“Being comfortable is overrated”
-Gus, “Trouble with the Curve”
The Pigs took a tough loss last night in a game that wasn’t close. They scored first and had the 3-0 Appel on the mound and a 5-0 record against leftys, but it all came crashing down in the third inning when Mark Appel lost his feel for the ball completely once he went into the stretch. Two outs and nobody on and nobody touching his pitches, then it all went sideways. A slap single and the stretch. It was obvious to anybody who ever coached Little League.
They tried to have him pitch through it, but it only got worse. Why not just go back to the windup? I guess that’s not what we’re here for, in the minors. The difficulty with the stretch was something that I was asking about in the last two starts as well. But, he was somewhat effective then–getting results. I had heard rumors about “fatigue” when he came over from the Astros, but it doesn’t seem like that to me at all. My observation, and something for us to watch going forward, is for his mechanics to stay repeatable and his power to remain intact, when he’s pitching out of the stretch. They acknowledged this after the game–Mark and the coaches–so we’ll see how it goes looking ahead.
It’s a bit of a funk for the ‘Pigs right now:
4-6 in last 10
3 games back; 3rd place
Lost 4 of last 6
5-9 at Coca Cola Park
1-4 in IronRail Series (8 wins needed)
1B Brock Stassi pitched a clean 9th yesterday–his second such outing–striking out 2, including a laughing Nick Swisher.
There was a roster move today: CLICK HERE for details and a printable roster.
RHP on the mound today, we should see the LHB back in the lineup: Hunter, Venable, etc.
RHP Alec Asher (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound for the IronPigs to face RHP Anthony Swarzak (1-3, 4.18)
Asher with the gem last time out, we’ll see if he can stay hot.
Promotion: It’s “Star Wars Night” (Revenge of May Sixth or whatever) and characters will be on hand for photos, as well as other promotions and games throughout the stadium, throughout the evening, culminating in Friday Fireworks. I imagine John Williams work will be involved if the fireworks happen tonight.
Weather: Good question. It does appear there could be a chance. I imagine they won’t call this one so proactively as last Sunday. It takes more than one guy to make the call, but count on the doors opening tonight; the game seems to have a 50/50 shot. This is the end of the home stand, a make up would likely be part of a 2×7-inning double-dip on August 1, or thereabouts.
Hat: Likely: Friday Black New Era.
I really like Mark Appel. I’m a big fan, and not because of draft pedigree–because of my admiration for the work he’s had to put in, the struggles despite the gifts, the potential, and the person. He’s no dummy, not by a long shot, and I look forward to watching as he gets this worked out. I promise you I’m not hating or throwing shade or whatever the kids say these days: I really, really want him to do well–separate from any IronPigs or Phillies things.
His next two starts will likely be on the road, at Columbus and at Toledo–although rain could push things back. If the rotation holds, his next home start will be Friday 5/20 in a re-match with Toledo. That could be telling on many levels. Perhaps I do need to pony-up for the MiLB.TV package so that I can watch those next two starts.
Links of the Day
This Tom Housenick piece on Jake Thompson returning to the form that made him a “top 3” prospect over the off-season, with his last outing.
Also, here’s a Chuck Hixon piece on leaders in the Phillies’ system.
See you at the park, rain or shine,
PS: “Horn and Bell” reach extending to Reading tonight, as Cheryl’s doing that game and Jim will be handling the IronPigs duties–should the games be played, of course. Actually, the truth is that Cheryl is the official team photographer for the Fightins tonight, if I understand it correctly. I don’t know who their regular photographer is right now, but he/she better hope they don’t get Wally Pipped! 🙂