Baseball is a game of streaks whether they’re hit streaks, hitless streaks, win streaks or losing streaks. The Altoona Curve suffered a brutal 7-game losing streak to end the month of June and begin the month of July.
The losing skid knocked the Altoona Curve from atop the Eastern League Western standings for the first time since the beginning of the season.
The Curve struggled in all aspects during their 8-game road trip that saw them go a calendar week without winning a game. As a staff, the Altoona pitchers gave up 6+ runs in six of the seven games, uncharted territory for a unit who has been a strong suit for the Curve all season.
“We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch, and we didn’t play very good defense. You’re going to go 1-7 when you do that 8 games in a row or whatever,” Altoona skipper Michael Ryan said. “In all three phases, we weren’t very good. It’s behind us now. it’s happened, it’s time to move on.”
The skid ended Monday in the final game of their 8-game road swing as the Curve took down Erie 4-1. Altoona built on the momentum of that victory by cruising to a 6-0 victory over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in their return to the friendly confines of PNG Field in Altoona. Kevin Newman paced the Curve with a 3-for-4 day at the plate finishing just a triple shy of the cycle while plating four RBIs in front of the ninth largest crowd in team history (8,796).
Suiter proving to be suitable replacement for Luplows offense
For those who follow the Altoona Curve or this notebook regularly, it is no surprise Jordan Luplow got called up last week to Indianapolis as the outfielder was mashing the baseball at the Double-A level. And while Luplow deserved every bit of the promotion he got, the search for replacing his production offensively has begun for the Curve.
Enter outfielder Jerrick Suiter.
In Suiter’s last 10 games, the outfield prospect is hitting at a .424 clip with five RBIs. Over the course of the previous two games Suiter is 7-for-7 with a home run, and three RBIs.
For the season, the Texas Christian-product is hitting .315 while appearing in 46 of Altoona’s 83 games. Suiter has yet to hit the level of Luplow’s monster production thus far, however, as long as he keeps putting the ball in play and getting on base Suiter will be more than a suitable replacement for the productivity of Luplow.
The Altoona Curve head to Akron to take on the Rubber Ducks in a four-game series with a double-header scheduled on Saturday before they head into the All-Star break beginning Monday. Cody Dickson will be toeing the rubber for the Altoona tonight looking to improve his 0-2 record and 14.14 ERA. Following the All-Star break, the Curve return home for a 7-game home stand.