Yuma—At 25-13, the Firebirds not only have the league’s best mark, but they have yet to lose a series, with a 5-5 mark against clubs from the Eastern Division, which is arguably the toughest in BARB. Yuma, in other words, is playing at a level that few clubs in BARB can match, and which none have been able to surpass. Is it any wonder the sad-eyed Darwin GM Scott Hatfield has, on more than one occasion, complained that his club’s best chance of a postseason berth is a wild card spot?
In the latest example of their dominance, LHP C.C. Sabathia (7-1, 2.45) became the first 7-game winner in BARB by scattering three hits while striking out eight over eight innings against the visiting Squirrels, as Yuma beat Frostbite Falls by a 5-2 score. Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 5.77) kept his club into the game until the eighth, when Miguel Tejada doubled and Raul Ibanez followed with his fifth HR of the year off reliever Denys Reyes.
With a 12-6 mark within their own division and a six-and-a-half game lead over their nearest rival (the Arizona D-Backs), Yuma is threatening to make a non-race out of the Western Division before the All-Star Break though, in fairness to Arizona, the D-Backs are clearly not playing to their potential. Still, if GM Ronald Melkonian is going to get back into the West race, his club is going to have to start playing a lot better.