Bats Sunday Notebook [Sports]

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The Louisville Bats are finally back home for a ten game homestand as they look to get something going in the positive direction. The Bats sit at 16-34 after Saturday’s 5-4 win over the Indianapolis Indians ended a four game losing streak.

Let’s go streaking

The Bats haven’t won three games in a row all season. So, if you listen to skipper Lou Brown from Major League, they haven’t been on a winning streak all season. The Bats have won two games in a row just four times all year. On the contrary, the Bats have lost at least three games in a row eight times. Perhaps going streaking to end the month of May is just what the doctor ordered.

So many new faces

The Bats have a ton of new faces this season. Take a look at the Bats’ 2011 roster and you will see 17 position players and 17 pitchers who are either no longer with the Bats or currently on the Bats’ disabled list. That’s a lot of turnover for first year manager David Bell to deal with. Not to mention the fact 17 of those 34 players started the year or are currently in the majors.

Setting history (in a bad way)

This year’s Louisville Bats seem destined to be on their way to consideration as one of the worst in the history of baseball in this city (and that goes back to 1876). They are on pace to lose 98 games this season. That would give them 46 wins. A Louisville baseball team hasn’t won less than 50 games since 1957, when the Louisville Colonels went 49-105. That’s also the last time a team from the Derby City lost 100 games. This year’s team looks safe from setting the all-time worst mark of 27-111, set by the 1889 Colonels. That team finished an astounding 66-1/2 games out of first place.

Woeful at the plate

The Bats have not been good at all this season swinging the lumber. They sport a league worst .229 batting average and 299 on-base percentage to along with a 10th best (of 14 teams) .356 slugging percentage. The Bats have struck out a league-high 408 times, or about eight times per game. They have just three players who have played at least 20 games with a batting average above .280. Only one, Dioner Navarro (.282 average) is on the active roster. Paul Janish (disabled list) and Mike Constanzo (currently with the Reds) are the other two. The next closest average of players with at least 20 games played is Chris Valaika, who is hitting a less-than-stellar .244.

Pitching woes

Bats pitching has been about as bad as the hitting this year. They’ve given up the most hits (467), the second most walks (205), and have the second-worst ERA (4.42) in the league. Their starters have recorded quality starts just 22 times in 50 games and have a record of 10-20. The bullpen hasn't helped either with a combined ERA of 4.05 with six blown saves in 16 save opportunities. That's a 62.5 save percentage.

Winless All Star

Brett Tomko deserves to be an All Star. In nine starts this season, Tomko has a 3.16 ERA over 51 innings pitched. He has walked just 26 batters and struck out 41. He has not given up more than three runs in any start this year and has recorded a quality start five times, including four in a row. Problem is, Brett Tomko is 0-5. Tomko has gotten zilch in the category of run support this season. In his nine starts, the Bats have scored just 20 runs and are 2-7 in Tomko’s starts. Tomko last pitched on May 22 and went seven innings giving up just one run on four hits to Lehigh Valley. He took the loss that night as the Bats could only get five hits while begin shut out against Iron Pigs’ starter Dave Bush. Such has been the luck of one Brett Tomko, who looks like he’ll be a winless All Star.

The road ahead

The Bats continue their 10-game homestand Sunday as they wrap up their four game split series with the Indianapolis Indians. After that, they play host to the Syracuse Chiefs for a four game series starting Memorial Day Monday through Thursday. The Durham Bulls come to town after that for a four game set starting on Friday and finishing Monday June 4 before the Bats take to the road again. Hopefully, the Bats go streaking while at Louisville Slugger Field.

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