STROHECKER: York Revolution fans shouldn't get too worked up about losing first series
In the grand scheme of things, three games out of 140 is just too small a sample size to get worked up about, either positively or negatively.
So, after the York Revolution dropped its first series of the season with a 5-2 loss to the Long Island Ducks on Sunday night at Santander Stadium, you should know this — it's still too early for the fans and players to get too upset over it. Sure, ask either of those parties and they would have wanted the 1-2 record to be reversed, but this is, essentially, an extension of spring training.
"You don't put a whole lot into three games," York manager Mark Mason said. "You need a little bit more body of work. You start getting into that 10 to 12 games. ...Once we get 10 games in and the 10 days we had (in spring training), then you're pretty much at three weeks and you should see some things get better."
Hitters off to slow start: If there was an area that could improve, it's the team's hitting. In the series against the Ducks, the Revs only managed to score seven total runs. By no means is that an abysmal total after three games, but factoring in how those runs scored may raise some eyebrows.
York is a team that likes to manufacture runs by trying to string together a series of hits and come up with a big inning that wears on the opposing pitcher. But, so far this season, the long rally just hasn't happened. Instead, all the runs have come on one swing in each game.
In the first game, the Revs scored both runs on an infield single by Brandon Boggs. Saturday night, a three-run homer by Brandon Jones helped York win, 3-1. And then Sunday night, Eric Patterson's sixth-inning two-run shot was all the offense the team could muster against Long Island.
"We just need a little bit more repetition," Mason said. "We need to be able to string some hits together when we're getting guys on base. We're not able to keep it moving at this point."
Sure, the Revs did have some hard-hit outs that were driven to deep parts of the ballpark, forcing fielders to make good defensive plays, but they were just that — outs. Baseball is a game of averages and eventually things will start to even out.
The solid contact is a plus. Now Mason is hoping they start finding gaps. Or if the hard drives don't, something does.
"Or you swing hard and you get the swinging bunt," he said. "Or the filet that barely gets out of the infield. Baseball is a weird game."
Starters excel: If there was one area that fans can get excited about after the first series, it was the starting pitching.
Entering the season, Mason had eight guys who could potentially be starters fighting for spots in the rotation. He settled on a six-man rotation to begin the season, giving each guy two, maybe three, starts to prove that he deserves to stay in the rotation. So far, the first three starters made a strong case that they deserve to stick.
Between Shawn Hill, Anthony Lerew and Logan Williamson, the three combined to throw 13 innings, each giving up a run and striking out a total of 12. Williamson, Sunday's starter, surrendered a first-inning run and then retired 10 straight before exiting the game after reaching his pitch limit.
So far, the only three pitchers who haven't seen time are the three remaining starters — Rommie Lewis, Corey Thurman and Mike McClendon — who will start against the Lancaster Barnstormers in the upcoming series.
"I thought Logan threw the ball really well through five innings today, just like Lerew did last night," Mason said.
Mason said it best during spring training — pitchers tend to come into the season ahead of hitters. So we really shouldn't be surprised that York's hitters are still trying to find their groove while the starters already look to be in good form.
View this series how you want. If you want to over react to the losing start, then fine. If you want to say it's still too early to tell anything, then that works as well.
But, know this — neither the players nor Mason are concerned about dropping the first series. Sure, they would've preferred to win it, but baseball is a long season. Three games in late April don't hold a lot of weight.
So, sit back and relax.
We have a long season ahead of us.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.