At one point a little over 2 weeks ago the Blue Rocks had lost a 2.5 game lead to the Frederick Keys but after splitting a series with Lynchburg, they came home, won 11of 13 games and punched their ticket to the playoffs.
This team started to come come together in the 2nd half after the additions of 1B Mark Fields, RHP Brooks Pounder, and SS Orlando Calixte . Mark has simply racked since he has joined the Blue Rocks, having one the best offensive outputs for the 2nd half for either the minors or majors. Brooks came up and solidified the back end of the starting rotation and became an ace on the team. Orlando was a midseason call up who was a welcomed surprise with his offense and becoming an anchor for the infield defense. These 3 under the leadership of manager Vance Wilson have saved what was looking like a horrible season and now are 2nd half division champs and ready to do damage in the playoffs.
As of this posting the Rocks are hosting the Lynchburg Hillcats in game 1 of the Carolina League Northern Division Championship and for a brief preview of the series comes down to one man for the Rocks: Mark Fields. If he gets in the mix its hard for other teams to handle the press he puts on opposing pitching staffs.
For the Hillcats they will have an interesting addition coming in game 2 in the form of SS Andrelton Simmons. He was the Carolina League batting last year but I first saw him play short was for the Atlanta Braves this season before he hurt his wrist sliding into 2nd on a heads up hustle play. Simply put this guy may be the the Derek Jeter cause everything he is so smooth and effortless but so powerful. The Hillcats having this guy for the duration of the playoffs could be a problem but first they have to get by Hillcat starter and Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Greg Scholosser tonight. (Again as I type this I am underground working on the NYC subway so I don’t know the score. I think I will tell everyone about my new job on a later post)
Congrats to the Blue Rocks and good luck in the playoffs.
(I just made it topside and the Rocks lost 8-0 so I will have a post on tonight’s game before morning)