Only Two Games To Go!
September 2, 2012 4:05 Winston-Salem Dash (86-50-1, 42-25) vs. Salem Red Sox (67-68-1, 26-40) Game #137
LewisGale Field Salem, VA Home Game #68
Probable Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (4-4, 3.87) vs RHP Yeiper Castillo (3-3, 2.96)
Saturday Snoozer: The cruel combination of Mother Nature and the Winston-Salem Dash combined to spoil Salem’s final Saturday night of the 2012 season. With the Sox now down to their final two games at 4:05 on Sunday and at 1:05 on Monday, Salem needs to be perfect the rest of the way to finish the year with a full-season mark above .500. The Red Sox were mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration after they lost to Myrtle Beach on Monday, August 20. In the first half, the Sox were alive until the penultimate day of the half before Winston clinched the crown. The Dash will host all three games (if necessary) of the Southern Division Championship against Myrtle Beach, a byproduct of Winston winning both halves. The series starts on Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark, a place where the Dash have gone 48-23 this year.
Six Straight for Jake: After an 8-for-81 skid from July 28 to August 25, Salem outfielder Brandon Jacobs has hit in six straight games. In his last six contests, Jacobs is batting .348 (8-for-23) with six extra-base hits. He crushed his 12th homer of the season in the 6th inning on Thursday and blasted his 13th bomb in the 1st on Friday. Jacobs extended the hitting streak in the second inning on Sunday with his 30th double of the season. Jacobs joins teammates Michael Almanzar, Travis Shaw, and Sean Coyle with at least 30 doubles. Carolina has three players with exactly 30 doubles, while no other Carolina League team has more than one player with 30 doubles. The Salem Sox have 308 doubles on the year, the most in the league and the most in Salem’s franchise history. The previous record was 295, set by the 2002 Salem Avalanche, a Colorado Rockies affiliate.
The Slimmest of Margins: Friday’s 5-4 setback was Salem’s 15th one-run loss since the All-Star Break. Incredibly, the Sox went 8-5 in one-run games in the first half and have gone 5-15 in the second half in tight games, resulting in Salem’s below .500 mark since the Break. Salem’s +39 run differential is second-best in the league for the entire season, but the Red Sox have the fourth-most wins in the league. While the Sox are 13-20 in one-run games for the year, the Dash are 20-13. Salem is second in the league with 27 wins by more than three runs, but Winston has crushed opponents by four or more 41 times and owns a preposterously positive run differential of +200. With 786 runs scored, the Dash have 124 more runs than the Red Sox, who are second in the league in scoring.
Three Nights in August: Wednesday’s walk-off bomb was Salem’s first walk-off homer of the 2012 season, but it was the Red Sox’ third walk-off win of the month! Salem was lacking any walk-off wins until a bases loaded walk forced home the winning run against Wilmington in the 11th inning on August 4. Four days later, a wild pitch allowed Sean Coyle to scurry home from third to beat Carolina in the bottom of the ninth at LewisGale Field. In 2011, the Salem Sox enjoyed six walk-off wins, with three of them coming in August. Two Salem players belted walk-off homers last year: Dan Butler’s grand slam beat Lynchburg 7-6 on May 30, while David Mailman’s two-run shot in the 11th beat Myrtle Beach 8-6 on August 15.