HILLARY SMITH: RailCats survive franchise-long home stand

2013-06-30T19:00:00Z 2013-06-30T20:40:02Z HILLARY SMITH: RailCats survive franchise-long home standHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
June 30, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

GARY | Before the start of the franchise-record 11-game home stand, RailCats manager Greg Tagert said his fandom for the lengthy stretch could change depending on his team's record.

Here's what happened: the 'Cats went 10-1 and squirted from third place in the American Association's Central Division and four games behind leader Wichita, to second place and 1 1/2 games back of the Wingnuts.

"It's been an unusual homestand with the weather delays and the rain out Friday and all the tarp pulls," Tagert said. "All the credit goes to the ballclub. Playing at home for a stretch of time, can almost be more difficult. I've seen clubs that have a lot of home games in August, and everyone says this must be great because you get to finish with 22-of-30 in August and sometimes it works against you.

"The guys go on a long road trip and they come back, they're in their own beds, that works great. Give our guys credit, they always come in playing prepared, and that's the one thing playing in our own ballpark, I know they're going to be prepared every day."

Here are a few numbers from the series:

1 -- number of players ejected (Danny Pulfer was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the third inning of Game No. 8).

2 -- number of games that went into extra innings, including the first of Saturday's double header, which played nine innings instead of the scheduled seven.

5 -- number of games won by one run.

3:16 -- the longest game of the 11-game series, in the first of the stretch against St. Paul.

8 -- number of games won in a row, one off of the franchise record.

109 -- total number of hits, including a high of 16 on June 22 against St. Paul.

101 -- total number of hits allowed, including a high of 14 in the only loss, in Game 8 to Winnipeg.

14 -- number of times the tarp was pulled on and off the field. 

Another 1 -- number of rainouts.

"I'm not surprised we played well at home," Tagert said. "Certainly you don't plan for that kind of ... you plan to win every game, you expect to, but if you did they wouldn't talk about just winning series."

Which brings us to another number. Three. That's how many series the RailCats won in their 11-game stand. It brings the total of series won this season to eight.

The RailCats next longest home stand will be two six-game stretches in August, in which they play 15 of their last 28 games at home (or just about half).

"The best thing I can expect from a ballclub, and the best thing a manager can get from his team," Tagert said, "is when I know that they are going to give everything they've got, this club from the minute they get to the park."

 

This column solely represents the opinion of the writer. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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