It’s not been the best of times for the Phillies’ farm teams. They ended April a combined 32-62. That’s good enough for 30th out of 30 teams. The Aphiliated PodCast did a whole episode about it this past week. (Aside: follow @Aphilliated_pod on twitter and download on iTunes, etc. It’s really good. Hosted by Mark Perlman-Price from the IronPigs and Mikey V from Reading.)
Of course, they outlined why not to panic, and it was a good episode regardless. One of the things I thought they didn’t highlight enough was the relative age at each level. The BlueClaws have a really young roster. Guys supposed to be in Clearwater are injured, and Reading’s pretty young as well. The IronPigs have a couple young players like Maikel Franco who are just getting their feet under them. Injuries have caused some havoc at AAA and AA, too.
Regardless of reason, though, things are about to get better, methinks. The Big Club taking two of three from Washington doesn’t hurt, either!
The IronPigs won today, 11-7, to complete a 4-game sweep in Gwinnett. Could it be home cooking over at the Brundage household? Or maybe they just like showing up for a series via plane, at the last minute? Who knows, it looks good! The hero today was Tyler Henson–the “HenDog” on Twitter: @hendog4 . He was 4-for-5 with a double and TWO home runs. Seven RBI, too! What a day. Greg Smith was solid once again with a quality start: three earned over seven. The game was never really in doubt. I’ll assume Brad Lincoln was working on something while pitching batting practice in the ninth. Jim Murphy and Koyie Hill also added homers.
Reading is working on an 11-2 win over Harrisburg as I type. Jesse Biddle pitched well, 2 earned over 7. Old friend Tommy Joseph is 3-for-4 at press time.
Lakewood pounded out a team-record 22 hits led by top prospect JP Crawford with a 4-for-5 day including a homer. They won 14-11.
So, guys are getting healthy. Guys are getting their legs under them and settling in. Perhaps a nice routine with a minimum of rain days and goofy double-headers will be of assistance as well. I’m not want to blame the weather–after all both teams have to play in it. However, when guys are pressing or adjusting to a new level, it helps not to be freezing cold and wet.
So here’s hoping for a better May. Here’s hoping that Clearwater can get a couple guys back, get some rehabs (Ethan Martin was added there today; he pitched a clean inning with one walk), and get some wins. And here’s hoping for some sunshine!
More on the Pigs:
The ‘Pigs are above .500 today for the first time since 1-0, at 15-14. The entire North division is hot, though, led by the Bison on an 8-2 run over their last 10. Every North team won today–perhaps we’re beating up on other divisions now rather than each other. The ‘Pigs remain three games back. They head to Charlotte in the morning for a 7:05 game against the reeling Knights who’ve lost six in a row. Barry Enright on the mound for the ‘Pigs facing RHP Dylan Axelrod (1-3, 4.00ERA).
Here’s the box from today:
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs|
|a- Steve Susdorf||PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.254|
2B: Henson (7, Schlosser), Susdorf (3, Obispo).
HR: Henson 2 (2, 3rd inning off Schlosser, 1 on, 1 out; 7th inning off Jaime, 3 on, 1 out), Hill, K (2, 4th inning off Schlosser, 0 on, 0 out), Murphy, Ji (3, 4th inning off Schlosser, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Smith, G; Murphy, Ji 5; Hill, K 4; Susdorf 2; Henson 11; Thomas, C.
RBI: Henson 7 (12), Hill, K (12), Murphy, Ji 3 (16).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Brignac 2; Tolbert.
Team RISP: 4-for-11.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Smith, G (2, throw).
Pickoffs: Smith, G (Schlosser at 1st base).
|a- Jose Yepez||PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286|
|b- Tommy La Stella||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.313|
|c- Steven Lerud||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.194|
2B: Gosselin (7, Smith, G), Terdoslavich (8, Smith, G), Hamilton, M (6, Smith, G), Kazmar (4, Smith, G), Bethancourt (4, Lincoln).
HR: Bethancourt (1, 4th inning off Smith, G, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Hamilton, M 3; Schlosser; Salcedo 2; Kazmar 3; Yepez; Gosselin 3; Bethancourt 7; Terdoslavich 3.
RBI: Schlosser 2 (2), Bethancourt 3 (11), Hamilton, M (14), Mitchell (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Terdoslavich; Cunningham, T 3; Salcedo; Bethancourt; Hamilton, M 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-18.
Team LOB: 12.
PO: Schlosser (1st base by Smith, G).
E: Gosselin (7, fielding).
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs|
|Greg Smith (W, 3-0)||7.0||10||3||3||4||3||1||2.27|
|Seth Rosin (S, 2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||7.36|
|Gus Schlosser (L, 0-1)||3.1||5||4||4||1||2||3||10.80|
IBB: Mitchell (by Smith, G).
Pitches-strikes: Smith, G 113-67, Lincoln 43-25, Rosin 4-3, Schlosser 61-42, Buchter 41-26, Jaime 35-13, Obispo 35-22, Beato 9-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: Smith, G 7-6, Lincoln 1-1, Rosin 1-0, Schlosser 8-0, Buchter 2-2, Jaime 1-0, Obispo 1-3, Beato 2-0.
Batters faced: Smith, G 34, Lincoln 11, Rosin 1, Schlosser 16, Buchter 8, Jaime 8, Obispo 8, Beato 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Rosin 2-0, Obispo 3-2.
Umpires: HP: Jon Saphire. 1B: Joseph Born. 3B: Ben May.
Weather: 79 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 12 mph, Out to CF.
Venue: Coolray Field.