Thursday's final game of the New Orleans Baby Cakes' series against Albuquerque was canceled because the field was unplayable, thanks to heavy rain earlier in the day.
The game will not be made up because this series was the only time the teams were scheduled to meet this season.
The field crew put a drying substance on the field and used blowtorches in an attempt to get the field in shape. Rain has wreaked havoc the entire scheduled eight-game homestand, with two games being postponed in the Cakes' previous series against El Paso.
“The field (Thursday) was like if you were baking a brownie where the top was crusty but underneath it was gooey,” general manager Augusto “Cookie” Rojas said. “The sun wasn't coming back out to dry the field, and you don't want to get a player injured.”
The development means New Orleans (45-71) won the series two games to one and has won five consecutive series, only the third time in franchise history that has been accomplished. The other two times both occurred in the 1994 season.
The Baby Cakes were 5-2 in the homestand, going 3-1 against El Paso and 2-1 against Albuquerque (58-59), which is a half game behind in second place in the Pacific South Division.
“At this point in the season, players don't want to give games away and they don't want to give at-bats away,” Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill said. “We really wanted to play to get on a winning streak.”
HEADING BACK OUT
The Baby Cakes have enjoyed home success since July 4, winning five consecutive series in Metairie.
The Cakes had won 13 of their past 18 home games, batting .277 as a team and outscoring opponents 87-41.
However, now they head to the road for four games at Colorado Springs. The Cakes went 0-8 in their most recent road trip to Fresno and Sacramento and are 18-41 away from home. They have won just two road series this season.
“We would just like to win a road game,” Cakes manager Arnie Beyeler said.
Colorado Springs, 68-44 heading into Thursday, lead the American North Division. However, New Orleans is 4-4 against them, splitting home and away series. However, like the Major League Colorado Rockies, the Sky Sox present a challenge because of the city's high altitude.
“It's a launching pad,” pitching coach Scott Budner said. “We have to throw ground-ball pitches.”
In the past five games, the pitching staff has allowed up two or fewer runs in three games. However, the Cakes also batted .284 against the Isotopes, even with top hitter Moises Sierra out with a sore knee.
“We've been playing team ball, moving runners up and such,” Beyeler said. “The best thing is we've been getting two-out hits, some clutch hits.”
Although Sierra's .298 average leads the team, officially, third baseman Brian Anderson has hit .321 in 22 games since coming up, with five home runs, four doublers, 16 RBIs and 14 runs.
“He's settled in and gotten more comfortable,” Beyeler said.
Sierra (11 home runs, 18 doubles, 60 RBIs) will be back in the lineup for the Colorado series, providing another potent bat.
The Cakes have 25 games remaining, 13 of which are at home. They need to win 11 games to avoid tying the worst record (55-85 in 1999) since the franchise moved to New Orleans from Denver.
Beyeler and the players say of course they want to win, but they remain focused on the process of getting better and on each day's game.