A difficult week for Lehigh Valley as they went 1-6, falling to 49-71 on the year, 24 games behind division leading Scranton in the Northern Division of the International league. The ‘Pigs are struggling with a makeshift lineup and pitching staff as they have recently lost several key players to various consequences including call ups (Cervenak, Walrond, Happ), Olympics (Green, Swindle), Japan (Ennis), and the DL(King). Between all of those variables Lehigh Valley has lost 25% of their team over the passed two weeks or so. League leaders still include several ‘Pigs not on the current roster. Hitting leaders include Mike Cervenak who is leading the league in average (.320), and 6th in the league in hits (124). Brandon Watson is 7th in the league in hits (124). Rich THompson is 10th in the league in stolen bases (24). Andy Tracy is 8th in OBP (.380), 5th in walks (57), 4th in RBI’s (74), and 3rd in doubles (28). Les Walrond leads the league in ERA (2.61, is second in complete games (2), and tied for the league lead in shutouts(2). JA Happ is 7th in ERA (3.30), second in strikeouts (127), and 4th in WHIP (1.18). Brian Mazone is 6th in homers allowed (17), 3rd in innings (141), and 2nd in starts (23). Matt Childers is 3rd in the league with 19 saves.
JD Durbins’s (0-6) struggles at the AAA level continued last Friday as he lasted only an inning giving up 8 runs on 7 hits in a 12-1 blowout loss to Norfolk. Not much else to talk about in this game only to briefly mention that Gary Knotts came in and also had a rough day giving up 4 runs in his 3 innings. Nothing notable offensively either.
The offense was absent again on Saturday evening in a 4-1 loss to Rochester, managing the lone run on 6 hits. The only ‘Pigs run came on an RBI single by Mike Rouse in the 4th inning. Travis Blackley started and took the loss, going 6.1 innings and giving up 4 runs on 4 hits. He walked 3 and struck out 4. Twins prospect Phil Humber worked 8 impressive innings striking out 9 ‘Pigs. Joey Hammond had 2 hits for Lehigh Valley.
On Sunday evening, Lehigh Valley, beat Rochester 5-3 in Carlos Carrasco’s debut with the Iron Pigs. Carrasco went 6.2 innings, giving up 2 runs (none earned) on 5 hits. he walked 2 and struck out 4. John Ennis (4-3) picked up the win in relief and Matt Childers earned his 19th save. Andy Tracy was 3-4 with a double, run, and RBI, leading the offense. Brandon Watson, Oscar Robles, Mike Rouse, and Joey Hammond all added 2 hits for the ‘Pigs.
Monday evening brought a 4-3 loss to Rochester in a rocky performance by Brian Mazone. Mazone (9-9) worked in an out of trouble all night and it finally caught up to him in the 5th inning when Rochester scored 3 runs. Mazone left having gone 7 innings and gave up 4 runs on 11 hits. He didnt walk a batter and struck out 5. The ‘Pigs bounced back in the 5th on homers by Brandon Watson (2) and Jason Jaramillo (8), but the Red Wings added another run in the 7th to take a 4-2 lead. Lehigh Valley was able to get one back in the 9th on a sacrifice fly by Chris Snelling but the game ended with the bases loaded as Jason jaramillo grounded out. Offensively, Oscar Robles (4-4), Brandon Watson (3-5), and Jason Jaramillo (2-5), all had big nights for the ‘Pigs.
The game on Tuesday night was rained out and is being made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday. In Game One on Wednesday, the third consecutive solid effort by Kris Benson was wasted as he pitched 6 innings and gave up only 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, in the 3-2 loss. JD Durbin (0-7) took the loss for the ‘Pigs who played a sloppy game which included 3 errors. The Lehigh Valley offense came on Jon Knott’s 17th homer of the year. Both Brandon Watson and Joey Hammond added 2 hits.
In the nightcap, the offense was completely non-existant (2 hits) in a 5-0 loss to Rochester. Gary Knotts (2-4) got a spot start and went 5 innings, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 5. Brandon Watson and TJ Bohn managed the only hits off of Rochester starter Tom Shearn.
An embarrassing effort by Travis Blackley (5-9) led to the 4th consecutive loss by Lehigh Valley 11-7 to Rochester, Blackley went 3.2 innings and gave up 15 hits and 10 runs (all earned). The offense welcomed back Andy Tracy who had 4 hits, including his 18th homer. Jon Knott also added his 18th homer of the year for the ‘Pigs. Both Knott and TJ Bohn had 2 hits apience for lehigh Valley.
Notes: The 12-1 loss last Friday was the worst loss in franchise history.
—Pat Gillick, Dave Montgomery and Ruben Amaro all attended the ‘Pigs 5-3 last Sunday over Rochester, watching the first start of Carlos Carrasco.
—Andy Tracy missed Wednesdays’ doubleheader following root canal surgery.
–The Iron Pigs lost back to back series for the first time since the beginning of May.
–OF Rich Thompson has stolen 19 consecutive bases without being caught.
—Kris Benson is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last 4 starts.
Transactions: The contract of relief pitcher John Ennis, was sold to Samseung of the Japanese league. Ennis, who struggled during the first half of the season, was a critical member of the bullpen in the second half who both pitched effectively and are up some innings. He will be a loss with the already depleted bullpen(Swindle and Green, in the Olympics)
–It appears as if JA Happ is being sent back down to Lehigh Valley to make room on the roster for newly acquired Scott Eyre. The only real logic appears to be that Walrond has some relief experience, while Happ has next to none. I am sure the Phillies “braintrust” would like to get Happ regular work. Happ was 0-0 with a 5.54 ERA in 3 appearances for the Phillies.
40 man roster report: 2B/SS Oscar Robles– .264 BA, 2 HR 24 RBI, .341 OBP, 6 errors. C Jason Jaramillo– .261 BA, 8 HR 35 RBI, .325 OBP, 15 errors, 21% runners thrown out. Chris Snelling .226 BA in very limited action. OF TJ Bohn .212 BA, 4 HR 17 RBI, .277 OBP. P Joe Bisenius 0-2, 6.92 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 12 BB, 10K, 9 appearences.