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Confidence Meter: IronPigs Bull Pen

I’ve been mostly Bull-ish on the Pigs pitchers this season, but lately I’m wavering. Let’s see where the relievers stand on Independence Day:

Luis Garcia: 92
It could be even higher, but he has put some guys on base lately and he’s had some spectacular failures with the big team. I’m a little uneasy. But only a little.

Tyler Knigge: 90
He’s performed more than admirably lately including some leverage situations. The last poor outing I recall was after he pitched 4+ innings in two days.

Cesar Jimenez: 88
He’s had a couple hiccups. I still believe in him.

Phillipe Aumont: 68
He’s had a couple really nice outings until tonight. But when it goes wrong it does so spectacularly. Wild pitches and walks to go with plenty of hits.

Jeremy Horst: 65
It feels kinda shaky even with some of the better innings. I hope he can get it back.

Hector Neris: 63
He’s had a couple really bad outings lately, following some strong work. I hope he’s OK.

Ethan Martin: 40
I believe in him and I believe in his talent. He’s got to get his mojo back.

The confidence meter reflects my current feeling about their performance. Of course it is fluid and subject to change with each outing, and subjective in nature.


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Noise Nation Fundraiser! 6/21/2014


I’ve got to admit.  I still don’t totally get this.  They don’t think we’re friendly?  They don’t think we’re friend-WORTHY?  If they really wanted to mock us, they should have put a picture of the IronRail Trophy on it (like I will, NEXT year!)

Whatever.  We’re going up there and we’re gonna show them who’s friendly.  It’s gonna be “Invade Moosic Night” and, we’ll have our OWN T-shirt!

Our Shirt.  Design subject to change.

Our Shirt. Design subject to change.

But, that’s not all!  Because we’re friendly and we’re not going to be fooled into merely filling up their stadium, we’re going to do it all for charity.  In the tradition of the NoiseNation Cookbook Fundraiser of yesteryear, we’ll be having fun and doing some good at the same time!  What could be FRIENDLIER than that?

How can you get in on this?  How can you get involved?  Read on:

The tickets have already been purchased by a sponsor.  The T-Shirts have been sponsored as well.  100% of the money collected will be donated to the Choroideremia Research Foundation ( on behalf of Angels for Mark.

More Event Details:

The Game:  Lehigh Valley IronPigs AT Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders

When: Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  7:05PM

Where: PNC Field, 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic PA

Seats: Right Field Bleachers, the perfect place to make some noise.  Think Section 102 at Coca Cola Park.

How Much:  $20 donation to CRF.

What’s Next?  Email Kram with your T-Shirt size and preferred method of payment and pickup. , or contact Dan or DiPro or Cheryl to get in touch with me.


July 1st Event FAQ:

After you pay for the tickets and the shirts, how much money are you really going to be able to donate?

A:  All of it.  The tickets and shirts have been paid for by sponsors.  Every cent we collect will be donated.

Is there a bus going up?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  The overhead of the bus was too high without a guaranteed number of people going. Perhaps we can coordinate rides if necessary, but you’re on your own to get up there.  Perhaps in the future we’ll try something like that.

How Long Does It Take To Get There?

A:  It depends on where you leave from, but I usually figure on about an hour.  Google Maps tells me 1:20 from Coca Cola Park, so perhaps I drive too fast.  It’s Turnpike North, and not a bad drive.

What Are My Options For Getting The Tickets?

A:  Just shoot me an email and we’ll figure something out.  I’ll need to know your T-Shirt size.  We can meet at the park as I’m there for almost every game.  I can also arrange for you to pick them up at my office or at the Deli (Black Forest Deli is the preferred lunch spot of the NoiseNation and Horn and Bell Blog).  Finally, you can meet me up there on July 1, and I’ll have tickets and T-Shirts with me.  This is the least desirable because there are a limited number of seats and shirts available, as well as T-Shirt size concerns.

Wait a Minute, Will You be Tailgating?

A:  Ahh, you know me too well.  Indeed.  Plans aren’t firm just yet, but we will be there early, flying the NoiseNation flag.  Stay tuned.

Do They Have Accessible Seating?

A:  Yes.  There is an accessible area at the top of the bleacher section as well as at the bottom!

