Game Notes: Barnes, Bradley, Kalish, & More
May 29, 2012 7:05 PM Lynchburg Hillcats (28-20) vs. Salem Red Sox (26-21) Game #48
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #24
Probable Starters: RHP Aaron Northcraft (4-3, 3.86) vs RHP Matt Barnes (2-1, 1.13)
Skidding Sox: After routing Frederick by a lopsided 13-2 score on Friday night, the Red Sox have lost three straight games heading into Tuesday evening. It is just the second time this season that Salem has lost three in a row, joining a four-game losing streak in the first week of the year. The Red Sox are hoping that Matt Barnes can play the role of stopper in his 10th professional start. Barnes has a 4-1 record and a 0.71 ERA in his first nine starts between Greenville and Salem.
Well, They’ve All Been Close: While Salem has dropped three straight and six of the last ten, the Red Sox have been in every single game during this stretch and beyond. In fact, Salem’s last ten losses have all been by three runs or less. You have to go back to May 1, a 9-5 loss in Wilmington, to uncover the last time the Red Sox fell by more than three runs. In April, the Sox endured six losses by more than three runs. Overall, Salem has gone 18-14 in games decided by three runs or less. In games decided by two runs or less, the Sox are 16-9.
Fogerty’s Protagonist: In addition to playing center field about as well as it can be played, Jackie Bradley, Jr. continues to be an on-base machine for the Salem Red Sox. Bradley has reached in 38 of his last 39 games and 42 of 44 games played this year overall, all batting at the top of the lineup. His .368 average is 24 points better than the second best in the league, and his .493 OBP is superior by 37 points to the next best in the circuit. Bradley also leads the Carolina League runs and walks, while he’s second in hits and doubles and third in slugging percentage.
Moving Bradley to Right : If everything goes according to plan, Ryan Kalish will be in center field for the full nine innings tonight, wrapping up his four-game rehab stint with Salem. The 24-year-old outfielder has gone 4-for-12 in his first three games with Salem, jacking a solo homer on Saturday along with connecting for one single in each game. Back in ‘09, Kalish played 32 of Salem’s first 34 games, batting .304 (35-for-115) with five homers and 21 RBI. In 2010, Kalish hit 13 homers in 78 games between Portland and Pawtucket before getting the call to the big leagues on July 31. He hit the first of his five big league bombs came at Yankee Stadium on August 6, with his first Fenway dinger coming 11 days later, a grand slam off of Jered Weaver. His third major league homer was also a grand slam, blasted against Tampa Bay on September 6, 2010.
Appointment Viewing: With Matt Barnes on the mound tonight, Sox fans would be wise to take notice. Despite suffering his first professional loss in a 1-0 setback last Thursday night, the hardthrowing righthander has been dominant over the course of the season. He currently leads the minors with a 0.67 WHIP and his second with a 0.71 ERA. In nine starts, he has gone 4-1 with just four earned runs allowed over 50.2 innings pitches, with 70 strikeouts and six walks. His strikeout total is currently tied for fifth in the minors, and he’s the only man among the top 50 in punchouts who also has issued single digit walks.