By Phil Stilton
LAKEWOOD–On Friday night, Philadelphia Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard hit a home run at the request of a blind 9 year old named AJ. It was the slugger’s 5th home run of the season for the major league club, but at this point in the first half of the season in the single-A South Atlantic League, Howard’s magic probably wouldn’t be powerful enough to turn his former team’s season around.
East of Philadelphia, about an hour and a half drive down Route 70, the BlueClaws lost their 18th game of the season, a 6-0 shutout by the Charleston Riverdogs, a New York Yankees affiliate, ensuring their sole possession of the bottom of the SAL Northern Division. On Saturday, the BlueClaws came back out on the field with more of the same, with an 8-0 loss to the Lexington Legends (KC).
The BlueClaws have not scored a run since the fourth inning on Thursday night against Charleston, a span of 22 innings.
The BlueClaws are now 9-19 in the first half of the season.
The team is lacking offensive power this season with a team batting average of .236 and just 8 home runs and 91 rbi through 28 games. While they are average 3.25 runs per game, their pitching staff has given up 167 runs, nearly doubling the BlueClaws run output. The team also boasts the highest team ERA in the league at 5.20.