Revolution Manager Mark Mason was seriously not kidding around when he said he wanted to get faster coming into this season. Franchise stolen base records continue to drop like flies, or Skeeters, if you will.
In a 12-11 win over Somerset on August 31, York stole nine bases to shatter the previous franchise best of six, which had happened twice. The first time was on August 8, 2009 in a 10-9 home loss to Newark, and the most recent was last Sunday, a 4-1 road win at Camden on August 24. Wilson Valdez led the way with three steals, and Sean Smith, Justin Greene and Eric Patterson each had two to set the new record, which had already been broken by the sixth inning when Smith stole both of his bases and Greene stole one. Valdez of course set a new single-season franchise steals mark this year when he eclipsed the 28 of Scott Grimes in 2010 – back on July 7 with a cool 69 games remaining in the season.
With 164 stolen bases as a team through the end of August, this year’s Revolution have blown away the team record from 2007, when the inaugural Revs stole exactly 100. That mark fell with 62 games remaining in the season. If you’re wondering if the 2014 Revolution have a chance at the all-time Atlantic League team stolen base record, they do not. In 2000 Somerset stole 265 bases, led by Billy Hall who stole a still-league record 104 on his own. However, the top three individual base-stealing efforts in Revolution history already belong to players on this year’s club, with 19 regular season games to go. Justin Greene (29), Sean Smith (34) and Wilson Valdez (47) have all eclipsed the previously tepid record of 28 by Grimes. It’s interesting Wilson Valdez will begins Labor Day with 47 steals, as that was the total number of stolen bases for the Revolution in all of 2013. And yes, you read that correctly. By the end of the season, the top four individual steals efforts in Revolution history will likely be with members of this club, as Eric Patterson has 23 steals through 121 games. At 164, York enjoyed a 57-steal lead on Long Island for tops in the Atlantic League through August 31. They’ve attempted 200 times, for an 82% success rate.
As we hit the home stretch on Labor Day weekend, other franchise record tidbits after the jump (all stats through August 31):
After sustaining a separated shoulder in a collision a month ago, Revolution catcher Salvador Paniagua has not seen any game action since. He was reinstated to the active roster on August 31 however, within the four to six week prognosis following the injury. Early in his return, the plan is to catch Paniagua three innings at a time or so, to gauge how his shoulder holds up and to ease him back into every day action.
Back-up Alberto Espinosa and newcomer Angel Flores, who are both still on the active roster, filled in admirably for Paniagua over the last 30 days. At this time, a move is not being made at that position and York will carry three catchers for the time being. With RHP Stephen Penney currently inactive with lingering shoulder soreness, a roster spot was open for Paniagua. Whether the Revolution drops a catcher heading into the postseason remains to be seen.
OF/1B Johan Limonta has returned to the York Revolution for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, now that the Mexican League season has concluded. To make room for Limonta on the roster, reserve catcher Steve Sulcoski has been released.
Limonta’s Atlantic League contract was purchased by Piratas de Campeche on July 11. While Limonta had the opportunity to depart for a lucrative deal in Mexico earlier in the season, he declined, as it was his desire to help York win a first half division title before going anywhere. The Revs did just that, clinching with a day to go on July 5, a 2-0 win at Lancaster. Limonta stayed true to his word that he would return to York as well. His father continued to attend Revolution home games even after Limonta had joined his Mexican League club.
Before going to Mexico, Limonta batted .295 with seven home runs and 49 RBI in in 71 games this season. With Campeche, he kept up the good work, hitting .305 with six homers and 15 RBI in 27 games, helping the Piratas from under .500 when he arrived into a playoff spot.
After nearly eight complete seasons, our long national nightmare is over. The York Revolution finally have an inside-the-park home run.
