Baseball: ThunderBolts keeping the faith for playoffs
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 13, 2013 10:04PM
Updated: September 15, 2013 6:13AM
Despite being the Frontier League’s hottest team, the Windy City ThunderBolts’ playoff hopes are on life support as the regular season winds down.
The T-Bolts entered Tuesday on a six-game winning streak, but they gained just 1½ games in the wild-card chase and were 7½ games behind Lake Erie for the final playoff spot with 21 games to go.
Nonetheless, there’s still plenty of belief in the T-Bolts’ clubhouse.
“All the guys still think we can get there,” Windy City manager Ron Biga said. “All we can do is win our games. We can’t control what anyone else does. We just have to take care of what we can, keep winning, and see what happens.”
The T-Bolts will need to pass four teams to complete an improbable run to the playoffs. They entered Tuesday a half-game behind Evansville, five behind both Southern Illinois and Florence and 7½ behind Lake Erie.
They have five games remaining against Florence and three vs. Lake Erie, but do not play Southern Illinois or Evansville.
“We’ve been talking about how we wish it was still late May or June instead of August,” outfielder Kyle Robinson said. “We dug ourselves a hole, but we’ve been playing so well lately. This is what good teams do. They get hot late.”
Shortstop Miles Walding, who’s been with the team all season, has seen a lot change of late.
“This team has really come together,” he said. “Nobody is playing for themselves. It’s a team effort every single night.”
If Windy City is going to at least make the final two weeks of the season interesting, it needs to have plenty of success on the six-game homestand that was set to kick off Tuesday night.
The T-Bolts will take on Joliet, which entered on a five-game losing streak, for three games before three games over the weekend against a River City squad that entered Tuesday with the same 36-39 record as Windy City.
Crestwood native and former T-Bolt Mike Recchia was promoted last week from Class A Kannapolis to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem in the White Sox organization.
The Shepard alum was dominant with Kannapolis, going 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in 11 appearances, including eight starts. He struck out 53 in 492/3 innings.
In his debut Friday with Winston-Salem, Recchia allowed four runs in five innings.