The Great Lakes Loons are making a final push to qualify for the third year in a row for the Midwest League playoffs. Competing in the Eastern Division the Loons will have to finish with a better record than the Lansing Lugnuts and Bowling Green Hot Rods to make the playoffs again in 2011. There is nothing better than to be playing baseball in mid-September in the Midwest League. The Loons have been close the last two years in capturing the Midwest League Championship. That is all that is left for the Loons to gain in the first five years of the organization that came to Midland, Michigan in 2007. It is hard to believe that the first five years have flown bye already.
The Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate has drawn record crowds, hosted the Midwest League All-Star game and given the fans of the Great Lakes Bay region countless promotional days at the ballpark. I personally don't think that this year's team is the best talent wise in the history of the franchise so far. The 2009 Loons I believe were the best talent wise and will have the most players that will make it to the Major League level some day. So far 12 former Loons players have made it to the Major League level with Clayton Kershaw probably the most note able player making the 2011 Major League All-Star game.
The Loons are in the middle of a three game series with the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) having won the opening game Saturday night 3-2. Sunday's 2:05 game saw a large crowd of over 4,700 people in attendance on an overcast afternoon. The game was scoreless until the Whitecaps struck first with a two run homer in the top of the fifth inning. This chased starter Greg Wilborn from the game. The Loons fought back to tie the game at 2-2 in the eighth inning on a couple of base hits, walk and a passed ball. The Whitecaps scored a run in the top of the 9th inning to take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. However after a leadoff single in the 9th inning the Loons couldn't advance the runner with two pinch hitters both striking out to send the crowd home disappointed. With the Fort Wayne Tincaps also losing it kept the Loons slim lead in the playoff race alive.
Great Lakes will have only 10 home games left after today's final game against West Michigan at the Dow Diamond. Each home game remaining has some type of promotion going on at the clean and fan friendly Dow Diamond. It is a good way for you to come out and spend your hard earned dollars for a great entertainment value in the Great Lakes Bay region. So come on out and cheer on the Loons in their quest to make the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.