The Mud Hens have struggled since the All-Star break, winning just three of their first 12 games.
And there's been one thing that has especially bothered Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish.
"Not winning," he said simply.
Actually, Parrish's answer is a little deeper than the standard Yogi Berraism. Parrish's point was that stringing a few wins together would go a long way toward curing the Hens' current ailments.
"When you win, you overlook missing the cutoff man," Parrish said. "You overlook not backing up a base, you overlook nobody hitting, and you overlook any problems with your pitching.
"You can overlook it because you won. All the other stuff becomes noticeable when you lose."
And the Hens have lost more than games in recent weeks: They have lost their hold on a playoff berth. At the break Toledo was in first in the International League's West Division, a half game ahead of second-place Indianapolis and a game and a half in front of third-place Louisville.
The losing streak has not only cost the Hens their lead in the division - they entered last night's contest 4 1/2 games behind Indianapolis - but they also were 3 1/2 games behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Louisville, the current co-leaders in the wild-card race.
Parrish said now is not the time to worry about what other teams around the league are doing.
"That's the way it is most of the time. You have to take care of yourself," Parrish said. "If we're a couple games out, or a couple games ahead, in the last couple of weeks, that's when you watch the scoreboard."
GREEN IS GONE: Right-hander Steve Green left the Mud Hens clubhouse well before last night's game began, and he was not in the dugout during the game.
Parrish declined comment when asked if Green was suspended, injured or otherwise unavailable for the game.
HOLIDAY GREETINGS: The Mud Hens celebrated "Christmas in July" at last night's game. Among the 8,143 in attendance was Santa Claus, and Christmas carols were featured between innings.
The scoreboard featured players wearing Christmas caps except for Pawtucket's Willie Harris, the strikeout player of the game, who was depicted as the Grinch.
THREE-DOT DATA: Pawtucket's Ron Calloway saw a 17-game hit streak come to an end when he went 0-for-4. Toledo's Mike Rabelo had three hits last night to extend his current hit streak to eight games. The Hens now are 6-6 in extra-inning games.
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