What a week for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp! The second-place team in the division rolls into 121 Financial Ballpark and gets comprehensively thumped by the Shrimp who 5 of 6 from the Nashville Sounds in the River City. The wins included: a shutout, two walk-offs in a doubleheader, decent pitching, and timely hitting. Even the loss came in a game decided by extra innings. All of these are very positive and welcome developments for the Shrimp.
Since this will be the only meeting between the two “-Villes” for this season, the sons of General Jackson can justifiably claim bragging rights over the sons of General Nash until at least 2022.
The five wins take the Shrimp to six games over .500 with a record of 38-32. They remain in 3rd place in the Triple-A Southeast Division, two and a half games behind Nashville for second place, and 11 full games behind Durham, who remain the best team in Triple-A baseball. Let’s look at the full divisional standings:
This division has become more and more stratified as the season has gone on. It has always been a “top 2”, a “middle 3”, and a “bottom 2”. The only thing that has changed is the names in each of the these categories. As noted above, Durham is a juggernaut and barring a massive collapse, will win the division crown and the Triple-A East title. Nashville is still a very good team, but is struggling of late. Gwinnett has ben playing very good baseball and they are now only two back of the Shrimp, so Jax needs to maintain focus and continue winning as well. Memphis has come from absolutely nowhere to rattle off 15 wins in a row and climb from the basement to an even .500. (They are a changed team from when we saw them in June, for sure.) Charlotte and Norfolk…they are trying, but not doing so swell.
The Shrimp play the bottom two teams 20 times over the next three weeks. (at Charlotte, then home to Norfolk and Charlotte). They must take advantage of these opponents to run up the win total while they can if they want any shot at challenging for a top 2 finish.
Individually, the offense looked like this over the past seven days:
As usual, the tandem of Brigman and Miller led the way for the Shrimp against Nashville. A number of the others contributed timely hits and home runs to propel the Shrimp. And we welcomed the sight of Lewin Diaz returning to our ball field.
The Shrimp ran out 15 different in the pitchers in the Nashville series, with mixed results. Paul Campbell and Preston Guilmet stand out as star performers for the week. Like always though, the Shrimp substituted as needed to match the situation. Other than the clanger in extra innings last Wednesday, the overall result from the Shrimp staff was quality pitching that kept the game close so that the bats could find a way to win. That’s refreshing to see from this team.
As we noted above, the Shrimp are visiting the Queen City of Charlotte once again this week. The need to win and win big. This will be a 7 game series due to a doubleheader on July 29. Game times are 7:04 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 6:05 pm on Thursday; and 5:05 pm on Sunday.
Happy Baseball to everyone. Let’s go Shrimp!