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Game Preview: August 30, 2016 vs. Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 133 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

Taco Tuesday (2 tacos for $5!)

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Matt Kent (10-6, 3.78 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (6-10, 3.71 ERA)

  • Salem sends Matt Kent to the slab in the series opener, making his team-leading 25th start of the 2016 campaign. Tuesday’s game marks the sixth time that Kent has matched up with the Winston-Salem Dash, including twice in his last three starts. Overall, the southpaw is 10-6 with a 3.78 earned run average since an early-season promotion from the Low-A Greenville Drive. Kent is tied for the team lead in wins, and leads the staff in innings pitched (143.0), strikeouts (104), hits allowed (157) and unintentional BB/9.0 IP ratio (1.83). The soft-tossing lefty has had a mixed bag of success against the Dash this season, going 1-3 with a 4.66 ERA in his five previous outings. However, he yeilded just two runs in six innings in his last start against the club on August 20 at BB&T Ballpark.
  • Winston-Salem sends Jordan Stephens to the mound, coming off of a start that encapsulates his season perfectly. The Houston native struck out a season-high 10 Frederick Keys batters in 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and taking the loss. The Carolina League leader in strikeouts with 136, Stephens has not gotten great run support from his lineup and has been victimized by the bullpen this season, although the same can be said for many other starters in the Dash rotation.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, DH
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Mike Meyers, LF
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jose Sermo, 2B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 37-26
  2. Potomac Nationals, 36-27, 1.o GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 30-33, 7.0 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-40, 14.5 GB

Southern Division

  1. ^Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 41-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 39-23, 1.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 26-36, 15.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 18-44, 23.0 GB

*Clinched playoff berth through first half division title

^Clinched playoff berth

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • The Red Sox look to reverse their luck at LewisGale Field against the Winston-Salem Dash, who have a 5-3 advantage over the home club, despite Salem’s 15-8 record in the season series. More importantly a win could close the 1.5-game deficit to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who just keep winning. The race will determine who hosts game one of the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday, September 7.
  • The Dash have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and have seven games remaining, including tonight’s contest.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • A REAL ‘PRO’: Red Sox catcher Jordan Procyshen connected on a walk-off double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday, the icing on a sweet month of August. The Canadian backstop has taken finishing strong to heart, batting .319/.347/.507 (22-67, 10 2B, HR, 15 RBIs) in 19 games in August, including a .370 (10-27) clip in his last seven games played. The spurt has elevated Procyshen’s season batting average from .233 at the end of July to .262. Procyshen has hits in eight of his last nine games played, and 14 of 16.
  • A CALL TO ARMS: Since allowing a run in the top of the second to the Frederick Keys in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Salem Red Sox pitching staff has scored 15.0 consecutive scoreless innings, one shy of the season-high mark of 16.0 frames (5/15 to 5/18-1).
  • HOME COOKING: The Salem Red Sox had an 11-game home winning streak snapped in game one of the doubleheader with the Frederick Keys Saturday afternoon, but the club has won 13 of its last 14 home contests. The 11-game home winning streak tied a franchise record set by the 2000 Salem Avalanche. Since the run of great play began Friday, August 5 against Lynchburg, the Sox have outscored oppenents by a 87-53 margin, and have out-hit opponents by an impressive 164-105 clip. The pitching has registered a one-hitter (8/17 vs. CAR) and a two-hitter (8/13 vs. WIL) during the streak, which has featured three walk-off wins (8/6 vs. LYN, 8/16 vs. CAR, 8/28 vs. FRE).

Game Preview: August 28, 2016 vs. Frederick

GAME INFORMATION

Sunday, August 28, 2016 – 4:05 pm

Game 132 of 139 vs. Frederick Keys

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Daniel McGrath (7-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. LHP Mitch Horacek (5-11, 4.85 ERA)

  • The Red Sox send Daniel McGrath to the mound Sunday to try to clinch a series victory with Frederick. The southpaw will be making his 18th start of the season, and his fifth against the Frederick Keys. McGrath is 7-6 with a 4.42 ERA on the season for Salem, but has pitched superbly in the second half, recording a 6-3 record with a 3.88 ERA after going 1-3 with a 5.59 ERA in the first half of the season. A fly ball pitcher, the Australian has thrived in the spacious confines of LewisGale Field, posting an ERA over a full run lower than on the road (3.91 home vs. 4.98 road) and holding opponents to a batting average nearly 50 points lower (.199 home vs. .247 road). Against the Keys this season, McGrath is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA, and has struck out 12 batters and walked nine in 20.2 innings.
  • Frederick will send embattled Mitch Horacek to the mound to try to salvage a series split with the Sox. After leading the Carolina League with losses (17) in 2015, the southpaw has improved somewhat in 2016 by losing just 11 starts, tied for the third-most in the league. Horacek is heading toward the finish line this season on a low note, having allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 5.1 innings over his last two starts.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Mike Meyers, LF
  2. Michael Chavis, DH
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, RF
  5. Jayce Ray, CF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jordan Betts, 1B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 36-26
  2. Potomac Nationals, 36-26
  3. Frederick Keys, 30-32, 6.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-39, 13.5 GB

