The Vermont Lake Monsters (26-36) were just what the doctor ordered for a slumping Lowell Spinners (33-31) team that desperately needed wins in order to stay in the playoff picture. Having been swept in their last two series and riding a six game losing streak entering their series against Vermont, the Spinners flipped the script and did a little sweeping of their own earning three crucial wins (10-6, 5-2, 8-4), and improving their record against Vermont to 8-1 on the season.
Although the majority of the blame for the Spinners previous losing streak had to fall on the anemic offense, which produced only eight runs during the six losses, it was the offense that lifted the Spinners over Vermont and that deserves much of the credit for the sweep.
Spinners bats exploded in game one of the series (much as they have in previous games against Vermont’s pitching staff) for 10 runs, two more than they scored in the entirety of their six game losing streak. Over the three games of the series, Lowell’s offense combined for 23 runs on 28 hits.
Setting the pace was All-Star first baseman, Josh Ockimey, who bookended the series with a pair of bombs to right field in the first and last games. Ockimey finished the series with three runs and five RBIs. Also contributing was shortstop Jeremy Rivera, who went 5-11 in the series to go along with his outstanding defensive play.
In addition to the hot bats, fans at LeLacheur Park were treated to some exciting promotions over the three game series. Game one saw a Spinners hat giveaway sponsored by Fred C. Church insurance, game two was Circle Health Go Red for Women Night with Circle Health sponsoring a red t-shirt giveaway to raise awareness about women’s heart health, and the Spinners pulled out all the stops for the final game of the series by giving away replica 2008 Spinners Stedler Division Championship rings and featuring appearances by Governor Charlie Baker, former Red Sox player Sam Horn, and MMA competitor John “Doomsday” Howard. Governor Baker threw a strike for his ceremonial first pitch, and fans got to watch Doomsday take out LeLacheur’s resident sumo wrestlers with some sweet over the shoulder tosses.
With 12 games left to play, the sweep of Vermont puts the Spinners 2.5 games back of first place in the Stedler Division and just one game back in the Wild Card race. So despite the team’s poor play coming back from the All-Star break, a spot in the playoffs is still well within their grasp.