Porcupine Points – August 19
3-2-1 BLASTOFF: After leaving 13 men on base over the game’s first eight innings, the RailRiders snapped a scoreless deadlock and posted a win in one fell swoop. Dan Johnson‘s 21st home run meant a 2-0 walk-off win over Lehigh Valley. The home run came against lefty Jay Johnson (0-2) who had held lefties to an 0-for-14 showing with nine strikeouts before Dan’s southpaw swing. Jay had allowed just one home run to a lefty on his three-year pro career (164 at-bats) before surrendering Dan’s game-winning shot. The other lefty to leave the yard against Jay? Current Minnesota Twin Oswaldo Arcia who began this season as a 21-year-old Rochester Red Wing. Arcia has 10 taters in 75 big league games this season. He took Jay Johnson deep with a two-out, two-run seventh-inning blast for Double-A New Britain in an Aug. 11, 2012 win over Reading.
WALKING OFF: The RailRiders’ sixth walk-off win of the year was their third won by a home run. In game one of their day-night doubleheader against Norfolk on June 22, the RailRiders won when Casey Stevenson‘s second homer of the game, an 11th-inning two-run job off of Andy Loomis, gave SWB a 6-4 victory. The game was Stevenson’s Triple-A debut. On July 25, Randy Ruiz‘s first-pitch swing against Justin Souza left the yard as the club’s 20th hit of the game for a franchise-record 20-inning defeat of Toledo, 2-1.
C.C.: Caleb Cotham‘s late-season sizzle continued yesterday with 6.2 innings of four-hit, shutout baseball. Cotham whiffed five, walked two and posted a 9:4 groundout-to-airout ratio. He entered August 3-5 with a 6.75 ERA. In four starts since the calendar flipped to August, he is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA.
WHO’S HOT?: Ronnier Mustelier has hit safely in seven straight games, connecting at a .360 (9-for-25) rate with three doubles, two RBIs and five walks (.467 OBP)…Dan Johnson has a five-game string of success, hitting .368 (7-for-19) with three extra-base hits, three RBIs and four walks (.478 OBP)…Over the team’s last six games, SWB starters have posted a 2.16 ERA…In 14 games since rejoining the team from the big leagues, Melky Mesa has hit .345 (20-for-58)/.371/.638/1.009 with nine extra-base hits and 17 RBIs…He has served as SWB’s three-hole hitter in seven straight games and is a .368 hitter since the All-Star break.
WHO’S NOT?: Brent Lillibridge went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk yesterday…In seven games since returning from the big leagues, he has hit .154 (4-for-26) with 10 strikeouts…After connecting at a .333 clip in August, Adonis Garcia has hit just .180 in 15 games this month…Addison Maruszak is hitless since July 9, going 0-for-20 in that time with five strikeouts…Since returning from his third stint this season in the bigs, David Adams has gone 2-for-22 (.091) with seven strikeouts…The slump has lowered his overall contact clip to .280, the lowest it has been since April 17…J.R. Murphy was a .297 stick at the close of July, but has hit .176 (0-for-51) in 13 August affairs.
IRONRAIL TROPHY: On June 13, the RailRiders and IronPigs announced that they will be playing for the “IronRail Trophy”. The 16-game series between the RailRiders and IronPigs will decide the winner. The losing team’s GM will sing in a fat lady costume on the winner’s field, and a feast will be paid for by the losing team as well. The trophy will be held by the winning team, displayed for all to see. The 2013 series currently favors the ‘Pigs, 6-4. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre owns a 52-38 lead in the all-time series dating back to Lehigh Valley’s inaugural 2008 season. Lehigh Valley has only once won a season series against SWB, and did so by the slimmest of margins when it went 9-7 against NEPA’s team in 2010. The two clubs split the season series in 2012. In the event of 8-8 ties, the club that wins the final regular-season meeting will also claim the IronRail Trophy.