The Washington Wild Things have what it takes to be a contender. They just didn’t find that out until it was too late.
There may still be 15 games left in the 2015 regular season, but it may be time to look towards next season as the Wild Things currently sit nine games out of the final Wild Card spot in the Frontier League.
The team has started to move pieces of this year’s squad trading third basemen Carter Bell to the Joliet Slammers in exchange for a player-to-be-named later, starter Matt Sergey to the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association for two players to be named later and starter Tim Flight to the Southern Illinois Miners for RHP Jon Klein, Southern Illinois’ 1st round pick in the 2016 draft, and a player to be named later.
Bell, like the rest of the team, had a down year posting a .234/.286/.335 slash line and a .621 OPS with nine extra-base hits and 19 RBI.
Sergey was one of the more effective starters in the Washington rotation posting a 3-4 record with a 2.76 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 21 walks in 62 innings pitched.
Flight didn’t have the year he wanted posting a 3-7 record with a 3.98 ERA in 16 starts while striking out 74 and walking 47 in 86 innings. He allowed six home runs, four more than his previous career high in a season.
A very slow start to the season proved to be costly for Washington as they stumbled out of the gate to a 2-8 record. They tried to recover coming within five games of a Wild Card spot at the All-Star break, but stumbled over the past month as they have dropped 10 of their past 16 contests.
One major problem this year’s team has experienced was the ability to close out games and come through with that one big hit. Of the 32 one-run games played this season, Washington was only able to win 12 times (.354 win percentage). On average, a team usually finishes the year within a few games of .500 in one-run games.
“You have to think about all of the games that we gave away,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “It just changes the whole complexion of the season.”
The Wild Things, who returned most of it’s players from last season’s playoff run, posts a .240 team batting average which ranks last in the Frontier League and 46 points lower than River City, who has the best average.
The pitching staff posts the sixth-best ERA in the league (3.82), but couldn’t get the offensive and relief help to build any momentum.
The perfect storm for a failed season.
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)