Fort Wayne (22-13) missed a chance to tie for second in the Midwest League Eastern Division against Bowling Green (24-12) on Wednesday. And while one game doesn't matter in the big picture, the TinCaps have to figure out how to cool the Hot Rods.
Fort Wayne, Bowling Green and South Bend (23-11) are the only teams in the Eastern Division with winning records. The Silver Hawks are tied with the Hot Rods for first with the TinCaps two games back after Wednesday's loss.
Although the teams haven't reached the All-Star break yet, it's clear there is a divide between the top three clubs in the division and the rest of the group. And for Fort Wayne to jump into the playoff picture, it will either have to jump one of those two teams or have an even stronger second half of the year.
The only sure-fire way to get past the Hot Rods and Silver Hawks -- both 12 games over .500 -- is for the TinCaps to take care of business themselves. With so many middling and mediocre squads filling out the rest of the Eastern, Fort Wayne won't want to leave much to chance.
The TinCaps missed an opportunity Tuesday, but will have two more chances before the week is done, as well as a four-game home series (including a make-up game) against South Bend next week.