Seattle Lightning Lead AL West

The Seattle Lightning are leading the AL West with a 4 game lead over the Honolulu Coconuts. Seattle's starting rotation has been one of the most stable in the major leagues, compiling a 24-12 record while maintaining a regular rotation where no single pitcher has missed a start. Woody Mullin (3-3, 3.65 ERA in 14 starts), has long been management's golden boy and the team's ace over the last five seasons, but the quartet of Pasqual Roque (6-2, 4.11 ERA), Benito Manzanillo (5-3, 3.81 ERA), Yanick Brooks (5-3, 3.77 ERA) and youngster Ivan Henriquez (5-1, 3.81 ERA) has been surprisingly consistent and reliable. Sophomore reliever Andres Melo has anchored the bullpen, saving 12 of 14 opportunities. New Seattle pitching coach Frank Gibson has been very pleased with the success of his staff, and Melo in particular. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Gibson said: "Andres has built up the mental toughness and arm strength to come into the tight games, shut them down and stay long enough to get the save opportunities, and the numbers show it. I am very proud of this kid."

In the same story reported by the Seattle Times, new bench coach Kevin Gonzalez said "The season is still young, but we are thrilled with how things are going. I mean, we can definitely improve - .500 is an average team, but we realize that we hold the best record in the AL West, and we have no intention of looking back. This used to be a really tough division, and in a way I feel bad for the other teams in the AL West with us. It's pretty bad if an average .500 record is enough to lead the division with a four game lead. I just feel sorry for the other teams in this division".

Honolulu's temperamental outfielder
Clarence Holridge responded to Gonzalez' statement: "Sorry? He feels sorry? Is this a joke? We are just warming up. We'll see who feels sorry when we catch up with them. I will not feel sorry for them when the dust settles and we come out on top".

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