Southern Division

  1. ^Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 40-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 38-23, 1.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 25-36, 15.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 18-43, 22.0 GB

*Clinched playoff berth through first half division title

^Clinched playoff berth

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • The Red Sox look to take the final game of the season with Frederick, which would also give them another series victory over the Keys. More importantly, with a 1.5-game deficit to close in eight games against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who just keep winning. The race will determine who hosts game one of the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday, September 7.
  • The Keys are 6.0 games out of a playoff spot with eight games to play, and face the possibility of being mathematically eliminated from contention this week (elimination number three).

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • REVISIONIST HISTORY: Salem has already established a Red Sox-era record for most wins in a season (82), surpassing the 76 wins posted by the 2013 Carolina League champions. With eight games to play including tonight’s contests, the Red Sox would have to go 5-3 to tie the all-time franchise record of 87 victories, set by the 1974 Pirates. The team has also already set new Red Sox-era records in road wins (38), first half wins (43), home wins (44), triples (60), and stolen bases (233). By winning their 82nd game of the season Friday night, the Red Sox have won the third-most games in team history, trailing only the 1968 Rebels (85) and ‘74 Pirates.
  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Red Sox are an impressive 64-1 (.986). The second-best record in the circuit in that situation belongs to Potomac at 60-2 (.968). Salem is one of five full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. Trenton (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the fab five with their .986 (73-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 31-11 (.738) record in one-run games, the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is Clearwater (High-A, PHI) who is 23-10 (.697), although Jackson (AA, SEA) has 29 one-run victories.
  • WHAT A ‘RAY’-VELATION: Prior to the 2016 campaign, Jayce Ray had never played in affiliated baseball. Now, he has turned into one of the biggest surprises in the Red Sox lineup. In game two Satuday, Ray had a 23-game on-base streak snapped by going 0-for-3. During the remarkable stretch, Ray posted a .419 average (31-74) with five doubles, one triple, 18 runs scored, 11 RBI, and 14 walks. His on-base percentage is an astounding .522 for the stretch, which started on June 23 and continued for 22 games after returning from the disabled list in late July.  He tied Andrew Benintendi for the longest on-base streak of the season.

Doubleheader Preview: August 27, 2016 vs. Frederick

GAME INFORMATION

Saturday, August 27, 2016 – 4:05 pm

Games 130 & 131 of 139 vs. Frederick Keys

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

Military Appreciation Night

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

G1: RHP Anyelo Leclerc (3-2, 4.95 ERA) vs. RHP Lucas Long (6-6, 4.47 ERA)

  • The first game of the doubleheader will be started by Anyelo Leclerc, making his eighth start and his 13th overall appearance with Salem. Overall, Leclerc is 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA, and has recorded 38 strikeouts and 20 walks in 43.2 innings. As a starting pitcher, he is 2-2 with a 5.34 ERA in 30.1 innings. The righty has made two previous outings against Frederick – one start and one relief appearance – and is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA (2 ER/8.0 IP). In his last start on Sunday at Winston-Salem, Leclerc allowed one run on three hits in 5.0 innings, earning the win in a 12-1 Salem triumph.
  • Frederick will send Lucas Long to the mound in the opener, making his 23rd start of the season. Long is 6-6 with a 4.47 ERA, and has struck out 99 batters and walked only 27 in 118.2 innings pitched this season. The Minnesotan righty is a ground ball machine, racking up a 1.75 Ground Out-to-Air Out ratio this season. Long has struggled as of late, allowing three or more runs in five consecutive starts.

G2: RHP Mario Alcantara (9-2, 3.44 ERA) vs. RHP Ivan Hernandez (3-1, 3.66 ERA)

  • The back end of the double dip will feature righty Mario Alcantara toeing the rubber. Alcantara will be making his first start of the season for Salem, and his 30th overall appearance. Overall the hurler is 9-2 with a 3.44 ERA, and has struck out 53 batters while issuing 42 free passes in 70.2 innings pitched this season. Opponents are hitting a paltry .197 against him, the lowest batting average against of any Carolina League reliever this season.
  • The Keys will also send a bullpen arm to the bump in the form of Ivan Hernandez, who will be making his second start and 26th overall appearance. Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA on the campaign, and has fanned 33 batters and walked 18 in 51.2 innings pitched.

