Gearing up

When the River Bandits returned to the team hotel after Tuesday night’s 4-2 win in Kane County, manager Steve Dillard found a new present waiting outside.

Meet Scott Schneider, a right-handed pitcher from California who was just called up from Batavia. Schneider was a 20th-round pick out of St. Mary’s College in June and blazed through the New York-Penn League, going 2-0 with a sparkling 0.92 ERA and a rediculous 47-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 39.1 innings of work with the Muckdogs. He will be plugged into the starting rotation to make his River Bandits debut on Thursday, and Miguel Tapia – after starting tonight in Kane County – will return to the bullpen.

Although I’ll probably regret saying it, this move likely represents the final piece of the puzzle as the River Bandits continue their charge towards the playoffs. Of course, now that I did say it, expect another 14-transaction day any time now. The series of transactions on August 3 revamped the offense, and now the additions of Schneider and Eric Fornataro have solidified the rotation. Combine that with a bullpen that has steadily improved with the likes of Ramon Delgado and Dave Carpenter, and suddenly this team has emerged as one to be reckoned with around the Midwest League.

Did you know that the starting rotation has combined to post a 2.64 ERA while issuing just 13 walks over the last 13 games? That the offense has averaged more than six runs per game since August 3? That closer Dave Carpenter has gone more than two months without blowing a save and has a 1.42 ERA over his last 16 appearances?

Twenty-five games left in the season, and Quad Cities is currenlty tied with Clinton for the Western Division’s second-half wild card spot. Game on.

HUGE homestand coming up at Modern Woodmen Park starting Saturday. In addition to eight key games against the teams the River Bandits are currently battling with for a playoff spot, there is also a ton going on promotionally. I’ll blog about the highlights in the coming days, but can anybody say “dueling pianos”? I love that stuff!

2 Comments

I want to take the opportunity to thank you Ben for providing a fantastic and exciting radio show for the River Bandits. This has been a great year. The players for 2008 new and the old one’s that were there before being promoted or demoted were amazing people. They showed kids young and old that they cared about the fans.
Ben you show so much heart and love towards your fans and especially towards the baseball players. You speak highly of them whether they did good that day or not. When it comes to baseball, anyone could have a good day or bad days but you never give up on them. Kids get promoted and others demoted but like you said at the end you can be surprised and see that the one that people didn’t notice much are the one’s that can and will make it to the top. These kids play day after day and they show they are giving there all to live there dream. I’m proud of them. I applaud the Stadium owner and there employee’s for doing an amazing job. The field is gorgeous. Lastly, I applaud the Coaches, the baseball players for 2008 and the amazing Cardinals organization for bringing great players and coaches. To the fans and players, thank you for your hospitality and kindness. Go bandits

One last thing, is it possible for you to add to the website the tapes of previous games on the radio that one can go back on the archives and listen again to the games. I believe the rookie league has that and it’s great to hear it again and again. thanks

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