PIG PREVIEW: 4/23/2015 IronPigs Return To Face Buffalo and Durham (long)

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The boys are back in town for eight glorious games.  It’s one of the longest home-stands of the season and it starts tonight versus Buffalo.  Here’s what you need to know to get you ready for the games:

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Franco's been raking.  How much longer will we have him? Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Franco’s been raking. How much longer will we have him?
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Coming Home

As our ‘Pigs left town, they took 2 of 3 from the visiting Syracuse Chiefs and were looking to continue their winning ways.  Unfortunately, it was not to be as the shuffled off to Buffalo.  They got swept by the Bison, including a pair of 5-1 losses and a heart breaker where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, squandering a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth to allow the Bison to walk off 5-4.

The losing continued as the headed South to Moosic for a three-game set with the RailRiders.  A 15-inning marathon ended with the ‘Riders taking the first game.  In the second game the ‘Pigs finally found some winning behind Sev Gonzalez to tie the IronRail at one game each.

In the rubber-match last night the Pigs dropped a 3-2 decision.  They wind up the road trip 1-6.

 

IronRail Standings

RailRiders lead 2-1.  It is an 18-game series this season.  10 wins are needed to secure victory–or the winner of the August 28 game in Moosic will be (somewhat arbitrarily) deemed champion.  10 of the 18 games are slated for Moosic, and 8 at Coca Cola Park. For, reasons, I suppose. The teams won’t meet again now until June 19th, at Coca Cola Park.  Thinking about this more, since the RailRiders have home-field advantage for the series, a 9-9 tie should go to the ‘Pigs.  Just sayin’.

ironrail2

International League Standings

 

Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 9 4 .692 6-2 3-2 8-2 W2
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) 9 5 .643 0.5 131 5-2 4-3 6-4 L2
Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 7 6 .538 2.0 130 1-1 6-5 5-5 W2
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 7 7 .500 2.5 129 4-6 3-1 5-5 W1
Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 5 9 .357 4.5 127 2-5 3-4 3-7 L2
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 4 10 .286 5.5 126 3-4 1-6 3-7 L1

Player Report

Chad Billingsley  remains with the team on an MLB rehab assignment.  After his last start with the IronPigs he said that he thought he needed 3 more starts, but subsequently missed his start in Reading on Monday due to illness or side pain.  He is slated to start for us on Saturday.

Domonic Brown  is also with the team on an MLB rehab.  Depending on how you count the days, he has until Monday or Tuesday to be promoted or re-added to the D.L.  He’s been playing right field or DH and has is hitting .150 since joining the IronPigs earlier in the week.

Cameron Perkins  is with Reading.  He’s had a slow-ish start, but might be heating up of late.  We’ll look to see him in the Lehigh Valley again later in the summer.

Hector Neris received his second call to the big-leagues today to assist with today’s afternoon game in Philadelphia because…

Sean O’Sullivan was added to the 15-day MLB D.L. yesterday.

The losing is somewhat puzzling because we do have players who are playing well:

Brian Bogusevic has hit safely in is last 9 games.  He’s hitting .304 overall.

Russ Canzler has hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games.  He’s hitting .356 overall.

Chris Nelson has hit safely in 6 of his last 7 games.  He’s hitting .323 overall.

Maikel Franco has hit in 10 of his last 11 games, and .345 overall.  He currently leads the International League in doubles and hits, and is also among the leaders in slugging, RBI, and average.  It’s quite a difference from last season–and what we feared might be another slow start this year.  We (read: “I”) was wrong.  Last year he started 6 for 54 in his first 15 games.

Cheryl Pursell Photos

Rosin  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Rosin Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Billingsley  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Billingsley
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chris McGuiness Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chris McGuiness
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Mastroianni Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Mastroianni
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Brian Bogusevic Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Brian Bogusevic
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Franco Triple Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Franco Triple
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Darin Mastroianni "Let me just do a couple of push ups over here" Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Darin Mastroianni “Let me just do a couple of push ups over here”
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Home Stand Details

(see newer posts for updated info as the home stand goes along)

Opponents

Buffalo comes in as the top team in the division with a recent mirror-image of the IronPigs record 6-1 in the last seven.  They are the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Names you might recognize:  Bobby Korecky, Randy Wolf, Ezequiel Carrera.  They also have AAA-talented players like Chris Colabello, Matt Hague, Andy Wilkins, and Chris Dickerson.

