Matt Barnes Looks To Be Salem’s Stopper
Since the Salem Sox have won a bunch of ballgames in 2012, Matt Barnes has not necessarily been counted upon to halt many losing streaks. But today, that is exactly what Salem is hoping that its ace can do.
After getting no-hit by Aaron Northcraft on Friday night, the Red Sox have now lost three in a row. A Saturday setback would result in a fourth straight loss, which would match Salem’s longest losing streak of the season.
In addition, Barnes is also looking to avenge his roughest outing as a pro. The Hillcats knocked him around for three earned runs on six hits over four innings on May 30, the only time this year that Barnes has allowed multiple earned runs. But MiLB’s ERA leader made a crucial adjustment since that start and has allowed just one earned run in his 18 innings pitched since.
The action begins at 6:05 as the Sox look to get in the second-half win column. Broadcast begins at 6:03 on NewsTalk 960 AM & FM 107.3 WFIR.
Game notes below…
Talk to you soon!
June 23, 2012 6:05 PM Salem Red Sox (41-30-1, 0-2) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (41-31, 2-0) Game #73
City Stadium Lynchburg, VA Road Game #38
Probable Starters: RHP Matt Barnes (5-1, 1.37) vs LHP Dimaster Delgado (5-2, 3.46)
Forgetting Friday: With five more games remaining on the week-long road trip to begin the second half, the Salem Sox are eager to put Friday’s twin-bill in the rear-view mirror. Salem coughed up two leads in the opener before falling 4-3 in 11 innings when Matt Weaver’s suicide squeeze scored Mycal Jones from third. And in the nightcap, Salem was no-hit by Lynchburg’s Aaron Northcraft, the first individual no-hitter in Lynchburg Hillcats history. It was the first time that Salem was no-hit since Frederick’s Nathan Moreau did it to the Sox in his Carolina League debut at LewisGale Field on June 30, 2010. Overall, the Red Sox hit .109 (6-for-55) as a team on Friday.
Slow Starters: The Salem Sox went 2-5 in their first seven games in April before ripping off 39 wins in their next 62 games. Although the Sox finished the first half three games behind the Dash in the Southern Division, Salem’s record remained the second-best in the league in the first half. Consequently, it would be wrong to panic after beginning the second half 0-2, particularly with Matt Barnes taking the mound on Saturday night.
Magnificent Matt: With the Sox looking to squelch a three-game losing streak dating back to Sunday, who better to turn to than the ERA leader for minor league baseball? Matt Barnes is set for his ninth Carolina League start on Saturday night, his 14th professional appearance. Barnes has gone 7-1 with a 0.99 ERA between Greenville and Salem, permitting just eight earned runs in 72.2 innings pitched. He is currently sixth in the minors with 95 strikeouts, while he has only walked 12 all season.
The Top Star: Among the sensational collection of talent in Winston-Salem on Tuesday night, Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw shined brightest. With a towering two-run homer off Rockies’ prospect Tyler Matzek in the last of the fifth inning, Shaw earned MVP honors as the only man to go deep in the All-Star showcase. Shaw went 1-2 for two with a walk and two runs scored in the Carolina League’s 9-1 victory over the California League. He was only retired when the Cal League’s second-baseman made a sensational diving stop to rob Shaw of another base hit in his first at-bat.
Back to the Futures: For the third time in four years, the Salem Sox will have at least one representative in the Annual SiriusXM Futures game. And for the first time, two current members of the Salem Sox will participate in the festivities on July 8 in Kansas City. Righthander Matt Barnes, the current minor league baseball leader in ERA, will pitch for the USA team, while shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the top overall prospect in the Red Sox organization, will be on the World team roster. In 2009, Casey Kelly pitched for the USA side, while Stolmy Pimentel dealt for the World club in 2010. While the Salem Sox did not have a current representative in 2011, Boston was represented by two former Salem Sox: Chih-Hsien Chiang and Will Middlebrooks. In 2008, prior to playing in Salem in ‘09, then Greenville outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin won MVP honors by homering at Yankee Stadium for the World team.