Quakes, 66ers headed in opposite directions

It was no surprise to me when the 66ers took three of four from the Quakes to open the 2010 season. The Sixers had more prospects, and looked to have the better team overall.

That’s certainly not the case now.

When the Quakes defeated the Sixers 6-2 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Friday, the Quakes improved to 20-16 (their fifth straight win), and the Sixers dropped to 10-26, and suffered their 10th loss in a row. The last time they lost more, it was June 2005 when they lost 11. The franchise record was 13, set in 1997.

What are the issues? Well, what aren’t? Starting pitching hasn’t lived up to expectations. But when it does, they don’t hit. Starters Nate Eovaldi, Aaron Miller and JonMichael Redding are a combined 0-6 in 19 starts, yet each have ERAs below 4.00. The bullpen has 10 blown saves.

The team is not showing the power many expected. They’ve hit only three home runs at home and 14 in the season. It doesn’t help that they have 3B Pedro Baez, and OFs Preston Mattingly, Andres Perez and Alfredo Silverio all on the disabled list. It’s hurt more than could be imagined when Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect Dee Gordon skipped the Sixers and went straight to Double-A. Gordon is a leadoff hitter, and that’s a spot that has been unsuccessful for the Sixers.

The Quakes, meanwhile, have a deeper lineup than expected, with some speed and more power (24 home runs) than expected. The bullpen has been pretty solid, making up for some inconstent starts. Overall, they seem to play with more fire than the Sixers, something that couldn’t be anticipated before the season.