Game 42: Post-Game Notes

— Usually, I’ll write the score — in this case, a 6-3 Patriots win over the Bears — and then talk about the player performances that made it that way.  But really, this was a true case of a team victory.  There really was no one standout effort on Somerset, it’s just that everyone did what they were supposed to do. 

“Every night, somebody does the job.  We don’t realy have anybody that’s just dominating right now,” said Wayne Lydon.

“We’re all just trying to pick each other up right now.  Hopefully, one or two of us can get hot, and guys can come back from their injuries and we’ll be in a lot better condition.”

Lydon set the tone early, but in a different way this time, golfing a leadoff home run over the right field wall off of Bears starter Vince Perkins.  A few runs here, a few runs there, and the Patriots were on their way to another improbable victory.

Not bad for a team that’s missing two of not only their best players, but two of the best players in the league in Jeff Nettles and Josh Pressley.

“I don’t know how we’re doing it, but we’re doing it,” said Somerset manager Sparky Lyle.

“But this is what we’ve been doing.  I like the way our defense is right now, and a couple guys hit the ball pretty hard tonight.  Newark doesn’t have bad pitching, starting pitching…I was happy with how we swung the bats tonight.”

Jason Monti wasn’t great, but was good enough to keep his team in the game through six innings, and the bullpen trio of Carlos Hines, Brian Henderson and Ryan Houston combined to shut down Newark over the final three innings to lock down the victory for Monti, who Lyle praised after the game.

— As mentioned in the Tom Mastny story, Lyle told me Jesse Darcy moves into the starting rotation now.  Matt Reilly will also get his long-awaited opportunity, as he may start one of the games of the doubleheader in Bridgeport.

“He’s had his problems, but if he can get the ball down and get ahead of the hitters, I think we can get four or five innings out of him keeping us in the game,” said Lyle of Reilly, who has faltered as of late after starting off the season well.

Lyle also indicated the team will look for another starter, but acknowledged that at this point of the season, it will be very difficult to do so.

— When you think of Wayne Lydon, you’re likely thinking about his speed, not his bat.  And for good reason.  In 4,579 professional at-bats, Lydon has just 37 home runs to his name.  But that includes the one he hit tonight to leadoff the bottom of the first inning and tie the game at one early on. 

“Perkins, he throws pretty firm, and I kind of know him from playing with him in the past a little bit,” said Lydon, who has 522 stolen bases in 1,225 games.

“3-2, after getting the timing a little bit, I knew he was going to come with something hard, and I wanted to make sure I was ready for something hard.  I just caught it and squared it up and got it out.”

Once a prospect with the Mets, Lydon is now in his second year in the Atlantic League after three seasons in the Blue Jays organization.  Known primarily as a speed guy and little more, the 29-year-old outfielder has changed his approach of late and is trying to drive the ball a little bit more.

“I’m definitely trying to find little things here and there that are going to help me,” Lydon told me.

“Not necessarily hitting home runs, but just driving the ball better.  Just opening up the hips a little bit and tinkering with some things.  Tonight, I think I picked up a little thing that helped me.  Baseball’s a weird game sometimes, and you never know what’s going to work tomorrow.  You tinker.  Nobody’s there yet, everybody wants to get better.”

— Pressley was jogging along the warning track prior to the game, but there is still no immediate timetable for his return.  Meanwhile, Nettles will have his cast and the pins in his broken left hand removed tomorrow.  He is expected to undergo two weeks of physical therapy, and is targeting a June 22nd return date, which has been the case for some time now.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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