Porcupine Points – August 6
HOME AND AWAY: Tonight the RailRiders and Chiefs will play a unique “doubleheader” at NBT Bank Stadium. The first game is the completion of a suspended game from July 12 played at PNC Field. That means Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be the home team on the scoreboard, and the game will be picked up in the top of the 12th inning. Following the conclusion of that game, the RailRiders and Chiefs will play the regularly scheduled contest, and the RailRiders will go back to batting in the top half of each inning.
NOT SO FUN SUNDAY: SWB had the day off on Monday, but they took a 7-3 loss on Sunday afternoon to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Things started out well for SWB, who led 2-1 after two innings of play and had their recent ace on the mound in Brett Marshall. Things changed in the sixth, when the Lehigh Valley offense broke through against Marshall and plated six runs in the frame to take a 7-2 lead. The RailRiders would add a run in the eighth, but it was not enough.
OFF-DAY SLIP: While the RailRiders took a much needed day off from play on Monday, the first-place Rochester Red Wings picked up a half-game on SWB by defeating the Durham Bulls. Pat Dean, a 2010 third-rounder from Boston College, shutdown the International League’s best team in his first career Triple-A start. Dean tossed seven shutout frames in the win. The RailRiders also lost ground in the Wildcard chase, as Pawtucket bested Buffalo thanks to Dan Butler, 5-4.
GARCIA GOING GOOD: With his 2-3 performance on Sunday, Adonis Garcia has now hit safely in 21 of his 24 games played with the RailRiders. An unknown talent when he was signed out of Cuba in May of last season, Garcia has provided a steady contact bat in a RailRider lineup that lacked one upon his arrival. He is just one at-bat shy of 100, and has knocked 32 base hits in his 99 at-bats so far. While only eight of his hits have gone for extra-bases, his speed and base running ability makes him a dangerous weapon when he’s aboard.
NOT YOU AGAIN: While it is unclear who will be on the mound for each side when the suspended game resumes on Tuesday evening, the starters for the regularly scheduled game are set. Coincidentally, it will be SWB’s David Huff and Syracuse’s Yunesky Maya, who each started the suspended game on July 12. Huff allowed six runs over five and one-third innings in that start, and Maya was on cruise control until he gave up four runs in the sixth.
PUT ME IN COACH: The RailRiders will be a bit short when it comes to eligible players during the suspended game. Of the 10 position players to take part in the July 12 game, only four are eligible to play. Dave Miley’s options in the bullpen are a bit less as well, because Jim Miller, Mike Zagurski, and Matt Daley have already pitched and been taken out of the game.
BIG FAN OF THE CHIEFS: Since he joined the team on June 17, Randy Ruiz has flourished against Syracuse pitching. In his seven contests, Ruiz has posted a .407 (11-27) average with three home runs, five RBIs, and eight runs scored. As a team, the RailRiders are hitting .284 against Chiefs pitching with 14 home runs. SWB needs just one win to secure a winning season in the series.
ALUMNI UPDATE: While the New York Yankees lost on Sunday in San Diego, it was a big day for former SWB catcher Austin Romine. He hit his first career Major League home run in the eighth inning off of San Diego’s Dale Thayer. The solo blast went to left-center field, and cut the lead to 6-3. Romine is batting .435 (10-23) over the last 10 games he has played…Former RailRider closer Preston Claiborne tossed an inning and one-third of scoreless relief on Monday, and has now thrown 38.0 innings with the Yankees. He has held big league opponents to a .218 average, and has a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio (30K/10BB).