Salem Sox Game Notes – April 29, 2011
April 29, 2011 7:05 PM Potomac Nationals (8-11) vs Salem Red Sox (14-5) Game #20
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #11
Probable Starters: RHP Marcos Frias (1-1, 4.60) vs RHP Pete Ruiz (0-0, 9.69)
Enjoy Your Own Bed While You Can: Today kicks off a 10-game homestand for the Salem Sox, the longest stretch of consecutive home games of the season. Not only will Salem be at home for the next ten games, but 17 of the next 20 contests for the Red Sox will be hosted at LewisGale Field. Extending further, 24 of the next 33 will be at Salem Memorial Ballpark, but the Sox, beginning on June 2, will finish the first half with 18 straight games on the road. Thus far, it has not mattered where Salem has played, since the Sox are 7-3 at home and 7-2 on the road en route to their league-best 14-5 start.
Scorching Sox: Salem’s offense began the season slowly, hitting just .205 with 20 total runs in the first six games. Since then, the Sox sticks have delivered an epic performance, unrivaled by any other team in the league. Over the past 13 games, Salem has hit an insane .325 (146-449) as a team with 16 HR and 99 runs scored. As a team, the Red Sox are hitting a league-best .292 for the season with 119 runs. Salem has scored 15 more runs than any other team and has 17 more doubles than any other team.
Defensive Steadiness: Salem has seven errorless games this season, three of which occurred in the four-game series in Kinston. With 17 errors in 19 games, the Sox are one defensive miscue behind Myrtle Beach and Frederick, who each have made 16 errors on the season to lead the league. In the outfield, Jeremy Hazelbaker has three outfield assists, tied for second in the circuit behind Wilmington’s Nick Francis, who leads the league with seven. Catcher Dan Butler currently sits atop the catching leaderboard with a 1.000% fielding percentage so far this season.
One is Good, Two is Better: Even though Salem is tops in the league with 20 homers, the Red Sox’ bread and butter has been gaining two bases at a time. The Sox have delivered an outrageous 61 doubles in 19 games, 17 more than the second-best total in the league. That puts Salem on a pace to have 449 doubles in 140 games. Reynaldo Rodriguez leads the club and the Carolina League with 12 doubles, putting him on a pace for 88 over a 140-game season, which would shatter the individual league record of 51, set back in the 1940s. Dan Butler is second on the club and second in the league with nine, while Peter Hissey has seven and Derrik Gibson and Jeremy Hazelbaker each have five.
Calligraphy Specialists: Perhaps Salem’s most underrated and important asset to the 14-5 start has been the spectacular penmanship from Salem’s relievers. Salem’s bullpen did not allow a single run in its first 30 innings pitched this season, and the pen has allowed just 56 hits in 76.2 IP, compiling an ERA of 2.35 for the first 19 games. Salem is eight-for-eight in save opportunities, led by Cesar Cabral’s quintet of saves, which is tied for the league lead with Potomac’s Pat Lehman. Mitch Herold has two saves and Will Latimer has one. Meanwhile, Anatanaer Batista is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in five relief appearances and Jeremiah Bayer is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four relief appearances.