“But I’ll just keep on rollin’ along with the grace from the Lord above.”
-Led Zeppelin, Heartbreaker
The IronPigs returned to their “high-water” position of the 2016 campaign with a 2-0 victory over the Rochester Red Wings at steamy Coca Cola Park last night. The Keys to the victory were RHP Jake Thompson’s stellar outing and the timely hitting of Brock Stassi. #1 Prospect JP Crawford went 3-for-4.
Scranton won as well, so while we leap-frog Rochester for second place we don’t gain any ground:
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY)||54||33||.621||–||–||23-19||31-14||29-19||9-1||W1|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI)||50||37||.575||4.0||54||24-20||26-17||22-20||5-5||W2|
|Rochester Red Wings (MIN)||50||38||.568||4.5||53||25-21||25-17||25-23||5-5||L3|
|Buffalo Bisons (TOR)||48||39||.552||6.0||52||21-21||27-18||24-28||5-5||L1|
|Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS)||45||42||.517||9.0||48||22-24||23-18||24-28||6-4||L1|
|Syracuse Chiefs (WSH)||39||47||.453||14.5||44||24-21||15-26||22-28||3-7||L1|
The five best teams in the IL are all in the North, but some separation should occur as we all begin playing each other again in the coming weeks. Still, it’s best to keep on rolling along and stacking wins as best we can. Each team has had a hot streak here and there, it’s just a matter of consistency. I do have some concerns about our starting rotation going forward–especially if Philadelphia needs a guy or two–but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
First Pitch: 7:05PM Gates: 5:00PM (Happy Hour 5-7PM)
Good seats still remain for this game
RHP David Buchanan (4-5, 4.77) takes the mound for the IronPigs after getting a little break. He’ll face the Red Wings’ LHP Pat Dean (2-5, 4.25 Rochester; 1-3, 5.54 Minnesota).
- Ferrous First Aid Kit (Adults, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Health Network)
- Health Fair Night
- Extended Happy Hour 5-7PM: $1 Hot Dogs, $2 Domestic Drafts
What To Watch:
The IronPigs are 22-9 versus LHP starters on the season, and the Red Wings trot out another tonight. Not like we lit it up last night, but the ‘Pigs did pound out 10 hits–and Dean probably isn’t as good as Wheeler. Look for the IronPigs to rack up some hits and some runs tonight. They haven’t had an offensive explosion for a while; I feel one coming on.
Weather and Cap:
I’ll be in the car at game time, listening along. It’s still quite steamy out, but the chance a storm blows up is quite low. Stay hydrated.
Jake had the same look Aaron Nola had last season before he went up. He didn’t dominate like 15 strikeouts kind of thing, but more surgical: Nobody could really square him up and he was cruising. If not for the mandated rehab innings of Stumpf and Bailey, he could have gone all the way. Thank goodness those rehab guys did well, though, I would have hated to see them waste Jake’s outing with only a 2-run cushion.
Will he go up after the break? I’m not sure–and I know he’s been good for a while–but I’m ready to declare him 100% ready right now. I mean, we’re crossing the line from “ready” to “pushing his way to the next level” where they may not want to hold him back much longer.
We’ll see how Nola comes back after getting an extended break, and how Morgan does in his stead, tonight. We’ll see if Hellickson gets traded coming up. Hopefully the crowded situation in Philly will provide us with quality starters going forward if we’re to challenge for a playoff spot. I’m not sure there will be any starters available from Reading, so we’ll have to look to Philadelphia for help.
After tonight’s game, the IronPigs shuffle off to Buffalo for a 3-game weekend set at Coca Cola Field versus the Blue Jays affiliate. Then they’ll get three days off (except Perkins, Knapp and Mujica will head to Charlotte) before returning home for four more games versus Buffalo starting next Thursday. This could be a nice opportunity to bury the Bisons, if “we” play well over those seven games. The projected starters for the weekend are: Friday: Lively, Saturday: Russell; Sunday: Vasquez. We’ll wait to see how they shuffle coming out of the break.
See you at the (PNC) Park,