What If I Don’t Want To Sit With You?  No, I Mean, What If I Prefer Better Seats?  You Know, Not That Those Are BAD Seats, I’m Just, You Know, Funny That Way.  But Can I Still Get A Shirt?

A:  Of course.  If you’ve already purchased tickets to that game or would like to purchase your own seat, please feel free to do so.  We’ll get you a shirt, too! (based on availability)  Keep in mind I’m still going to ask you for $20 because I want to make the best possible donation to the CRF.  But we can negotiate.

Tell Me More About The Charity.

A:  Of course.  Choroideremia is a progressive, blinding disease of the nerve tissue in the back of the eye.  There is no cure, but research continues–with funding.  Read more about it by following the links above, and more about Angels for Mark and Markie DeVoe here .

When Do I Need To Let You Know?

A:  The sooner the better.  T-Shirts are being ordered as you read this.  The sooner I know the size requirements the better to guarantee the correct size will be available, and the sooner I can get it to you.

Can We Bring Horns?  Bells? Drum Sets?

A:  Yeah!  Do it!  They sell horns and bells in their store up there, so I assume they’ll have no problem with horns and bells… Probably should leave the drum set at home.

But What If It Rains?

A:  It’s always a concern.  You’ll get the T-Shirt regardless.  You’ll have the ticket which you can exchange per their rain-out policy for another time to go up.

But I Don’t Wanna Go Without You Guys…

A:  Awww.  We can let you know the next time we’re going up.  Perhaps the last two games of the season.  Or there’s the possibility that I can make it up to you with IronPigs tickets.

But I Hafta Work.  How Am I Gonna Get Up There In Time?

A:  Well, if you have your ticket and T-Shirt ahead of time, that will save trying to get there in time to meet me pre-game.  If you need to leave work early I can write you a note…

But I Have More Questions…

A:  OK, please feel free to ask general questions in the comment section.  We’ll have more news forthcoming.  If you have specific questions which include personal information, please feel free to ask them via email:

OK, I’m Ready To Go.  How Soon Can I Pick Up My T-Shirt and Ticket?

A:  The tickets have been purchased and are on the way from Moosic right this minute.  The T-Shirts are in the last portion of the design and order phase and should be ready shortly.  Please get me a T-Shirt size before they go to print so that I can fine-tune the order.  Stay tuned for more information about pick-up.

What Kind of T-Shirts Are They?

A:  Gildan heavy-weight cotton.  I have a couple of them; they’re nice.  It’s not that they run small, exactly, but since I’m old and I like mine roomier, I do advise going a size up because of the heavier weight.  The idea was to create a T-Shirt that you’d be willing to wear more than once.

But I Don’t Wanna Go To A Park Other Than Coca Cola Park.  I Heard That Park is Old and Run Down.

A:  It was.  But, they spent tons of money remodeling and re-opened last season.  It’s really nice.  The outfield area and the video boards are nicer than ours.  There’s a 360-degree concourse to walk around.  There are some interesting concessions.  The people are friendly…(*ahem*)  It’s worth a visit to compare and experience.

How Much is Parking?

A:  FREE!  Parking is free.  How about that?  Most likely, we’ll be in the lot to the left, down in the far, near corner near some rocks and trees.  Look for the NoiseNation Flag until about 15 minutes before first-pitch.

But What If You Run Out of Tickets and T-Shirts?

A:  See, that’s why I’ve got to know now.  Just let me know how many and what size and we’ll figure everything else out later.  There may be some flexibility right up until game time, but at some point we’ll run out of time to print T-Shirts and add tickets.

What About Kids?

A:  What about them?  BRING THEM ALONG!  There’s no difference in the ticket price for the seats; however, I wasn’t planning on ordering a ton of kiddo-size T-Shirts, so let me know sizes right away so that I can get them printed.  They’ve got a play area in the outfield and tons of kid-related stuff, just like all Minor League teams/stadiums these days!


Who Are The Sponsors?

Philly Pretzel (Allentown and Coca Cola Park), Digital Cloud Company ( and Westgate Optical (

Is There Food Included In This Package?

