“You don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.”
– Leo Durocher 5/16/1965
Yesterday I lead with a photo of outfielder Nick Williams–a Cheryl Pursell shot taken as he rounded the bases following his first AAA home run in Moosic. Two of the full-time local beat writers followed with features on Nick yesterday, taking somewhat different tacks (see “Links” below).
If I were to have written my own Nick Williams feature, I would have tried to compare him to another top-prospect outfielder who came to the IronPigs with much fanfare: Domonic Brown. It would have been a difficult because they are different players with different backgrounds, but I would have tried–especially since Dom Brown was playing Right Field for the Bisons yesterday!
And I should have written it, because the game turned on two plays to the players in question. Tied 1-1 in the top of thee 9th, with de facto IronPigs closer Edward Mujica on the mound, a guy on second and two outs, a fly ball over Nick Williams’ head in left field: Nick adjusts to the ball, moves back and jumps to make a difficult by makeabe catch. The ball hits him in the middle of the glove and falls. The batter is awarded a double, and the Bisons take a 2-1 lead which would eventually be the final score.
The play wouldn’t have mattered as much, but a somewhat similar play in the previous half-inning, to Bisons Right Fielder Dom Brown–nobody on and one out–Nick launches a ball to right, over the head of Brown. It was an easier play, but Dom made it difficult on his own by taking a circuitous route to the ball. Without the rain, it was probably a home run. But Dom made the catch, and the Bisons were able to get out of the ensuing trouble because they now had two outs.
Two plays. Two outfielders. Different stages of their careers crossing paths last night. The Bisons came out with that one, but it could have gone differently (several other times, as well).
The IL North standings are tight. PawSox and IronPigs both lose, Scranton and Syracuse both win, and they leap-frog. Last place only 3 games back!
|Syracuse Chiefs (WSH)||11||9||.550||–||–||9-4||2-5||11-9||6-4||W2|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY)||12||10||.545||–||–||7-6||5-4||12-10||4-6||W2|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI)||11||10||.524||0.5||123||3-4||8-6||11-10||6-4||L1|
|Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS)||11||10||.524||0.5||123||4-7||7-3||11-10||5-5||L2|
|Buffalo Bisons (TOR)||10||12||.455||2.0||121||2-5||8-7||10-12||5-5||W1|
|Rochester Red Wings (MIN)||9||13||.409||3.0||120||5-8||4-5||9-13||5-5||L2|
- Taylor Featherston fourth in the league in batting–Tommy would be first if he had enough at-bats.
- Andrew Knapp is second in the league in slugging–Featherston third.
- Tommy Joseph fifth in the league in doubles–again, not enough ABs to qualify for other stats yet!
- RHP Zach Eflin second in the league in WHIP
- RHP Mark Appel tenth in the league in ERA
Transactions were completed, resulting in a new roster.
Tommy Joseph extended his hit-streak yesterday; Cam Perkins didn’t play so his streak is still current as well.
Will Venable said during his pre-game interview that he doesn’t intend to opt-out of his Phillies contract tomorrow. No word on Mujica.
Cody Asche should be starting to get some work soon, probably in Florida first. Veteran pitchers Michael Mariot and Mario Hollands are both throwing in Florida right now. The Phillies can “60-day” Charlie Morton if they need a roster spot.
RHP Alec Asher (1-2, 3.20 in Reading) is on the mound to take on LHP Scott Diamond (2-1, 2.38)
It’s Miracle League Day! One of the favorite days of the season for the participants and fans alike. We’ll have a T-Shirt giveaway for adults and kiddos! And, as per usual, a jersey auction too!
All gates open at 5:00PM today, for the 6:35PM first pitch. Get there early to see some of the Miracle League game as well as to get your T-Shirt.
Dress Code: Miracle League or not, Saturdays we wear Red. I think I’ll be sporting an old Steven Lerud Saturday jersey and one of the red hats I haven’t worn yet–maybe “angry pig.” Shouldn’t rain, but might be a little nippy tonight sitting out on the plastic chairs.
Feeling OK in Kram’s Korner–wanna see how Alec does tonight and get all the big righty batters in the lineup. Hopefully get Al Marte going if he’s in there, and see if Cam Perkins can extend his hit streak. Tommy at 1B tonight I’d imagine. Alec has a new sinking fast-ball, I’ve heard, so we’ll see how he uses it and if he can get the sink working. I didn’t see any of his Reading games.
Gonna try to get there early to see the Miracle League game–it’s a tradition and one that I hope they never try to “improve” on. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the guys who’ve been IronPigs before from the Bisons, out there with them: Dom Brown and Chris Leroux.
As promised, the Nick Williams articles from yesterday:
First, LehighValleyLive’s Greg Joyce on what Nick thinks:
Then, Morning Call’s Tom Housenick on Nick “Stop Thinking”
See you at the park,