Well, it’s over. The 2010 Greeneville Astros wrapped up their season with a win over Pulaski. The G-Stros are in the cellar in the Appy West for the 4th straight year. They finished the season 31-35, 11 games out of the lead and 10 games out of the new wild card playoff spot. Not great but better than the last few years. Just to recap, here is where the G-Stros have finished since their move to Greeneville in 2004.
2009 - 27-40, 5th in the West, 17 1/2 games back
2008 - 30-36, 5th in the West, 11 games back
2007 - 17-51, 5th in the West, 33 games back
2006 - 34-33, 2nd in the West, 7 1/2 games back
2005 - 29-37, 3rd in the West, 17 1/2 games back
2004 - 41-26, 1st in the West, 3 games up, beat Danville in playoffs
The G-Stros started off hot, going 7-2 in June. They started July cold getting swept by Bristol & Kingsport in three game series to start the month. They went 13-17 in July and were 20-21 for the year. At that point, they were still in the playoff race. But a 3-8 start to August put them out of the race for the wild card and resulted in moving the two best hitters in the G-Stros line up, Marcus Nidiffer & Chris Wallace, to Tri Cities.
That move may have signalled the end of the playoff hopes but not the end of the excitement in Greeneville. The same day that Nidiffer & Wallace were shipped out to the ValleyCats, Delino DeShields Jr was added to the G-stros roster. The G-Stros finished out the month of August going 8-8 after Deshields arrival.
This season was a season of close games. Of the G-Stros 66 games, 43 (65%) were decided by 3 runs or less. The G-Stros were 23-20 in those games. A full 1/3 of the games were decided by one run or less. They were 14-8 in those games. Their success in those close games is a bit of a surprise since they had a league worst ERA of 4.54.
The G-Stros had a winning record against the teams from the east (Pulaski, Princeton, Bluefield, Danville & Burlington) 17-13 and a 7-5 mark against the two play off teams. Against the teams from the west (Johnson City, Bristol, Elizabethon, and Kingsport), they had a 14-22 record and a 6-10 mark against those play off teams.
Prior to this season, only one Greeneville Astro had hit more than 8 home runs in a season. That was in 2004 with Mitch Einertson exploded on the scene with an Apply League record tying 24 HR. This year Telvin Nash hit 12 and Marcus Nidiffer hit 11 to move into second and 3rd respectively on the G-Stros list for homers in a season. Chris Wallace joined Josh Flores (2005) and Kody Hinze (2008) in a tie for 4th with 8 homers in a season. The fact that Wallace & Nidiffer did it in less than 50 games makes it even more impressive. Wallace has added two more long balls in Tri Cities and Nidiffer has added 3.
As a team, the 2010 G-Stros set a record with 53 round trippers. Their previous high was 45 in 2004 & 2005. They averaged a homer for every 10.5 hits and every 41.7 at bats. This high power didn’t translate to other extra base hits as reflected in league standings. However, the 111 doubles was the second highest in G-Stro history behind 09’s 118. The 23 triples is tied for third most in G-Stros history.
The G-Stros’ big swings may have lead to an increase in K’s. They fanned 589 times this year. That his the second most behind the 07 team's 593.
Young and inconsistent were the two words that came to my mind what I was trying to summarize the pitching this season. Twice, the G-Stros were one out away from no hit bids and 9 times they gave up more than 10 runs. As for the young part, Foltynewicz, Alaniz & Valasquez are all arms to watch as they mature. All had strong outings and all had rough outings. I expect this to be the core of the Lexington rotation next season.
I will begin doing recaps that focus more on individual players soon and also catching up on what former G-Stros players are doing as well.