SPECIAL TO THE PRESS
BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues are earning a reputation as comeback kids, and why not? More than half of their victories this season have come when they were behind earlier in the game.
“It’s been like that all year, where we had a lot of games when we are down early and we chip away each inning and take one bat at a time and not put our heads down early,” Blues infielder Garrett Baylock said.
“It says that we are going to fight and we are not going to crumble or get down. We are just always going to be in the game.”
The Blues have been able to complete seven come-from-behind wins out of their 12 total victories this season, through Wednesday night.
Their most recent one was Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over the Nashua Silver Knights. The Blues were down 2-0 in the first inning and rallied for five unanswered runs to put them a game over .500 for the first time this season.
Manager Ronnie Palmer explains that the team has such a strong bond that they motivate one another to come through with the big at-bats and outs. He says it is those types of victories that have jelled the team.
“They have a calm demeanor and believe in one another,” Palmer said. “As long as we’re close and in a close ballgame, they know that eventually we are going to get an opportunity and that we are going to have to take advantage of it, and fortunately the last couple of weeks we have [been] more advantageous than not. I think it’s something we can continue on.”
But to get those victories from behind, the pitching has to hold up to give the team a chance to be in striking distance. So far, that is what the Blues’ relievers have been able to do for the team.
The Blues bullpen has earned seven victories, four from Anthony Morrone and three from John Natoli.
The team can also count on closer Tommy Curtin to end games, as he has five saves for the season and a 2.84 ERA through six appearances.
“Everyone is just looking to do their job and do their part,” infielder Max Goione said. “We keep going and keep fighting. Even when we are down, we are looking for that W, nothing else.”
The way the Blues have played their games is certainly reflecting on their season.
After starting 3-8, the team has gone on to win nine of their next 12 games to put themsleves a season-high one game over .500.
Outfielder Kyle Pileski says it shows the confidence of the team and that the players in the clubhouse play with their heart on the field.
“In the beginning of the season we started 0-6. It is nice to see us kind of coming together as a team,” Pileski said. “We believe in each other down the stretch of games and when it gets deep and close. We have a chance with every game.”
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12