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Senators' statistics tell tale


Senators' statistics tell tale
Statistically it's not a surprise the Harrisburg Senators, after losing their eighth straight game Saturday, own the worst record among all 32 Class AA Baseball teams.

In fact, of the 160 affiliated professional Baseball teams whose seasons began earlier this month -- from the major leagues down to the Class A Midwest and South Atlantic leagues -- only four teams own more losses than the woeful Senators (2-12), affiliate of the Washington Nationals, which is worst in the majors at 3-13.

They are the Buffalo Bisons (Mets) of the Class AAA International League (2-13), the Stockton Ports (Athletics) of the Advanced Class A California League (2-14) and the Dayton Dragons (Reds) of the Midwest League (2-13).

Surely the long Baseball season is always a roller-coaster affair, with ups and downs scattered from April through September. But nobody wants to go through a stretch of losing 12 of 14. Actually, it's 12 of 13, as the Senators won their season opener in Reading.

Here's a further examination of some statistical reasons for this team's early failures:

RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION Through Saturday's game, the Senators ranked dead last -- by a lot -- in the Eastern League in runs scored with 39. By comparison, the second lowest-scoring team, Bowie, has scored 49 runs in the same number of games. League leader Akron scored 76 through 16 contests. A major culprit: the Senators' failure to hit with runners in scoring position.

Harrisburg is just .210 with runners on second and/or third base, including just 2-for-28 over its last six games. Opponents, meanwhile, are batting .341 with runners in scoring position against the Senators.

NO BIG INNINGS Amazingly, the Senators lead the Eastern League (with Erie) with 14 home runs. Only problem, 13 of those have been solo shots. Harrisburg has lacked the big inning. Only six times in 14 games have the Senators connected for three or more hits in any inning. Opponents have done it 18 times to them. And while Harrisburg might have its fair share of long balls, it ranks last in the league in doubles (14), triples (1) and, just as important, walks (36). You need base runners and big hits if you want to produce enough runs to help the pitching staff.

DEFENSIVE FAILURES While the pitching staff has stumbled so far in three games against the Erie SeaWolves, surrendering 27 runs in three games, it had held its own through the first two weeks of the season. The 4.89 ERA, 138 hits allowed and 12 home runs allowed might rank last in the Eastern League, keep in mind the team's defensive struggles have taken a toll on the arms. With 15 errors in 14 games, the Senators don't look nearly as bad on paper as a handful of others in the league. Trenton and Altoona have already shared 50 errors between them. But what the stat sheet doesn't show is missed opportunities such as a failure to successfully turn a double play or hit a cutoff man from the outfield. The Senators have failed to make the basic plays. One statistic that might tell the Senators' defensive story is total chances, meaning how many opportunities fielders have been given to make (or screw up) a play. Harrisburg ranks last in the league in total chances with 479, which more or less means the fielders aren't getting to nearly as many balls as their peers on other teams.

SUMMING IT UP Again, we'll stress here that this version of the Harrisburg Senators isn't nearly as bad as it's been showing.

Amazingly, this talented group is off to a worse start than the 2007 Senators, who were 3-11 at this point on their way to an 86-loss season. Few involved doubt the hitters will start hitting and the fielders will start making the routine plays. But it better turn around in a hurry, or the high expectations that accompanied this team at the start of the season will have vanished completely by mid-May.

GEOFF MORROW: 255-8250 or gmorrow@patriot-news.com

INFOBOX:

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Here's a list of former Harrisburg Senators (with years played here in parentheses) still playing in affiliated Baseball, listed by organization: Here's a list of former Harrisburg Senators (with years played here in parentheses) still playing in affiliated Baseball, listed by organization:

AL East

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Norfolk Tides (AAA): SS Jolbert Cabrera ('94-97)

Bowie Baysox (AA): RHP Gerardo Casadiego ('02-04); 3B Melvin Dorta ('04-07); RHP Josh Perrault ('07-08) BOSTON Red Sox

