Bridgewater, NJ – Today the Somerset Patriots have a much needed day off. They just completed their longest road trip of the first half playing eight games in seven days in two different states. Over the past two weeks they have played 14 games in 13 games without a day off. At one point they played back to back doubleheaders and five games in the span of 48 hours. The Patriots lineup is so beaten up that starting pitcher Roy Merritt had to play left field in a 3-2 game in the ninth inning on Saturday. Starter Mike MacDonald was forced to pitch on three days rest Sunday because of the bunched up schedule.
The next nine games are crucial for the Patriots if they want to make a run at the first half Freedom Division title. They play the Lancaster Barnstormers for three games at TD Bank Ballpark and then have a six game road trip to Texas to face the Sugar Land Skeeters. These are two of the three teams the Patriots are chasing. This is currently how the Freedom Division standings look…
Lancaster Barnstormers 21-16
York Revolution 17-19
Sugar Land Skeeters 16-20
Somerset Patriots 16-21
The Patriots still have three games against Lancaster, six games against Sugar Land, and seven games against York in the first half. Those will be the premium opportunities to catapult over their Freedom Division foes.
Even though the Patriots have lost eight of nine games they must realize that baseball is a marathon not a sprint. Every team is going to go through some tough points during the season. The next six weeks will tell if the Patriots are mentally tough enough to overcome their hurdles.