The first three up, then the last four down for Lehigh Valley whose troubles continue at 44-62, in 5th place of the Norther Division of the International League, 16.5 games behind division leading Scranton with 36 games left to play.
‘Pigs league leaders thru 7/28: Hitting: John Mayberry is 5th in runs(58); Chris Duffy is 8th in triples (4) and is 6th in strikeouts (96); Andy Tracy is 2nd in walks (55), 2nd in OBP (.397), and 4th in SLG (.508). Pitching: Nate Bump is 6th in ERA (3.33); Drew Carpenter is 7th in ERA (3.39); Brian Mazone is 7th in starts (20) and 6th in hR allowed (16); Scott Mathieson is 2nd in saves (20); Joe Savery is 8th in walks (41).
Monday–A 15 inning marathon as Lehigh County closed their series against Norfolk with a 6-3 loss. Joe Savery received a spot start and as is the norm, Norfolk jumped on him fairly early with two runs in the 3rd and a run in the 4th, taking a 3-0 lead. A three run homer by Ozzie CHavez (4) tied the score in the fifth, and Savery was lifted after five, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits. He walked one and struck out one. Next came 9 consecutive scoreless innings where neither team could solve the bullpen of the other. At one point, Lehigh Valley relievers retired 23 consecutive Norfolk hitters. It came undone in the 15th inning for Lehigh Valley as costly errors by Michael Schwimer (0-1) and Ozzie Chavez contributed to a three run Tides inning, which the ‘Pigs could not recover from. Gordon, Villarreal, Zagurski, and Mathieson each threw two shutout innings for Lehigh Valley in relief. Both Ozzie CHavez and Chris Duffy had two hits apiece for Lehigh, however hitters 4,5,6 (Tracy, Mayberry, Sellers)in the Lehigh Valley lineup were a combined 0-17.
Tuesday–A tough loss Tuesday evening as Scott Mathieson (3-4) gave up 4 runs in the 9th inning (on 2 homers), to blow the save after Lehigh Valley came from behind in the late innings to gain the lead. Vance Worley made his AAA debut and was just short of dominating in his 6 shutout innings of work. He left with the score tied at zero, and gave up just 5 hits, walking one (intentional) and struck out 7. As opposed to the night prior, the ‘Pigs bullpen struggled mightily with Mike Stutes coming on to pitch the 7th and 8th, with varying degrees of control problems in both innings. He gave up a run in the 8th as Durham took the 1-0 lead. Lehigh Valley bounced back in the bottom of the 8th, putting 3 on the board on a two run triple by Domonic Brown and an RBI single by Andy Tracy. The ‘Pigs carried the two run lead into the 9th, during which time Mathieson blew his 4th save of the year. Both Brown and Tracy had 2 hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.
Wednesday–On a day certainly overshadowed by the promotion of Domonic Brown to Philly, Lehigh Valley lost 3-2 to Durham on Wednesday evening. Andy Tracy gave the ‘Pigs a 1-0 lead in the 4th with a solo homer (14), and Melvin Dorta added a solo shot (3) of his own an inning later, giving the ‘Pigs a 2-0 lead after five. Brandon Duckworth started and as is typical, gave a nice outing, going 6 innings, allowing one run on 7 hits. He struck out 3 and walked 4. Durham chipped away with a run in the 6th before Duckworth gave way to the bullpen. Mike Zagurski (1-3) struggled with his control walking three in the two run 8th as the ‘Pigs lost yet another one run game. Both Tracy and Dorta had 2 hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.
Thursday–A tough 2-1, 11 inning loss on Thursday afternoon, as the ‘Pigs lost once again by one run to Durham. A solo homer by John Mayberry (11) tied the game at one in the bottom of the 9th, but Durham pushed a run across in the 11th inning off of reliever Brian Gordon (1-2) for the victory. Brian Mazone started for Lehigh Valley and was excellent, going 8 strong innings, yielding just a run on 3 hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 6. Both Brian Bocock and Ozzie CHavez had two hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.
‘Pigs Prospects–Drew Carpenter–A “quality” start for Carpenter who have up 2 runs on 8 hits in his start Sunday against Norfolk. It was a gutsy performance where Carpenter was feeling under the weather. On the year, 19 starts, 7-6 with a 3.39 ERA. 106.1 IP 102H 37BB 76K, 1.31 WHIP, .255 opp. avg. More of the same from Carpenter who has been good, not great.
Scott Mathieson made 2 appearances this week, one very good (2IP 0H 0R 2K) and one very bad (0.1IP 3H 4R). Still on the year, 3-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 40 games, with 20 saves. Opponents are hitting .202 against him, (.197 with runners on base).
Antonio Bastardo continues to dominate at the AAA level with 3 more scoreless appearances this week, making it 12 on the year in AAA. He has struck out 16 in 10 innings of AAA work, and is pitching beyond this level. Problem is, his command seems to suffer each time he makes the major league jump.
Michael Schwimer threw in 3 games this week, taking the loss in a long game Monday evening, but generally looking very good. On the week he threw 5.2IP , gave up 2 hits, 1 earned run and struck out 3 without yielding a walk. Since his call up from Reading: 0-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings. .154 opp. avg., and 0.79 WHIP.
Mike Stutes pitched twice this week, going two scoreless in his first outing but having significant control issues his second time out, yielding 4 walks in 2 innings of work. Still, in his 10 July appearances for Lehigh Valley, Stutes is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA.
Mike Zagurski had a good outing and a very poor one this week, as he continues to struggle after his return from the majors. On the year, Zagurski is now 1-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 38 appearances with 2 saves. In July, he is an abysmal 1-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 9 appearances. The opposition has hit .370 against him and he is walking well over a hitter an inning throughout this month.
John Mayberry is hitting .205 over his last 10 games, with 2 HR and 2RBI over that time span. On the year, .257/.323/.406 with 11HR 52 RBI and 13 SB. Once low, his k rate is now at 22% and his avg. vs. RH has dropped to .239.
Notes: The bullpen had a 17.2 inning scoreless streak snapped when Norfolk scored in the 15th inning Monday night.
—Antonio Bastardo has retired 20 consecutive hitters.
Probables: Friday: Carpenter, Saturday: Savery, Sunday: Worley
Transactions: Melvin Dorta was activated from the DL, after spending a couple of weeks recovering from a finger injury. Dorta was playing well and hitting .284 before being placed on the DL. Infielder Keoni DeRenne was sent to Lakewood to make room on the roster for Dorta.
Pitcher Alex Concepcion was placed on the DL with a right elbow strain, retroactive to 7/25.
Outfielder Domonic Brown was called up to Philadelphia from Lehigh Valley. A corresponding roster move to fill the spot of Brown has not been announced as of Friday morning.