Reading went 6-5 over the last 11 days, including the completion of a suspended game, and another game that was suspended until mid-August. Harold Garcia was the hitting star of the period (along with the usual suspect, Matt Rizzotti), batting .356 and throwing in an unexpected .600 SLG. He hit in 10 of the 11 games, with a double, two triples, and 2 home runs. Garcia has been killing lefties in AA, posting almost a 1.200 OPS, albeit over only 30 plate appearances.
Of course, calling Garcia the ‘star’ shortchanges the monster of the Eastern League, Matt Rizzotti, who posted close to his usual stats, .414/.614/.655 for a 1.269 OPS. His most unusual stat was drawing 15 walks in the 10 games, with Akron simply refusing to pitch to him in the last two games of their series. Rizzotti now leads the EL in batting by 53 points, in SLG by 103 points, and in OBP by 20 points, currently holding the sabermetric triple crown.
Kevin Mahar has also finally hit his stride as well, batting .349 over the 10 game period and contributing 3 HR. Freddy Galvis had a superficially good 10 days as well, hitting .293, although that performance was tempered a bit by the complete absence of extra-base hits and by him drawing only 2 walks in 41 ABs.
The bullpen has stabilized a bit over the last week, with Justin DeFratus, Sergio Escalona, and Tyson Brummett pitching well recently, especially DeFratus, who pitched 6 innings without yielding a run and striking out 6.
The starters were a bit of an uneven affair, with Yohan Flande getting lit up twice and yielding 12 earned runs in 11 IP, Drew Naylor going 1-1 with a strong start and a bad one, JC Ramirez throwing decently once and poorly once, and fill-in starters Mike Cisco, Jason Anderson, and Ty Taubenheim pitching generally ineffectively.
Reading sits in third place in the Eastern division with almost no chance at the playoffs, trailing second place New Hampshire by 10.5 games, even though they’re just one game under .500. They begin a home stand this Tuesday versus Trenton and Erie, and I plan to attend one of the Erie games. I’ll post details then.