Red Sox: 1B Jeff Bailey ('02-03) NEW YORK Yankees

Yankees: RHP Jonathan Albaladejo ('07) TORONTO Blue Jays

Blue Jays: C Michael Barrett (Disabled List) ('98)AL Central

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Birmingham Barons (AA): RHP Jhonny Nunez ('08) CLEVELAND Indians

Indians: 2B Jamey Carroll ('98-00, '02); LHP Cliff Lee ('02); RHP Jake Westbrook ('99)

Columbus Clippers (AAA): LHP Rich Rundles ('04-05) DETROIT Tigers

Tigers: RHP Armando Galarraga ('05)

Toledo Mud Hens (AAA): RHP Ron Chiavacci ('01-03) KANSAS CITY ROYALS Nothwest Arkansas Naturals (AA): C John Suomi ('07)

MINNESOTA TWINS

Rochester Red Wings (AAA): 2B Alejandro Machado ('04)AL WESTLOS ANGELES Angels

Angels (DL): OF Vladimir Guerrero ('96)

Salt Lake Bees (AAA): 2B Luis Figueroa ('02) OAKLAND Athletics

Athletics: SS Orlando Cabrera ('97)

Sacramento River Cats (AAA): RHP Chris Schroder ('03-06) SEATTLE Mariners

Mariners: RHP Miguel Batista ('93-94); RHP Roy Corcoran ('03, '06)

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA): OF Prentice Redman ('06) NL EAST

ATLANTA Braves

Braves: RHP Javier Vazquez ('97) NEW YORK Mets

Mets: OF Ryan Church ('05-06); C Brian Schneider (DL) ('99)

Buffalo Bisons (AAA): OF Frank Diaz ('06-07); OF Jesus Feliciano ('05-06) PHILADELPHIA Phillies

Phillies : OF Matt Stairs ('91)

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA): 1B Andy Tracy ('98-99) WASHINGTON Nationals

Nationals: 2B Ronnie Belliard ('08); LHP Jason Bergmann ('04-05); OF Roger Bernadina (DL) ('07-08); LHP Matt Chico (DL) ('06); LHP Mike Hinckley ('04, '07-08); LHP John Lannan ('07); RHP Shairon Martis ('06, '08); OF Justin Maxwell ('08); RHP Garrett Mock ('06-07); RHP Saul Rivera ('02, '04-05); 1B Dmitri Young (DL) ('08); RHP Jordan Zimmermann ('08); 3B Ryan Zimmerman ('05)

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA): RHP Collin Balester ('06-07); SS Seth Bynum ('06-09); 3B Kory Casto ('06); RHP Marco Estrada; C Luke Montz ('07-08); OF Jorge Padilla ('08); RHP Craig Stammen ('08)

Potomac Nationals (A+): RHP Andrew Kown ('08); RHP Carlos Martinez ('07-08) NL CENTRAL

CHICAGO Cubs

Cubs: OF Milton Bradley ('99) CINCINNATI Reds

Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips ('01-02) Louisville Bats (AAA): LHP Bill Bray ('05) HOUSTON Astros

Astros: 3B Geoff Blum ('96, '98) PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Indianapolis Indians (AAA): 1B Larry Broadway ('03-05)NL WESTARIZONA Diamondbacks

Reno Aces (AAA): OF Brandon Watson ('02-03, '05); 1B Josh Whitesell ('06-07) LOS ANGELES Dodgers

Dodgers: RHP Guillermo Mota ('98)

Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA): OF Dee Brown ('05); 1B Valentino Pascucci ('01-02) SAN DIEGO Padres

Padres: OF Cliff Floyd ('93); 2B Edgar Gonzalez ('05); RHP Shawn Hill ('03-04, '06); RHP Chris Young ('03) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Augusta GreenJackets (A): *RHP Trey Webb ('06) *(Webb switched from position player to pitcher in 2008.

Note: This does not include players in extended spring training


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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