Time flies when you are having fun, and through the month of July the Dayton Dragons have definitely been having fun. The month began with the historic matching and exceeding of the all time American sellout record and has continued as the Dragons have surged into the lead here in the second half of the MidWest League season. With the drive for the playoffs in high gear the Dragons are riding high and playing quite well. Finishing the week of July 24-30 with a second half record of 24-11, the Dragons seem poised to reach the playoffs but they have to keep their foot on the gas to assure a playoff position.
Before we look at the results of the week and select our Dragon of the Week, lets explain how the Midwest League playoffs work. The MidWest League season is divided into two halves of 70 games each. During each half both MidWest League divisions the first and second place team qualify for the playoffs. If a team winning a playoff berth during the first half of the season also wins a place in the second half then the next best team from the division gets a chance to play in the postseason. During the first half of the 2011 season Bowling Green placed first in the Eastern division with Lansing finishing second. In the Western division, Burlington finished first and Quad Cities placed second. The Dragons are leading in the Eastern division with Great Lakes not far behind. Lansing is tied today with the Dragons but as they are already into the playoffs they are of no concern.
Over the course of the last week, the Dragons struggled a bit to hold onto the momentum. They went 3-3 on the week but lost their last two games. So with no further fanfare here are the 5 finalists for Dragon of the Week.
Young Mr. Torreyes lead the team with a .391 batting average with a stolen base, 3 runs scored and 3 runs batted in. He had no extra base hits this week and was caught stealing twice.
Vidal hit .318 with a team leading 6 runs score and 7 RBI’s including 3 home runs. He did have 2 errors during the week.
German born Lutz only sported a .250 batting average but 4 of his 5 hits were of the extra base variety. He had 5 runs, 5 RBIs, 2 HRs, a triple and a double. He did add in an error for good measure.
Finally our last two spots are held by relievers Chad Rogers and Brian Pearl. Rogers made two appearances on 7/24 and 7/30, in his first outing he pitched 4 innings and gave p just one hit and one walk. He recorded 7 strikeouts during his strong stint. His second outing he went 2.2 innings of shutout ball giving up 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Pearl was called on to start on the 24th and went 3 innings giving up 1 earned run (a home run) on one hit and recorded 4 strikeouts. His second appearance of the week was in a relief role and he again went three IP but allowed no runs and struck out 7 himself. These two relievers combined for an impressive 12.2 innings allowing a single run and striking out 21. Very nicely done.
In the end this weeks’ Dragon of the Week is: David Vidal! Nice job David, keep up the good work.
Follow me on Twitter for more Dragons news @JohnHeitz