four innings. He would strike out four and walk a batter. Sanchez came on in the seventh and fanned four of the nine batters he faced. Sanchez has been good lately. In fact, over his last 7.1 innings, he has not allowed a hit and just two hits over his last nine outings. For the game, the Crosscutters managed only two baserunners. Both came in the fifth inning. It is also the first time that Williamsport has been no-hit in Penn League play.
Staten Island right-handed pitcher Anderson Munoz, is tied for the league lead in wins with seven. In his last eight appearances, Munoz has gone 6-2 with a 2.77 ERA. In 48.2 IP he has allowed 15 ER, 17 BB, 47 SO. He has gone five or more innings in six of last ten starts while allowing no runs in five of those starts.
The State College Spikes offense has been led this season by Moises Costillo. He leads the team in both runs scored with 35 and in stolen bases with eight. Lately, he has been having trouble getting on base thanks to a 9-for-43 drought over his last ten ballgames. Because of the slump, Costillo has stolen only one bag and scored three runs. State College is still in the hunt for a playoff spot and will need more from Costillo to make the playoffs.
The Aberdeen IronBirds returned home after taking two out of three on the road from the Lowell Spinners. It could be a preview of a possible playoff series match up. Aberdeen has been one of the better team on the road this summer posting a 22-12 record. Come playoff time, it is a stat teams should take notice of. They are also the best fielding team in the league with a fielding percentage of .977 and also boast the best team ERA at 2.39. What’s the old saying, “pitching and defense win championships.” Aberdeen, for the moment, has both going in the right direction.
A lot has been made of the season that Lowell Spinners outfielder Gilberto Jimenez is having. When you are batting .370, the point can be made. He leads the team in several departments including total bases with 106. That is also very high on the Penn League stats sheet as well. Jimenez is also leading the Spinners in OPS at .892 and in slugging at .491. Given the recent struggles of this team, a 9-17 record for the month of August, it is a little scary to think where this team might be without Jimenez’ production this month.
After this weekend, it is on to the playoffs. Next week we take a look at the matchups that will start the playoff road to the New York Penn League Championship.
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