“Okay you guys, pair up in threes!”
What if I told you before the season that we’d lose two in a row at home to a winning team from out of the division, by using a pitcher fresh up from AA and another making a spot start out of the bullpen?
Now what if I told you that we got excellent work out of those two pitchers, and that we had a winning record ourselves at the time?
The Pigs wasted a second consecutive good start, and perhaps the third in four games, with their inability to get a hit in the right situation in an 0-2 loss last night. It was the same lineup the second day in a row, basically, and it is one that makes sense. I wouldn’t be against shaking it up a bit today, but with Asche, Crawford and Williams around–not to mention Ruf–you have a few obligations.
Nevertheless, Nick Williams got three hits, extending his hitting streak to 5, and has got to feel better after striking out four times the other night. The ‘pen was solid in relief of Russell, so that was good.
Today we send Zach Eflin–perhaps our most consistent starter. LHP Mario Hollands is scheduled to pitch “multiple innings” in relief, but methinks that might be a bit optimistic with how Eflin is pitching. If he’s going well, Hollands might have to settle for 9th inning mop up.
The ‘Pigs have lost 4 of the last 5, and 5 of the last 10 to drop into fifth place in the IL North. Still, they are two games above .500 and but three games back of the lead.
IronPigs stats for today’s game:
5-1 on Sunday
11-6 vs LHP Starter
11-5 in Series Finales
9-4 Day Games
Word out of the IronPigs clubhouse is that Alec Asher had a setback trying to get ready with his calf contusion, and was placed in a walking boot to facilitate healing. I’m only guessing–and not being facetious–I’d say he’ll miss one or two more starts. Sometimes the healing is quick in those boots.
The beats have reported that Mark Appel has “no structural damage” in his shoulder. I suppose that’s good news, but it’s been only physical exams and no MRI yet. While I’m sure the IronPigs orthopedic staff is excellent, I’d be much more comfortable having imaging results before I go declaring “no damage.” They might be waiting for possible swelling/inflammation to subside before imaging, in order to get better resolution. I suppose as long as he’s not in Dr. James Andrews’ waiting room, we can all relax a little.
As we mentioned yesterday, INF Carlos Alonso has been sent to Reading (in New Hampshire). It wasn’t a demotion so much as an opportunity for more playing time with JP Crawford now in Allentown, and H-Mart hitting the DL with an ankle for the Fightins. The move leaves the IronPigs down a player, but with Asche and Hollands rehabbing, we’re OK for now. Alonso will be back, no doubt.
The Baseballtown squad also called up RHP Will Morris from Clearwater. He was 2-1, 3.48 in 7 games/5 starts this season. The move should have Mark Leiter Jr back in the bullpen. I look forward to seeing the 6’4″ Southern Nevada product in Reading’s next home stand.
In the series finale versus the Bats, the Pigs send their de facto ace of the moment…
RHP Zach Eflin (5-0, 2.05) toes the rubber versus LHP Cody Reed (3-2, 2.21) in what could be a pitchers duel.
- Camo Cap giveaway:
- Military Appreciation Day
- Post-game: Kids Run The Bases
I had planned on the old Sunday cap, with I-pigtail, but I think we’ll go powder blue bacon today.
I’m still not willing to get down on this team, even after the recent losses. They’re young and talented, and we’re going to have games like this. Add in the rehabs–I know Cody wants to do well, but those guys can’t help but get caught up in the “not worried about results” mentality. Finally, this umpiring crew has been just dreadful in their ability to calls balls and strikes. Ortiz/Born/Clark–we’ve had Clark and Ortiz; let’s see if Born can do any better today. With some of the skilled hitters we have in the lineup–Crawford, Asche, Ruf in particular–you’re taking the bat out of their hands calling some of the garbage we’ve seen the last two days. Yes, both teams have to cope with it, but it’s not like we didn’t out-hit Louisville yesterday…
Links of the Day:
- Housenick on Hoby Milner
- Philly beats generally do a very poor job of covering our team, but I did enjoy this piece on Nick Williams
- I don’t know how his girlfriend feels about it, but I liked this Greg Joyce piece on Jake Thompson’s warm-up music.
See you at the park,
PS: I know one guy who’s going to be really surprised to learn that there’s an actual, live, baseball game outside those glass doors by the club level bar. And you’re allowed to go outside and watch! There’s places to sit, and everything!