Revolution suffer first 4-game sweep at home in franchise history, historical struggles vs. SOMD continue
When it comes to the ebb and flow of a long baseball season, this might be the most ebby and flowy first 17 games the Revolution have had in their history. Just days after completing the first ever road sweep of Lancaster, a 5-1 loss to Southern Maryland on May 11 marked the first time York has been swept at home in a four-game series in their nine seasons. It’s pretty remarkable it took this long, not that that would come as any consolation at the moment. It is a familiar feeling of despair with the Blue Crabs involved however; despite the names changing over the years, facing that club has usually not yielded positive results for the Revolution.
Oh those nutty promotions. However, I wouldn’t try to suggest to the official team Twitter account that the Revolution’s efforts to try and raise enough money to acquire Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard are anything less than genuine. The official release from the team is below:
News broke on Wednesday, March 18 that the Philadelphia Phillies are willing to pay $50 million of the $60 million still owed to Ryan Howard over the final two years of his contract, in order to trade the first baseman.
After a quick look at the numbers, this left the York Revolution of the Atlantic League roughly $9,997,000 short of the funds required to put Howard in a Revolution uniform for the 2015 season. An Atlantic League maximum salary is roughly $3,000 per month.
The planets aligned for the Revolution to have a short bench for the July 12 game against Bridgeport, with Johan Limonta departing for the Mexican League the prior evening. The team was also without shortstop Wilson Valdez on the 12th, an excused and expected absence, as he was honored at the Nationals-Phillies game as part of the Phillies’ “10 Years of Citizen’s Bank Park” series.
Valdez, who played the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the club, was brought back to commemorate the game where he pitched the 19th inning in on May 25, 2011 against the Reds. Valdez started the game at second base, tossed a scoreless inning, and wound up the winning pitcher when a Raul Ibanez sac fly scored Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the 19th for a 5-4 Phillies win. It marked the first time a player started in the field, moved to pitcher and wound up with the winning decision since 1921- when Babe Ruth did it.
So Valdez threw out the first pitch tonight in Philadelphia and was honored for the achievement as they celebrate a decade of their ballpark. He has been adamant about not pitching again, in order to keep his career ERA at 0.00, and his career record an un-blemished 1-0. His absence had the blessing of Manager Mark Mason, especially so after the Revolution wrapped up a playoff spot by winning the first half. This left York with the shortest of bench however, with the only extra player the second catcher, Alberto Espinosa. When left fielder Jason Repko sustained an injury in the third inning, Mason’s hands were tied.
A major perk of winning your division in the first half is the option to choose which first round playoff games you are going to host, per Atlantic League rules. The Revolution has decided to host games 3, 4 (if necessary) and 5 (if necessary) in the first round, September 26-28. Games 1 and 2 will be played September 24-25.
This could get interesting if Sugar Land qualifies for the playoffs as either the second half Freedom Division winner or as a wild card. Nine of the Revolution’s final 12 regular season games are already against the Skeeters. York hosts Sugar Land for three September 9-11, before ending the regular season with six in Texas September 16-21. (Every team in the league plays one six game series at Sugar Land during the season, to reduce travel.)
Should Skeeters-Revs be the first round match up, York would stay in the Houston area two extra days following the conclusion of the regular season, before starting the division series on the 24th, making the choice to host the conclusion of the series even more convenient, as to not have to fly down to Sugar Land more than once. It also sets up a scenario where at minimum, a stretch of 12 of 15 games the Revolution will play could be against the Skeeters including playoffs, with as many as 14 of 17 games against Sugar Land if this hypothetical match-up in the playoffs were to go a full five games.
The full press release on the division series schedule is after the jump:
Now that the jet-lag has worn off following Chris Cody’s 18-hour flight from New York to Taiwan, he has made his first start for his new club, the Brother Elephants. The Elephants play their home games in Taipei City, the largest city on the Island of Taiwan. They play at Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium, which has a capacity of 12,500. In Cody’s first start, he went five innings and allowed two earned runs in a no-decision in a game the Elephants won.
Cody’s contract was purchased from the Revolution back on June 24. It’s his first overseas experience in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, after pitching in the Dominican Republic in winter ball for the first time last year for Aguilas Cibaenas.
There were rumblings over the winter of Chris Cody pitching in the Chinese Professional Baseball League on the island of Taiwan this season, which delayed his official signing with the Revolution for 2014 until March 14. Even after that, into York’s preseason camp, it still looked like he might depart for a potentially lucrative contract overseas, which didn’t happen.
As you can see above, Cody is gracing the cover of the next issue of the York Revolutionary Times, in which he talked about the situation in more detail. (Read the upcoming issue at Santander Stadium the next eight home games, June 26 – July 3). It’s now official though, Cody has a contract to pitch for the Brother Elephants through the end of August. The season over there lasts into the fall through October however, so how long Cody will pitch in Taiwan remains to be seen. He could return to York for the stretch-run of the regular season and hopefully playoffs in September, should he only pitch through August.
Enjoy. Photo by Revolution team photographer Tom Moschella.