Weekend Recap: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots, who had been red hot, were ice cold in York, Pennsylvania as the Revolution swept them this past weekend outscoring the Patriots by a combined score of 24-14. The series featured a combined 11 home runs between the squads. The Patriots (9-8) are currently one game behind the Lancaster Barnstormers (10-7) in the Freedom Division. Let’s recap this past series with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

THE GOOD…

Patriots third baseman Jeff Nettles is in a groove. Nettles is currently riding a seven game hitting streak in which he is 10-for-22 during that stretch with seven RBI. Since breaking the all-time Atlantic League hits record last Wednesday, Nettles seems a lot more relaxed at the plate and is not pressing. This could be analogous to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who went on a hitting tear after notching his 3,000th hit last July. Sometimes a prestigious record may be a burden on players and they may try and over think the situation as they approach the milestone. The Patriots are going to need Nettles’ productivity in the middle of the lineup if they want to make a run at a first half division title.

THE BAD…

Patriots starting pitcher Mike MacDonald injured his right thumb on his throwing hand in the first inning on Saturday night after a ball grazed off his thumb via a line drive by York Revolution second baseman Liu Rodriguez. MacDonald suffered a cut on his thumb and was forced to leave the game due to bleeding after only tossing two thirds of an inning. MacDonald says he is fine and should make his next start Friday. But you never know as there could be swelling over the next few days. At least it was not a fracture. It’s always a scare when the opening day starter is forced to exit due to an injury on the pitching hand.

THE UGLY…

The Patriots bullpen has been its Achilles heel thus far. A bullpen that was supposed to be dominant featuring four players with Major League Baseball experience has been subpar. Closer Josh Rupe as blown three of his five saves while Anthony Claggett and Chase Wright have not found their niche. This past weekend the bullpen gave up 15 runs in 14 innings of work. While the Patriots offense has been resilient all season, the batters can only do so much. The pitchers must stop the bleeding at some points.

Tomorrow the Patriots begin a three game home midweek series at TD Bank Ballpark with the Bridgeport Bluefish (12-5) who currently hold the best record in the Atlantic League. The Patriots look to get back to their winning ways at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow.

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