So true for the Biscuits this year, who have a great looking club but have been overwhelmed in the first half by underwhelming obstacles and a fair portion of bad luck.
However, luck changes.
THE NUMBERS GAME
I focused so much on the history during the last homestand, I thought it was time to take a look at the stats.
One of the first things I noticed was the team's lack of ability to capitalize on bases loaded opportunities, to the tune of a .130 batting average. Of the six hits Montgomery has gotten in that situation, three were off the bat of Johnny Field.
With men in scoring position and two outs, Biscuits don't fare much better. Batting .207 with RISP/2out as a team makes for lots of potential runs turned into Left On Base.
INDIVIDUAL STAT NOTES
Over the last 30 days, Jake Bauers has 19 RBI, second in the Rays organization. Also Bauers has 20 rbi with runners in scoring position, best on the current roster.
Mike Marjama is perhaps the teams best clutch hitter, batting .250 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
Willy Adames leads all Rays players in OPS over the last month with .971 on base+slugging. Willy also leads all Rays with minor leaguers with 57 total bases over the last month.
Adames has set a career high in Home Runs with seven already this season and dropped his strikeout rate nearly 7% from where it was last year.
Biscuits starting pitchers Ryne Stanek and Jacob Faria have topped the 1K mark in pitches thrown this season. Guerrieri is third with 920 offerings, Hunter Wood has 875 tosses, Hu totals 845 pitches, Chris Kirsch has 779.
Reliever Brett Marshall was released during the last homestand, announced on May 31.
WHATS WRONG WITH JACOB FARIA?
Its a question I sort of expected to hear, and indeed someone brought it up during the first game against the Shuckers.
The win-loss total and ERA haven't been helped by bullpen woes and defensive lapses, yet both those numbers mean more to fans than to pitchers or their teams.
I pointed out the season stats, more than a strikeout an inning, forty-odd hits in over sixty innings pitched, opponents struggling to bat .200 against him.
"The walks though, thats too many" came the reply. Yet over the last ten Biscuits games Jacob has walked just three in 13.1 innings.
Jacob has been the victim of some bad bounces and bloop hits, perhaps the baseball karma for winning an extraordinary 17 games last summer.
What is wrong with Jacob Faria? Nothing at all is wrong, thats just the breaks!
Last summer catcher Justin O'Connor was seemingly impossible to run on, throwing out any who dared to run or even just stray too far from the bag.
Keeping pace with him was Jake DePew, drafted eight rounds later and seen as the working man backup to the prospect O'Conner. This April fans were happy to cheer a Jake DePew return and Marjama drew fine early reviews for his arm skills as well.
However it hasn't translated into a trend for the first half, nabbing just one out of every three attempted thieves. Last summer the Biscuit catchers were nabbing nearly 50% of baserunners. Fans have started asking what happened to O'Conner and why the catchers cant throw out any base stealers this year.
Its not all on the catchers though, the pitcher has to get the ball to him with enough time to throw a runner out. Every staff has pitchers who are easier to run on and others who make it hard to swipe a bag.
Starting pitcher Ryne Stanek has been on the bump for 16 steal attempts, only six have been successful.
Knuckleballer Jared Mortensen has allowed seven successful swipes and only two caught stealing.
Reliever Buddy Borden has been pitching for 11 steal attempts, only one has been caught.
THE OTHER SIDE
Brett Phillips - NotDatDudeBP is ranked #2 among Brewers prospects and looks solid. He is a clutch hitter with two outs and a plus defender in the outfield.
Josh Nottingham - The Sheriff of Nottingham slugged a homer on Sunday, attacking a two strike pitch for a no doubter. He is ranked as the #10 guy in the Milwaukee chain.
Other prospects include OFs Tyrone Taylor & Victor Roache, as well as pitchers Adrian Houser and Brandon Woodruff.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Look for the Shuckers to do it on the pitching side, getting good innings from starters and the bullpen.
Look for Shuckers tossers to find the plate, Biloxi is second in the SL for fewest walks surrendered and baserunners allowed per inning.
Look for the Shuckers to struggle at the plate, as a team, Biloxi has a .242 batting average.
Hot hitting Casey Gillaspie can start looking for lefty pitchers late in games as opposing managers figure out he is hitting just .250 vs lefties.
Look for the Shuckers to score in ones and twos, the team has trouble piling up big scores. Biloxi hitters have totaled 184 rbi's, and .667 OPS, next to last in the league.
If you look for the mustache, you will notice Pat shaved the one that he was sporting. It was probably to help end recent the losing streak, but he is already working on a new one!