For the 2014 Modesto Nuts, going 9-9 in the 18 games leading into Friday’s series opener against San Jose represents the team’s hottest run so far this season.
But it doesn’t mean the Nuts are out of the woods as far as trying to avoid posting Modesto’s worst first-half record since the California League went to a split-season format in 1957.
The Nuts would have to go 3-5 over their last eight games to tie the 2001 Modesto A’s for the franchise’s all-time worst first-half record at 23-47. But then, 3-5 represents a .375 winning pace, better than the Nuts’ current .323 (20-42.)
If the Nuts falter badly over their last eight games, the win total could attain a level of historic significance. Modesto’s 23-win first half in 2001 stands as the lowest in the league since High Desert won 22 games in the first half of the 1995 season.
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The league record for worst first half is split three ways. The 1993 Bakersfield Dodgers went 18-50 in the first half of a 136-game schedule, Lodi went 20-50 in the first half of a 140-game schedule in 1970 and Bakersfield went 20-51 in the first half of a 142-game schedule in 1986.
But since Modesto historically contends for playoff berths, this season’s record stands as a rarity. This will be only the fifth time in 58 years of split-season play that the local team has failed to win at least 30 games in the first half.
YOU TUBE SENSATION APPEARING SATURDAY
Brett Nichols, the 17-year-old Pitman High student whose Michael Jackson dance routine became a viral video on You Tube, is scheduled to perform at Saturday’s Modesto Nuts’ game.
Nichols’ dance routine will be performed prior to the 7:05 first pitch, possibly as early as 6:45.