The Mud Hens had a 13-10 record in August before last night's contest, and that mark is the fourth-best in the International League.
Ah, if only it was a one-month season.
Obviously it's not, and Toledo's struggles from mid-May until the start of this month have doomed the Hens to watch the Governors' Cup playoffs from the sidelines for the fifth consecutive season.
The late-season surge is a good sign the team hasn't given up on this season.
"Sure, having [major-league caliber players] helps," Toledo manager Phil Nevin said. "But the leadership also helps. You can say the personnel has changed for the better because we're winning. But you can sense the atmosphere has changed."
The Mud Hens are coming off a three-game sweep at Columbus thanks to an offensive explosion that saw them score 32 runs in three games.
Before that Toledo split four-game series at Syracuse and at Lehigh Valley, two teams that entered those series with legitimate playoff hopes.
"We just went through three very good teams and were 7-4," Nevin said. "There seems to be a balance throughout the lineup, but the fact is we're playing good baseball right now."
PITCHING CHANGES: The Mud Hens did see several changes made to their rotation during their recent road trip.
RHP Thad Weber was lost to San Diego on a waiver claim, while LHP Drew Smyly was promoted to Detroit to start in place of Doug Fister on Saturday.
That's the reason LHP Andy Oliver drew the starting assignment on Saturday.
"He threw some games out of the 'pen, and he had some really good outings, and a couple where he struggled with command a little bit," Nevin said of Oliver. "[Starting] is what he is more accustomed to."
Oliver made eight relief appearances for the Hens and was 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA. In 14⅓ innings the lefty allowed 15 hits and 11 walks that resulted in eight runs, seven of which were earned. Oliver also had 17 strikeouts out of the bullpen.
As for the rotation, LHP Casey Crosby will start today against Louisville, and after Monday's day off LHP Duane Below will start Tuesday in the first of three home games against Indianapolis, followed by RHP Brooks Brown on Wednesday, and LHP Adam Wilk on Thursday.
Nevin said he does not know who will start Friday's game at Indianapolis.
There also was an addition to the bullpen Saturday as LHP Daniel Schlereth was promoted to Toledo to continue his rehab assignment. Schlereth, who is on Detroit's 60-day disabled list with shoulder problems, had made eight appearances with Hi-A Lakeland.
Schlereth had a 1.13 ERA in eight innings, having allowed six hits and seven walks while fanning nine.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE: Several Mud Hens were among the players honored by Baseball America in its "Best Tools" survey.
International League managers were polled, and they said RHP Jose Ortega has the best fastball in the league, while Wilk was voted as having the best change-up.
RHP Bruce Rondon, who joined the Mud Hens Aug. 7, impressed enough managers to be voted the best reliever in both the Florida State and Eastern leagues.
Looking to the future, Nick Castellanos was voted the best batting prospect in both the Florida State and Eastern leagues, while Jordan Lennerton of Erie was named the best defensive first baseman in the Eastern League.