A:  No, although we did consider it.  Rather than spending extra for food vouchers, we decided to let folks experience the park’s concessions individually.  I recommend the BBQ stand near the outfield bar, near our section as well as the pizza place on the third-base side.  The Pizza is “Old Forge-Style.”  Kram Jr recommends the ice cream stand.

Wait, What’s Old Forge Style Pizza?

A:  See, that’s why you need to come along.

Stay tuned for more info, post general questions below, and email me to place your order!  You can also reach me on Twitter: @Kram209  — DM if I follow you.






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The SS Susdorf Sails Away from the Port of Rochester with a Bang; To-Knight, Charlotte in Town

“A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me”



The IronPigs escaped Rochester with a split of their four-game weekend set on the bat of the SS Susdorf.  Professional hitter Steve Susdorf went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and 1 run scored as the Pigs Sailed Away with a 5-4 win in front of a packed Father’s Day house in Rochester, NY.  Susdorf was a triple short of the cycle in the win.  Greg Smith started the game on the mound, still working on his new delivery.  He allowed 4 runs over 5 innings; however, the last two were left on base and allowed to score as Phillippe Aumont took over.  Aumont’s line looks good–2ip, 2H, 0ER, 0WP–but he earns the “blown save” for allowing the two runs to score after taking over for Smith with no outs in the home sixth.  It’s a difficult spot, to be sure, and the Red Wings did earn the runs via sac fly and a hit; he didn’t give them away and he didn’t walk anyone.  Knigge and Garcia closed it out.  Garcia is still un-scored upon, but did load the bases on a single, double and walk with only one out.  He managed to escape with a 3-pitch strikeout and a fly ball to RF Perkins.

Steve Susdorf is a professional hitter. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Steve Susdorf is a professional hitter.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

But Susdorf was the story.  The formerly first-place Red Wings are predictably good when scoring first.  They had a good pitcher on the mound and a 2-0 early lead.  The Pigs’ bats were familiarly quiet.  Maikel Franco worked a walk, and two batters later Susdorf put one over the right field wall.  With a 2-2 tie, it seemed like the whole team started playing a bit better–new life.  And the ship kept sailing.  Susdorf doubled in the sixth, with two outs and Jim Murphy on second to put the Pigs up 3-2.  In the eighth, following a Franco double that scored Perkins and tied the game at 4, Susdorf singled to score Franco and put the Pigs ahead to stay, 5-4.


The Pigs return home now for another 8-game set.  With a losing record at home, and league-worst Charlotte (24-46) on tap, this could be the time to turn things around.  All signs suggest Cody Asche will be in town to continue his rehab which started Friday in Lakewood.  He was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in yesterdays BlueClaws 14-4 loss.  He also had a throwing error.

But beware the weaker teams–The Pigs did take the series in Charlotte 3-1, but coughed up the one game after leading 8-0 early on.  With Columbus on the hogrizon during the second half of this home stand, it’s critical to play hard and get some wins.  The Pigs are currently 34-36:  Two games below .500 and 6.5 games back of first-place Syracuse.  However, as I mentioned yesterday, the Pigs have been facing some really good starting pitchers by the opposition.  The struggling Knights could present an opportunity to get the bats going.  Note the pitching match-ups below:

Monday:  Barry Enright (3-5, 4.86) vs. LHP Eric Surkamp (2-4, 5.46)

Tuesday: Sean O’Sullivan (3-6, 4.09) vs. RHP Erik Johnson (1-4, 6.70)

Wednesday: Brad Lincoln (4-3, 3.64) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-6, 4.62)

Thursday: Chris Bootcheck (2-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Shawn Hill (2-2, 4.67)

At The Park:

Monday: Glass Mug Giveaway (it doesn’t look like a German Stein to me…)

Tuesday: Cap Giveaway, Special Guest in town (more to come..)

Wednesday: Card Set Giveaway (kiddos)

Thursday: Darin Ruf Garden Gnome

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A Foxy Update

It appears some crystal balls are more accurate than others:

1. Reports are that Cody Asche will indeed rehab with the IronPigs on Monday following his time in Lakewood this weekend. Assuming all goes as planned…

2. Jake Fox has been assigned to Reading. It does make sense with the injuries to Collier and Dugan and the demotion and subsequent release of Hewitt plus the promotion of Perkins.


