The TinCaps finally got a victory Wednesday afternoon – they defeated the Lake County Captains 4-3 to snap a five-game losing streak, tied for their longest this season – but don’t think this somehow got them off the hook with manager Joe Valentin.
He still wasn’t pleased. Not by a long shot.
“I dont think they responded,” Valentin said. “It’s just a situation where, yeah we won, but it was just one good inning. All game, we just kept swinging and swinging until something happened.”
He’s correct; the TinCaps produced nothing offensively except for their four runs in the bottom of the seventh, after they had fallen behind by failing to capitalize on numerous chances served up by the Captains.
In the seventh, there were RBI doubles from TinCaps Brian Adams, Mallex Smith and Alberth Martinez, along with an RBI single from Diego Goris.
And the TinCaps, who are 13-24 in the second half of the Midwest League season, still faced adversity. There was a man on third in the ninth inning before Trevor Gott came in to face one batter – Eric Haase – whom he struck out for his third save.
“With this win today, hopefully it’s a good start and we start playing better,” said Valentin, who was highly critical of the TinCaps after they coughed up a seven-run lead in a 10-9 loss to Lake County on Tuesday night.
The TinCaps have earned a playoff berth, thanks to their 43-26 first-half record, good enough for second place in the division, but they don’t look right now like a team that will do much in the postseason.
They were struck out eight times Wednesday, six by starting pitcher Ryan Merrit, who allowed four hits but went only three innings.
“Why they keep (making the same mistakes), I don’t know. It’s not about me. It’s not about the hitting coach,” Valentin said of the hitting woes. “They’ve been told about it. It doesn’t matter what type of hitting coach they have. When it’s time to do it, they have to do it.”