IRONPIGS TODAY: “How The South Was Won” 6/10/2016

“On a two week road trip I know I can get by better with no underwear than no laptop.”

-Curt Schilling


Sweeney  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Sweeney Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The Pigs return home tonight to begin their longest stretch of home games on the 2016 season schedule.  There will be 10 games in 10 days plus an off-day.  That’s not chopped liver.  It’s chopped steak!

The team took their annual swing through the “deep south” over the last eight days, returning a 5-3 record.  While the winning nature of the trip is satisfactory, the losses the last two days make it somewhat unsatisfying.  They took three of four in the Charlotte band box and forced the retirement of our old friend Phillippe Aumont (seriously, the dude hung it up after blowing two games against his old team.)  Then they took two in a row in Gwinnett Georgia, while answering the question:  “If nobody is there to see the baseball game, does it count?”  However, the last two days, while the Phillies were messing around with our starting pitchers, the team also forgot how to hit and dropped both games to the reeling Barves.  Indeed, the Southern Division is among the weakest in the IL, and it was a chance to gain some ground.  It went somewhat unrealized.


International League North
Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 35 26 .574 17-12 18-14 20-17 6-4 L1
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 33 28 .541 2.0 82 17-16 16-12 18-17 4-6 L1
Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 32 28 .533 2.5 82 15-13 17-15 20-21 6-4 W1
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 32 28 .533 2.5 82 13-13 19-15 18-17 6-4 L2
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) 31 29 .517 3.5 80 15-16 16-13 19-22 7-3 W2
Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 29 29 .500 4.5 81 21-13 8-16 18-19 2-8 L2
International League South
Charlotte Knights (CWS) 31 31 .500 16-14 15-17 17-13 5-5 W1
Durham Bulls (TB) 28 34 .452 3.0 80 16-17 12-17 19-15 7-3 W1
Gwinnett Braves (ATL) 27 34 .443 3.5 79 14-16 13-18 18-15 3-7 W2
Norfolk Tides (BAL) 21 40 .344 9.5 74 11-22 10-18 10-21 4-6 L1

More Team Stats:

vs LHP Starter: 14-7

vs IL South: 7-3

Night Games: 18-20

Series Openers: 9-12

Fridays: 4-6

June: 6-2

Who’s Hot

Prior to yesterday’s game where he went 0-for-4, OF Nick Williams had a 6-game hit streak (11-27, .407-2-7, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 runs, .815 slugging).

C Andrew Knapp has hit safely in his last 8 games, including a double yesterday.

OF Cedric Hunter has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games.

Over his last 13 games, 1B/OF Darin Ruf is batting .353-4-13; he’s also hit safely in 11 of his last 16 games.

Relievers Edward Mujica and Edubray Ramos have been shutting down the 8th and 9th innings quite well of late.

Today’s Game

The Durham Bulls are in town for their annual visit to Coca Cola Park.  They are the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

On their roster, you’ll recognize our old (old?  He was just here like five minutes ago…) friend C/1B/DH JP Arencibia.  At least we don’t have the uncomfortable situation of two “JP’s” on the team at once.  You’ll recognize 1B Kyle Roller from his time with Scranton.  As far as prospects for the Rays, the Durham squad features their number one prospect–and tonight’s starting pitcher, LHP Blake Snell.  SS Daniel Robertson is the #5 prospect.  3B Richie Schaffer is number 10 on one prospect list.  Finally, RHP Jaime Schultz, tomorrow’s projected starter, is #19.

For the IronPigs tonight, RHP Jake Thompson (4-5, 3.82) takes the mound against the aforementioned Snell (3-4, 3.14)

Tonight is the “Salute to Philadelphia” and we’ll take the field as the “Steaks”–‘wit’ won the fan poll.  There will be a jersey auction and post-game fireworks.  The Phanatic is in town, and limited tickets remain for this long-anticipated game.  First Pitch: 7:05PM; Gates 5:45PM; Club 5:30PM.

Cap:  I’ll be protesting the “Steaks” as I’m still bitter about cancelling a day of well-paying work to attend their dog and pony show earlier this year.  I’ll throw it back to the “Gobblers” tonight–back when one-off jerseys were cool and didn’t have food on them.  😉  (OK so turkeys are food too.  I’m still wearing a different hat to every game this season.)

Kram’s Korner:

This is where I emote–and yes, putting food on jerseys and hats has been very profitable for the organization.  In a stroke of marketing genius, they made two versions, ‘wit’ and ‘witout’, which helped create fan buzz, media attention, and perhaps as much as doubled the sales of merchandise.  Good for them.  I just want to win baseball games.

“And, a new video board,” said one guy I know.

What to watch tonight:

  • Watch as two top pitching prospects go head to head.
  • Watch to see how high the jersey auctions go for some of our top prospects.
  • JP Crawford has been struggling to make solid contact, hitting plenty of grounders and pop-ups.  He’s been a bit unlucky, too.  His walks and strikeouts are at decent levels, though, so look for his numbers to start turning around soon.  He had the day off yesterday.
  • Watch for roster moves later today–it appears Carlos Alonso will return, and starting pitcher Tyler Viza has been promoted to Reading, where he’ll start tonight.  It looks like Venable took his “out clause” and Nina was released.  Official roster post to follow.

Today’s Links

  1. The Bulls have the only other AAA blog we know of.  Stop by and say hello to Chris.
  2. JP Arencibia thought he was having some fun with me, when actually it was I who was having the fun.
  3. Good stuff from Greg Joyce, on Cam Perkins and his coffee.  Gotta wonder if JP Arencibia wants his credit card back…

See you at the park,


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

1 reply

  1. Hello to the Nawth:

    This is not the Durham Bulls team of previous years. Players to watch, in addition to those you mentioned: Dayron Varona who has an arm you really don’t want to challenge; Jaff Decker is quick on the bases; and kuckleballing Eddie Gamboa (you probably saw him when he was with Norfolk). The Bulls have been on a run lately, winning 8 of their last 11, but mostly on pitching. Here’s hoping the ‘Pigs stay asleep.

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