Born in Ohio and raised in the South, I'm a diehard Cleveland sports fan. I pass on NASCAR, play any sport but soccer and can't understand why the NFL is so undervalued in the Southeast. My favorite sport is basketball. I was a sports writer at the Columbia County News-Times from 2005 to 2007 before becoming Minor League Sports Writer at the Augusta Chronicle in December 2007.
Posted September 5, 2011 01:32 am

GreenJackets Gameday - Monday

Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) vs. Rome Braves (Braves)

WHEN: today, 2:05 p.m.
WHERE: Lake Olmstead Stadium: directions
WEATHER: Cloudy and 83 degrees at game time with a 90 percent chance of rain: hour-by-hour
PROMOTION: Dollar Hot Dogs Mondays.
TICKETS: Start at $7. Call the box office at (706) 922-WINS or visit
IN-GAME UPDATES: On Twitter (@BillyByler) or receive text alerts on your phone.
PROBABLES: GreenJackets RHP Taylor Rogers (11-10, 2.93) vs. Braves LHP Ronan Pacheco (5-8, 5.14).
STANDINGS: GreenJackets 38-29 (69-68), t2nd SAL Southern; Braves 35-34 (60-79), 5th SAL Southern


The final day of regular season baseball could get ugly. Heavy rain is in the forecast and, quite frankly, the GreenJackets need a perfect storm to keep their season alive.


The only way postseason baseball comes to Augusta is if the GreenJackets win today and also have last-place Lexington sweep first-place Savannah in a double-header.


Though it's highly unlikely, it could happen. Then again, the GreenJackets don't deserve a lucky break after the way they played Sunday. The mental errors, the lack of hitting, the mediocre pitching - none of it looked like playoff-worthy baseball.


Manager Lipso Nava made a good point after the 6-1 loss to Rome. It's the final day of the regular season and Augusta is still in the playoff hunt. Had he told me at the all-star break that his team was going to be within striking distance of first on Labor Day, well, he knows what everyone would have thought of that.


"You would have laughed at me," he said. "We've come a long way."


Though an Augusta loss or Savannah win would bring a bittersweet end to the season, what the GreenJackets have done in this second half has been admirable, even impressive. They were flat out rotten from April to June. But the pitching came around, the bats finally came alive and a few wins finally came. That 11-game winning streak certainly helped. So did the fact that no one really dominated the Southern Division this year.


Aside from hoping for an improbable playoff scenario, there's one other thing GreenJackets fans can hope for today. Adam Duvall has 22 home runs so far. One more would break the franchise record for homers in a season. He's got at least three more at bats to do it. Although today probably won't be ideal home run conditions, it would be nice to end the season with a record-breaking shot from one of the top all-time power hitters in Augusta history.