The All-Star break did wonders for Brendan Harris' right knee. Harris "tweaked" the knee while breaking up a double play on June 17 in Camden, New Jersey. While he only missed two games, it took nearly a month for the knee to feel right again.
Harris spent the four-day break in upstate Queensbury, his childhood home. Upon returning to Long Island, the knee felt much better, Harris said.
While Harris' knee was blessed with good fortune, the Ducks were not. They dropped their first eight games after the break, extending their losing streak to 13 after a 7-6 loss at Camden on Friday. Harris entered Saturday night's game against the Riversharks hitting .294, with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 55 games.
Harris was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2001 draft. He spent parts of eight seasons in the Major Leagues, playing for six different clubs (Cubs, Expos/Nationals, Reds, Devil Rays, Twins, and Angels). Across those eight seasons, the 33-year old hit .256 with 33 home runs and 167 RBI. His best season came in 2007 with the Devil Rays, hitting .286 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI in 137 games.
Did you see any common thread between the losses?
No. I think we've lost all types of games. A big thing, from a position players' standpoint, is that we haven't strung any big innings together and put four or five runs on the board. That always puts your starter and subsequently your bullpen at ease a little bit, giving them a little bit more room to work with. That's probably the biggest thing.
Bridgeport has played well in the second half [leading the Liberty Division with a 10-6 record entering action last night. The Ducks began the night 2-13 and in last place]. They were not a factor in the first half, winning only 22 games. Do you sense that it will be more competitive now?
Yeah. Being in this league, one thing I've seen is that rosters can change in a week and there's a lot of turnover. Some [teams] can get an influx of arms or bats and change the dynamic of each team. It doesn't really matter what they did in the first half, they're going to be tough the rest of the way. I think everyone will be.
The Ducks had a pair of 11 a.m. starts recently. How does that change your routine?It's tough because you're on a certain schedule. [The starts] are made for camps and the kids. It's not really made for your welfare, otherwise it would be a 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. start. But, you just have to roll with the punches. You can fight it or you can get up, get some coffee, and get at it. It changes your routine and makes it shorter. At the same time, it can refresh you by having the night off to let your body recover. You just have to realize what's ahead of you, not fight it, and just try to keep yourself prepared.
What have you been doing well this year?
I've been up and down, but I'm starting to get a little more rhythm. I think being physically healthy has been a big thing [recently]. I've felt more stable at the plate and more balanced. I've been able to get it back, hit the ball well, see the ball longer, and stay in the middle of the field.
Next up: The Ducks visit Bridgeport for four games beginning with a day-night doubleheader today.