“In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency,
not to worry about the numbers.
If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted,
if you aim for consistency,
the numbers will be there at the end.”
Last night was just one of those nights.
Ben Lively had his first ‘off’ night, and unfortunately it occurred while the ‘Pigs weren’t really hitting well. As fans, we’d been gone for a week and needed to re-adjust to the ballpark and eat as many wings as we could during the wing-fest. Folks were in my seats and wouldn’t leave, then others put their feet right next to my head so that I could get the full odor effect. Good times. Then a guy got shot out of a cannon. Crazy night.
JP Crawford didn’t play, and Nick Williams didn’t play well. That was all the talk after the game–or at least after the dude got shot out of a cannon. You never know what kind of night it’s gonna be, huh?
But today’s another day, and we grind on:
The Team drops into second place with the loss and the Scranton win. Rochester also lost, in a bit of a funk with four straight losses now, and remains tied with us for second in the IL North.
The Roster move with Elvis Araujo returning was completed this morning. I’ll have a separate post for that, along with a printable schedule.
Ruf and Burriss had decent games last night, and despite his troubles, Ben Lively didn’t completely melt down. If we had been hitting a bit better, perhaps it’s not even as noticeable. Nick Williams struggles were over-blown, methinks. I’ll try to have more thoughts later if I get a chance. The most interesting part of it for me was that the struggles came on a night when he didn’t have JP Crawford hitting in front of him–for whatever that is worth.
7:05PM first pitch; 5:45PM gates; 5:30PM club.
The IronPigs will send LHP James Russell (2-3, 5.01) to the mound tonight to face Indians prospect RHP Adam Plutko (1-1, 3.09) for the Clippers, making his third AAA start.
What to watch in the game:
- Watch to see if Nick Williams is in the lineup. I think he will be, and in order to get the consistent performance that the Phillies want to see before he gets called up, he’s going to have to play through things. Again, more later if I have a chance.
- Watch to see how Russell fares. He did well as he started stretching into a starter. The last couple times out, though, he’s been struggling some. In his last start in Norfolk he really didn’t get into trouble until the sixth inning.
- Watch to see if Brundy has a short leash for Russell. With Hinojosa in town rehabbing, and with Araujo needing innings, it seems like the ‘pen is in pretty good shape to handle a shorter outing tonight if need be.
- Watch to see if the bats get going tonight. Plutko is highly regarded, but if we’re on, we can hit anybody.
- Watch to see if Sweeney is at third again. I think he’s done a reasonable job there while trying to increase his versatility. Feather may be a better fielder at 2B than anywhere else. Burriss has played well overall.
Nurses appreciation night, with Water Bottle Giveaway sponsored by Cedar Crest College.
It’s dicey. However, tomorrow is the last game of the season series with Columbus, and while the weather looks OK for that one and a doubleheader could be added (and likely will be), they will give the skies every chance to clear tonight before cancelling. Expect to sit around from 7:05 until 8:05 or 8:30 even if it looks dire. My hat for tonight will depend on how hard it’s raining when I arrive.
I know I’ve used that Tom Seaver quote above, before. It’s what the Phillies are looking for, though, with their young talent. They’re looking for consistent at-bats, consistent effort, consistent pitches, and a consistent overall approach. They’re willing to let young, talented players work on that consistency without the bright lights and distractions of the big city, and want them to feel the winning as well. I’ll go into more detail later if I have time, but keep that in mind before you start criticizing players, coaches or the organization. Bottom line: Everything’s just fine. Keep grinding. Like we said yesterday: Every day.
Link of the Day
I really wasn’t happy with anything that was written after last night’s game. I thought it could have been done better, considering the situation overall. And I’ll step up and try to do that myself when I’m done with my real job.
See you at the park,
PS: Here’s my video of the cannon shot:
(Junior and DiPro with the commentary)