Reading at best treaded water over the last two weeks going 7-8. New Britain, New Hampshire, and Reading appear to be the class of the Eastern League this year, and all are in the same division, meaning it will be a tough fight for Reading all the way through August. The R-Phils averaged 5.4 runs/game over the period while yielding exactly 5.4 as well, leading to the .500 stretch. Details below the fold.
The pitching was inconsistent over the last two weeks…the best was Austin Hyatt, who was 3-0 as a starter and yielded only an average of 3 runs a start while pitching at least 6 innings in each outing. A poster at one of the R-Phils games reported Hyatt’s fastball velocity in the low 90s, which is a good sign. JC Ramirez had two bad starts leading up to his excellent outing today, so maybe he went through a dead-arm period. Ryan Edell was 1-1, but the bullpen blew a lead for him after his best start. Josh Zeid was 0-2, and lost a start to a rainout. Chris Kissock continues to struggle at AA, going 0-2, although the RPhils won one of his starts after he departed.
Offensively, Michael Spidale has been hot, hitting .323 but only posting a .699 OPS over his last 10 games. Cody Overbeck has been ice cold average-wise, but 3 of his 7 hits have been HRs, so the power numbers continue to be solid. Matt Rizzotti has been hot over his last 10, hitting .421 with a 1.120 OPS, but only 4 of his hits were for extra bases. Carlos Rivero has also been on fire, posting a .359 average and a 1.046 OPS. Even Fidel Hernandez has been smoking the ball, hitting .382 over his last 10 games with an OPS over .900. No one else has been particularly cold, so, given the offensive production, the low number of runs has to be attributed at least somewhat to bad timing or bad luck. They have also lost the relatively close games (with the exception of Hyatt’s start two weeks ago) and won the blowouts, which is partly on the bullpen, particularly DeFratus, Diekman, and Ellis, who, even when allowing few runs, have been permitting base runners at an alarming rate.
All teams go through lulls, let’s hope the next two weeks, featuring games against Portland, Richmond, Trenton, and Erie see a resumption in their winning ways.