THE PLAZA LIONS
The Plaza Lions finished off August with another solid month, going 17-11 versus the NL Central. The Lions went 8-6 at home and 9-5 on the road. After 140 games, Plaza has a record of 90-50. Unless the Lions fall apart they will be representing the AL as a wild card team.
The team has continued to swing the bats well and the pitching has been decent enough to get win their 90 games. David Wells has been the staffs ace as of late. He is 18-8 on the year with a 4.43 ERA. Tom Glavine is 17-7 but has struggled with consistency. Hes either been really good or terrible and his ERA has fallen to 4.88. Paul Abbott has picked up 14 wins in his 26 starts but he is also struggling at this time. Gil Heredia and Woody Williams have picked it up down the stretch. The bullpen, other than Armando Benitez, have struggled a bit this year. Benitez has 33 saves with a 2.45 era.
Jeff Kent and Louis Gonzalez continue to lead the Lions in many of the offensive categories and have provided Plaza with solid three and four hitters. Kent is batting .349 with 34 homeruns and 123 RBI. He also has scored 106 runs and stolen 7 bases. Gonzalez is batting .330 with 28 homeruns, has 136 RBI and has scored 101 runs. Louis Castillo leads the team in runs with 117 and stolen bases with 71 and is second in batting with a .342 average. Steve Finley is batting .292 with 32 dingers and 12 stolen bases. Basically, all the hitters are contributing for the Lions.
Below are some of the highlights and lowlights of the home series Plaza played for the month.
Plaza opened August with the Fleetwood Walkers for 4 games. Neither teams starters pitched real well but Fleetwoods bats came alive as the Walkers won 3 of 4 games in Plaza. For the Lions, Wells picked up the lone win and Benitez, Bobby Chouinard, Eddie Guardado, and Juan Acevedo out of the pen allowed 1 earned run in 12 innings pitched. The hitters slept through most of this series. Mark Grace led the team with 4 hits and 4 RBI. Gonzalez only went 2 for 16 as the Walkers held him in check. Abbott and Glavine got roughed up in their starts. Jim Edmonds of the Walkers blasted out 3 home runs and had 10 RBI to lead Fleetwood.
Columbus came to Plaza for 3 games following Fleetwood. Plaza got solid pitching and hitting versus the Buckeyes and won 2 of the games. The bullpen really did their job as they went 7 1/3 shutout innings. Abbott and Chouinard picked up the wins. Castillo went 7-14 for the series with 2 steals. Finley cracked out 3 solo homeruns. Grace led the team with 6 RBI. Gonzalez struggled against the Buckeyes going 1 for 11.
Next came the division leading Stanley Sioux for 4 games. Plaza picked 3 wins behind a strong offensive performance led by Gonzalez who had 4 homeruns and 13 RBI in the 4 games. Grace, John Vander Wal, Bill Spiers, and Wil Cordero all batted .500 or better in the series. Kent struggled, though, batting only 1of 12. Heredia, Wells and Abbott picked up the wins although Wells and Abbott didnt pitch that well. Benitez picked up 2 saves in the series. Guardado and Scott Sauerbeck pitched 6 shut out inning out of the pen. Randy Johnson picked up the lone win for the Sioux as he pitched 7 shut out inning with 8 strikeouts.
In the final series of the month the Bloomington Bees came to town for 3 games. Plazas starters pitched 3 great games but only came away with 2 wins. Wells tossed a 3 hit complete game 2-0 shut out. Heredia had a complete game 9-1 win. Paul Wilson of the Bees outdueled Williams in a 3-1 win for Bloomington. Kent and Finley led the team with 3 hits for the series and Gonzalez and Vander Wal each had 3 RBI.