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TinCaps

  • Breaking down the TinCaps
    The TinCaps went 63-76 in 2014 but won a round in the postseason before bowing out Sunday in the Eastern Divison championship series.
  • Captains eliminate TinCaps
    The long faces said it all.The TinCaps’ chase for a second Midwest League championship came to a halt Sunday night as Lake County sent them home for the winter with a 5-4 loss in Game 2 to wrap up the Eastern Division Championship
  • Captains command Game 1
      If there’s something that won’t scare the TinCaps, it’s the potential of being eliminated.
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Photos by Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps right-hander James Needy will start Game 1 of the Midwest League playoffs tonight. Needy was 6-3 with a 1.75 ERA.

TinCaps-Lansing playoff capsule

TinCaps pitcher Ruben Mejia works out Tuesday at Parkview Field, where the TinCaps play Lansing in Game 1 tonight.

Best-of-three

Schedule

Game 1: 7:05 p.m. today at Parkview Field

Game 2: 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, Mich.

Game 3 (if necessary): 7:05 p.m. Friday at Cooley Law School Stadium

Season series: Tied 8-8

Pitching rotations (TinCaps starters listed first)

Game 1: RH James Needy (6-3, 1.75 ERA) vs. RH Noah Syndergaard (8-5, 2.60 ERA)

Game 2: RH Matt Wisler (5-4, 2.53) vs. LH Justin Nicolino (10-4, 2.46 ERA)

Game 3: LH Frank Garces (6-3, 1.75) vs. TBA (RH Aaron Sanchez 8-5, 2.49 ERA or RH Anthony DeSclafani 11-3, 3.37 ERA)

Possible lineups

Fort Wayne

Travis Jankowski, CF .282 batting average, 23 RBI, 17 SB

Jace Peterson, SS, .286, 48 RBI, 51 SB

Yeison Asencio, RF, .323, 8 HR, 61 RBI

Lee Orr 1B (.211, 11 HR, 41 RBI) or Travis Whitmore, 1B (.277, 4 HR, 47 RBI)

Austin Hedges, C, .279, 10 HR, 56 RBI

Duanel Jones, 3B, .226, 5 HR, 41 RBI

Mike Gallic, DH, .273, 3 HR, 23 RBI

Tyler Stubblefield, 2B, .252, 5 HR, 29 RBI

Kyle Gaedele, LF, .258, 5 HR, 51 RBI

Lansing

Dalton Pompey, CF, .277, 5 hits, 3 RBI

Jason Leblebijian, 2B .222, 10 hits, 1 RBI

K.C. Hobson, 1B, .276, 10 HR, 86 RBI

Kevin Patterson, DH, .245, 19 HR, 79 RBI

Nick Baligod, LF, .291, 8 2B, 7 RBI

Chris Hawkins, RF .269, 17 2B, 43 RBI

Gustavo Pierre, 3B, .252, 5 HR, 28 RBI

Shane Opitz, SS, .225, 19 2B, 37 RBI

Chris Schaeffer, C (.209, 2 HR, 19 RBI) or Aaron Munoz (.233, 4 2B, 7 RBI)

Bullpen

Fort Wayne closer: Matt Stites 2-0, 0.74 ERA, 13 saves

Lansing closer: Ajay Meyer 3-3, 3.67 ERA, 33 saves

Skinny: Fort Wayne won five of the seven meetings in August. The teams split the final four-game series Aug. 25-28 at Lansing. … Asencio and former Lugnut Kevin Pillar finished 1-2 in the Midwest League batting race.

Prediction: This series will come down to pitching and defense. Both rotations are strong, but the TinCaps have the slight edge in the bullpen. The TinCaps also have more balance in their lineup. Fort Wayne wins the series 2-1.

lpope@jg.net

– LaMond Pope, The Journal Gazette

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