Andrew Fillipponi caught up with John-Ford Griffin after his successful performance Sunday in the…
Fieldview: Hail to the Chiefs
Make it eight straight wins for the Chiefs. Manager Doug Davis must double as a mad scientist because he's concocted some kind of magic, winning formula for this team. I'll keep eating crow as they continue to win. They've blown out teams and they've sneaked by-like Saturday night's 6-5 win over Columbus. In the bottom of the ninth, outfielder John-Ford Griffin broke the tie by hitting an infield single up the middle to keep the streak the going. This team has got to lose sooner rather than later, right? Well, not if they keep this up. Early Runs and lots of them You wanna talk about jumping all over the opposition. If you take a look at the first three innings of the eight games during this winning streak, 24 innings, 28 runs. The starting pitching has been suspect, but good enough to minimize the damage. "We've been ambushing these pitchers and getting them on the defensive," said Chiefs' hitting coach Al LeBoeuf, "the reason why we're hitting better and winning is obvious, the middle of the order guys. Russ Adams, Chad Mottola, Kevin Barker, they're putting the barrel of the bat on the ball and driving in runs." Motorin' Outfielder Chad Mottola was a non-factor for all of April and much of May. He's been a force during the winning streak. The 35-year old is hitting .300 in the last ten games. He hit a home run in three straight games, all of which were bombs. Mottola is a dead pull hitter. He's crushing the ball to left field. Instead of going the other way, he's reaching out and flicking outside pitches to left for shallow singles. And I'll tell you what, Mottola isn't down on the farm because he can't hit a fastball. You throw this guy a heater in and forget about it. The emergence of Mottola is huge. He gives the Chiefs a powerful right-handed bat, something that this team hasn't had. At the very least, Mottola breaks up the lefties, he's the only non-lefty who hits in the middle of the order. JFG is Back If one game can turn around a month long slump, then John-Ford Griffin had that game Saturday night. In the second inning, Griffin got the scoring started by blasting a moon shot to left off Clippers pitcher Joel Hanrahan. It was a 89 mph fastball that Griffin just jumped all over. And then as I've already mentioned, if there is a confidence booster, I can't think of many much better than picking up the game-winning hit to preserve a long winning streak. I've felt for Griffin. At times in the last month, he's looked really bad, just lost at the plate. We've talked about maybe it being a mental thing, or a mechanical flaw, and he couldn't figure it out. Also worth mentioning that in this time he's hit a ton of atom balls. I mean balls hit right on the screws and at people. It's good to see him finally break through. He tried to carry this team early, and maybe now he can help get them over the top.
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