“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
The bats fell silent once again, wasting Ben Lively’s quality start in the 6-0 beat down by the Pirates affiliate at Coca Cola Park last night.
Up in Scranton, the RailMonkeys beat the RedWings to go up 4.0 games on us for the division, but the Rochester loss keeps them 5.5 back of us for the Wild Card. P’tucket is now only 1.5 back of Rochester–something to remember as we face the Red Sox affiliate in upcoming games.
Roster Shuffle Continues
Late yesterday we got the official move with OF Peter Bourjos heading back to Philadelphia upon completion of his rehab, and another “Nick,” RHP Nick Pivetta arriving from Reading. Ben Lively started last night pending the call up of LHP Adam Morgan for tomorrow’s start in Philadelphia.
Also late yesterday, we learned that OF/IF Cody Asche was optioned from Philadelphia to make room for Bourjos, and that the Phillies had claimed LHP reliever Patrick Schuster off waivers from Oakland, and immediately optioned him to Lehigh Valley. These moves will necessitate corresponding moves in Allentown and Reading. We’ll try to have an official roster post later today when some of this shakes out. I suppose there is the possibility that it could wait until tomorrow.
JP Crawford has missed three straight games, and we heard last night it is his “side” which is the issue. Sources close to the clubhouse are telling me it’s the dreaded “oblique” injury, which would be bad. A DL stint for JP could be upcoming; that would open a roster spot at least. However, that’s certainly not optimal for our playoff run, and I’m holding my breath hoping he’s OK and will be back in the lineup tonight.
First Pitch: 6:35PM; Gates: 5:15PM; Club 5:00PM
Seats are still available for this game, although the good ones are going fast.
RHP Nick Pivetta (0-0, 0.00; 11-6, 3.41 in AA Reading) makes his AAA debut at home, facing veteran RHP Drew Huchison (6-5, 3.64). Nick’s fastball is electric, and may touch 97 tonight. The key for him will be controlling the fastball enough to get strikes and his ability to command his secondary offerings and work ahead in counts.
- Post-game fireworks
- Youth Replica Jersey–Saturday Bacon (Kiddos)
Heat continues to be an issue, and pop-up thunderstorms are possible around game time. With tomorrow as the last meeting between these teams in 2016, expect any rain delay tonight to be carried out to it’s maximum in order to try to get this game in. A doubleheader tomorrow would be a possibility–and for now no rain in the forecast for then–but that would still be a last resort.
Of course, all seasons have their ups and downs. Each team–not only ours–goes through periods of winning and losing. 4-6 in our last 10 is not optimal, of course–but Rochester has done the same, which keeps our spot in the standings secure. Even the mighty Scranton had a 5-game losing streak recently.
Each team will get jerked around by their parent club, as well. Austin is going up to the big yankees to replace the retired A-Rod, Severino is going back up, reportedly, after a minimal stint this week in Moosic. Slugger Aaron Judge looks completely back from his injury now, and could be the next to go, along with Gamel. New York certainly likes to see their AAA team do well, but they like fannies in those expensive seats in the Bronx, as well, and some exciting call-ups is a way to do it. For now at least, I’m not afraid of them as a first-round playoff opponent.
Remember other years, when we were just “playing out the string” this time of year? Yeah, other teams are going through that right now, so it will be important to beat up on them when we can. We’ll see what our team looks like after the next round of roster moves are complete. We’ll see if JP can get back out on the field. We’ll see if that helps Nick Williams, who seems to bat better with JP in front of him. And, we’ll see what effect Asche has on the team. Certainly, our buddy Cody would rather be on the Phillies, but in quotes yesterday is was evident: He knows he needs to produce, and now he’ll have the chance to do just that. And he’ll have the chance to do it in the context of a playoff push. Look for him, Stassi, Buchanan, Hunter, Lough and other veterans to step up and push this team forward.
I admit to being nervous about this, but I’m enjoying the ride, of meaningful baseball in August (and hopefully September) this season. There’s a lot to be nervous about, but a lot to like with this team as well.
See you at the park,