In a 2-2 game in the bottom of the sixth on August 20, Tim Battle scored himself, Chad Tracy and Travis Garcia when he snuck a hard line drive past Lancaster center fielder Blake Gailen and the ball rolled all the way to the batter’s eye. As far as inside the park homers go, the three-run variety is pretty good. York eventually won the game 6-5 to finish with a 13-7 mark over the Barnstormers in the regular season. It’s their second-best War Of The Roses record, behind the 16-4 thumping of the Stormers in 2010.
Watch great shots of the entire play at this link, from Jason Bristol and CBS 21: http://www.local21news.com/sports/features/local-sports/stories/battle-hits-first-insidethepark-hr-revolution-1287.shtml
Battle’s liner was also the first inside-the-park home run at Santander Stadium. Twice before the Revolution had allowed one on the road.
When Ofilio Castro had to be pinch-run for late in the 4-2 home win over Bridgeport on August 15, it turned out to be the last time the infielder would play this season.
While nothing looked too serious on the field, it turns out Castro has a torn meniscus and will undergo surgery. His season ends with a .247 average, two home runs and 38 RBI in 95 games.
After Rommie Lewis left for Taiwan a day later, this puts the active roster two short at 23 players. Johan Limonta will be back with the club as the Mexican League season winds down, so position-player wise, things should be fine. Castro’s injury means Eric Patterson will man second base the rest of the season, with Bryant Nelson there on days Patterson is in left field. The search is currently on for another relief pitcher however.
Despite the growing list of season-ending injures for York; RHP Matt Neil, RHP Michael Wuertz, OF Jason Repko and Castro, and catcher Salvador Paniagua still a couple weeks from returning from a separated shoulder, the Revolution’s record as of August 18 stood at 62-45, a season-high 17 games over .500.
It’s always a risk that a top Atlantic League arm may be offered a lucrative foreign contract in-season. The Revolution already lost starter Chris Cody earlier this year to the Brother Elephants of the Chinese Professional Baseball League on the island of Taiwan. Now, the contract of closer Rommie Lewis has been purchased by the EDA Rhinos, also of the CPBL.
Last season, Lewis also left York for Taiwan, but was with the Revolution until August 28 before joining the Lamigo Monkeys. Teams in the CPBL are allowed just three non-Taiwanese players per team, with no guarantee all three will be American. Cody and Lewis now make up a good percentage of the English-speaking players in the league.
With the regular season in Taiwan lasting through the fall into November, there is virtually no chance Lewis will be able to return to York for the Atlantic League playoffs. It’s a blow to the Revolution bullpen for sure – Lewis saved his 28th game of the season on August 15 in his final appearance with the club before departing, which now stands as the single-season franchise record. Lewis is also the Revolution’s all-time saves leader.
The York Revolution has announced the addition of Baltimore Orioles great Scott McGregor to the lineup for “Orioles Pride Night” on Friday, August 29 against the Somerset Patriots at 6:30 p.m. The night was previously announced and includes deep discounts on tickets based on Oriole retired numbers, several Orioles-themed prize giveaways including tickets to Derek Jeter’s final game in Baltimore on September 14, items autographed by Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken and O’s apparel including an adult Manny Machado jersey. Please CLICK HERE for full details.
The night includes a watch party in the White Rose Hall on the MINI of Baltimore Skybox Level for the Orioles game against the Minnesota Twins; a $10 ticket with a cash bar for patrons 21 and over. McGregor has been added to the watch party, and fans taking advantage will be able to chat with him as they watch both the Revolution and O’s game, get autographs and hang out with the 1983 World Series Champion until the conclusion of the Orioles game which begins at 7:05.
Fans already holding tickets to the August 29 game may upgrade their ticket to the Orioles watch party with Scott McGregor for just $5. The watch party upstairs will be the only opportunity to rub elbows with McGregor. Fans upstairs in the White Rose Hall may still visit concession stands on the lower concourse and enter the Orioles prize raffle giveaways while they are at the ballpark.