RED SOX LINEUP

Game 1

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Michael Chavis, DH
  6. Jayce Ray, RF
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jose Sermo, 2B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

Game 2

Lineup T.B.D.

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 36-25
  2. Potomac Nationals, 35-26, 1.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 29-31, 6.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-38, 13.5 GB

Southern Division

  1. ^Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 39-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 38-22, 1.0 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 25-35, 14.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 17-43, 22.0 GB

*Clinched playoff berth through first half division title

^Clinched playoff berth

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • The Red Sox are only 1.0 game behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the race to determine home field advantage in game one of the opening round of the Mills Cup Playoffs. Salem has already clinched hosting games two and three (if necessary) by winning the first half. With a sweep of the doubleheader, Salem would gain at least 0.5 games on Myrtle Beach.
  • The Keys enter the twinbill clinging to their playoff lives. With a 5.5 game deficit to make up against the Potomac Nationals, Frederick has to play nearly flawless baseball for the remainder of the season to have a chance at making the postseason.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • HOME COOKING: The Salem Red Sox enter play Saturday riding a franchise-record 11-game home winning streak, tying a mark set by the 2000 Salem Avalanche. The streak, which began Friday, August 5 against Lynchburg, has featured gaudy offensive numbers from the Red Sox – the club is outscoring oppenents by a 79-46 margin, and are outhitting opponents by an impressive 141-89 clip. The pitching has also been strong, registering a one-hitter (8/17 vs. Carolina) and a two-hitter (8/13 vs. Wilmington) during the streak, which has featured two walk-off wins (8/6 vs. Lynchburg and 8/16 vs. Carolina).
  • HEY NOW, THEY ARE ALL-STARS: The Salem Red Sox have the best record in the Carolina League thanks in large part to their two (2) Carolina League Post-Season All-Stars. The league announced today that Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers were voted to the prestigious team. Moncada hit .307 with 36 stolen bases in 61 games with Salem, adding 25 doubles, three triples and four home runs. Devers is hitting .280 with 31 doubles and a team-leading 11 homers in 119 games.

Game Preview: August 26, 2016 vs. Frederick

GAME INFORMATION

Friday, August 26, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 129 of 139 vs. Frederick Keys

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Trey Ball (7-5, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Jon Keller (0-1, 2.89 ERA)

  • Salem sends lefty Trey Ball to the bump in Friday’s series opener, making his 22nd start of the season, and his fourth against the Keys. Overall, Ball has recorded a 7-5 record to go with his 3.86 ERA, the fifth-best mark in the Carolina League. The southpaw has been solid in the month of August, pitching to the tune of a 3.13 ERA in 23.0 innings, lowering his ERA from 4.06 at the start of the month. Ball has tossed quality starts in three of his four outings, and has won his two decisions. Against Frederick, Ball is 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 16.0 innings, striking out 16 and walking eight – both numbers better than his season averages.
  • Frederick will send Jon Keller to the mound against the Red Sox, sporting an 0-1 record with a 2.89 ERA with five starts with the Keys this season. Keller began the season as a member of the bullpen for the Double-A Bowie Baysox, making 24 appearances and going 0-3 with a hellacious 6.69 ERA. The righty struggled with walks, issuing 7.93 BB/9 at the Double-A level, and hasn’t been much better in High-A, posting a 6.75 BB/9 ratio.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Michael Chavis, DH
  6. Jayce Ray, RF
  7. Jose Sermo, 2B
  8. David Sopilka, C
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 36-24
  2. Potomac Nationals, 34-26, 2.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 29-30, 6.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-37, 13.5 GB

Southern Division

  1. ^Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 38-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 37-22, 1.0 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 25-34, 13.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-43, 22.0 GB

