Barnes Seeks First Win Since June 14
July 24, 2012 7:05 Myrtle Beach Pelicans (55-46, 19-12) vs. Salem Red Sox (52-48-1, 11-20) Game #102
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #48
Probable Starters: RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-8, 2.71) vs RHP Matt Barnes (5-3, 3.18)
Deep Reasoning: The Salem Sox rediscovered victory at LewisGale Field for the first time since July 11 on Monday night, slamming the Pelicans 11-5 in the opener to the four-game series. Salem’s scoring began with a pair of solo home runs from Brandon Jacobs and Michael Almanzar. Within a span of three batters, the Sox had transformed a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead and never trailed again. Home runs have consistently served as a catalyst for the Sox in 2012, with Salem recording a 33-10 record when hitting a homer. On the other hand, the Sox have gone 19-38-1 when failing to go deep. After hitting just 28 homers in 50 games through April and May, the Sox have clocked 48 dingers in the last 51 contests since June 1.
40 Days, 40 Nights: Since Matt Barnes last tasted victory on June 14, 40 days have passed. The righthander has gone 0-2 in his last five starts, surrendering 15 earned runs in 16.1 innings, an ERA of 8.27. With that said, the righthander has permitted just one earned run in his last eight innings in his last two starts, with nine strikeouts and three walks. For the entire season, Barnes has gone 7-3 with a 2.33 ERA in 18 starts, yielding 23 earned runs on 67 hits in 89 innings with 110 strikeouts and 20 walks. Interestingly, Tuesday night will be just his fifth start at LewisGale Field and his sixth home start overall.
Midsummer Production: Brandon Jacobs has already driven in 15 runs in July, the most RBI for any month this season. The outfielder from Lilburn, GA is batting .319 this month with eight multi-hit games. Six different members of the Salem Sox have registered double-digit RBI in July, with Jacobs and Sean Coyle leading the way with 15 apiece. Travis Shaw owns 14, Michael Almanzar has 13, while Heiker Meneses, and Shannon Wilkerson each have 12. Christian Vazquez, batting .370 this month, has nine RBI in July.
The Hot Corner: Regardless of whether Michael Almanzar has played first base or third, the offense has been worthy of any position. The 21-year-old infielder is currently riding a eight-game hitting streak, in which he is batting .467 (14-for-30) with four home runs and 10 RBI. In 92 games, he has recorded 100 hits, good for a .302 average. Contrastingly, in 111 games in 2011 between Salem and Greenville, Almanzar mustered just 79 hits for a paltry .199 clip. He’s hitting .323 at LewisGale Field this season, although six of his nine homers have come on the road.
Trends Through 100: That the Sox reached win #40 in game #68 and secured win #50 in game #96 suggests that the baseball is a game of tall peaks and scary valleys. But through 100 games, some interesting statistical minutiae can be uncovered. For instance, Salem scored first in exactly half of its games through 100, going 36-13-1 in the 50 contests in which the Sox scored the premier run, while going 15-35 when the opponent strikes first. Remarkably, in 60% of Salem’s games, one of the two teams has led after the first inning, with Salem going 22-7-1 when leading after one and 8-22 when trailing after one. The Sox have held opponents to three runs or fewer 42 times while scoring three or fewer 44 times.