“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”
– Bob Feller
I overheard a conversation in front of me at the game the other day. A kid asked his dad about how many games the players play. Dad responded, “They play three or four games a week; three or four here and then three or four someplace else.”
Wrong. I didn’t butt-in on the conversation, but these guys play every darn day in the minors. They get one day off per month and half the time that day is used up with travel or recovering from a long overnight trip. They get the All Star break–which is one of the reasons I didn’t get all on board with the whole voting stuff. Sure “it’s an honor” and all the right things get said, but I’m just as happy if our IronPigs players can get some days off to rest, relax, maybe go home for a couple days. Then, they can come back and make a run at a playoff spot. If they are going to need to play into September–either via playoffs or via promotions when the rosters expand–then a nice break at mid-season is a good idea for their bodies and their minds. Every darn day.
The BaconUSA squad once again gathered some wins on their trip through the Southern Division. This time, they took three of four in Norfolk before sweeping the three-game weekend series in Durham, to come home with a 6-1 road trip record and a share of first place in the IL North!
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI)||45||32||.584||–||–||20-16||25-16||20-19||7-3||W3|
|Rochester Red Wings (MIN)||45||32||.584||–||–||22-16||23-16||20-17||5-5||L3|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY)||45||32||.584||–||–||21-18||24-14||20-18||6-4||W1|
|Buffalo Bisons (TOR)||43||34||.558||2.0||66||21-17||22-17||22-23||8-2||W6|
|Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS)||39||38||.506||6.0||61||20-22||19-16||22-27||5-5||L1|
|Syracuse Chiefs (WSH)||36||39||.480||8.0||61||24-16||12-23||21-21||6-4||W2|
|Charlotte Knights (CWS)||37||41||.474||–||–||18-18||19-23||20-20||3-7||L1|
|Gwinnett Braves (ATL)||34||43||.442||2.5||64||20-20||14-23||22-17||4-6||W1|
|Durham Bulls (TB)||34||44||.436||3.0||64||20-20||14-24||23-18||4-6||L3|
|Norfolk Tides (BAL)||28||49||.364||8.5||59||15-25||13-24||15-25||5-5||W1|
|Indianapolis Indians (PIT)||40||36||.526||–||–||20-16||20-20||16-13||4-6||L3|
|Columbus Clippers (CLE)||40||37||.519||0.5||68||23-18||17-19||16-16||5-5||L1|
|Louisville Bats (CIN)||39||37||.513||1.0||68||14-21||25-16||13-19||4-6||W3|
|Toledo Mud Hens (DET)||32||43||.427||7.5||62||15-21||17-22||15-12||4-6||L2|
At 13 games above .500, the ‘Pigs have their best record since 7/13/2012.
The team is ranked among the best in the IL in many offensive categories, including tops in Slugging and Doubles at this juncture.
Many players have been contributing to the winning way of late. A key player on the road trip has been young shortstop JP Crawford, who has his average up to .222 and came through with big hits in big spots several times on the trip.
Vince Velasquez will go tonight for the Phillies after one rehab in Reading last week. With Zach Eflin pitching better in the Majors right now, he’ll remain. Adam Morgan had been scuffling a bit of late and was a good bet to get the option and re-join the ‘Pigs; however, it seems they are going to have him work in relief and will option big lefty Elvis Araujo. We’ll have an official roster post later today if possible.
Columbus comes to town for their 2016 series in Allentown, PA. The AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians will try to keep pace with Indianapolis in the West. Prospects to watch for the Clippers include pitcher Mike Clevinger (3) who should pitch Wednesday, pitcher Adam Plutko (10) who should pitch tomorrow, 1B Jesus Aguilar (14), reliever Shawn Armstrong (16), 3B Yandy Diaz (17), and SS Erik Gonzalez (19).
With their prospects pitching the next couple days, it will be important to get off to a good start in this series; the match-up on the mound today is favorable:
RHP Ben Lively (3-0, 2.45) goes for the IronMen versus veteran LHP Ross Detwiler (1-4, 4.88)
First pitch 7:05PM, Gates 5:45PM, Club 5:30PM. Good seats still remain for tonight’s game, but may sell out due to the following promotions:
Wing and Beer Fest today in the PicNic Patio, 21+, all-you-can-eat wings, several beer samples. $40 includes game ticket, or $30 as an add-on if you already have a ticket. All food and drink must remain in the patio. Will run 6-8PM; Check with the ticket office if you’re interested–it may be sold out.
Dollar Dog Night. $1 hot dogs all night tonight.
Autograph Table. 6:00 to 6:20 or something like that. Players subject to change. I believe Luis Garcia is involved tonight.
Human Cannon Ball. Performance following the game.
Hat and Weather: One guy was able to pick up that Father’s Day cap for me, and the new Stars/Stripes cap is out which I’ll likely purchase, so with those additions I should be able to make it through this home-stand still not repeating any caps for the 2016 season. We’ll see. There is a 45% chance of showers at game time, but you can bet I’ll be there to eat my $30 worth of wings. 🙂
It sure is nice to be able to check the standings every day and have it matter. We’ve been a better road club compared with home, but we’ve been able to win plenty games at The Coke as well. It’s been a fun season so far and I hope it continues.
I’ll have some opinion on the Morgan/Araujo move coming up in the roster post. I’m not sure it’s what I would have done, but it may be somewhat temporary–we’ll see. Ramos has done fine so far with the big club, and should remain. We wish him well, of course. He sounds like a really good kid.
It will be good to get back to the park today; I’ve missed it. It is kind of sad to miss a whole series in Reading this week, though. Whenever I’m not down there now, I’m missing that, too. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Link of the Day
With the team on the road, not many articles were written about them. Except here, where I plead for our team to (mostly) stick together, and a few mid-season thoughts on each player.
See you at the park,