Another 3-3 week for the ‘Pigs who leave for Toledo for a weekend series. Lehigh Valley is in 5th place in the Northern Division, 8.5 games out of first.
Probable Pitchers: Friday: Drew Carpenter; Saturday: Rodrigo Lopez; Sunday: Justin Lehr
Week In Review-
5/05/09–Mondays game was rescheduled as part of a double header, on another miserable night weather wise at Coca Cola Park. Justin Lehr (4-1)got the call in Game One against Buffalo, the Mets affiliate, and pitched a great game, going all seven innings, shutting out the Bison on 3 hits. He walked two and struck out four. The ‘Pigs took the lead in the third inning on a two run single by Mike Cervenak, and added another in the 6th after Cervenak (who doubled) scored on a wild pitch. Nothing else notable in Game One, as the ‘Pigs mustered just four hits themself. Game Two was rained out, and rescheduled yet again, for Wednesday.
5/06/09–Kyle Kendrick got the call in Game One Wednesday, another dreary night in Allentown. Kendrick gave up an early run on an RBI triple by Mets prospect Fernando Martinez, but settled in well after that, going 5 innings, giving up that lone run on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. The ‘Pigs came back to tie the game in the fourth inning, after a David Newhan triple scored Andy Tracy, who had doubled off of Bison rehab starter Tim Redding. A walk-off RBI single by Rich Thompson plated Lou Marson, who had walked to give the ‘Pigs a 2-1 win. Cedric Bowers (1-0) came in and pitched two scoreless innings in relief to get the win. In what is now seeming like tradition, Game Two of the twinbill was rained out.
5/07/09–The ‘Pigs just cant seem to get to .500 as they failed in their latest attempt today, losing 6-4 to Buffalo to close out their three game series. Carlos Carrasco(0-3) got the start and gave up a leadoff homer to Cory Sullivan in the first inning as Buffalo took the early lead. Lehigh Valley tied it up in the bottom half on a RBI double by Mike Cervenak. The ‘Pigs scored two in the third to go up 3-1, and added another in the fourth on an RBI double by Jason Donald to take a 4-1 lead, before the wheels came off of Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco, who pitched well through five, was victimized by another big inning (the 6th), that the ‘Pigs couldnt recover from. Carrasco’s line…5.1 IP, 8 H, 6ER, 1BB, 3K. Both Pablo Ozuna and Jason Donald had two hits apiece for Lehigh Valley. Ozuna added two spectacular diving plays at SS.
‘Pigs Prospects–Carlos Carrasco pitched twice this week and was victimized by a big inning twice, ruining decent starts. He threw 9.2 innings on the week, giving up 13 hits and 8 earned runs, a concerning number to say the least. The start prior to those, he had complained of a sore elbow. He walked 3 and struck out 11 on the week. For the year, he stands at 0-3 with a lofty 5.46 ERA and a WHIP of 1.30. Opponents are hitting .308 against him with runners on base, an alarming stat, that makes you wonder if his mental approach needs work.
Jason Donald–Three games at 3b, one at SS, and two at 2B in a week where the Phillies began to make their immediate plans for Donald much clearer. Other than an error on his first chance at 3B, Donald continues to play well in the field. At the plate, he was 7-24 (.292), this week, and had a very good game Thursday against Buffalo, with 2 doubles. His average is at .255 on the year, with a homer and 10 RBI, to go along with 3 stolen bases. His OBP(.303) and SLG (.391), should improve as he continues his adjustment to AAA. A batting average of .194 with RISP must improve.
Lou Marson was reactivated for the game last Sunday and has had a rough go of it thus far. In four games this week, he was 2-11 (.182) and does not have an RBI yet this year. Marson’s first month this year has been a whirlwind, with his trip to Philly and then back to the Valley, so it may take some time for him to settle him. Perhaps, more alarming is the fact that opposing baserunners are 10-10 stealing bases on him. Although it is clear the ‘Pigs staff needs work holding on runners, blame needs to be shared in this category.
John Mayberry— I have learned quickly watching Mayberry, that it is either feast or famine. This week started as a feast and ended in a famine. On the week he was 5-22 (.227), with a homer and 5 RBI’s, all last weekend. He looked miserable at the plate on Thursday, striking out three times. He is hitting .258 on the year with good power (6 homers) and 19 RBI. His batting line is .350/539/.889, and he has struck out 29 times, among league leaders. Additionally, he is hitting .212 with RISP.
Kyle Kendrick is pitching fairly well. Since we last spoke of Kendrick, the 24 year old got the win against Toledo, going 6 innings and not allowing a run, while on Wednesday, he went five innings against Buffalo and yielded only one run on four hits. He stands at 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in his 5 starts, He has allowed just one home run ball, hitters are batting .260 against him and his WHIP is 1.25. ALthough his numbers have been quite impressive, Kendrick continues to struggle with his control running far too many deep counts, which could easily become problematic.
Pig Leaders–Jason Donald is first in at bats (110), 4th in doubles (10) and 5th in strikeouts (26), Mike Cervenak is 7th in at bats (103), 6th in hits (33),and 6th in RBI’s (20), Rich Thompson is 8th in at bats(102), 4th in stolen bases (8)and 4th in triples (2), John Mayberry is 3rd in homers (6) and 3rd in strikeouts (29). Justin Lehr is tied for the league lead in wins (4), Carlos Carrasco is 6th in innings (31.1) and 4th in strikeouts (34), Kyle Kendrick is 9th in innings(31), Drew Carpenter is 8th in homers allowed (8).
Notes:Mike Koplove has not allowed an earned run in his last 9 appearances.
Dave Borkowski has a 5 game , 10.1 inning scoreless streak, after allowing runs in his first three games of the year.
Runners have now stolen 28 of 29 bases against ‘Pigs pitchers/catchers this year.
Mike Cervenak has reached base in 19 consecutive games and has been doing a great job hitting in the clutch.
Jeremy Slayden’s playing time has been significantly limited. While he came out of spring training with back problems, Slayden has been more or less platooning with Jason Ellison, with Ellison actually receiving a bit more time than Slayden.
A word on Rich Thompson—Rich Thompson in one of the Cervenak/Tracy types that has had a cup of coffee in the bigs and is now probably too old to be considered a prospect. That being said, if anyone wants to watch how baseball should be played, watch Thompson. He is a gritty player, always hustling, taking the extra base, doing the things that are asked of him to win games. He covers alot of ground in center and rarely, if ever makes a mental mistake that are so costly in baseball. More than likely, he will not see another major league at bat, but has the skills to play and play well for some time in AAA. If nothing else, watching him allows us to show our kids how the game should be played.
Transactions: Tyler Walker was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain suffered in a bullpen session. He has been the best ‘Pigs pitcher out of the pen and will be missed. He is heading down to Florida to rehab.