More on Durham as that series gets underway.

Projected Starters

Thursday  Paul Clemens (ERA 3.00)

Friday  Joely Rodriguez (ERA 4.30)

Saturday  Chad Billingsley (rehab) (ERA 3.24)

Sunday  Severino Gonzalez (ERA 3.57)

Monday Adam Morgan (ERA 4.50)

Game Times and Weather

Thursday  7:05PM; 53/sun (48 at game time/41 by the end:  bundle up)

Friday  7:05PM; 54/sun  (48 at game time, 44 by the end)

Saturday  6:35PM; 62/sun

Sunday  1:35PM; 64/sun; (pre- and post-game tailgate)

Monday  7:05PM; 61/sun

Tuesday  7:05PM; 66/sun

Wednesday  7:05PM; 59/cloudy

next Thursday  10:35AM; 57/showers

Promotions (and what’s going on at the park)

Thursday  Happy Hour 4:30-6:00 with $2 domestic drafts and $1 hot dogs; Hero’s Night with cap raffle.  Also, look for the new broccoli fried food item at various concessions on both the field- and club-levels.

IMG_1430

Friday  Fireworks.  Wear black for blackout effect.

Saturday  Miracle League Jersey Auction (information about the Miracle League game prior to the ‘Pigs game, not available at press time)

IMG_1364

Sunday:  Fleece Blanket Giveaway.  Pre-and Post-game Tailgate with NoiseNation Staff and Friends.  Details to come.

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Monday  Saved By The Bell Mr. Belding appearance, Dance Team Night, Pre-game autographs (player guess to come).

Tuesday  Hockey Night.  Hockey T-Shirt Tuesday (I believe it’s a KIDDO t-shirt)

IMG_1420

Wednesday  On-Field Photo Night; Wrestling Night.

Thursday  Education Day Game with morning start time.

 

What To Watch

  • Watch to see if Chase d’Arnaud continues to get playing time at Shortstop–he has a bit more lately–over Edgar Duran.  Duran (Dur-ahn) is the better fielder, but d’Arnaud is the more accomplished hitter, who had only recently gotten on the field a bit more.
  • Watch to see if Paul Clemens can find the strike zone.  His stuff can be very good, but he walked a ton the other day.  He’s a veteran, though, and will battle out of it.
  • Watch to see if Joely Rodriguez can throw strikes.  He can get himself into some trouble with walks, but when players hit off him it’s rarely with much contact.  He’s a ground-ball machine who needs to pitch to contact to be most effective.
  • Watch to see if Chad Billingsley can get the “results” he needs.  He was slated for three more starts, but I wonder if they’ll just do Saturday and Thursday and then up.  The Phillies have a starter need with O’Sullivan down, but Billingsley’s schedule doesn’t match very well right now.
  • Watch to see if other pitcher moves are made since we lost Neris.  Will he be back?  Will a starter go up?  Will Reading starters begin their move?  Nola?  Biddle? Eflin?!?
  • Or, will a reliever come to the ‘Pigs from Reading:  I don’t know if any of their relievers are really lighting it up right now–perhaps our old friend Nesseth again?
  • Watch Maikel Franco.  Because, I don’t think we’ll have him too much longer if he keeps hitting like he has recently.
  • Watch to see if Dom Brown can get hot before he gets added to the Phillies.

 

 

See you at the park–more news to come on this season-long home stand,

@Kram209

 



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

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1 reply

  1. I see that ever since “we” (the IronPigs fans base) openly dared to challenge Mikael Franco to be a more productive professional on April 15th, our young friend from the Dominican Republic has gone 14 for 35 at the plate for a .400 batting average.

    Like I said before, “good players will respond (to such a challenge) more often than not”.

    De nada! 😉

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