Unfortunately the milestone was reached on the road instead of in the stadium the 19-year professional has pitched more games in than any other, but it’s done. Corey Thurman now stands alone in second place on the Atlantic League’s all-time wins list with 63. He and the Revolution defeated the Camden Riversharks 10-1 on August 13 at Campbell’s Field, where Thurman tossed seven innings, allowing just six hits and the lone run on a solo homer.
Thurman (7-4), in his seventh season with York pulled ahead of Lincoln Mikkelsen who compiled 62 wins in seven Atlantic League seasons of his own. Coincidentally, the first 76 of Mikkelsen’s 131 starts in the league came with Camden in four seasons, 2001 to 2004. He won 49 games in a Riversharks uniform. Tim Cain is tops in career Atlantic League wins, with 74 in 10 seasons.
While Santander Stadium would have been the preferred venue, it was also fitting Thurman picked up win #63 in Camden; it’s the franchise he’s had the most success against by far. Entering the 2014 season, Thurman was 13-4 against the Riversharks all-time, with a 2.71 ERA in 24 starts. It’s his most favorable match-up in terms of win-loss record and ERA among any Atlantic League club. Thurman did most of his damage in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, going 27-6 in those two campaigns. Three consecutive years the all-time mark for wins in a single season by a Revolution pitcher was set; 13 by Thurman in 2011, 14 in 2012 and then 15 wins last season by Chris Cody.
Revolution first baseman Chad Tracy has been named Atlantic League Player of the Week for the second time this season. He batted a robust .462 (12-26) in seven games between August 4 and 10, with two home runs, a double, five RBI and three runs scored. Tracy also won the award June 16-22, and it’s the third time a Rev has won Player of the Week this season; LHP Alain Quijano was honored for June 30-July 6.
Tracy scored the game-winning run in back to back games at home against the Long Island Ducks August 9 and 10; on the 9th he tagged up from third and scored on Ofilio Castro’s sac fly to right in a 2-1 walkoff win, and down 4-3 in the 7th the following day, he blasted a two-run homer to left to put York in the lead 5-4, and they would win by that score. With that home run, his team-leading 14th of the season, Tracy also reached 70 RBI which gave him the Atlantic League lead at the time.
Tracy is currently on pace for 98 RBI this season. He is chasing what could be the third 100-RBI season in Revolution history; outfielder Jason Aspito drove in 105 in 2008, which was a club record until first baseman Chris Nowak ended 2012 with 107 RBI.
With his 27th save of the season to close a 5-4 win on August 10 at home against Long Island, Revolution closer Rommie Lewis also became the franchise’s all-time leader in that category, in just his second season with the club.
Lewis, in predominately a set-up role with York last season, recorded five saves. His 32 total is one better than the 31 R.J. Rodriguez piled up between 2010 and 2012. This year not withstanding, rarely have the Revs had an undisputed closer in their history. Lewis had already nailed down the single-season franchise record on July 25 with his 23rd save – with 55 games to go in the season.
Lewis reached the pinnacle in 2010 and 2011, when he appeared in 20 games out of the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen over those two seasons. Highlights included a strikeout of David Ortiz, and a groundout of Derek Jeter.
Next up on records watch: Through 12 starts this season, Logan Williamson is sporting a 2.23 ERA. The single-season Revolution record is 2.71, from Ryan Feierabend in 17 starts in 2012.
For the first time this season, a Revolution player has taken home ALPB Player of the Month honors. OF/INF Eric Patterson is recognized as July’s best Atlantic League player, after batting .323 (31-for-96) in 25 games. Included in that was four doubles and eight triples, which helped him become the Revolution all-time triples leader and set the Atlantic League single-season triples record. Two times last month he tripled in a game twice; at home against Southern Maryland on July 3 and July 19 at Long Island. Patterson currently has 15 triples total this season.
Patterson also hit five home runs in July and drove in 22 runs. He had 10 multi-hit games and drove in four runs on July 9 at home against Somerset, then drove in five runs in a 12-0 whitewash of Camden at home two weeks later on July 23.
