September 8th, 2011
For the first time in 2003, the West Michigan Whitecaps will not be playing in the post season and competing for the Midwest League crown. The seven consecutive appearances is a franchise record, though, and shows a commitment to the farm system by the Detroit Tigers. The ‘Caps lost to the Fort Wayne TinCaps on the last day of the season 7-2, to end their bid for the final Wild-Card spot in the MWL’s Eastern Division. Not even the presence of the famous San Diego Chicken could give them a little luck.
“It’s definitely tough,” first baseman James Robbins told the Grand Rapids Press. “Especially from where we started with that slump in the beginning of the season. And then to grind it out and put ourselves in position like we did at the end of the season and today to make the playoffs. The postseason is always something you want, and it hurts a little right now.”
Robbins helped his club out, by driving in Nick Castellanos in the eighth inning of the final game to make it 3-2, but the bullpen couldn’t hold on.
‘This leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Castellanos stated. “We had such a great team win (Sunday), and we definitely thought the momentum was on our side. But they ended up getting hits when it counted and at the end of the day the scoreboard didn’t favor us. It sucks.”
The Whitecaps finished the season with an overall record of 70-69 winning 11 of their last 16 games. As disappointing as the loss is, I like the attitudes of the players. It’s good to see them not taking things for granted and wanting to win as a team. It really speaks well as to the character of these guys. Castellanos also tied Robert Fick’s record for hits in a season with 158. Good luck to him next season, as I’m sure he’ll probably at least be in Double-A. Hopefully we can make it to next year’s opening day, too, as we’ll be missing our baseball throughout the winter.