NEW BRITAIN - Turns out, the third time wasnâ€™t a charm for the New Britain Bees in their series against the York Revolution that concluded on Sunday afternoon.
Facing the first-place Revolution for the third time since the All-Star break, the Bees were swept off their home field in lopsided fashion, dropping all three games by a combined score of 26-10. New Britain has now battled York through a trio of three-game sets in a span of three weekends, and limp away from the humbling stretch with a record of 1-8.
The most crippling culprit of the Beesâ€™ struggles against the now 18-5 Revolution has been the pitching staff, which continued to be knocked around by Yorkâ€™s potent lineup this past weekend.
The Revolution scored 10 runs twice during the series sweep, and scored at least 10 runs in seven of their nine contests against the Bees since the second half of the season began. After the grueling stretch for Bees pitching, the staff finds itself with a collective ERA of 5.29 and a WHIP of 1.52, both the worst marks in the Atlantic League, while the Revolutionâ€™s team OPS is a league-best .865, more than 100 points above the next highest mark, which is the Bees at .761. In short, Yorkâ€™s high-powered offense coupled with New Britainâ€™s pitching problems led to disaster for the home team this weekend.
The issues for Mauro Gozzoâ€™s staff bled from the starting rotation to the bullpen and from old arms to new. The Revolution set the tone for the series by tagging game one starter David Roseboom for nine hits and five earned runs through four innings, pushing Roseboomâ€™s season ERA to 5.68 in his early tenure with New Britain. The Bees clawed their way back and pulled to within 5-4 heading to the ninth, but one of the lone pitching bright spots in closer Jim Fuller was temporarily dulled, as the All-Star allowed a walk and two hits, leading to an insurance run for York and a win in game one.
Cory Riordan took the ball in game two and was beaten up for eight hits and six runs through five innings, including four home runs. Tyler Danish allowed two runs in his one inning of work, and another fairly new addition in Anthony Alicki surrendered a run of his own, kicking his ERA north of 11.
In Sundayâ€™s finale, it was All-Star Devin Burkeâ€™s turn to try and navigate Yorkâ€™s lineup, but tripped and fell through six innings of work, allowing six hits and six earned runs, while the newest member of the Beesâ€™ staff Brady Dragmire allowed four runs in just one inning of work in a 10-1 rout. In total, the Bees starting rotation allowed 17 runs in 15 innings, including seven home runs. The Bees have now allowed a league-high 103 home runs as a staff despite throwing the second-lowest amount of innings.
The Bees entered their latest series with a pitching problem, and itâ€™s only become more glaring after three deflating losses. The team has allowed 7.7 runs per game through the second half of the season and is now 7-15. If the pitching doesnâ€™t improve, any chances of the franchiseâ€™s first-ever postseason berth will fade quickly.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or email@example.com