(GAME DATE – Sep 9, 2019) — Nevada Speeders first baseman Jim “Mister” Lahey had an incredible week at the plate, batting in 5 homers over the weekend in Miami, and going 12-for-28 through 7 games.
The former California Tidals player, who was a trailer park supervisor before turning to baseball, is now at 59 home runs on the season, which is the current season record, and is on pace to push that up to 66 for a 162-game season.
The previous single-season home run record of 51 was set by Takeo Otomo in 2018, the second season the 100-game schedule was used. Prior to that, Otomo held the league record at 41, set in 2009, when the old 82-game “half length” schedule was in use.
Nevada had briefly held the ML West division lead, but are now 4 games behind Seattle in a frantic race down the wire. Even with sluggers like Lahey, and Chitoji Yamada, and incredible starter arms like Al Mota and Jim Koch, the team has found it difficult to keep pace with the Salts, currently 85-57 and 4 games ahead of the Speeders.
The Salts have 4 players in the lineup with 20 or more home runs this season. Another 21 HR hitter, Justin Reich, sits on the DL and could return for the playoffs. Their rotation has been carried by Adam Price (12-7, 4.12 ERA) through much of the year, but former Ohio Oxen hurler Yardbrook Rooks, who was an off-season minor league free agent signing, has been a welcome surprise, and stands at a 14-4 record with a 4.01 ERA. The ML average ERA is 4.80.
The Speeders, and Lahey, will have a welcome day off to start the next week. The team will go into Norfolk for a 2-game set before crossing the country to LA to play the Tidals for three. They are home to Philly for three then on the road in Arizona and Seattle, before finishing the season against the hapless Calgary Inferno in a 4-game home stand, by which time they should have locked up their wild card, if they haven’t dislodged Seattle for 1st place.