“The two most important things in life: good friends and a strong bullpen.”
All pitchers matter.
It’s not a good day when the big team takes your starter at 2PM–but then, that’s no excuse for two measly singles at the plate, either.
And when you look at it–it kind of makes sense. Gregory Infante–who Junior accidentally/on-purpose referred to as “Aumont-e” early on–as been averaging something like 1.1 innings per outing for Reading, of late. He pitched a very efficient, scoreless first inning, but got into some big trouble in the second.
Joely, who has had some longer outings for Reading, bailed Infante out of some trouble in the third, pitched a scoreless fourth, then got into his own mess in the fifth. Murray, Araujo, and Hinojosa (somehow despite yielding a hit and two walks) pitched scoreless innings from there on out as they were used more conventionally in the 7-0 beat down by the RailRiders, in front of a somewhat artificially-inflated 8,537 in Allentown.
The other thing that was interesting: The Fightins activated RHP Thomas Eshelman from the DL yesterday when Infante came to the IronPigs. He pitched last night (and did well) in a start which was supposed to be Anthony Vasquez. Now, Vasquez is a starter and could have easily filled in for Klein, right? Injury? Something to do with Infante? He’ll get Jake’s spot on Friday? Don’t know, but it was an interesting decision. Our old friend Tony is somewhat unspectacular, but he’s a solid lefty-veteran and a starting pitcher at the very least, so I am looking for him to take Jake’s spot I guess.
For a team that usually hits leftys well, the IronPigs have been somewhat lackluster at the plate the last two nights. They’ll get a reprieve tonight, before Rochester arrives for the weekend with the same three leftys they trotted out against us last weekend (they won one; we won two).
Nevertheless, the BaconUSA residents are now once again tied with Moosic atop the IL North–both with the best record in all of AAA baseball. The “Festers” win or tie the 4-game series tonight, and pick up against this team for three more in the middle of next week in Moosic. (NoiseNation contingent going to the game on Wednesday; let me know if you’re interested.)
IronRail Series: 6-6 (18)
Roster shuffling continues–pretty easy when Philly, Allentown, and Reading are all at home at the same time. RHP Phil Klein who was called up to start yesterday for the Phillies was optioned back following the game as Jeanmar Gomez returned quickly from his paternity leave. Or did he? Now hearing LHP Elvis Araujo to Phillies. Conventional thinking is that RHP Jake Thompson will get the call to take Aaron Nola‘s spot in the MLB rotation–with Thompson due to pitch tomorrow, and the Phillies leaving for the west coast, we should know soon enough. Jake will need a 40-man spot, which could also create some fall-out. RHP Andrew Bailey is in DFA limbo right now. OF Roman Quinn will be activated by Reading today, which could cause some OF fallout–although I’m not sure it will impact the IronPigs.
A roster post will likely follow, later today. Working title: “As The Bullpen Turns”
First Pitch: 7:05PM Gates: 5:00PM (Happy Hour)
It’s “Fest” night! There are a fair few tickets still available for this game, but a significant walk-up is expected and a sell-out is possible. Grab your tickets ahead of time. Also, note that with 5PM gates, those cool mugs will likely be gone before you get there unless you arrive early or have a club ticket (sold out).
RHP David Buchanan(8-5, 3.82) has been absolutely smokin’ hot of late. He’ll look to stabalize things for the IronPigs pitching staff as he faces RHP Kyle Haynes (4-4, 4.73), a Virginia native and Virginia Commonwealth product, and another young pitcher brought up through the Yankees system. He’s had a few clunkers lately, so ‘Pigs LHB-heavy lineup should get some stuff to hit.
Questions to be answered at tonight’s game:
- Will the bats wake up for the IronPigs? Will Ruf start against the RHP? How will he do?
- Will Buck pitch as well as he has of late? Will he have a chip because they didn’t call him up yesterday to pitch on short rest? Will he be able to go deep in the game to help the depleted bullpen?
- Will Haynes get shelled, as he did in Pawtucket and Charlotte recently? He gives up a lot of contact, but is sometimes able to keep the opposition off the scoreboard. Will that be the case tonight?
- What will the ‘Festers jerseys look like on the field? Will the auction prices be high? Why didn’t they come out with a corresponding hat?
- How many times will Kram use the Dictionary.com definition of “Fester” tonight?
- Musikfest Night as the IronPigs change their name to “Festers”
- “Fester” jersey auction
- Extended Happy Hour: 5-7PM $1 Hot Dogs; $2 Domestic Drafts
- Special mug refill pricing if you purchase the “official” Musikfest Mug at the game.
- Musikfest Clay Mug giveaway (3,000 Adults)
79 and sunny; gentle breeze
I really liked the Woodchucks and the Gobblers when we did the “What Could Have Been” nights. The Steaks, well, I thought it was kind of derivative with the bacon, and the design kind of questionable, so I stayed away from the merch. However, they did look OK on the field that night. The “Festers” jerseys are growing on me, although the yellow is a bit hard to take. The back is cool. The idea of “introducint” Musikfest at “Bacon-platz” this year, and having the proceeds of the jersey auction benefit Artsquest is also a great idea. Keep trying, IronPigs.
When we look back to August 2, when we took possession of first place, and then lost the following night, will it be a blip on the radar, or will it be the beginning of the end? This is a good team, and it’s hard to believe that the loss of Phil-freaking-Klein (sorry Phil–you’ve been good for us; glad to have you back. seriously.) would spell the end of some excellent baseball we’ve seen played around here this season and especially since June 1. However, with more roster moves on the horizon, I can also see the team sliding much like the 2012 squad. Jake Thompson has been the anchor in the rotation for quite some time now, and while we’re happy for him to get the promotion he deserves, his loss is going to hurt this team. Buchanan-Morgan-Lively is a decent way to start a playoff series, but there are no ‘off days’ in the semi-pro playoffs, so Klein-Vasquez will have to close it out, and that does make me somewhat nervous. At least nervous enough for me to be contemplating things like, “Could Aaron Nola rehab during the playoffs?” and “When is Alec Asher’s 80 games up?”
See you at the park,