Vannimal Kingdom: Worley Ties Series 1-1

Worley's Home Run Early On Sunday Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Worley’s Home Run Early On Sunday
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Vance Worley returned to his old stomping grounds and personally beat the IronPigs yesterday 4-2.  He pitched 8 innings of 6-hit ball, yielding only 2 runs and 1 walk to go along with 7 strikeouts.  At the plate, he was 3-for-3 with a home run and 2 RBI.  He also beat us last year in Rochester–I believe it was Memorial Day.

Another familiar face, Michael “Mini” Martinez has been playing second base for the Indians.  He’s been kept in check over the first two games of the series, with just one hit.  The same can be said for uber-prospect Gregory Polanco.  The young right-fielder and soon-to-be Pirate sure has a nice swing, but the IronPigs pitchers have worked ahead of him and gotten him to swing at poor pitches.  Catcher Tony Sanchez is also a prospect.  While he didn’t play yesterday, he was limited to 0-for-3 with 2Ks Saturday night.  Kram Jr., also a catcher, thinks he looks “jumpy.”

More sights from yesterday, from Cheryl Pursell:

New INF Nate Spears joins us from Independent Ball.   Photo: Cheryl Pursell

New INF Nate Spears joins us from Independent Ball.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chris Bootcheck Started and gave his team a chance to win.   Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chris Bootcheck Started and gave his team a chance to win.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Another Solid Outing From Phillippe Aumont.   Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Another Solid Outing From Phillippe Aumont.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Saturday night was a 3-1 win for the good guys.  All the runs we needed came in the bottom of the first, as Castro led off with a double, Henson walked, Franco F9, Wild Pitch, runners advance, Jim Murphy K, then…

With Cam Perkins batting, he swung and hit a ball off the end of the bat.  It went 15 feet or so up the first base line on the grass.  The pitcher, fresh up from AA making his first AAA start, and the catcher Sanchez converged.  As the pitcher dodged out of the way at the last second, he tripped Sanchez up a bit.  Perkins was easily safe at first, and Castro scored easily as well.  However, with the Sanchez and the pitcher Morris just looking at each other over the play, and no one covering home, Henson took off from third.  Sanchez picked up the ball, made a run at him and applied the tag near Henson’s chest.  Tyler did a drop-step, spin and jump past Sanchez, dove back onto the plate and was called ‘safe.’  From my seat, it certainly appeared that the tag was applied.  Those who saw the play on TV said the tag was applied.  The opposing manager certainly thought so, too.  Brundage had this to say: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky..”  Here are Cheryl’s shots of the play:

Sanchez attempts the tag on Henson (1) Photo Cheryl Pursell

Sanchez attempts the tag on Henson (1)
Photo Cheryl Pursell

Henson, drop-step, JUMP! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Henson, drop-step, JUMP!
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Here are some other shots from Saturday, from Cheryl:

Castro with the lead-off double.  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Castro with the lead-off double. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Ray Burris, in a lighter moment. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Ray Burris, in a lighter moment.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Brad "Hot Rod" Lincoln, bringing home the bacon Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Brad “Hot Rod” Lincoln, bringing home the bacon
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Hector Nerris, still pitching well. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Hector Nerris, still pitching well.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Some other thought’s on the weekend games:

  1. It’s going to be hard to keep Polanco down much longer.  But then, some prospects came in here and didn’t do much.  I’m looking at you Bryce Harper.  Hit more like Ben Harper.
  2. Brad Lincoln is absolutely tearing it up.  I just got an email notifying me that he’s been named “IL Pitcher of the Week.”  As well he should: 13 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs 2 wins in two games.  What’s been so good?  A nice Tom Housenick piece in the print edition of the Morning Call on Sunday suggests that it’s improved use and confidence in his change-up.  Very well may be.  The fact is, he’s hitting his spots, changing speed and locations, all while attacking the strike zone and avoiding the middle of the plate.  It’s a nice little formula for success if you can do it.
  3. Quick game Saturday night, and a nice Tiki Party!  Old guy like me likes the acoustic music and familiar tunes.
  4. Some nice post-game tailgate time on Sunday.  It’s a nice tradition and I hope it continues!  Join us 6/22 in “Joe’s Corner.” (look for the flags!)
  5. Plenty warm at the game yesterday.  Remember when it used to be cold?  Like, last week?
  6. Bootcheck with two losses in a row now, but he’s keeping us in games, and that’s all that matters.  Need better performance out of our bats.
  7. Up and down the lineup, just about everyone could be hitting better.  One person who is hitting well is Leandro Castro.  I think having him in that lead-off spot forces him to approach his at-bats more carefully, and he’s working himself into situations where he gets good pitches to hit.  In the past, hitting sixth or seventh or whatever, I think he falls into the trap of looking for power early in the count, which limits the pitches he’s seeing.  Koyie Hill seems to be heating up again too–had the homer to put us back in the game for a time, yesterday.
  8. We’ve had interruptions for horse races before at Coca Cola Park.  I don’t see what the big deal was.  It was a couple extra minutes–no longer than a manager argument or a mound meeting.
  9. The ‘pen is certainly pitching well, lately.  Aumont, Camp, Rosenberg, Garcia, Nerris, Horst, Knigge–all those guys.  Knigge just has to be careful leaving the ball up over the middle of the plate.  You’re not going to get away with that mistake very often at this level.  Add in Jimenez, and my confidence level is high.

Roster Update:

  1. Ken “100 Miles” Giles was called up to the Phillies. It’s the first time, for the young flame-thrower.  Brundage was quick to say, “He’s not a finished product, yet,” but the Phillies’ front office is, well, searching…  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back here at some point if the MLB coaches find something that they want him to work on further.  However, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up for good, either.
  2. Cesar Jimenez passed through waivers, accepted his assignment, and has returned to the IronPigs.  He pitched well with the big team and didn’t really do anything to earn a demotion.  I’m a little surprised they didn’t just keep him with the Adams’ injury.  But it could be a timing thing or it could be the front office is…well, you know.
  3. Veteran INF Nate Spears was signed for depth.  The name should be familiar as he played in 68 games for Columbus last season, and 204 for Pawtucket over the previous two.  He had been playing with the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League–he was hitting .248 and was second on the team in RBI and HR (to a guy named Luis Montanez, remember him?)
  4. The other “new guy,” INF Rusty Ryal, started at second base yesterday and went 1-for-3.  He had joined us from another Atlantic League team, the Sugar Land Skeeters.
  5. Seth Rosin has been sent to Reading, as has INF Addison Maruszak

Coming Up:

Greg Smith on the mound tonight versus RHP Jay Jackson (3-1, 4.95).  Jackson was hit hard earlier in the season, but has been very strong lately.  It’s Cesar Hernandez Bobble Doll night at the park.  Please get there early.  They WILL be distributed, rain or shine, I can tell you that.

Tomorrow is the finale of the Indians’ series, as well as the first of two 8-game home stands in June.  Indy will throw veteran LHP Adam Wilk against Section 209’s favorite pitcher, Barry Enright, on BBQ-Set Night.

 

See you at the park, and remember to get your order in for T-Shirts and Tickets for July 1 in Moosic! (KramOf209@gmail.com)

@Kram209



Categories: CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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