“Come on, honey, sit down, take a load off, have a drink, you’ll be fine!”
-Larry Wilson, Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
Every season, the IronPigs make two trips down south. In the past, each was eight days, but with the unbalanced schedule we now see 6,7, and 8-day trips. This season, our first venture below the Mason-Dixon is ongoing this weekend and through this week, before they return home as Steaks on Friday. It’s an old-fashioned 8-day swing.
One trip is always Durham and Norfolk, while the other, and current jaunt, is Charlotte/Gwinnett. While I really wanted to use the above title for this post, the truth is they’ve spent the weekend in Charlotte and won’t be back on Brundy’s old stomping grounds until tomorrow.
So far in the Queen City (Really? Golly there’s a lot of cities with that nickname) they’ve won 2 of 3 and will finish up today at 2:05PM with Jake Thompson on the mound to face former Boston top-prospect RHP Anthony Ranaudo. I recall Ranaudo absolutely shutting down Reading once back in 2013, but he now finds himself in the White Sox organization after getting traded by way of Texas. He’s struggled at the MLB level, but is 1-1, 2.91 since joining AAA Charlotte.
In the opener in Charlotte on Thursday, the Pigs got the win behind: Another strong start from now-rotation member James Russell, a Stassi HR, a Venable double and a key hit from Cedric Hunter in the 4-2 game. Mujica shut things down for the save, while Luis Garcia got the win thanks to his two wild pitches which allowed the potential winning run to score late.
Friday night, it was our old friend Phillippe Aumont chucking the ball to the backstop, this time to benefit the Pigs in a 6-4 victory–again in come-from-behind fashion. OF Nick Williams had three hits, including a double and a homer, while Sweeney and Ruf also had 3-hit nights, the Sweenster with a triple.
Last night the IronPigs turned to veteran RHP David Buchanan, who had some difficulty in the second inning, yielding 6-runs, all earned. He ended up going six innings in the game, however, and kept the Knights scoreless in all of the other frames. The Pigs chipped away at the lead, but Seve Gonzalez giving up two runs on four hits in the seventh put the Knights too far out ahead in the eventual 6-4 loss, before 10,267 in downtown Charlotte.
At 2-1 on the trip, and 4-2 in their last six games, the Pigs will look to grab today’s game, and head further South for some of that Georgia home cooking over at the Brundy household. Here’s who has been hot in the South so far:
- Williams 4-for-13 with a walk
- Ruf 4-for-12
- Stassi 3-for-10 with a homer, 3 BB, and a double
- Knapp 4-for-9
- Moore 3-for-4 with a homer
- Hunter 4-for-12 with a walk and 4 RBI
- Sweeney 3-for-6 with 2 walks
See you at the park, Friday,