Beat me once, shame on you; beat me twice, shame on me; beat me three times, I'll pack my bags and go home. That's roughly how the saying goes, anyway. At least, that's the version the Crushers will be saying as they leave Normal, Illinois in a fashion that has been the opposite of normal for them of late.
What kind of kryptonite are the Corn Belters hiding in Normal? Coming off a season-high 11-game win streak, the Crushers have lost the first two games of their three-game series against the Corn Belters, who have discovered the formula for beating the Frontier League's hottest team. The Crushers lost 4-3 as a late attempt at a comeback was unsuccessful.
Jeff Isom has a lot of theories. One of them pertains to his starting pitchers, and it rang true on Tuesday night. Isom likes to say that out of ten starts, a pitcher will have his best stuff in two of them. In two others, they'll lack their usual good command. In the other six, they will be somewhere in between.
Oh man, Daniel Bowman had a game on Thursday night. The Crushers right fielder finished the day 4-for-5 with a home run and 5 RBI. He led the charge as the Crushers defeated the Wild Things 11-1 to complete their second-straight sweep and third-straight at All Pro Freight Stadium. They have won 16 of their last 18 games.
The Crushers scored early, and then they hung on for dear life. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, the Crushers out-lasted a 5-1 Wild Things rally to win their seventh-straight game and move into a tie for first place with Traverse City, who lost to the Frontier Greys 5-3.
Get the brooms out. In less than 24 hours, the Crushers have completed three different sweeps. On Monday they finished a sweep of the Slammers, and then came home to assert their dominance over the WildThings.
Freedom rang in Florence for the Crushers to start the week, as they took two of three games to start the road trip. Then, they proceeded to slam Joliet, sweeping the slammers and outscoring them 29-12 in the series. They’ve now upped their record to 43-31 on the season and are in the thick of the playoff race. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara recaps the week that was for the Crushers...
Dave Middendorf is so big that he has to sleep on the floor of the bus if he wants to rest comfortably. Well, he doesn’t have to anymore, but it worked so well for him when he was a rookie in affiliated ball that he’s just stuck with it. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara recently caught up with the Crushers' starting pitcher to see how his season is going.
The Crushers ordered the Matt Rein special on Thursday night. At least, that's what it would be called if it were a menu item, and the Crushers could theoretically order results of games as if they were menu options. Rein pitched seven innings and earned the win as the Crushers (40-31) took the rubber match by beating the Freedom (39-32) 5-1.
Using the buddy system to score runs, the Crushers (39-31) scored twice in four different innings in game one of Wednesday's doubleheader. That amounted to an 8-2 blowout of the Freedom (39-32), who entered play just a half game behind the Crushers for third place in the East. The two teams went on to split the two games.
It may have been a short week, but it was a successful one for the Crushers. Because of a rain out of their game against the WildThings on Friday night, the Crushers only played five games in seven days. They were a perfect 5-0. The Crushers have been carried by their sound pitching and defense so far in the second half, and that’s the way this team was built to succeed. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara shares the details of the week that was in his latest notebook...
For just the third time this season, Lake Erie swept an opponent, but none bigger than a sweep of first place Traverse City completed Monday night in Avon. Coming out on top for a 4-3 win over the Beach Bums, the Crushers have turned the entire East division around in just one week.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!