The Nashville Sounds finished the 2010 season with a 77-67 record, finishing fourth in the PCL American Conference Northern Division, five games behind co-leading Iowa and Memphis. The Sounds had the PCL's 5th-best overall record. It was the franchise's 22nd winning season in 33 years of competition and a two-victory increase over last season's 75-69 record. Led by second-year manager Don Money, the Sounds spent 75 days in first place this season, with the last occurrence on July 19th.
Nashville drew 319,235 fans to 67 home openings at Greer Stadium in 2010, an average of 4,765 per contest, placing 14th in the Pacific Coast League. It was an attendance increase of five percent from the previous season (305,434). The Sounds lost a league-high five home dates due to weather. The largest crowd to watch a game at Greer was a standing-room-only attendance of 10,791 on May 12th, when the Sounds hosted Tacoma.
Shortstop Luis Cruz was named the 2010 Sounds team MVP in voting by team players and coaches. The infielder led Nashville in hits (137), doubles (29), extra-base hits (42), and finished third in RBIs (68) and games (129). Outfielder Brendan Katin was voted the 2010 Sounds Fan Favorite in an online poll of Sounds fans.
Nashville compiled a .275 team batting average, which tied for the 8th-best mark in the PCL and for the 5th-best seasonal mark in Sounds history. Norris Hopper finished with a team-leading .286 batting average.
Sounds hitters produced four grand slams (Cruz, Katin, Ray Olmedo, Mat Gamel), four pinch-hit home runs (Johnny Raburn, Adam Stern, and two by Joe Koshansky), one five-hit game by Erick Almonte, and 10 four-hit games. Sounds hitters registered seven multiple-homer games, including three by Katin and two by Koshansky. Nashville pinch-hitters batted .296 (32-for-108) with four home runs and 15 RBIs; Stern led the club with a .462 pinch-hit average (6-for-13), while Almonte had the most PH opportunities (31 AB). The Sounds stole only 94 bases on the year, their first season with less than 100 thefts since 2001. Nashville legged out a league-low 24 triples and drew 439 walks, 2nd-fewest in the PCL.
Katin and Koshansky tied for 6th in the league with 26 home runs apiece to co-lead the club for the second straight year (for Katin, 26 homers was a new single-season career high). Katin ranked 4th in the circuit with a .580 slugging percentage and posted the PCL's 3rd-best home run to at-bat ratio (1 HR every 12.92 AB).
Katin moved up the Sounds career leaderboards throughout the year, finishing 2nd in club history in home runs (69) and RBIs (240), trailing Chad Hermansen in both categories; he also ranks among Nashville's all-time top ten in doubles (5th-74). Koshansky ranks 7th in Sounds history with 50 career longballs.
Sounds hurlers posted a 4.27 ERA, which ranked 3rd in the circuit behind Omaha (4.01) and Oklahoma City (4.03). Nashville pitchers racked up 938 strikeouts on the year, marking the second straight year the Sounds failed to reach 1,000 K's after hitting that plateau in seven consecutive campaigns.
Fourteen different pitchers started a game for the Sounds in 2010 and ten different pitchers recorded a save, led by Chris Smith's league-leading 26. Smith's 26 saves rank as the 2nd-highest single-season total in club history (Mark Corey, 30); the right-hander's 43 career saves for Nashville are second-most in club history (Mark Corey, 46). The Sounds finished 2nd in the PCL with 42 saves as a team. Nashville pitchers surrendered three grand slams. The Sounds produced six shutouts on the season and one complete-game shutout, a nine-inning one-hitter by Chase Wright (see below). Eleven different starting pitchers on the staff threw a quality start, totaling 60 on the year (three more than the previous season).
On June 16 versus Memphis at Greer Stadium, Wright authored the best pitching performance of the season by any PCL hurler. He hurled a nine-inning, one-hit shutout, allowing only a game-opening Jon Jay single. It was the only one-hitter of any type in the PCL in 2010 (there were zero no-hitters), yet this virtuoso performance was inexplicably not even worthy of a Pitcher of the Week honor for the left-hander. It was Wright's third career shutout and first since 2007. He walked four batters and struck out four in his 111-pitch effort. The complete-game shutout was the first by a Nashville hurler in four seasons, dating back to an Adam Pettyjohn seven-hit gem on July 30, 2007.
Tim Dillard hit a league-high 16 batters, a new Sounds single-season record. Chuck Löfgren issued the 2nd-most walks in the circuit (75). David Johnson struck out 66 batters in his 65.0 relief innings, the 3rd-best K per 9 IP ratio among PCL relievers (9.14).
Sounds fielders registered a .979 fielding percentage, tied for 3rd in the league, and committed 118 errors over their 144-game schedule. Koshansky led all PCL first basemen in assists (90) and double plays (125) at his position, while Cruz paced the circuit's shortstops in total chances (640), putouts (214), assists (405), double plays (104), and errors (21). Pitcher Marty McLeary participated in five double plays, most among league hurlers.
Nashville catchers threw out 32.4% of potential basestealers (36 of 111). Sounds pitchers registered six pickoffs.
Nashville tallied 116 transactions during the 2010 season. Ten players spent the entire season with the Sounds. Nashville used 24 different position players and 30 pitchers during the season (31, counting a pair of Johnny Raburn relief appearances). Twenty-one members from the Sounds also appeared as a Brewer this season. Six players made rehabilitation assignments, while eight players from the Opening Day roster were promoted to the major leagues at some point during the season (nine, if you include outfielder Trent Oeltjen, who was called up by the Dodgers after joining that organization mid-season).
Five Sounds players - catcher Jonathan Lucroy, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitchers Zach Braddock, Brandon Kintzler, and Mike McClendon - made their Major League debut during the campaign.
Cruz and McClendon represented Nashville on the PCL squad in the mid-season Triple-A All-Star Game at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Both players were selected as reserves by the PCL office.
Nashville players failed to pick up any weekly awards during Pacific Coast League play for the first time since the Sounds joined the circuit in 1998.
Most Common Batting Order
Norris Hopper, CF
Ray Olmedo, 2B
Mat Gamel, 3B
Brendan Katin, RF
Joe Koshansky, 1B
Luis Cruz, SS
Johnny Raburn, LF
Martin Maldonado, C
Batting Average - Norris Hopper (.286)
Games Played - Joe Koshansky (131)
At-Bats - Luis Cruz (488)
Hits - Luis Cruz (137)
Total Bases - Joe Koshansky (211)
Runs Scored - Joe Koshansky (67)
Runs Batted In - Joe Koshansky (79)
Home Runs - Brendan Katin & Joe Koshansky (26)
Triples - Ray Olmedo (5)
Doubles - Luis Cruz (29)
Stolen Bases - Norris Hopper (22)
Walks - Joe Koshansky (62)
Strikeouts - Joe Koshansky (152)
Earned Run Average - Chase Wright (5.13)
Games - David Johnson (48)
Games Started - Chase Wright (27)
Wins - Sam Narron (9)
Losses - Chris Waters (10)
Saves - Chris Smith (26)
Complete Games - Marty McLeary, Sam Narron, & Chase Wright (1)
Strikeouts - Chase Wright (93)
Innings Pitched - Chase Wright (151.0)
Hits Allowed - Chase Wright (169)
Runs Allowed - Chase Wright (93)
Walks Allowed - Chuck Löfgren (75)
Home Runs Allowed - Chuck Löfgren (24)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.