What a difference a week makes. On April 15th, the Blaze headed to Visalia after a dissapointing 2-1 loss to the San Jose Giants, allowing the Giants to complete their sweep and sending the Blaze to a division worst 3-8 record. Tony Cingrani had pitched a great first half of a double header and Kyle Lotzkar followed with an impressive performance, but both were squandered. Prior to the breakout, the Blaze had no one hitting over .280 and they hadnt even been blown out often. It just seemed as if all cylinders werent firing at the same time. Six of the 8 losses had come at a margain of 2 runs or less, so they were all definately winnable. Here are a couple of numbers that jump out over the last seven games:
- First 11 games the Blaze averaged 3.63 runs per game, last 7 games is 5.57 rpg.
- Starting pitching ERA is 2.76
- 8 HR
- 19 Stolen Bases (leading the Cal League)
- Ind batting – Billy Hamilton .375, Donald Lutz .357, Devin Lohman .344
Ken Griffey Sr. has got the team on track and now the Blaze look to be rolling. Hamilton’s play has earned him the top spot in Baseball America’s prospect watch and Tony Cingrani, Daniel Renken and Kyle Lotzkar are showing an incredible 1-2-3 punch. Next up for the Blaze is a 10 game road trip at Stockton, Modesto and Lake Elsinore. This will be a great test for them as they have pulled themselves from the cellar of the North division to just 1.5 games back of the SJ Giants.