Madison Mallards (17-23, 1-5) Vs. Green Bay Bullfrogs (28-11, 5-1)
The Mallards head back on the road to face yet another in state rival, Green Bay. After being swept by Wisconsin in a two-game set things do not get any easier for the Mallards as they face a Green Bay squad that has won five straight.
The Mallards have lost four straight and seven of their last ten as right-handed Eryk McConnell will take the hill to hopefully help Madison get off the losing skid. As for the Bullfrogs, they are just a game back of Wisconsin in the South Division. McConnell is 2-1 with a 5.68 ERA and has nine strikeouts in 12.2 innings of work. McConnell’s last start came back on July 8 against Eau Claire in which he went 6.2 innings pitched and allowed three earned runs on ten hits, including seven strikeouts.
Madison will need to start an important winning streak in order to get themselves back into playoff contention and turn around the 1-5 start in the second half.
However Green Bay has the arguably the toughest pitching staff in the Northwoods League as they enter Sunday number one in overall pitching with a 2.79 ERA. Green Bay closer Kurt Yacko has the most saves in the NWL with 11 and the Bullfrogs pitching staff has collected the second most shutouts on the season with five.
Offensively the Bullfrogs have plenty of hitters that can make as big of an impact at the plate as their pitching staff can on the mound. Outfielder Daniel Robertson is batting .320 and is tied for the league lead with 49 hits. First basemen Danny Meier is hitting .308 with six homeruns and 25 runs batted in.
Against Madison this season Green Bay is hitting an impressive .294 as a team with two homeruns and 16 runs batted in. Just as with Wisconsin previously Madison has failed to win a ball game this season against Green Bay in four meetings and the Bullfrogs are 4-1 on Sunday schedules games and 4-2 on Monday scheduled games in ‘07.
Madison field manager C.J. Thieleke will most likely give outfielder Adam Pasono some playing time as he is hitting .667 (2-3) against the Bullfrogs in ‘07 as is Evan LeBlanc (4-6) .667 with three runs scored. Infielder Justin Bristow has had similar success against Green Bay as well batting .400 (4-10) in three games played with a run batted in.
The Mallards will have to be consistent at the plate in this series and also hold onto a lead late in the game as Green Bay is 21-0 this season when leading after seven innings, much of this due to their strong pitching core.
The Mallards return to the Duck Pond on Tuesday to host Rochester in a two-game set, starting at 7:05 p.m.
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