“Well, it took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball, and I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”
— Hank Aaron
These Pigs can hit. Yes, yes, crazy games happen all the time. But if I’m Durham ace and Tampa top prospect Blake Snell today I’ve got to feel pretty good about the three runs I gave up Friday night after the Pigs hung 16 on my team last night.
And, you know how baseball works: After putting up 16 runs and all kinds of crooked numbers, we’ll likely lose today 1-0.
Let’s take the win and move on:
|Rochester Red Wings (MIN)||36||27||.571||–||–||18-13||18-14||20-17||7-3||W1|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY)||35||28||.556||1.0||81||17-16||18-12||18-17||5-5||W2|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI)||34||28||.548||1.5||81||15-13||19-15||18-17||7-3||W2|
|Buffalo Bisons (TOR)||32||30||.516||3.5||79||15-15||17-15||20-21||5-5||L2|
|Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS)||32||30||.516||3.5||78||16-17||16-13||19-22||7-3||L1|
|Syracuse Chiefs (WSH)||30||30||.500||4.5||79||21-13||9-17||18-19||3-7||L1|
The win allows the Pigs to keep pace in the wacky IL North where every team is still at .500 or above, and within 4.5 games. The 7-3 “last 10” is about where we need to be most of the time. We’re back to our “high-water” mark of 6 games above .500.
In team batting, the IronPigs are second to Charlotte. In slugging they are tops, and the home run lead is now 59-56 over said Charlotte squad after last night’s dingers by Darin Ruf and Brock Stassi. Last season, the Pigs only had 69 home runs the entire year. The Pigs single-season record is 117 (2011) and this years squad is on pace for 135 or better. Then again, that team down in Reading already has 81.
INF Emmanuel Burriss remains day-to-day with a bum ankle.
C Andrew Knapp has a 10 game hit streak.
Other players who are HOT: 1B Brock Stassi, INF Taylor Featherston, OF Nick Williams, OF Cedric Hunter, RHP Edubray Ramos, RHP Ben Lively, RHP Jake Thompson
Still no clarity on starting pitchers for next Saturday and the day/night double dip with Buffalo. Considering the standings above, those games are important. They’ve got 18 innings to fill and I’ll be interested to see how they do it. Reading is off tomorrow as well, which would put today’s Fightin starter Nick Pivetta on schedule for Saturday. He’s probably not fully ready for AAA, but he’s had ample time at AA and sometimes that works out OK (see also: Cloyd, Tyler) The IronPigs game notes have Wednesday as a TBA, though, which would push another starter to Saturday. Reading could pull from Clearwater who will be on mid-season All Star break at the time.
The IronPigs remain a man short (two if Burriss is unavailable) with 24 on the active roster.
9,778 at the game last night, they had a tremendous walk-up! The weather turned out great, which allowed all those good seats to get snapped up during the day. The IronPigs are currently second in the IL in attendance, trailing Charlotte by only 400 per game. There are good seats still available for today, but many are singles and doubles, and scattered about the sections. Should be a full house again by game time.
First pitch: 1:35PM Gates: 12:15PM Club 12:00PM
LHP James Russell (1-1, 1.95) will be on the bump for the IronPigs to battle Durham’s Austin Pruitt (4-4, 3.11)
Promotions: It’s a kid’s day! Plush Pig giveaway to first 1,500 kiddos. Tootsie the Clown will be on hand, and there’s post-game kids run the bases.
Cap: I’ll be headed to Reading (There’s at least one guy who might even go along with me) for their 5:05PM start at some point during the IronPigs game today, so this would be a perfect day to sport a Fightins cap. But, I’ve got a powder blue left which I haven’t used, so that’s a possibility as well. We’ll see.
I’m not going to comment too much on the “bunt-gate” from last night. I’m not much of a fan of “unwritten rules” but I am in favor of players policing themselves, as happens in hockey as well. So that cancels itself out somewhat.
Then again, I’ve been on the other side of that, coaching youth games where they’re stealing on us up by 10 and we’re just trying to get the innings in so that the mercy rule will be in effect. I had an opposing coach bunt like 6 times in a row on us once, too. It’s not a great feeling, and of course it’s different with kids.
It is what it is and they should just move on from it today. We have a young team, and some of the veteran leadership (Arencibia, Venable) is gone now. There’s going to be a learning curve sometimes, about many things.
Links of the Day
A quick word about my JP Crawford piece from yesterday: I wanted to get to it before anyone else did. Sure, Greg and Tom and Chuck would do a fine job representing the player and talking to the coaches and whatnot. I was more worried it would be some hack from Philly with a day off in the Phillies schedule who hasn’t watched any games and just needed to fill column-inches by covering the minors for one day. I get somewhat offended by that these days; there are enough of us covering the IronPigs and the Fightins on a daily basis that it just seems so hollow. Secondly, I was starting to see the infamous “message boards” grumbling about Crawford’s AAA stat line, and remember, my seats in Reading are in a section of “JP Truthers” who never liked the player to begin with. I wanted to try to represent what was going on fairly, along with my opinion that everything will work out just fine. Feedback was mostly good, and we avoid the Philly message boards and I have something to re-post if and when that ugliness rears its head.
Here’s Greg’s account of what happened in “bunt-gate” last night.
See you at the park(s) today–it’s a Minor League double-header!