Curve finish 69-71
HARRISBURG — There was no more fitting way for the Curve’s season to end than what occurred Monday afternoon to wrap up a dud of a holiday weekend.
This was a wildly inconsistent Curve team all season. The club opened the year 5-0, tying the record for best start ever, then proceeded to lose seven of its next eight games.
At one point early in the second half, the Curve were 10 games over .500 (49-39) and had the best overall record in the Western Division.
Then came a mighty slump to fall out of the playoff race.
Last week, Altoona swept a four-game home series against Akron to improve to 69-67, giving itself a great chance to finish with a winning record.
Instead, the Curve went on the road to Harrisburg this weekend, seemingly forgot how to hit the baseball and wound up getting swept to ensure that this would be a losing season.
The Senators edged Altoona on Monday afternoon, 1-0, at FNB Field to wrap up the campaign and saddle the Curve with a 69-71 record. The team lost its final four games and got shut out in its last two.
Prior to that, Altoona scored only one run in the series opener, before erupting for seven runs in game two. So, in three of the final four games of the season, the Curve managed a total of one run.
Altoona still had a chance to win Sunday, thanks to yet another strong pitching performance, something that became the norm down the stretch.
Lefty Sean Brady carried a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings, only to lose it on a home run by Michael Taylor with two outs in the sixth. That turned out to be the only run of the game.
Brady (5-13) took another tough luck loss and finished with 13 defeats for the Curve, despite a respectable 4.20 ERA.
Kevin McGowan (2-3) won for Harrisburg, blanking Altoona on three hits over six innings. Jhonatan German closed it out in the ninth for his second save.
Harrisburg finished with just three hits, but Taylor’s homer gave the Senators a four-game sweep heading into the playoffs. They won the first-half division title and will face second-half champ Bowie in the postseason.
SUBHD: Game recap
Key player: RHP Kevin McGowan tossed six shutout innings to win for Harrisburg.
Key play: RF Michael Taylor homered in the sixth for the Senators, scoring the game’s only run.
Key stat: The Curve lost their final four games to finish the season with a losing record at 69-71.
SUBHD: How they scored
Bottom 6th: Taylor solo homer (0-1).
The Curve’s 2020 season opener will be April 9 against Erie at PNG Field.