Almanzar’s Tear, Bogaerts’ Latest Bomb, & Shaw’s “Slump”
July 25, 2012 7:05 Myrtle Beach Pelicans (56-46, 20-12) vs. Salem Red Sox (52-49-1, 11-21) Game #103
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #49
Probable Starters: RHP Randy Henry (5-5, 2.36) vs RHP Keith Couch (6-8, 4.17)
Missed Opportunities: Despite recording double-digit hits for the eighth time in the last nine games, the Red Sox fell 6-5 on Tuesday night, the eighth one-run loss since the All-Star Break. Incredibly, Salem only dropped five one-run games in the entire first half. The Sox left 12 men on base on Tuesday, including stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The dozen runners left does not include a pair of runs lost at home plate in the first inning when Xander Bogaerts was thrown out at home and Michael Almanzar was said to not touch the dish before Christian Vazquez was tagged at third on the final out of the frame. Only twice in 2012 have the Salem Sox stranded more than 12 men on base.
Try To Get Him Out: Michael Almanzar is currently in the midst of a ridiculous streak of 13 consecutive plate appearances reaching base. In his last three games, Almanzar has gone 8-for-8 with four walks and one hit-by-pitch, raising his average to .310. He has hit in nine straight games overall, going 18-for-34 (.529) during this outrageous stretch with four homers and 11 RBI. In 93 games, he has recorded 104 hits, a .310 average that is currently third among active players in the league. Contrastingly, in 111 games in 2011 between Salem and Greenville, Almanzar mustered just 79 hits for a paltry .199 clip. He’s hitting .352 at LewisGale Field this season, although six of his nine homers have come on the road.
Slumping Shaw?: It’s a seemingly bizarre assertion, particularly considering that Travis Shaw still leads the Salem Sox with a .311 average and is tops in the league in slugging percentage, extra-base hits, runs scored, and total bases. He’s also third in home runs and tied for first in RBI. However, for the first time all season, Shaw enters tonight’s action without a hit in his last three games. Shaw is 0-for-10 with one walk and five strikeouts in his last three games. Before that, Shaw went 11-for-20 in the previous six games. With 72 RBI on the season, he’s tied for the league lead with Frederick’s Aaron Baker (promoted to Double-A Bowie last week) and Winston-Salem’s Trayce Thompson, but Shaw only has one RBI in his last six games.
Another Bomb for Bogey: With a titanic shot to straight-away center, Xander Bogaerts launched his 13th home run of 2012 in the last of the seventh last night. He had failed to go deep in 17 straight games before the dinger on Tuesday; it had been since June 28 against Potomac. Bogaerts was named the Carolina League Player of the Month in June, when he hit .337 with eight homers and 24 RBI. In July, Bogaerts is hitting .250 with one homer and six RBI.
Doubling Up: Adalberto Ibarra mustered just three doubles in his first 142 at-bats this year for the Sox, recording 33 singles among his first 36 hits over 46 games. In his last four games, however, Ibarra has cracked four hits in 15 at-bats, all doubles. Before his seventh inning double against Frederick on Tuesday, Ibarra had not recorded an extra base hit since May 31. The catcher/DH is hitting .297 in 21 games at LewisGale Field, however at home he owns 11 strikeouts and three walks. On the road, he’s hitting .226, but with 18 strikeouts and 21 walks.