Unfortunately In Every Contest, There Must Be A Loser
The wisdom of Jim Carrey’s greatest character is realized every single day during a long baseball season. On Monday night, the Salem Sox experienced defeat for the eighth time in 15 games, while starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka suffered the personal setback in his first rehab appearance of the year.
But unlike Dan Marino, who always had to wait an entire week to try and avenge a previous loss, the Salem Sox are right back at it tonight at LewisGale Field. It is another very windy day in the Roanoke Valley, with the stiff breeze making it very difficult to track down true albino pigeons that may be on the loose. Hopefully, fly balls will be easier to track, although the current conditions make it one of those days where nothing is routine.
The broadcast begins around 7 o’clock on NewsTalk 960 WFIR and www.salemsox.com. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a gander at today’s game notes, inspired by one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. And the best part is, you don’t even need a password to peruse them. Just scroll down.
New England Clam Chowder,
P.S. That’s the white.
April 24, 2012 7:05 PM Wilmington Blue Rocks (8-8) vs Salem Red Sox (7-8) Game #16
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #8
Probable Starters: RHP Yordano Ventura (0-1, 3.86) vs RHP Keith Couch (2-1, 3.38)
Alrighty Then: The Salem Sox extended their consecutive games with double digit hits streak to six on Monday night, but the Blue Rocks outhit the Sox 12-10 in a 7-2 setback for Salem. Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed 41 of his 57 pitches for strikes, but surrendered three runs on six hits over four innings, suffering his first ever Carolina League loss. The Blue Rocks, who had mustered just two homers in their first 15 games, went deep three times on Monday, twice against Matsuzaka and once more against reliever Ryan Pressly.
Laces Out: Regardless of whether Salem has pitched with minor league baseballs or the MLB-style sphere with slightly different stitching, the projectile has been blasted over the fence an absurd amount thus far in 2012. In 15 games, the Sox have given up 18 bombs, six more than the second-most allowed in the Carolina League. At the Advanced-A level, only the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres affiliate in the California League, have given up more. In 2011, Salem did not allow homer #18 until game #38. Coincidentally, that home run was belted by a Blue Rock (Deivy Batista) in Wilmington’s 1-0 win over Salem, a game that saw Chris Balcom-Miller dominate with just one hit allowed in six innings
Snowflake Temps, But Sox Bats Stay Hot: With two outs in the ninth, Brandon Jacobs doubled to drive in two runs, breaking up Wilmington’s shutout bid, and perpetuating Salem’s streak of double-digit hits to six games in a row. Over the past six, the Sox are swinging at a robust .324 clip (71-for-219), far and away the top average in the Carolina League during this span. Despite this offensive onslaught, Salem is just 3-3 during this stretch, having allowed nine or more hits in five of the past six games. While the Red Sox are batting .294 for the season, their opponents are hitting .294 against them, and Salem has been outscored 93-84. No other team has allowed more than 78 runs.
What Would You Know About Pressure? While Salem struggled to the tune of 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Monday, the Sox are still batting .299 with a man at second or third thus far in 2012, the second best rate in the league. Only Lynchburg, who currently sports the top record in the circuit, has fared better with runners in scoring position. Drew Hedman (4-for-7, .571), Shannon Wilkerson, (4-for-8, .500), and Jackie Bradley, Jr. (4-for-9, .444) currently reign as the most clutch Red Sox through 15 games.
Wilmington’s Ace, Not Ventura: While Yordano Ventura gets the starting nod on Tuesday, the Blue Rocks top arm in 2012, Jason Adam, blanked the Red Sox through five innings yesterday to improve his league-best ERA to 0.40. Ventura, who won’t turn 21 until June 3, has not permitted more than two runs in any of his three starts this season, but has tossed just three and two thirds, three, and five innings in his performances, respectively.
Any Unusual Bets Being Made?: Of course not. This is not the Super Bowl. Players are forbidden from gambling in baseball, and there are no spreads or money lines to wager on in the Carolina League.