TinCaps manager Jose Valentin hasn't been impressed with his team's performance during the second half, to say the least.
He's also at a loss for how to help Fort Wayne.
"We've been that way for the last couple days," Valentin said after his team's 6-0 loss to South Bend on Thursday at Parkview Field. "We only got one hit off them first game in South Bend. It's not today. It's been like that for almost all week. I don't know why."
Valentin isn't one to sugarcoat. He put his clubhouse on notice during a bad stretch in the first half of the season. He called this stretch the worst baseball he's seen his team play.
But this time around, he doesn't seem angry. His players are putting in the right amount of work. They have, it seems, the right attitude before games.
That's what makes the 3-11 start to the second half so perplexing, Valentin said.
"They come here early, hit in the cage, but then when the game is on, it's a different ballgame," he said. "I don't know if the guys are just not getting a good plan. I don't know if they're trying too hard, tense, not loose enough. I wish I could find a way to get those guys to go out there, get better swings, get better at-bats."
Valentin has been through stretches like this as a player, and he's encouraged by the fact that his players are continuing to try. It isn't an effort problem. It's a mix of bad luck and bad timing, with some bad approaches at the plate mixed in.
"I hate to lose," Valentin said. "I guess it's probably one of those stretches when everything goes wrong. But we've just got to find a way in a hurry. We can't let this thing go deeper and deeper.
"We got to stop it somehow, soon enough, before some things get worse."
TinCaps set attendance record
The TinCaps celebrated the Fourth of July with $1 beers, fireworks and a new attendance record.
Fort Wayne broke its previous high of 8,643 with 8,780 filling the Parkview Field stands and walkways for Thursday's game. It was the second time this season the TinCaps broke a franchise record in paid attendance.
"What a wonderful way to mark the holiday," TinCaps Vice President of Marketing and Promotions Michael Limmer said in a statement. "There isn't anything more patriotic than baseball, apple pie, hot dogs, July 4th, and fireworks. It's the perfect combination for an outstanding night at Parkview Field."