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09-02-2008, 12:22 PM
If it's stats that matter, Dragons have the edge

By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

DAYTON Stats don't lie, but what's going on here?

The Dragons first-round best-of-three playoff series with Lansing features the Midwest League's best team ERA (Lansing, 3.05) vs. the league's worst (Dayton, 4.19).

Yet in each of the three games, the scheduled starter for the Dragons has a better record and ERA than his Lugnuts counterpart.

Game 1 Wednesday, Sept. 3, has Dayton's Jeremy Horst (8-2, 2.38 ERA) going against Marc Rzepczynski (7-6, 2.83), with the second game featuring Dayton's Enerio Del Rosario (5-2, 1.16) vs. Luis Perez (5-12, 3.60). If a third game is needed Friday, Dayton's starter is Luis Montano (12-8, 4.02) vs. Brian Letko (4-4, 4.14).

All three of Lansing's starters are lefties. Horst is the only lefty starter for the Dragons.

"When it comes to the playoffs, I don't care about stats," Dragons manager Donnie Scott said. "None of that matters anymore."

Of course, he doesn't mind having the stats on his side.

Averages important

Stats certainly were on Scott's mind whenMonday's game began for the Dragons. He wanted two of his better hitters to reach milestones.

Shortstop Zack Cozart, who began the season in a slump but was hitting .362 over his previous 14 games, was hitting .278 at game time and Scott wanted him to finish at .280. He put Cozart in his customary No. 2 slot in the batting order, but as a designated hitter. When Cozart doubled in the first inning, his average went to .2799, or .280, and he was lifted for Frankie Meade.

Third baseman Brandon Waring entered the game at .267, and Scott wanted to get him to .270. Waring doubled in two runs in his first-inning at-bat, but that lifted his average to .2687. Waring struck out in the second, but when he singled in the third, his average went to .2698, enough for Scott.

"I also wanted to see how high Neftali Soto could climb," Scott said. Soto, a 19-year old who began the season at rookie Billings, Mont., was hitting .324 at game time. He had two hits in five at-bats to lift his average to .326.

Interested spectator

Matt Klinker, who began this season with the Dragons before being promoted to Sarasota, watched the final game. He lives in West Chester.


09-02-2008, 11:12 PM
Dragons' playoff history and schedule

Dayton Daily News

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tale of the playoffs

8 of 14 Midwest League teams in, four from each division.

First round, best of three series: Dayton Dragons (Reds) vs. Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts (Blue Jays)

How they got here: Dragons, 28-40 first half, 38-32 second half, 66-72 (11th overall). Qualified as second-half second-place finisher in East Division. Lugnuts, 39-31 first half, 37-33 second half, 76-64 (3rd overall). Qualified as first-half division champion.

Batting: Dayton, .255 (7th), Lansing .248 (10th)

Runs: Dayton, 595 (8th), Lansing, 569 (12th)

Homers: Dayton, 120 (1st), Lansing, 66 (12th)

Strikeouts: Dayton, 1,161 (2nd) Lansing, 1,242 (1st)

Pitching ERA: Dayton, 4.19 (14th), Lansing, 3.05 (1st)

Dayton playoff history:

2000: Beat W. Michigan 2-1 in

first round, lost 2-0 to Michigan in second round.

2001: Beat Lansing 2-0 in first round, lost 2-0 to South Bend second round.

2002: Lost 2-0 to W. Michigan

in first round.

2003: None

2004: None

2005: None

2006: None

2007: Lost 2-1 to South Bend in

first round.

Playoff schedule

Series 1 (best of three),

vs. Lansing

Game 1: Today, 7 p.m.,

at Dayton

Game 2: Thurs., 7 p.m.,

at Lansing

Game 3 (if necessary):

Fri., 7 p.m., at Lansing

Tickets: Single game tickets, $9.25-13.25; lawn seats $7; call 228-2287 or visit www.DaytonDragons.com.


09-07-2008, 01:40 AM
Dragons open Round 2 at home tonight
Team hopes Soto keeps putting up big numbers in playoffs; South Bend beats West Michigan 3-2.

By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Sunday, September 07, 2008

DAYTON Just in case, Dragons manager Donnie Scott had a bus at Fifth Third Field on Saturday night, Sept. 6, ready to whisk his team to Grand Rapids, Mich., had the West Michigan Whitecaps defeated South Bend in the Midwest League playoffs.

But South Bend won 3-2, so Round 2 of the playoffs begins tonight at Fifth Third Field when Dayton hosts the Silver Hawks, who ran away with the second-half championship in the Eastern Division.

Scott said he didn't care who the Dragons play, although a 4 p.m. game at West Michigan wouldn't be appealing following a nighttime bus ride.

"Both (South Bend and West Michigan) have good pitching, no question about that," Scott said. "And they've been very consistent on offense. It comes down to who makes the least amount of mistakes."

Pitching and hitting have been strong points for the Dragons, too, especially since 19-year-old Neftali Soto joined the team from rookie Billings, Mont.

"Nobody knew about Soto at the beginning," Dayton third baseman Brandon Waring said. "He was new. He helped, and then everybody else began to hit. Logan Parker was hitting when Neftali got here, and then Zack Cozart and Michael McKennon."

In fact, the whole Dayton lineup perked up, including Waring, who finished the season with 20 homers and 71 RBIs to lead the team in both categories.

In two playoff games (the Dragons eliminated Lansing in the first round), Soto is 4-for-9 (.444) and has three RBIs, while Cozart and second baseman Jake Kahaulelio each have two RBIs.

In two games, the Dragons have allowed only two earned runs. Scott expects it to stay this way.

"I'm expecting nail-biters the rest of the way," he said. "I don't expect any team to win big."