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What’s Next? It’s Your Choice!

What would you rather see next… Superfans or Kram on Piggy Patrol!

You make the call!

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Pigs Drop Opener After Day Off

The IronPigs dropped the first of a four-game set–“The Battle of the Barnyard”– with Toledo last night.  The game was kind of sloppy, and the team a little listless.  Tired from golf?  Uncomfortable from travel?  Dizzy from roster changes?  I’m not sure.  I’m not about to suggest the team not get a day off once in a while–dudes only get one per month you know.  However, today’s another day, and I’m expecting to break up the Friday Night Jinx tonight.

The bats did come back a bit; Gillies, Murphy, Susdorf and Cedeno all had two hits apiece.  The listlessness didn’t follow all, either, as Murphy and Brundage got tossed after arguing a clearly incorrect call at first base in the sixth inning.  First base umpire Tom Honec blew the call and couldn’t take the heat.  Let’s see if he’s behind the plate tonight or tomorrow.  I’d suggest we get on this guy, but he doesn’t look old enough to handle it.  Best behavior, I reckon.

Tyson Gillies wasn’t listless either.  Dude runs everywhere.  He made a catch in right-center that was as good as any I’ve seen in my years at The Coke.  Pictures below are from Friend-of-the-Nation Steven Kiebach from Reading.  Follow him on Twitter @StevenKiebach11 .

Tyson Gillies makes a sliding grab near the wall in right center.  Photo: Steven Kiebach

Tyson Gillies makes a sliding grab near the wall in right center. Photo: Steven Kiebach

In the aftermath, Henson avoids running into Gillies.  Photo: Steven Kiebach

In the aftermath, Henson avoids running into Gillies. Photo: Steven Kiebach

Henson smiles after reaching second.  Photo: Steven Kiebach

Henson smiles after reaching second. Photo: Steven Kiebach


In roster news, as mentioned above, news broke late yesterday that David Buchanan would get the call to start for the Phillies in Philadelphia against the Dodgers on Saturday.  The Horn and Bell Staff wish “Buck” the best of luck in his debut!  Beat reports this morning have Chris Bootcheck joining the IronPigs from the DL to make the Saturday start versus the MudHens.  Fellow SWB-RailRiders alum Addison Maruszak had been sent down to Reading following the IronPigs Buffalo trip, and played yesterday morning in the outfield.  He then braved the hail and the 222 traffic to find his way to Coca Cola Park for the nightcap!  Unfortunately, he didn’t get a hit in either game.

Speculation continues regarding the roster spot which will be needed to make room for Buchanan for Saturday.  Could the Phillies DFA Mayberry?  Gwynn?  Could they option Revere or Ruf (already?)?  Further speculation from the beats in Philly this morning suggested a possible Luis Garcia return, Manship outright or (gasp!) Domonic Brown option.  It’ll be interesting to see what they do.  Always possible somebody goes on the DL, I guess, too, but it seems like we might be getting a player…

One final thing:  Here’s hoping Maruszak and Bootcheck can help us get an IronRail.  They would be the first players to have two, you know.  Here’s a picture from Chris’ Twitter account:

Chris Bootcheck sporting the IronRail.  Do you  suppose he could hold TWO? Photo: Chris Bootcheck Twitter @RHPBootcheck

Chris Bootcheck sporting the IronRail. Do you suppose he could hold TWO?
Photo: Chris Bootcheck Twitter @RHPBootcheck

See you at the park,




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Giles and Simon Added to Help IronPigs Ailing ‘Pen; Brignac Moves Up

Kenny Giles Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Kenny Giles
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Flame-thrower Kenny Giles was added today to help the IronPigs ailing bullpen, short BJ Rosenberg (DL, concussion) and Luis Garcia (Phillies).  He’s been “lights out” in Reading, and touches 101MPH.  We’ll see how that plays in AAA, and if he can command his pitches with the more disciplined veteran batters.

Old friend Kyle Simon was added as well.  He was 0-1, 2.84 over five appearances with Reading.  Shawn Camp declined his assignment to Lehigh Valley, and has elected Free Agency.

Reid Brignac has been added to the Philadelphia Phillies.  He’ll be with them tonight in New York.

See you at the park,



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