IRONPIGS TODAY: “Pitching and Hitting” 4/19/2016

“Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa.”

-Casey Stengel

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Knappy goes yard! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Knappy goes yard! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Last night…

…the IronPigs once again pitched and hit their way to victory.  It was the third in a row, and it allowed them to reach .500 for the first time in this young season.

Mark Appel was the pitching story.  He is as fun to watch as Eflin is, and was able to crank it up to 98 at least once, while also featuring a sinking power pitch at 89 which had many batters fooled.  Add in the breaking pitch on the corners and he was dominant at the start–even striking out the side in the first inning.  Something to watch:  A criticism I heard is that he tires in the later innings.  What I observed was that he seemed to be less effective out of the stretch later on, and seemed to shy away from his more electric fastball offerings.  Was he tired?  Does he have trouble with the stretch?  Were they just working on breaking pitches in that situation on purpose (there were a couple mound visits)?

No matter, it was a fine, fine outing regardless.  On the hitting side, Sweeney, Featherston, Knapp and Perkins all had multi-hit games.  Knapp and Sweeney added long balls.  It seemed like they could have maybe scored more, having left a few on base, but perhaps a conservative plan was in order playing situational baseball with the pitching looking so good.  Luis Garcia got off the schnide pitching two innings of two-hit no run ball.

The team…

…is doing well.  They are well positioned now for the long haul, having quickly dug out of an early hole brought on by horrible weather, multiple double-headers and such.  In this space each day we’ll feature a team ranking to try to answer the question:  “How’s the team doing this season?”

Overall:  5-5

Last 10: 5-5

Homestand:  3-2

Today, for the first time, standings after 10 games:

International League North
CLUB W L PCT GB ELIM# HOME AWAY DIV L10 STRK
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 7 4 .636 4-3 3-1 7-4 7-3 L1
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) 7 5 .583 0.5 133 2-5 5-0 7-5 6-4 W5
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 5 5 .500 1.5 133 3-2 2-3 5-5 5-5 W3
Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 5 5 .500 1.5 133 4-1 1-4 5-5 5-5 L2
Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 5 7 .417 2.5 131 1-3 4-4 5-7 4-6 W1
Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 4 7 .364 3.0 131 2-3 2-4 4-7 3-7 L3

 

“Who’s on the team this year?”

[Editor’s Note:  there was a transaction announced late yesterday and made official later today.  See following post for details and reaction.]

As you know, this section will be where you’ll find information and stats on individual players–who’s been swinging the hot bats and who’s been struggling.  On the young season, you can just look at the overall rankings to see how folks have been doing.  Today, let’s look at OPS (On-base Plus Slugging):

Individual Stats (Batting/OPS)
Player POS G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG OPS  E
Cam Perkins LF 8 23 7 10 2 2 1 5 19 0 0 0 0 .435 .826 .435 1.261 0
Taylor Featherston 3B 8 27 5 12 2 1 1 2 19 1 1 0 0 .500 .704 .444 1.204 0
Andrew Knapp C 7 22 7 8 1 0 2 6 15 6 6 0 0 .517 .682 .364 1.199 3
Tommy Joseph IF 7 20 3 6 2 0 1 3 11 2 3 0 0 .364 .550 .300 .914 2
Darnell Sweeney OF 10 31 5 8 2 2 1 1 17 4 6 1 2 .343 .548 .258 .891 1
Ryan Jackson 2B 10 24 2 9 0 0 0 4 9 6 4 1 2 .500 .375 .375 .875 0
Carlos Alonso 2B 2 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 .400 .800 0
Brock Stassi 1B 8 25 3 6 2 0 0 1 8 3 8 0 0 .321 .320 .240 .641 0
David Lough LF 6 25 3 7 1 0 0 2 8 1 0 1 0 .308 .320 .280 .628 0
Nick Williams OF 9 30 3 5 1 1 0 4 8 3 10 1 0 .229 .267 .167 .495 0
Angelys Nina 2B 7 23 0 4 1 0 0 3 5 1 4 0 0 .208 .217 .174 .426 0
J.P. Arencibia C 4 15 0 3 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 .200 .200 .200 .400 1
Will Venable CF 8 27 2 4 1 0 0 4 5 2 5 1 0 .207 .185 .148 .392 0

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On the pitching side, I wanted to share a discussion we had at the bar last night:

If the Phillies need a starter, who’s the first one called up (factoring out whose turn it is, rest and so on)?  One guy said Eflin, based on his IL Pitcher of the Week honors, and his first two starts.  Appel got some love for his performance last night.  However, here’s the order I’d put them in right now:

  1. Adam Morgan:  The Phillies could benefit from the lefty; he’s pitching well–and he has the experience.
  2. David Buchanan:  Again, he’s familiar with the territory, and the Phillies might want to see how he looks this season and make a decision on how he fits into their future.
  3. Mark Appel:  He’s older than Eflin and has more AAA experience.
  4. Zach Eflin:  He’s this far down because he’s young, and I think the Phillies would like to see him make more than two good starts at AAA before giving him the call.  He’s still gaining feel for his curve, which has been excellent.
  5. Jake Thompson:  He’s coming off a bad start, and like Eflin, he’s young and doesn’t need to get yanked around.

 

Tonight’s Game

Syracuse is still in town–they’ll head up there for a double header tomorrow and another game on Thursday.  This is the final game of this season-opening home stand!

David Buchanan is on the mound for the IronPigs to face RHP Taylor J. Jordan, who pitched five innings of 1-run ball versus the ‘Pigs on “empty stadium day” and blanked Moosic his last time out.

Excellent seats still remain for tonight’s contest, and the weather looks great.  If you get there early, you’ll get a vintage bobble-head (seen below).  The IronPigs have waived “web fees” for tonight’s game, so you really have no excuse!

vintage bobble

Kram’s Korner

Kram’s Korner is a place for me to vent, opinion-ate, praise and grouse.  Maybe about the team or maybe about things going on at the park.

Even with the three wins in a row, I’m still going to the park hoping for a win every night.  While that’s better than “no hope,” this season could possibly get to the point where I’m going to the park expecting a win each night–just going to see how they’re gonna win, not if.  

Also, I didn’t enjoy the guy behind me spitting on me last night.

 

Link of the Day

Link or links will be provided to help you read up on players and issues pertinent to the game.  Sometimes we’ll link our own stuff, other times we’ll link beat writers who watch the team with us every day and write.  Very seldom will we ever link anything here by a national writer or one who doesn’t cover the IronPigs on a daily basis.

Today’s link goes to Morning Call beat writer Tom Housenick, for this re-cap of last night’s game, and an interesting angle on Andrew Knapp.  Extra consideration was given for these two nuggets:

  1. The IronPigs have six homers in ten games.  Last season it took them 27 games to get 6 HR.
  2. The IronPigs have seven errors in the past four games.

Catcher Knapp Knocks Familiar Foe

 

See you at the park,

@Kram209

PS:  No one from the secret email list took me up on my offer, so I’ll put it out there:  Anyone want two tickets to Reading this coming home-stand, Saturday-Tuesday?  Hit me up.  Second row.

PPS:  Optional Poll



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

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