“What I want, you’ve got
And it might be hard to handle
But like the flame that burns the candle
The candle feeds the flame, yeah yeah”
-Hall and Oats, “You Make My Dreams”
Another day and another loss for the bat-deprived IronPigs squad. This time it was a 4-hour marathon that included a one and a half hour rain delay. Cam Perkins came up with a big hit in the bottom of the ninth, but crafty lefty and sometimes first-baseman Brock Stassi couldn’t hold down the fort in the 13th inning, and the good guys lost 4-2. The bats were again anemic, with only Stassi with a multi-hit game (and a solo HR).
Scranton and Rochester were rained out and will play a twin bill today. The standings this morning have the IronPigs 4.5 out of the division, and 5.0 up in the wild card.
Still, it hasn’t been great: The Pigs have lost four of their last five, which is roughly the time frame of JP Crawford’s oblique injury. They’re also 3-5 since Jake Thompson’s promotion. However, it hasn’t been the pitching that has been the problem. Young rotation pieces Ben Lively and Nick Pivetta have had solid outings. Veteran Adam Morgan has been called up now, but Phil Klein has been solid. David Buchanan’s clunker in Moosic is the only real bad start in the recent losing stretch.
It’s the bats. The IronPigs who have led the International League in many batting categories throughout the season have suddenly seen their bats go cold. The JP Crawford injury is an interesting milepost, but it remains to be seen whether that was the key to the slide or not. There have been some talented veteran pitchers on the mound for the opposing teams, and maybe some guys are pressing a bit.
Cody Asche was in the lineup batting second last night, and did add a hit late in the game and scored the tying run. Nick Williams batting behind him hit an early double before going 1-for-6 with 4 K’s. Asche was in left field last night, but will reportedly see time at 3B and 1B during this tour with the IronPigs.
Lefty reliever Patrick Schuster should be added to the roster today after coming over from the A’s organization on a waiver claim. Schuster was a AAA All Star for the PCL and put up a line of 1.30ERA/34.2 IP/37K/12BB/0HR in the minors before making his MLB debut with Oakland. He should be a fine addition to the bullpen, which should be hurting this morning after cycling through four relievers (plus Stassi) in last night’s extra inning affair. As Morgan is added to the Phillies, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Elvis back in the building, as well; hopefully he can make the trip up the turnpike in time for today’s game, if that is indeed the move to be made–a DL move, Severino or Mariot down, could also be made.
1:35PM first pitch; 12:15PM gates; 12:00PM club
Plenty of seats still remain for this game, but the good ones are somewhat limited.
This is the finale of the three-game set with the Indians, AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. P’tucket arrives for tomorrow’s game.
RHP Phil Klein (1-1, 2.08) takes the mound to try to stop the bleeding for the IronPigs. He’ll face Indians’ LHP Steven Brault (2-5, 3.26) a Regis University prospect who made his MLB debut with the Pirates earlier this season. Brault is coming off two very shaky outings, and might be ripe to get the IronPigs bats back in shape.
- Post-game, “kids run the bases”
- IronPiglet Parade
- Team USA (Bacon USA) Cereal Bowl and Spoon Giveaway (Kids)
I really don’t have the answer to the batting problem. It seems to be the whole lineup, and it appears from my seat that Brundy has been doing a fine job mixing guys in and getting guys rest and stacking it in a way that makes sense. I don’t think we’re at the point where we just throw out a random-function-type lineup or have a clubhouse meeting or anything ridiculous like that. Perhaps a day game is another opportunity to break the slumps. But also maybe bring your bat to the game today; you might get a chance to hit.
I’ve maintained before that Nick Williams doesn’t look as good at the plate without JP Crawford hitting in front of him. My basis for that isn’t just observation, it’s that JP sees so many pitches and is so often on base, I think it dials Nick in a little better. Certainly, this is something Nick has to work on himself, too. And, once Asche starts heating up, there should be a similar benefit there, as well, until JP gets back.
JP took infield yesterday but didn’t throw or bat. They’re taking it slowly, but are resisting putting him on the DL for now. If a DL move is necessary today, I’d think a non-available reliever from last-night’s affair might be a candidate with a “turf toe” or some such. Also, I could see Joely headed back to Reading (I think we’ll need Hoby today). Naturally, I want JP back as quickly as possible, but despite the fact that his injury is considered a rather minor grade of oblique strain (according to reports) I’m just as nervous about rushing him.
Mrs. Kram declared Nick Williams her favorite player on the 2016 squad, yesterday. Past winners include Delwyn Young, Josh Fields, Cody Asche, and Tyler Henson. Meanwhile, it was revealed that one guy’s wife is a big, big fan of Cam Perkins.
The Playoff Push is Real: I received my parking passes for the IronPigs playoff games, yesterday. They’re going with these nice, glossy passes rather than just loading it on my card. (Preferred Parking provided with four club level seats). The extra trouble of printing these and mailing them out could also result in an increase in parking revenue for the playoff games, I suppose.
See you at the park, then the arena probably,