Pretty much an awful week for Lehigh Valley, who went 2-5 and are now at 59-66, 11.5 games behind division leading Scranton as well as 11.5 games out of the wild card spot with less than 3 weeks left in the season.
‘Pig hitting leaders include Andy Tracy who is 5th in runs (67), 2nd in homers (23), 2nd in RBI’s (81), and leads the league in walks (63) ,as well as Rich Thompson who is 6th in triples (5) and 7th in stolen bases (24). Lehigh Valley pitching leaders include Drew Carpenter who is 4th in wins (10), 4th in ERA (3.20), 3rd in innings (138), 3rd in homers allowed (17), and 5th in strikeouts (111) Kyle Kendrick is 9th in WHIP (1.21).
8/17/09–After a good start by Gustavo Chacin, and taking a lead into the 8th inning, an eight run bottom of the 8th for Buffalo ended the ‘Pigs series in Buffalo having lost 3 out of 4. A Terry Tiffee RBI single got the ‘Pigs off to an early lead in the first which they held until Chacin gave up a solo shot in the 6th, which tied the game at 1. Chacin left having gone 5.2 innings, giving up just a run on six hits. The ‘Pigs added two in the top of the 8th but Jason Anderson has a very uncharacteristic disastrous outing, giving up 7 earned runs in the 8th, before Gary Majewski came in and gave up one of his own in the 9-4 loss. Miguel Cairo was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and a triple, while Mike Cervenak, Terry Tiffee, and David Newhan all had two hits for Lehigh Valley.
8/18/09–The AAA inconsistency for Joe Savery (2-1) continued Tuesday evening in the Lehigh Valley 10-5 loss to Scranton. After being spotted a two run lead on a solo homer by John Mayberry (10) and an RBI single by Rich Thompson, a five run third inning in which Savery had significant control problems was the ‘Pigs undoing. Lehigh Valley tried to bounce back after RBI singles by Mayberry and David Newhan cut the lead to 5-4, and added another in the 6th on an RBI single by Mike Cervenak. A four run seventh inning by the Yanks off of Joe Bisenius put an end to the ‘Pig comeback attempt. Andy Tracy was 3-4 with a double, while both Mike Cervenak and John Mayberry added two hits apiece for the ‘Pigs.
8/20/09–After a postponement in Scranton on Wednesday, the ‘Pigs returned to Lehigh Valley to play Scranton in a doubleheader with Rodrigo Lopez taking the hill in Game One. Rich Thompson doubled and scored in the first inning, giving the ‘Pigs the early lead, which they added to in the 4th on a solo homer by Andy Tracy (21), making it 2-0. The Yanks bounced back with a run in the 4th on an RBI double by league leader Shelly Duncan and added another in the 6th on a Sac Fly bu Duncan tying the game at two. The Yankees took the lead in the 6th on a “RBI single” that went roughly 40 feet and rested just fair along the third base line, giving the Yanks a 3-2 lead. Andy Tracy knocked his 2nd homer of the game (22) to tie the game back up at three in the 7th. The tie did not last long as Austin Jackson hit a game winning single off of Steven Register (1-3), giving Lehigh Valley their 5th consecutive loss. The line on Lopez for the night was 5.1 innings, 7 H, 3ER, 1BB, 4K.
In Game Two, Andy Tracy was the story once again as his 23rd homer of the year, and 3rd of the night led Lehigh Valley to a 9-4 victory. Andrew Carpenter earned his 10th win of the year, going 6 innings and giving up 2 runs on 8 hits. He walked two and struck out 5. Lehigh Valley scored four runs in the third (Ellison RBI single, Cervenak RBI double, Tiffee 2 run single) and added three more runs in the fourth (Cervenak RBI double, Tracy, 2 run homer), to jump out 7-1 on the Yanks. The ‘Pigs added two more in the 6th (Ellison RBi single, Tracy RBI single), before the Yanks scored two in the 7th to make it respectable. Jason Ellison led the way for Lehigh Valley going 3-4, with a run and 2 RBI’s, while Rich Thompson (2-3, 3r, sb), Mike Cervenak (2-3, 2r, 2rbi, 2 doubles), Andy Tracy (2-4, hr, 3rbi’s) all had multi hit games.
Pig Prospects-Michael Taylor–Taylor remains out with an oblique injury and does not expect to be back in the Lehigh Valley lineup until after the weekend.
John Mayberry’s power has begun to return this week with 2 homers and 4 RBI’s in a 5-25 (.200) week, but he continues to struggle putting his bat on the ball with 8 strikeouts in his 25 at bats. .251/.330/.439 on the year with 10 HR 37 RBI and 80 strikeouts in 255 at bats with Lehigh Valley. Simply put, more production is needed from Mayberry for him to be considered anything but a AAAA player.
Andrew Carpenter has hit the wall a bit going 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA in his last 2 games prior to his start on Thursday evening, but bounced back with a fairly typical Carpenter outing going six solid, giving up 2 runs on eight hits in earning his 10th win of the minor league season. On the year Carpenter is 10-4 with a 3.20 ERA and stands among IL leaders in several categories primarily because of his consistency. Carpenter remains on the major league fringe and is currently pitching for a September call up.
Kyle Kendrick had one start last week, after his return from Philly and was not particularly effective, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits in just 4 innings of work. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 1. On the year, 11 of Kendrick’s 21 starts have been quality starts. He is 6-7 with a 3.54 era and a 1.22 WHIP. While not overwhelming by any means, Kendrick has been generally effective all year.
Joe Savery–A rough outing for Savery on Tuesday night as he went 6 innings, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits. He walked two and struck out two. Savery’s AAA line remains unimpressive to say the least, at 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA , a .295 opponent batting avergage(.308 with RISP), 1.76 WHIP, and more walks then strikeouts. Savery should have around 5 more starts in an attempt to end the year on an upswing.
Notes: The Lehigh Valley bullpen has worked 96 innings over the last 25 games, an average of almost 4 innings per game. The wear and tear is starting to show as the bullpen is 1-3 with a 7.11 ERA and 3 blown saves in their last 9 games, prior to last night.
Lou Marson is hitting .360 with a homer and 7 RBI’s, to go along with a .411 OBP since his trade to Columbus. AFter really struggling just after the trade, Jason Donald is hitting .257 for the Clippers, while Carrasco is 4-0 with a 3.45 ERA, WHIP below 1.00, and opponent average of .208. A trade that has seemed to make everyone happy, including Phillies fans.
Weekend probables: Friday, Kendrick; Saturday, Chacin; Sunday, Savery.