Extra Points: Columbus Clippers
They started off in a beautiful new stadium. They now sit in the basement.
Not even Huntington Park, a new affiliation with the Cleveland Indians and some talented young players have propped up the Columbus Clippers, who on Monday were 9.5 games out of first place and the second-worst team in the International League.
This is baseball, though. No season is lost. Things can change. As the IL nears its all-star game July 15, here's a look at what's helping and hurting the Clips.
At the start of the season, third baseman Andy Marte and outfielder Matt LaPorta were expected to have breakout seasons. So far, they've delivered, each batting over .300 with at least 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. This is the foundation of a lineup with the highest average in the league.
An unfamiliar face
The team's only all-star is outfielder Jordan Brown, who is beyond or quickly approaching his 2008 batting totals. Of the everyday Clippers, he has the highest average and second-most RBIs.
The West Division
The Louisville Bats have won 45 games, but they're the only team in the West with a winning record. Things would be worse in either the North, with four teams who have won at least 40 games, or the South, with three teams above .500.
The Clippers are dead last in team ERA. Few clubs can survive by giving up 4.67 runs per game and 75 homers in 84 contests.
Cleveland Indians affiliation
The Tribe was the second team in the MLB to reach 50 losses (yikes!), so they've brought up numerous triple-A players. The periodic loss of LaPorta, pitcher David Huff and other prospects has drained much of the oomph from the Clippers.
In addition to an absolutely awful June, when they went 9-19, the Clippers have been unable to continue limited bursts of momentum. They've won three or more games in a row only three times this year.
The Clippers might not be winning, but there are still plenty of reasons to catch a game at Huntington Park. Here are some pending deals during next weekend's home stand against the Syracuse Chiefs.
7:05 p.m. Thursday, July 16
Quencher Corner will feature games, contests and food and drink specials
7:05 p.m. Friday, July 17
Party-at-the-Park features food and drink specials and live music by The Firebird Band
7:05 p.m. Saturday, July 18
Party-at-the-Park features food and drink specials and live music by John Schwab
5:05 p.m. Sunday, July 19
Family Day features discount admission - two adults and up to four kids for $15
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