Patterson’s .301 average is good for seventh in the Atlantic League, and he’s fourth in both RBI (65) and runs scored (64). The 10th-year pro was named to the Atlantic League All-Star Game in both of his seasons with York, and is a veteran of 226 MLB games with the Cubs, Athletics, Red Sox and Padres between 2007 and 2011.
Back on July 28, the Revolution clinched the War of The Roses and the Community Cup that comes with it in consecutive seasons for the first time, with a 5-2 win at Lancaster. The victory clinched at least a 10-10 tie in the season series, keeping the cup in York after the 12-8 Revolution triumph a season ago.
With a 4-1 home win on August 5, York pulled ahead of Lancaster 11-6 in 2014, marking the first time the Community Cup has been won outright by either organization in back to back seasons. York now leads the all-time series since 2007 by an 82-71 count, 85-76 including playoff games where Lancaster has the 5-3 edge.
For more on this year’s series and the series history, click here.
The full year-by-year rundown of the series is after the jump:
The Atlantic League’s new Pace of Play Committee and its initiatives to speed up play have gotten plenty of ink both in league markets and nationally. The most ringing endorsement from national media has come from Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network, which is nice for the league considering he is also the most high-profile baseball journalist to weigh in on the topic. Verducci hasn’t been shy before with his opinion that Major League Baseball needs to speed up its games, making his praise of the ALPB not surprising.
Check out the entire column here: http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/08/05/atlantic-league-pace-of-play-mlb
The Atlantic League was able to reduce games to a 2:51 average over the weekend (13 games) after enforcement began. It’s average for the season leading up to last weekend was 2:59. As the new pace of play rules continue to be enforced (which Verducci outlines in his piece if you are unfamiliar), we’ll see shortly if the rules are having a significant impact over a larger sample size.
In the ninth inning of the Revolution’s 4-3 win at Long Island on August 4, Stephen Penney pitched a perfect frame with two strikeouts. It was his first save of the season, on a day off for usual closer Rommie Lewis.
In sealing the York victory, Penney ran his current scoreless streak to 19 and a third innings, which established a new franchise record for a reliever. He eclipsed the 18 and a third innings run by Sean Stidfole in 2010. Penney now sits eight and a third innings from the overall Revolution record, held by starter Shawn Hill, who tossed 27.2 innings without allowing a run in 2012 before being picked up by the Blue Jays and ending that season in the Majors.
The appearance on 8/4 was also Penney’s 41st of the season, and his 160th in a York uniform. He’s been active on the Revolution roster for every game since opening day 2012. 160 games pitched is also a record for relievers in Revs history; the previous high had belonged to R.J. Rodriguez who appeared in 145 games for York between 2010 and 2012. Penney will likely catch Corey Thurman for total appearances this season; Thurman has appeared in 167 games for the Revolution in seven seasons, making 166 starts.
First things first…you can watch the video of Andy Marte’s home run and his post-game interview on his player page on the Diamondbacks website.
Now the story.
After having his contract selected from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day on July 31, becoming the eighth former Rev to reach the Major Leagues, Marte had to join the Diamondbacks in Phoenix from Fresno for their game against the Pirates. After packing up quickly and flying out, he arrived in the Dbacks dugout at 7:15 Pacific Time, in the second inning. In the 6th, when Arizona starter Josh Collmenter was pulled from the game, Marte pinch hit for him in a 3-3 game. On an 0-1 pitch, he homered to left field off Pirates starter Jeff Locke. It was Marte’s first Major League at-bat since October 3, 2010 with the Indians, and his first MLB home run since September 8, 2010.
In a 7-4 Diamondbacks victory, Marte’s blast ended up as the game-winning hit. It was his 21st big league homer, and he has 98 career RBI at that level as well. It’s easily been the best season for Revolution alumni stories already, and moments like this just keep piling on. With the Diamondbacks trading away two position players on the Major League roster yesterday, Marte should get a nice long look with the big club, and will hopefully be up for the remainder of the season.
Another photo after the jump. He’s wearing #28 for the Dbacks.