Greetings from Dayton
As you can probably tell by the lack of content from yesterday, the LumberKings were rained out in Bowling Green and will not play the finale of the series against the Hot Rods. That is, unless we schedule a doubleheader for 2011. The two teams won’t play again till then, and the Kings won’t return to Bowling Green Ballpark until 2012.
Thus, the 10-game, three-city trip moves into its final leg here in scenic Dayton. Still the “big leagues” of Midwest League parks, Fifth Third Field is home to the Dayton Dragons, the only club in A ball that continually sells out every game. There’s additional excitement this season with former Big Red Machine right-fielder Ken Griffey on the staff as the hitting coach. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an interview sometime in the next three games. I know some of you are probably wondering why I haven’t weighed in on Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement yet, but I’m holding out in case I get the chance to talk to his dad.
One storyline to follow in this series. Fifth Third Field is usually a power-hitter’s haven most seasons as the ball really jumps to left for right-handed sluggers and also gets out to right equally well. I’ve done some checking in on Clinton’s home run numbers here over the past four seasons:
- 2006: 6 HR in 4 games (including five in one game, two by John Whittleman)
- 2007: 2 HR in 4 games (both by Mauro Gomez)
- 2008: 3 HR in 3 games (two by Ian Gac, including a Grand Slam)
- 2009: 8 HR in 3 games (Denny Almonte’s coming-out party, he hit 4 of them)
How will this year’s club fare? The LumberKings have a league-best 57 home runs as a team and are coming off a six-HR game in pitcher-friendly Bowling Green Ballpark. Will the likes of Kalian Sams, Nick Franklin, James Jones and Mario Martinez tee off?
One more thing to consider. Dayton pitchers have allowed just 15 homers in 29 home games this year. Also, don’t rule out the Dragons’ sluggers. Chris Richburg has belted six homers (four at home) from the right side, while left-handed hitting Josh Garton has six also (three at home). Kings’ pitchers have allowed 24 road homers this season and 35 total.
For those who regularly listen to my pregame interviews, you didn’t miss it last night, I decided not to post it with the impending rain in Bowling Green. I sat down with James Jones to talk about his three home runs on the road trip, the six-homer game against the Hot Rods and more.
Jones Interview 6.3.10.mp3
Tonight’s Game Notes:
Right-hander Taylor Stanton (5-2, 3.31), pushed back by last night’s rainout, will make the start tonight against the Dragons. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 PM central time, listen in on 1390kcln.com.