“Hello again everybody, it’s a bee-yoo-tiful day for baseball.”
The IronPigs and the Scranton Rails both had their games cancelled yesterday–not to be made up this late in the season. In effect, it mostly hurts the teams chasing–Rochester and P’tucket–who have less chance to catch up.
No matter, we still have the issue of the 2016 IronRail Trophy to be decided. Should the RailRiders win tonight at Coca Cola Park, they’ll capture the trophy for the third time in four seasons. If the IronPigs prevail tonight, tomorrow’s game will be for the prize.
In the playoff standings, the ‘Pigs remain 4.0 games back of Scranton for the division. With a sweep tonight and tomorrow, this could become interesting for the division crown. Otherwise, things will likely end where they are now, as we lead the Wild Card by 5.5 games over Rochester, and 9.5 over P’tucket with 15 left to play. The “magic number” (of IronPigs wins and Rochester losses combined) remains at 12. At this point, the final 5 games versus Rochester still loom somewhat large.
The IronPigs were in Syracuse to play 5 games in 4 days this past weekend–4 of which were played–against last place Chiefs. They split four 1-run games 2-2. The IronPigs are playing some .500-ish baseball of late.
INF Emmanuel Burriss had contract selected by Philadelphia.
LHP Elvis Araujo added to Lehigh Valley roster (optioned by PHI, 8/17).
OF Osmel Aguila added to the DL (right shin contusion) retroactive to 8/17.
In exchange for Burriss, the Phillies optioned INF Taylor Featherston back to the IronPigs. I’m expecting that move to become official later today so that we’ll have “Feather” available for tonight. I’ll have a printable roster out then, if I have the chance.
My take on the move, which I shared on Twitter as it was made, is that the Phillies have thrown us a bone. One player will likely spend most of his time on the bench in Philadelphia, while the other will be in the lineup every night for the IronPigs. Neither is a terribly reliable fielder. Feather has 12 HR and is slashing .264/.320/.446 at AAA, while Burriss has 0 HR and .263/.296/.309. I’ll take the power and on-base of Feather over Burriss heading into the playoffs. This is a move for the IronPigs and not for the Phillies. It likely matters not to them who is sitting on the bench there–but Feather is a guy we can use right now. Many Phillies-watchers were whining about the move online because they want prospects called up. I’ll have more on that, later.
A couple of those games in Syracuse were “blown” by the ‘pen, so it’s good to get Elvis back in the building. He got lit up once up with the big club; hopefully his confidence is OK and he can be setting up Garcia in the wins.
Aguila isn’t very good. Perhaps Reading didn’t really have room for him, so he lands on our DL with the mythical shin contusion. He’s reserve outfield depth for both teams (Reading and Lehigh Valley) at this point, headed into the playoffs.
First Pitch: 7:05PM Gates: 5:45PM Club: 5:30PM
Seats still remain for tonight’s game, but the good ones are mostly gone. Buy ahead, because I’m expecting a significant walk-up given the favorable weather. Grab some for tomorrow while you’re at it, because it will be similar.
LHP Anthony Vasquez (3-0, 2.73) gets pushed forward to tonight after getting rained out yesterday afternoon. It appears SWB will also push their Sunday starter forward as LHP Richard Bleier (2-2, 2.76) is listed rather than Pig-killer Dietrich Enns (who we might have to deal with tomorrow.)
- Dollar Dog Night: $1 Berks Hot Dogs all game long (while supplies last)
- Team USA Cap Night (adults)
Almost perfect tonight and tomorrow. Either that, or Kurt Landes has hacked the weather app. #75andSunny
Most of my editorial for today is already contained above.
Single-game playoff tickets are on sale now, and the first game will have a rally-towel giveaway, which is a nice, cheap, quick, way to have a promo for the bonus game. They’ll likely want to SELL a playoff T-Shirt, so I’m not expecting that–and there might not be time to have a playoff hat made. What other kind of playoff giveaway can you think of? It would be nice to have something…
Link of the Day
I’ll refrain from linking to that Reading “prospect ranking” post, as I was once again excluded from participation.
However, there was quite some noise made over the weekend by Freddy Galvis in support of extended netting to protect fans, after a young girl got hit by his foul ball. I’ll let you search out the Philly beats for your favorite account. I will link to this article by our friend Baseball Betsy, with a personal account–interesting for hockey fans as well!
From my point of view, I think it’s probably time. I get those that don’t want it though; the fellas in my Reading box seats vow to move if they put a net in front of us next season. From our angle, we’re not likely to get a hard-hit ball–maybe a bat is more likely. So I get that. It’s the folks who sit above and beyond the dugouts who are in a danger zone. The ball can come off the bat really fast and even if you’re paying attention it can be difficult to react quickly enough to protect yourself.
See you at the park,