PCL: Bees’ bats missing in action against Omaha
By Steve Luhm
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Sep 12 2013 06:34PM
If the Salt Lake Bees don’t find their offense — right now — their best-of-five Pacific Coast League championship series will be a short one.
The Bees return to Spring Mobile Ballpark for Game 3 against Omaha on Friday night.
The Storm Chasers took a 2-0 lead in the weather-delayed series with 3-2 and 2-1 victories on Wednesday at Werner Field.
It was the sixth straight one-run game Salt Lake has played in the postseason, counting its first-round series against Las Vegas.
The Bees have not scored more than five runs in any of game and they have not led the 51s or the Storm Chasers by more than two runs at any point.
"Our offense was one of our strengths during the year," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. "We’re a little beat up right now — a little banged up — but we’ll be fine. We’ll go out there and put our best foot forward and see what happens."
Asked about all the one-run games his team has played in the postseason, Johnson shrugged.
"It’s just the nature of the beast," he said. "That’s playoff baseball. Very rarely does one team run off and win easily.
First baseman Efren Navarro has been Salt Lake’s only reliable hitter in the postseason. He’s 10 for 18 with a double, a triple and three RBIs.
"He’s had a great couple of series," Johnson said. "We just have to start getting a few guys on base in front of him."
Said Navarro: "It’s just part of baseball. We just have to start capitalizing on the mistakes they make. But, like I said, it’s baseball. You never know what can happen. We’re going to come in [Friday] and be aggressive and hope for the best."
According to Navarro, the Bees won’t go down without a fight. Even the players disappointed by not getting a post-playoff call by the parent Los Angeles remain engaged.
"The playoffs are always fun," Navarro said. "To be able to have a chance to win the whole thing, that’s what baseball is all about. Make the playoffs and win a ring. That’s the goal that we had in spring training. … We’re not here just to finish the season."
Righthander Jarrett Grube, who was 7-5 with a 4.47 earned run average during the regular season, will be Salt Lake’s starting pitcher in Game 3.
"We still have life so we’ll come out here and see what happens," Johnson said. "For us, it’s just a matter of putting together three one-game winning streaks."