I was on my way to the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium press box last night when I had a premonition: The Wingnuts were going to beat the St. Paul Saints.
The Wingnuts were already losing 4-1 in the sixth inning, but I started thinking about how it seems like they win every Saturday night in front of big or sort-of-big crowds. And it also seemed like St. Paul should have been ahead by more than three runs at the time. The deficit seemed plenty surmountable.
I’m not right very often, but this time I was. The Wingnuts scored four late runs and plated the go-ahead run on a Michael Thompson single in the eighth. And don’t think I’m just saying that I called the win now to sound smart. I told Joel Lomurno and Josh Robertson about my premonition when I got back to the press box. So it’s documented.
I wasn’t crazy about the headline on the Wingnuts notes column in today’s newspaper — “Thompson’s production dropping off.” It seemed too simple. Yeah, his numbers aren’t as strong as they were at this time last year, but I thought I did a pretty good job of explaining why that is while pointing out that his numbers have a good chance of improving soon.
Thompson has dropped his strikeouts and is hitting a lot of balls hard. He has also improved his approach against an outside slider, the pitch that has given him the most trouble during his time with the Wingnuts. So really, his subpar batting average has a lot to do with bad luck — if he’s putting the ball in play often, more balls should be falling. They’re not right now, but that should change.
I would have gone with something like, “Thompson looking to regain form” or “Bad luck has Thompson’s numbers dipping.” Something like that. But I’m not a headline writer, so I have to trust the copy editors. I just don’t think Thompson’s numbers are dropping off. I think they have dropped off but are about to be on the upswing again.
The Wingnuts have another big game with St. Paul tonight, but it’s not as big as it would have been if they’d lost last night and were looking at a two-game division lead instead of a four-game lead. That’s quite a big difference when there are only 20 games left in the half.
Hope the rain stays away and we can play nine innings without interruption. Still no lineup sheets in the press box — I blame Schuster.