The Akron RubberDucks are off to a fantastic start this season, opening up the year with five straight wins, matching their best start since 2016 when they finished in first place in the Western Division and made it to the Eastern League Championship series. The week got started with an improbable walk off win in the home opener and followed with dominance from that point on. The pitching staff currently lead the Double-A Northeast with a 1.80 ERA in 45 IP and are second with an opponent batting average of .186. Oscar Gonzalez has been doing damage as he is second in the league with three home runs and seventh in OPS. The RubberDucks will match up with the Erie Seawolves (4-2) for the week of 5/11 through 5/16 and will be challenged by a team slashing .305/.407/.514 on the season. 

Week in Review

5/4: W 5-4 vs. Binghamton; W: Mota (1-0); L: Zanghi (0-1)
5/5: W 4-1 vs. Binghamton; W: Perez (1-0); L: Holderman (0-1)
5/6: W 9-2 vs. Binghamton; W: Tully (1-0); L: Tewes (0-1)
5/7: W 8-3 vs. Binghamton; W: Pinto (1-0); L: Oller (0-1)
5/8: W 5-1 vs. Binghamton; W: Ponticelli (1-0); Gilliam (0-1)
5/9: Postponed vs. Binghamton 

Player of the Week

LF Oscar Gonzalez: 5-15, 3 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 1.308 OPS

Oscar Gonzalez is off to a hot start in Akron, and after striking out in his first three at bats, he played hero with an opening night walk off homerun. That home run seemed to wake up the bat of the Akron left fielder, as he would hit two more home runs off the Binghamton pitching staff in the rest of the week. He also picked up two RBI singles for the RubberDucks during the week. 

Who’s Hot:

IF Richie Palacios: 5-14, 4 BB’s, 4 R, .929 OPS 

Richie Palacios was scorching this past week as well, setting the table for the Akron offense. Palacios, who missed the 2019 season, also swiped a bag, and picked up two RBIs this week. 

IF Jose Fermin: 4-13, 2 2B’s, 3 RBI’s, .819 OPS

Jose Fermin started his Double-A baseball career with a superb week. All his RBIs came in the win this past Thursday, as he went 2-4 with a run scored and a double as well, 

RP Francisco Perez: 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 7 K, 1 W

Francisco Perez was excellent out of a RubberDuck bullpen that excelled against the Rumble Ponies. Perez is currently second on the team in strikeouts, and second in innings pitched. He threw three scoreless innings and struck out four while securing the win this past Wednesday. 

Who’s Not

OF Alex Call: 3-15, 4 SO, .650 OPS

With the RubberDuck team getting off to a great start, it’s tough to find anyone that has legitimately been struggling this year. Call has collected two XBH’s so far but that’s been the only real highlight so far. He is last on the team in batting average, on-base percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentage as well. 

RP Juan Mota, 2 G, 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB

Despite a fastball that averages in the mid 90’s, Mota struggled to retire batters this week, and would have taken the only loss if not for the heroics of Oscar Gonzalez. A well-documented issue so far in Mota’s career has been command and that showed early this season, especially in his first outing when he walked two batters, and each came around to score in the frame. 

Coming Up

5/11 AT Erie
5/12 AT Erie
5/13 AT Erie
5/14 AT Erie
5/15 AT Erie
5/16 AT Erie
5/17 OFF

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