With an off day Wednesday, they are back home ready to get it back together again. The Roadrunners have gone 7-7 their past 14 games, and are now 32-17, good for first place but only 3.5 games up on second-place Amarillo.
Edinburg won three of four at Amarillo, a team that has always given visiting squads fits, but then lost that momentum with a 1-3 trip to Laredo. Now the ‘Runners are at the Stadium for eight straight days starting Thursday; it’s Harlingen for four and then Coastal Bend for four more, and while the ‘Runners have dominated those foes this season, they can take nothing for granted. They’re 10-0 against the WhiteWings and 4-1 against the Thunder, but as stated, just .500 since rising to a high-water mark of 25-8 July 4.
The team batting average is solid at .296, paced by lefty Robert Matlock, who has been hot despite the team’s recent struggles. The veteran left fielder sits at a team-best .343 heading onto the homestand with 29 walks against just 11 strikeouts.
Outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion is making a strong bid for offensive MVP with fine power/speed numbers. He’s driven in 42 runs so far with 14 doubles and seven homers, has stolen 14 bases, and carries a healthy slugging percentage of .474.
Pitching has been a bit shaky lately, as the team ERA has climbed to 4.21, after hovering in the mid 3’s most of the season. Wardell Starling is the number one starter in 2010, with a 6-1 mark and 3.00 ERA; the big righty from Houston has fanned 44 hitters with just 10 walks so far in 54 innings. The rest of the starters had a tough fortnight.
Luckily, the bullpen is the league’s best, paced by closer Julio Castro, who has 13 saves and with 38 games to play should be able to eclipse his career mark of 19, set two years back.
After the home action ends July 29, it’s off to San Angelo for four followed by another 8-game Stadium run, Aug. 3-10 versus Amarillo and Coastal Bend. Chances are, that Dilla series is going to be big medicine in the ULB race.
For the season, Edinburg is 17-8 at home, where it has drawn 2,400 fans a night, third in the league. As the club approaches the home stretch it will try to hang on to the lead it’s had just about from the beginning, after a 6-1 start.
The franchise has made the playoffs nine of 10 years since 2001, including last year in its second go-around as the Roadrunners after three years of Coyote Ball. The regular season ends Aug. 29.