The Louisville Bats are off to one of the worst starts in Louisville baseball history. After last night’s win improved their record to 14-30, the Bats have a chance to win back-to-back games Sunday for the first time in May (20 games in).
Bats blast then fizz
The Bats scored every bit of 12 runs on 28 hits in their four game series against the Rochester Red Wings while hitting an abysmal .208. They turned their fortunes around, at least for one night, Saturday as they scored nine runs on 12 hits, including home runs from Chris Valaika, Kristopher Negron, and Neftali Soto. The key is for the Bats not to fizzle out. Hopefully, they can stay hot and continue to produce.
As noted in the open, the Bats have yet to win back-to-back games in the month of May, in which they are 5-14. They have eleven more games in the month. Anything worse than 6-5, and the Bats lock their place in history as the only team since baseball returned to Louisville in 1982 to have lost 20 games in May. The 1991 Louisville Redbirds and 2009 Louisville Bats were both 12-19 in the month of May. Silver lining? That 2009 team went 62-31 in June-thru-September and won the division. Bad omen? That 1991 team holds the worst season record in franchise history at 51-92. No team has lost 100 games as of yet.
Missing in action
The Bats have lost a lot of players in the young season. Todd Frazier, Mike Costanzo, and J.J. Hoover have all been called up by the Cincinnati Reds. In the meantime, Paul Janish, Dioner Navarro, Daryl Jones, Denis Phipps, and Kanekoa Texiera have all had stints on the disabled list. Jones (eye surgery), Janish (fractured hand) and Phipps (strained shoulder) remain there on Sunday.
Struggling Soto bad
Neftali Soto was 1-for-25 in his previous eight games before Saturday night’s two hit, three RBI game. Soto is hitting just .228 with four homers and 19 RBI. He has struck out 43 times in 162 at bats and has drew a free pass just 13 times.
The Bats’ offense is struggling mightily. They are tied for the worst team batting average (.231) in the league and have struck out a league-leading 360 times in 44 games. They also hold the worst on-base percentage (.301) in the league.
Their pitching is also struggling to get it done. They have the second worst team-ERA in the league at 4.65. They’ve given up a league-high 412 hits and have issued the third-most free passes in the league at 182.
The road ahead
It’s been an all around struggle for the Bats this season. They hope to get it going in the last full week of May. After three more in Lehigh Valley Sunday thru Tuesday, they’ll enjoy an off day before playing in Indianapolis Thursday and Friday. The Bats then travel home to begin a ten game homestand, beginning with two against Indy then four against Syracuse followed by four against Durham. The homestand will run from May 26 – June 4. For tickets, call the Louisville Bats ticket office at (502) 212-2287.