IRONPIGS TODAY: “Go Deep, Young Man” 5/31/2016

“Well, it’s a doggone shame but never too late for change

So, if your luck runs low, just reach out and call his name, his name

Lo Mo be there, Lo Mo be there…Whenever you call”

-From “Yah Mo B There” by James Ingram with Michael McDonald

Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Logan Moore (“Lo Mo”) had a career day yesterday (4-for-4) and Asche and Nicky went back-to-back with the long ball to pace the IronPigs to a 6-4 victory and snap their losing streak.

Buchanan was shaky at times, but like the start I heard on the radio the other day, was able to persevere, ride out the mistakes, and turn in an almost-quality start (7ip, 4ER).  Brundy said after the game that he’d like to see Buck use all four pitches a little sooner in the game rather than insisting on trying to establish a certain pitch or sequence.  There were some nice fielding plays turned in by Nina at third, JP at short and Stass at first.

Team Report

One of the things we’ve talked about with this team, this season, is that they’ve been able to have offensive success by calling on the long ball.  We’ve compared it to last year’s team, but as of today, we actually lead the league in homers as a team!  One of the interesting things about that is that we’re not loaded with total sluggers, and it’s not just one or two players pacing the team–everybody is involved.  I credit the coaching staff and the organization for teaching plate discipline and hitting strategy:  Put yourself in a good position to get a pitch to hit, then square it up hard. Good things will happen; it’s not just because you’re swinging for the fences all the time.
One more note before you look at the table below:  Charlotte and Columbus both play in home stadiums which are conducive to the long ball.   Finally, it’s not everything:  The team in last place is the Louisville squad which just came in here and kicked our butts for three straight games.
International League: Team Stats (Batting) (click column headers to sort)
Lehigh Valley 50 1620 197 407 78 13 45 183 646 142 354 18 18 .314 .399 .251 .712
Charlotte 52 1797 237 481 84 12 45 224 724 172 442 44 20 .337 .403 .268 .740
Columbus 50 1667 211 428 86 10 45 202 669 157 359 27 12 .325 .401 .257 .726
Scranton/WB 51 1693 206 431 87 11 38 190 654 140 396 31 10 .316 .386 .255 .702
Rochester 51 1672 213 419 72 19 37 194 640 178 378 35 11 .323 .383 .251 .706
Toledo 49 1635 192 396 79 9 35 179 598 150 358 40 15 .311 .366 .242 .677
Durham 52 1748 159 399 78 9 32 146 591 170 474 36 14 .302 .338 .228 .640
Pawtucket 51 1688 200 430 89 3 32 185 621 151 367 32 15 .318 .368 .255 .686
Norfolk 51 1712 166 422 76 6 31 158 603 154 395 29 18 .310 .352 .246 .662
Indianapolis 49 1646 182 404 65 14 30 169 587 150 430 38 37 .311 .357 .245 .667
Buffalo 51 1707 182 414 96 4 29 170 605 148 311 26 14 .308 .354 .243 .663
Gwinnett 52 1785 211 470 92 10 24 195 654 146 366 39 14 .322 .366 .263 .689
Syracuse 49 1614 185 409 86 10 22 175 581 162 380 42 4 .322 .360 .253 .682
Louisville 50 1668 191 441 82 2 21 174 590 168 344 18 15 .337 .354 .264 .690


Player Report

OF Nick Williams is finding his groove.  He’s not really hot yet, but he has been able to put together a little hit streak.  You can see it:  Things are slowing down for him at the plate.  He’s looked good in the outfield as well.  I don’t think he’s pushing for a big-league job just yet, but if this continues that could happen over the summer.  You’ll know it’s getting close when you see him in the same corner outfield position multiple days in a row; they’ll do that to get him ready just like they did with Tommy at 1B.  Once the call  was imminent he wasn’t alternating with Stassi any more.

SS JP Crawford has been struggling.  Some of it has been bad luck, of course.  He stung one which would have likely been a triple yesterday.  But, the first baseman jumped up and made a stab and it goes in the books as a line-out.  He’s pressing, too, most likely, as young players are likely to do.  I wrote yesterday that they should keep him in there and let him grind it out; however, today after seeing his body language yesterday I think maybe you make a change.  If he’s in the lineup, maybe it’s time to drop him out of that lead-off spot.  Junior and I don’t think that’s helping him.  Maybe a day off wouldn’t hurt–or even a day as DH.  You could put Feather back at the top–he did better there anyway–and then JP second, Asche third and Williams in the clean-up spot.  Nicky has been doing well enough that he won’t let the 4-hole mess with his head for a day or two.  I’d like to see Asche hit a couple doubles before I call him up.

And speaking of Asche, some speculation on the inter-webs yesterday about who will be sent down (DFA, etc) when Asche is activated.  I had assumed Burriss, but heard it could be Lough yesterday.  I think I’ll stick with Burriss as Lough is the better defensive outfielder.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple doubles out of Ruf before he goes back, as well.  Although, a trip back for him is not necessarily a given at this point.  I’m not sure how much he’s in the Phillies future plans, unless his bat gets consistently hot.  We’ll see, I suppose.  I’d kind of expect perhaps a day at 3B and a day at 1B for Asche before he goes up.


Today’s Game

Norfolk remains in town; see yesterday’s column for details about their team, prospects, etc.

RHP Jake Thompson (3-4, 3.48) takes the mound today to face RHP David Hale (0-2, 3.32).  Hale is a Princeton product who was a two-way player, and pitched with Colorado already this season.  He’s had five starts, and reasonable numbers, but hasn’t gone deep in games.

What to watch:  Watch to see if Brundy gets some leftys in the lineup as we face a RHP for the first time in a few days:  Venable, Cedric Hunter, etc.–although it sure is hard to bench Cam Perkins right now!  The stack at the top (JP, Asche, Williams) should be more effective, if it remains.  Since the calendar turned to May, Jake Thompson’s been pretty darn good.  Watch to see if that continues.  Finally, watch for the early crowds today…

Promotions:  Aaron Nola bobblehead day.  Mardi Gras night.  Get there EARLY tonight if you must have a bobble doll.  If there are any bobble doll emergencies, just get in touch with me.


Cap:  Green Pig

Kram’s Korner:

It feels good to win again.  It’s a long season, but it’s flying by, as well.  Enjoy the games!  I know one guy who thinks it’s too hot now–just like it was too cold before–but I’ll take it.  Stay tuned in Kram’s Korner for the thoughts of the day, the feelings around the ball park, and links to some planned feature pieces coming up.


See you at the park,




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

1 reply

  1. Chicks dig the long ball– but in this case it’s smoke and mirrors. A glaring stat is RBI, pigs near the bottom. I really believe this team just like the big phils will struggle to score runs after the break. We need those 3-2 wins with these offenses, I see our believed pigs going 65-79 this season. When Asche and Ruf get called back, we are in trouble. But staying positive it will be fun again in 2018. Keep up the great work Kram

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