Jumbo Hooks: Back in Division Lead

The Jumbo Shrimp (15-15) won another home series – their third in as many attempts in the second half – and notched its sixth crowd of at least 8,000 fans at the Baseball Grounds this season.  Jacksonville snagged three of five from the Tennessee Smokies (17-13).  The Shrimp started smokin’ with big games in the series opener by catcher Cam Maron and newly-starting Dustin Geiger Wednesday night.  Maron notched a career-high five RBIs and first baseman Geiger was a triple shy of the cycle in the 10-6 win (also Geiger’s first game against his former squad).  Left-handed starter Matt Tomshaw (9-5) gave up six hits, two runs and struck out seven in six innings of work.  The 8,454 fans on Friday makes it six times of 8K or more at home this season.  Jacksonville last achieved that feat during the 2009 season. Again, major props to the Jumbo Shrimp organization!

  1. Imitating the odd-numbered years of the San Antonio Spurs winning NBA titles, the Jumbo Shrimp won games one, three and five against the Smokies.  With the help of Saturday’s boisterous crowd, Jacksonville won its ninth walk-off game of 2017.  An infield single down the third-base line by Chris Diaz brought home David Vidal in the 9th for the 3-2 victory.  Starting right-hander Joe Gunkel went six innings of shutout ball while scattering three hits and allowing no walks.  Quality innings from the Jacksonville starting rotation has helped aid in the team’s home success.
  2. Jacksonville is one of three teams tied for the best home record in the Southern League’s second half.  The 11-4 mark is also owned by the Chattanooga Lookouts and Tennessee Smokies.  Sixty-four percent of Jax’s victories this season have come at the Baseball Grounds.  This team has been in desperate need of an away series win for two months.  The Jumbo Shrimp’s 16 road wins are the fewest of any 2017 Southern League squad.
  3. Jacksonville’s active roster had its busiest period of movement with four straight days of transactions from July 21-24.  Three of the four additions were pitchers (Dillon Peters, Jose Quijada and Tyler Kinley).  Peters comes from Jupiter after two starts, while left-handed reliever Victor Payano was sent up to Triple-A New Orleans.  The same thing occurred last week with reliever Tayron Guerrero going to NOLA and Quijada receiving his first Double-A call-up.  Kinley, who began the season in Jacksonville with 10 outings, rejoins the Jumbo Shrimp because of relief pitcher Clayton Mortensen being sent to the disabled list with a right triceps strain. The lone position player transaction over the four-day stretch had infielder KC Serna coming back to Jax due to IF Yefri Perez suffering a right heel contusion on July 22.  Serna played in 34 games for the Baby Cakes and is now on the Shrimp roster for the third time this season.
  4. It is absolutely summer in the Southeast as Jacksonville was forced to play a doubleheader of seven-inning games Sunday.  Saturday’s game became the fifth home weather postponement for the Jumbo Shrimp.  Jacksonville has now played seven doubleheaders this season.  Check the radar before you make plans for a minor-league ballgame in August.
  5. The Jumbo Shrimp next play at the Mississippi Braves (10-19) for a five-game series. The Braves took four of five games from the Biloxi Shuckers (12-18) in the last series.  It will be the first meeting between the Shrimp and Braves since May 18-22 at the Baseball Grounds.  Jax was only able to win one of those two months ago. But, two of the four losses were by one run.  The Jumbo Shrimp – back in a tie for first in the South Division – on paper have a great chance to defeat the South’s last-place Braves. Jacksonville and Mississippi go head-to-head from Tuesday to Saturday with game times an hour later because of the central time zone.