Sticking Points 2048.5: Rockville Still Contending

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Sticking Points 2048.5: Rockville Still Contending

Post by aaronweiner » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:00 am

It's been a strange year for the Rockville Pikemen. Some of their moves, like retaining Colin Lee, signing Jafar Haamid, and rushing Pablo Lara, have worked out splendidly for them. Others, like dealing for Gerald Sizemore and starting players like Neil Davies, have not. Through the ups and downs, though, the Pikemen have been consistently winning, with a winning record in every month this year so far and solidly in contention for the wild card.

"We're going out there every day and working hard," said Haamid, whose production has been one of the best Rockville pitching performances in recent history. "We have so much talent and we're doing as much as we can."

Rockville's lineup has been a collective star this year, led by Daniel Pepper, who is running neck-in-neck with Charm City's Tomas Guillen for the Sawyer Silk this season. Pepper, always a star, has stepped his game up to a level not seen since his rookie season, where he famously hit .418 in 350 plate appearances, and is on pace for one of the best seasons in BBA history if he keeps it up.

"I'm doing the same things I've always done," said Pepper, with his classical British understatement. "They're just working better this season. I'm getting a little luckier, too."

Players like Lee, Lara, shortstop Chip Puckett, catcher Manuel Moreno, and third baseman Mike Galloway have also stepped up their game this year. Puckett particularly is having a throwback season, making the All-Star team and on pace for his best statistical season since 2038.

"The hits are landing and I'm digging it out this year," said Puckett. "Good times."

The lineup has been so good, in fact, that it's survived with just 50 games from superstar Bing-de Zhao, who has just 209 plate appearances this season. Zhao has been great, too, but not in as many games as we're used to from the All-Star. It's been so good that it's outhitting a rotation where the 3-4-5 starters have all been replacement level, too.

"Our defense has been great this year, too, and we're having a great year offensively," said hitting coach and former team superstar Frank Thomas III. "These guys have really been picking it."

Rockville is currently 67-50, in a wild card position and within striking distance of the division lead.

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