Gnats Game NotesJune 17, 2010 - South Atlantic League (SAL) Savannah Sand Gnats
Game #67 - Road Game #32 - Thursday - 7:05
RHP Armando Rodriguez (4-4, 3.26) vs. RHP Chris Heston (2-6, 5.74)
Lake Olmstead Stadium, Augusta, GA
Radio: WBMQ News/Talk 630, sandgnats.com
Tonight: The Gnats, who lead the Augusta GreenJackets by one game for first place in the SAL Southern Division begin a four-game series in Augusta to finish the half with the Division championship on the line. The Gnats need two wins in the next four games to secure their first playoff appearance since 1996.
Last Night: The Gnats matched their largest margin of victory with a 12-0 beat down to finish a sweep of the Rome Braves. The Gnats' only other 12-run margin of victory was in Augusta on April 22, in a 16-4 blowout. LHP Mark Cohoon tied a South Atlantic League record, last achieved in 1992, with his third consecutive complete game shutout. The Gnats scored 12 runs despite their 3-4-5 hitters, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares and Jefry Marte combining to go 1-13 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch and four strikeouts.
Now Pitching: Armando Rodriguez is scheduled to make his team-leading 14th start for Savannah. Since May 1, Rodriguez is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 innings and has allowed opponents to hit just .178 (25 H/140 AB). For the year, Rodriguez's opponent's batting average of .203 is the fifth-besst in the SAL. The Gnats are 8-5 when Rodriguez throws and have supported him with 5.46 runs per game, the second-most among Savannah starters. With Kingsport a year ago, he was 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 20 walks in 45.2 innings. Promoted to Savannah on August 27th, he finished the year with a dominant three-start performance in which he allowed just five hits in 16.2 innings and struck out 24. The Mets signed Rodriguez as a non-drafted free agent June 6, 2007.
Hot Now: The Gnats are 10-2 in their last 12 games, outscoring their opponents by a combined 71-32 over that span. Savannah is hitting .300 (124 H/413 AB) over that time. In their last 12 games, the Gnats have gone from three games behind Augusta to one game up.
Vs. the GreenJackets: Savannah is 4-8 against Augusta this year, 3-5 in Augusta. The Gnats won three of four from Augusta in a four-game series in April, outscoring the GreenJackets 41-19. However, Savannah's last visit to Augusta, May 16-20, was a different story as GreenJackets pitching held Savannah to one run over 45 innings in four games on their way to a four-game sweep.
Simply the Best: The Gnats' pitching staff leads the South Atlantic League and all of minor league baseball with a 2.46 ERA. The Gnats also lead minor league baseball with 590 strikeouts.
ZAP: Pedro Zapata was 5-5 with 4 RBI last night, becoming the second Gnat with five hits in a game this year and the first with five hits in a nine-inning game. He's hitting .367/.418/.449 in June. Here is his OPS by month: April- .645, May- .728, June- .867.
Gone Fishin: Micheal Fisher has been a terror for Savannah since signing with the Mets as a minor league free agent in May. Against Rome, Fisher was 5-13 with a double, a triple, a home run, two runs scored and six RBI. Fisher has hit safely in 11 of the 12 games he has started for Savannah.
Hail Cesar: Cesar Puello rides an eight-game hitting streak, over which time he is batting .428 (12 H/28 AB) with three doubles. After fighting through a .192/.259/.232 (AVG/OBP/SLG) May, Puello is hitting .317/.417/.415 in 12 games in June. He has four doubles in June, equaling his total in each of the season's first two months.
Last Championship: The Savannah franchise has not made the playoffs since winning the SAL Championship as the Savannah Cardinals in 1996. The Cardinals beat the Greensboro Hornets 3-2 in the championship series.
South Atlantic League Stories from June 17, 2010
- Suns Fall in First Game of Final First-Half Series - Hagerstown Suns
- Gnats Move One Win Away from Championship with 4-1 Win - Savannah Sand Gnats
- Power Top Hagerstown, 7-5 - West Virginia Power
- BlueClaws Aren't Intimidated, Win 4-1 - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Santana Leads 'Dads past Drive, 4-0 - Hickory Crawdads
- Drive Outhit Crawdads, but Lose 4-0 - Greenville Drive
- Gnats Take MEGA Series Opener, 4-1 - Augusta GreenJackets
- 'Birds Win Fourth Straight, 3-0 over Legends - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Braves Tame RiverDogs - Rome Braves
- Delmarva Takes Series Opener over Legends, 3-0 - Lexington Legends
- Rome Quiets RiverDogs, 6-1 - Charleston RiverDogs
- Gnats Game Notes - Savannah Sand Gnats
- Gnats Katz Accepts Challenge - Savannah Sand Gnats
- Rome Adds Cunningham to Roster - Rome Braves
- Brown Accepts Savannah's MEGA Series Challenge - Augusta GreenJackets
- Shorebirds Game Notes: June 17 Vs. Lexington - Delmarva Shorebirds
- All-Star CF Miguel Velazquez to Participate in Home Run Derby - Hickory Crawdads
- Power Game Notes - West Virginia Power
- Ramirez to DL, Milo Added to Roster - Charleston RiverDogs
- Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Releases 2010 Candidates - Charleston RiverDogs
- BlueClaws to Host Cole Bros. Circus, August 5-8 - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Series Preview: June 17-20 at Augusta - Savannah Sand Gnats
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