Thursday, June 5, 2014

With a record now 20 games below .500, will the Knights continue to sellout?

There’s a two ways to look at the Charlotte Knights season through 60 games.

From an attendance standpoint, the move from Fort Mill to BB&T BallPark in Uptown Charlotte couldn’t have worked out any better.

The Knights lead the International League in average attendance (9,601) and surpassed their total attendance from last season (254,834) during Wednesday’s double-header against the Rochester Red Wings. 

The most the Knights have ever drawn was 429,132 in 1993. Should Charlotte continue to bring in fans at the same rate they have been, it’ll surpass that mark on July 5th.

The hitch in all this is the Knights’ record. After being swept by the Red Wings on Wednesday 7-5 in Game 1 and 9-5 in Game 2, the team fell to 20 games below .500 at 20-40.

They’ll need to go 45-39 over the remainder of the season to avoid losing 80 games.

Eric Surkamp started Game 1 and lasted four innings, exiting with the score tied at five. After a clean fift, Mitchell Boggs’ struggled in the sixth when he allowed a one-out two-run single to left center that scored two and wound up being the difference in the game.

Boggs fell to 2-3 on the season and saw his ERA climb to 8.56.

Both Jordan Danks (1-for-2 BB, 2 RBI) and Josh Phegley (1-for-4 2 RBI) hit home runs in the game, but the Knights finished with four hits total and none after the fourth.

In Game 2, Charlotte spot-starter Deunte Heath put his team in a hole early, allowing the first seven Red Wings to reach base and five runs total in the first inning.

Much like Game 1, the Knights offense did what it could to rally back, with Matt Davidson homering in the second, Carlos Sanchez going yard in the third and Jordan Danks sending his second ball of the day out in the fifth.

However, all three blasts were solo shots and four-run fifth by Rochester all but put the game away.

On a positive note, Knights reliever Taylor Thompson extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 and 2/3 innings with a clean 1 and 2/3 inning performance. The outing lowered the right-hander’s ERA to 3.09 on the season.

Charlotte – who entered Wednesday leading the IL in home runs with 55 home runs – added five more to their total.

Home runs and scoreless inning streaks make for nice stories, are they going to continue to fill the seats come late July when the summer weather heats up?