IRONPIGS TODAY: Wave of Mediocrity 8/30/2016

“I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice.”

-Casey Stengel

Ruf currently sporting a 15-game hitting streak. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Ruf currently sporting a 15-game hitting streak.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The IronPigs return home tonight for the first of two with P’tucket, just off a 6-game road swing.  They creep towards the playoffs continuing to play middling .500 ball.

They were 3-3 on the road trip.  They were 3-3 in the six games leading up to the road trip.  They were 3-3 on the six-game home stand prior to that!  Overall, they are 14-14 in August!

Will it be enough to win 3-of-5 in a playoff series with Scranton?  We shall see–we’ll need to make sure we can beat Rochester first.  More on that tomorrow.

The deficit to Scranton is now 4.0 games; the lead in the wild card is now 3.5 over Rochester.  We’re riding a wave of mediocrity towards a potential post-season bid.  Nevertheless, the wins on the road trip clinched the best season ever for the IronPigs (percent-wise) and tied for the most wins ever (2011) and clinched the most road wins ever (42).

It’s been a successful season, but how we remember it will ultimately be decided by what happens over the next week–or two or three.

Roster News

No roster moves to speak of right now; however, it has been said in Philadelphia that the Phillies expect to call up two relievers on Friday (9/2).  If it’s a lefty and a righty, that’s probably Araujo and Garcia, our two best relief arms right now.  Or, they could raid Reading for one (Cordero) and us for the other (Schuster) or something along those lines.  If they’re no longer enamored of Hermann, they could return him in exchange, as well.  If they take Hinojosa, I’ll consider signing up for season tickets next year or buying a ton of merchandise as a way to thank them.

Other than that, and barring any injury or other problem, I expect rosters to stay about as-is both here and in Reading as we limp down the stretch…

TODAY’S GAME

P’tucket returns to town, following two games up there during the just-completed road trip, and three here in Allentown earlier this month.  This amount of games in proximity creates some interesting match-up situations.

First Pitch:  7:05pM     Gates:  5:45PM     Club:  5:30PM

Many seats still remain for tonight’s game.

Big RHP Phil Klein (4-1, 1.72) our erstwhile ace of late, takes the mound to face the Paw Sox’ RHP Justin Haley (7-5, 4.02)

Klein has been a find, since coming over on a waiver claim from Texas.  He often uses a lot of pitches and dodges bullets, but has the experience to handle the pressure and perform under adverse conditions.  He went 7.2 innings his last time out–against this very P’tucket squad, and allowed 5 hits, 1 earned run, and had 7 strikeouts.

Haley has faced Lehigh Valley his last two times through the rotation, getting lit up for 9 runs at Coca Cola Park on 8/17, but yielding only 3 in a 8/25 start in P’tucket.  He lost both games, but may benefit some from facing the same team for a third time in a row.

Or, will the IronPigs batters benefit from seeing the same pitcher three times over only a couple weeks?  That’s the question to be answered tonight.

The other thing to watch is how the relievers do after Klein exits.  It’s a potential problem I see lurking on the horizon as well scuffle towards the playoffs.

Promotions:

  • Wall Calendar Night (7,000 Adults) — always an excellent job by Nacci Printing.  This year, look for some photos from our very own Cheryl Pursell! (I’ve been told…)
  • Dog Day #6
  • IronHeads Night  (oops; I never returned my RSVP.  Darn.)

Weather:  

No issues to report.  It is starting to get cooler later in the evenings, though.

Upcoming:

In IronPigs Today tomorrow look for a quick preview of the Rochester away-and-home series which will close this season and ultimately determine our playoff fate.  Should we be fortunate enough to hold on for the post-season, “Get The Red Out” will be our IronPigs playoff column.

 

See you at the park,

@Kram209

 

 

 



Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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