Wild About Things

Quality workmanship

2014 Schaumburg Boomers
As a I type this, the Frontier League's 22nd season might be winding down to its final innings. The Schaumburg Boomers are trying to win back-to-back championships by eliminating the River City Rascals.

The series is an interesting one to me because of the contrast in the way the pitching staffs of the Boomers and Rascals have been used this year. Schaumburg is an old-school style of team that relies on starting pitchers to work deep into games. The Rascals, much like the Lake Erie Crushers this year, have been bucking the theory that quality outings by your starting pitchers are necessary for success.

No team made more pitching changes this year than River City's 338. Lake Erie, meanwhile, made 322 pitching changes. Rascals manager Steve Brook and the Crushers' Chris Mongiardo wore out paths from the dugout to the mound. All they wanted from their starting pitchers was four or five solid innings and then they'd use a deep bullpen to take advantage of lefty-lefty and righty-right matchups for the remainder of the game. And it worked almost every night.

To show how much more River City and Lake Erie relied on their relief pitchers and the matchup game than their opponents, check out the number of pitching changes made by each of the six playoff teams:

338 - River City
322 - Lake Erie
262 - Southern Illinois
253 - Washington
238 - Schaumburg
192 - Evansville

After a break of about 24 hours, I'm back, trying to finish this blog post. Schaumburg did indeed win its second consecutive league championship last night and the Boomers followed the script. Seth Webster had a quality start (seven innings, one run) and three relievers finished a 6-2 victory. A quality start from your pitcher usually gets you a win in the Frontier League, as you can tell by the following chart:

Quality starts in 2014
49 - Southern Illinois
47 - Evansville
46 - Florence
44 - Washington
42 - Gateway
41 - Schaumburg
41 - Traverse City
40 - Rockford
39 - Windy City
35 - Normal
31 - Joliet
25 - Lake Erie
23 - Greys
23 - River City

Scott Dunn led Washington's pitchers with 11 quality starts. Zac Fuesser was second with nine.Read full post: Quality workmanship

Game 2 postponed

Paul Baillargeon / For the Observer-Reporter
Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee and Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto discuss the playing conditions Wednesday night prior to Game 2 of the Frontier League playoff series at River City being postponed because of rain.

Game 2 of the Wild Things-River City Rascals series scheduled for tonight has been postponed because of rain. It will be played Thursday night (8:05 p.m.) and Game 3, if necessary, will be Friday night.

Paul Baillargeon / For the Observer-Reporter
The ground crew and interns check the tarp at T.R. Hughes Ballpark Wednesday evening.

Read full post: Game 2 postponed

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