“It’s a great day for a ball game. Let’s play two.”
It’s one of the most-used quotes in baseball, but it fits. We’re in line for two 7-inning games today, starting at the usual 1:35PM Sunday start–it’s early and both teams are off tomorrow.
We’ve had a couple 2×7 days on the road, and one at Coca Cola Park without any fans–but I think this is our first home double-dip this season. Historically, we’ve never been good at these, but this is a different team and a different year. Yes, we’ve already been swept on one (those opening day games) this season, but we’ve done the sweeping, too.
By only playing 14 innings (that’s what’s planned anyway) this weekend, it does take the pressure off the pitching staff a bit in light of Alec Asher’s injury.
By not playing yesterday, the IronPigs fall into second place, 0.5 games back of Scranton. The Moosic club is also on an 8-2 tear. Rochester is on a 7-3 run and virtually tied with us. Top to bottom, the IL North is still all within 3.5 games, with the worst team only 1 game under .500.
We never did get a Cody Asche rehab this home stand, but he’ll be in Reading now–I think starting today. I’m heading down for tomorrow’s game and Wednesday, so I’ll let you know.
RHP Mark Appel (3-2, 3.58) will take the mound to start game one, with LHP Daniel Norris (0-4, 8.06) expected to go for Toledo.
In game two, the IronPigs are expected to turn to LHP James Russell (1-0, 0.96). The MudHens starter is TBA; Sunday’s starter was previously expected to be RHP Thad Weber (5-1, 1.49). With the day off tomorrow, the ‘Hens could certainly burn two starters if they want, or they could go bullpen in game two as the ‘Pigs are expected to do. It may even depend on how game one goes.
1:35PM First Pitch; 12:15PM Gates; 12:00PM Club
- Rubix Cube giveaway — 3,000 adults
- Yoga Day
- 80’s Day
- Post-game kids run the bases
- Jersey Auction concludes after the 5th inning of game two; they’ll wear the super hero jerseys in game two.
- Visiting Nurse Association of St Luke’s, in association with IronPigs Charities, is collecting some child care items in exchange for raffle tickets prior to today’s game:
- new diapers: newborn to size 6
- new sippy cups
- shape sorters
- board books
- Kid’s Coats, sizes 6-9 mo, 9 mo, 12 mo, 18 mo, 24 mo, 2T, 3T
- Please, no baby powder
I think I’m going with the old blue pig-head stars and stripes. I might pull out an old Sunday-vest to wear, as well.
A couple wins today will go a long way towards healing the wounds of last night’s SteelHawks loss.
I didn’t think there was any way they were going to play the game yesterday, based on the radar. However, it wasn’t so bad to start, and as per usual, I think they wanted to give it every chance to break up. We’ve written about rain before, just look for our posts “How to find out” and “Pigs + Rain” as well as “Advanced Strategies..” and go from there. I won’t even bother linking them. Veteran ‘Pigs fans know how it goes. One semi-new thing that did come out of yesterday was the clue: If you’re wondering if they’ll play or not, watch the 50/50 stands. Once they close, you know the game is off.
What to watch: One guy told me, prior to the game on Friday, that Jake Thompson was challenged to go as many innings as possible following Thursday night’s 15-inning marathon. Of course, Jake would be able to identify that himself; however, it was interesting to me that the coaching staff would say that to him. It added some pressure, but that’s part of what AAA is all about. Jake came through quite well, going 8 full innings and allowing only 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out 8 while issuing only one free pass–a quality start if ever there was one.
I imagine they’ll challenge Mark Appel today, similarly. Walks have been creeping into his game, so I’m looking for him to challenge batters today and pound the lower half of the strike zone. Consistency in his delivery and in going to the stretch are things he’s working on, so I’ll be watching that as well.
Links of the Day:
There were a couple good things I read–a rain out is a fine time to put together a nice article, I suppose.
Chuck Hixson had a good one as well–kind of something I touched on yesterday. I don’t mean to be all “Grumpy Old Men” “get off my lawn” “play the game the right way” about it, but this is big-boy baseball, and you’ve got to execute the plays. That means throwing four balls to walk a guy, and that means running out the pop-up, and all that. Because you never know.
See you at the park,
PS: Pre-game “Bloody Mary” tailgate and post-game “Australian Shrimp” tailgates are planned. “Joe’s Corner” look for the flags. Follow on Twitter for more details, or shoot me a text/email/etc.