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By Troy Juhn

 

The Utica Blue Sox in their 8 games in 8 days stretch from June 10th-June 17th averaged only 4 runs per game, if you take out their 16-2 win over Albany last Monday. The Blue Sox went 2-4-1 in PGCBL play in that stretch. An off day and a postponement made things a little bit easier to manage this past week for the Sox, but how did they fair overall? 

Utica went 2-3, with wins over Albany and Watertown, and losses against Amsterdam and two against Mohawk Valley back to back. The Blue Sox scored 26 runs combined against the Baseball Club and Rapids, collecting a total of 18 hits as well. But Utica’s pitching struggled in the next three games, creating deficits that were too much for the offense to come back from. The Sox scored 17 runs during this three game losing streak, 12 of those runs came in the 7th inning or later. And all those runs scored while the Blue Sox were trailing by 3 runs or more. Utica has had no trouble stringing hits together and getting runs across, as evident being top 5 in runs scored and ranking in the top 5 in most offensive categories, but slow starts offensively have not helped a pitching staff that has seen nearly 30 unearned runs cross the plate. The Blue Sox now lead the PGCBL in errors with 33 and boast the second worst fielding percentage in the league. While the effort on the field defensively has improved over the past few games, the errors have still reared their ugly head at the worst possible moments. A moment that particularly sticks out is in the 5th inning of Friday’s loss against Mohawk Valley. Pitcher Nick Hios has trouble fielding a bunt from Brody Rasmussen, and throws it past the first basemen all the way into right field. On a simple sac bunt attempt with runners at first and second, both runners came in to score and Rasmussen made it to third on a ball hit 10 feet in front of home plate. To me, that perfectly encapsulates the defensive woes that the Blue Sox have and no adjustments to really perfect the defense will really hurt this pitching staff. 

The Blue Sox have an off day today before traveling up to Watertown tomorrow. Utica will host Oneonta on Wednesday as part of a double header making up Sunday’s postponed game. The Blue will once again play Mohawk Valley in a home and home split on Thursday and Friday and play another doubleheader this time against Albany on Saturday. 

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