The Billings Mustangs finished the season with a 28-46 record overall, worst in the Pioneer League. The first half consisted of a 14-24 record and the second half consisted of a 14-22 record (final two games were cancelled due to weather). Their first half record the the worst in the league and their second half record was 2nd worst in the league (two fewer losses than Grand Junction).
The Mustangs got things started off pretty well in June with a 7-1 win on opening day over Great Falls. They would lose the second game of the series before heading on the road where they would win three games to move to 4-1 on the season. Weather didn’t play nice though and they would have two days in a row off which seemed to send the team into a tailspin as Billings lost the final 5 games of the month to finish out June with a 4-6 record. Standout Players for June: Phil Ervin (.353/.476/.588), Daniel Paula (.368/.368/.632), Jose Ortiz (.333/.368/.500), Avain Rachal (.308/.419/.346), Ty Washington (.292/.370/.333), Layne Somsen (5ip, 0.00 ERA, 3K), Ben Lively (6ip, 0.00 ERA, 13K), Nick Fleece (4ip, 0.00 ERA, 6K), Werleen Taveras (5.1ip, 0.00 ERA, 5K), Jose Guzman (9ip, 1.00 ERA, 9K), Robert Lewis-Walker (6ip, 1.50 ERA, 5K), Amir Garrett (10.1ip, 2.61 ERA, 9K) and Joey Housey (5ip, 3.60 ERA, 5K).
The losing streak stopped as July began when the Mustangs ran off three wins in a row and won four of the first give games of the month, but just like in June things fell apart quickly. After starting the month at 4-1 they would finish out the month by going 6-18 with four 3-game losing streaks and a 4-game losing streak. For the month they would go 10-19 and fall to 14-25 on the season. Standout Players for July: Phil Ervin (.316/.393/.600 with 15 XBH and 22 RBI), Jose Ortiz (.297/.370/.609 with 5 HR), Jon Matthews (.321/.421/.457 with 17 steals), Avain Rachal (.304/.415/.406), Jhimmy Lopez (.297/.366/.432), Ty Washington (.326/.364/.413), Ben Lively (15.1ip, 0.00 ERA, 13K), Joe Mantoni (10.2ip, 0.00 ERA, 18K), Werleen Taveras (9ip, 1.00 ERA, 9K), Layne Somsen (15.1ip, 1.76 ERA, 16K), Amir Garrett (13.2ip, 2.63 ERA, 8K), Scott Brattvet (14.2ip, 3.07 ERA, 9K), Austin Salter (23.1ip, 3.09 ERA, 21K), Robert Lewis-Walker (8ip, 3.38 ERA, 4K) and Abel De Los Santos (12.1ip, 3.65 ERA, 15K).
The losing didn’t stop much in August as the Mustangs won just two of their first eleven games before going on a little run as they won six of eight games from the 12th-19th. Billings would go on to finish out the final 10 games of the month at 4-6 to finish out the month with a record of 13-16 which pushed the season record to 27-41 heading into the final week and a half of the season. Standout Players for August: Carlos Sanchez (.315/.340/.554 with 12 XBH and 18 RBI), Adam Matthews (.280/.352/.484 with 13 XBH and 21 RBI), Jon Matthews (.314/.407/.392), Austin Muehring (11.1ip, 0.00 ERA, 9K), Austin Salter (9ip, 1.00 ERA, 6K), Ben Lively (16ip, 1.69 ERA, 23K), Layne Somsen (19ip, 2.37 ERA, 6K), Nick Fleece (7ip, 2.57 ERA, 7K) and Joe Mantoni (5.1ip, 3.38 ERA, 8K).
September wound up being a shorter month than expected due to weather coming out in full force and cancelling two games, leaving the month with just six games. Of those six games there was only one win on the 2nd of the month at Helena with a 6-2 win. Finishing out the final month with a 1-5 record to push their seasonal tally to 28-46. Standout Players for September: Layne Somsen (4ip, 0.00 ERA, 5K), Austin Muehring (3ip, 0.00 ERA, 1K), Fabian Roman (6ip, 0.00 ERA, 5K), Nick Routt (4ip, 0.00 ERA, 5K), Scott Brattvet (3ip, 3.00 ERA, 3K) and Junior Morillo (5ip, 3.60 ERA, 2K).
There were two pitchers who were at the top of the list for Team MVP on the Mustangs in 2013: Layne Somsen and Ben Lively. Both guys were flat out dominant, but with a slight edge I went with Ben Lively who posted a 0.73 ERA in 37 innings pitched, 12 walks, 49 strikeouts and he didn’t allow a home run on the season. Other Candidates: Layne Somsen (43.1ip, 1.66 ERA, 40K), Austin Salter (33.1ip, 2.43 ERA, 28K), Jose Ortiz (.262/.321/.494 with 8 HR), Jon Matthews (.292/.398/.422 with 22 steals).
Any player who threw 25 innings (starter), 15 innings (reliever) or had 100 at bats (position player) qualifies. One pitcher and one position player: Phil Ervin and Ben Lively. If a player previously made a top prospect for another team, they aren’t eligible.
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Among the League Leaders