*Clinched playoff berth through first half division title

^Clinched playoff berth

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • The Red Sox are only 1.0 game behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the race to determine home field advantage in game one of the opening round of the Mills Cup Playoffs. Salem has already clinched hosting games two and three (if necessary) by winning the first half.
  • The Keys enter with their postseason hopes still alive, needing to overcome a 4.5-game deficit against the Potomac Nationals to be the second club from the Northern Division to enter the playoffs. Frederick has a game in hand over Potomac, to be played this saturday at LewisGale Field.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • NO HITS FOR YOU!: The Salem bullpen has had its ups and downs this season, but some of the mainstays have come into their own recently. The Red Sox currently have three of the top five relievers in the circuit when it comes to lowest opponent batting average. Mario Alcantara has posted a .197 average against to lead the league while Jamie Callahan (.223) and Yankory Pimentel (.241) rank third and fifth, respectively, among active qualifiers. Salem’s staff overall has had opposing hitters to a .252 clip, tied for the best on the loop (Potomac).
  • WHAT A ‘RAY’-VELATION: Prior to the 2016 campaign, Jayce Ray had never played in affiliated baseball. Now, he has turned into one of the biggest surprises in the Red Sox lineup, currently riding a 21-game on-base streak. During that stretch, Ray has posted a .420 average (29-69) with three doubles, one triple, 16 runs scored, 11 RBI, and 12 walks. His on-base percentage is an astounding .518 for the stretch, which started on June 23 and has picked up in 19 games since returning from the disabled list in late July.
  • REVISIONIST HISTORY: Salem has already established a Red Sox-era record for most wins in a season (80), surpassing the 76 wins posted by the 2013 Carolina League champions. With 11 games to play including tonight’s contest, the Red Sox would have to go 6-5 to tie the all-time franchise record of 86 victories, set by the 1974 Rebels. The team has also already set new Red Sox-era records in road wins (38), first half wins (43), triples (60), and stolen bases (227). The win Thursday night gave Salem its first 80-win team since the 1987 Buccaneers went 80-59 in their first season as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. No Salem club has finished with more than 80 wins since the ‘74 team.

Anatomy of a Team Record: Stolen Bases

Andrew BenintendiBefore the season, Red Sox Manager Joe Oliver expressed his desire to be a team that runs frequently to put pressure on defenses to make plays. When Bryan Hudson stole second base in the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Winston-Salem Dash, it was the 221st successful stolen base of the season for Salem, a new franchise record set with 13 games remaining to play.

The club’s frequent stolen bases this season have been key to its success. It is no coincidence that the talent-laden team has also set a Red Sox-era record for wins in a season, with 78 entering Tuesday’s matchup with the Potomac Nationals. Considering that both records will continue to be left in the dust by the surging Red Sox, let’s take a look at just how much the running game has contributed to the historic season.

In order to do so, we must first establish a few things. The first concept to understand when seeking to get a full picture of stolen bases is what is called the run value (RV) of the event. In their seminal book The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, Tom Tango, Mitchell Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin analyzed years of baseball play-by-play data and determined the RV of every possible event on the field. Without getting into gory mathematical details, their research spanned five years of every MLB game to determine how many runs scored following certain events and base-out states (e.g.- runners on first and second, one out).

Tango, et. al. calculated that the RV of a successful stolen base was 0.16, and the RV of a caught stealing was -0.45. Boiled down into simple terms, this means that approximately six successful steals generates on average one extra run, but two caught stealings on average costs one run. This is why you need to be successful in roughly three out of every four attempts to break even.

We are going to use this information to calculate a statistic known as stolen base runs (SBR). To do so we will take the RV of the successful stolen bases and subtract the RV of the times the Red Sox have been caught stealing.

Entering Tuesday’s game with Potomac, the Red Sox have stolen 221 bases and been caught 61 times. As a team, the Red Sox have 7.91 SBR on the season. That means in 126 games, the team has scored an additional eight runs because of stolen bases alone! That may not seem like much, but it is actually quite significant. No other Carolina League team has more than 4.32 SBR this season, and the Red Sox alone raise the league average SBR from -1.71 to -0.51.

Salem is nearly 10 runs better than the rest of the league when it comes to stealing bases, which translates to an additional win throughout the season. So now that we see how well the team has done in stealing bases, how about highlighting a few of the individual performances that have contributed.

Not surprisingly the two All-Stars, Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon, pace the team in SBR, with 2.16 and 2.04, respectively. Moncada stole 36 bases in 44 attempts, while Dubon swiped 24 in 28 tries. But the players right behind them are Bryan Hudson (1.75 SBR) and Mike Meyers (1.59). Each of those two have been key role players in the Red Sox outfield for the entire season, and should contribute to the Mills Cup Playoff run.

However, there is a wide gulf between Meyers and the next-best SBR player, Franklin Guzman (0.54), followed closely by Jose Sermo (0.51) and Jordan Procyshen (0.48). After that, the positive impact of any one player is minimal, although there are four players who have cost runs with their steal attempts.

I will fully admit that this is not a perfect science. This very crude calculation of SBR fails to take into account variances in base-out states and how RV differs in different states as well as at different junctures in the game.

A runner caught stealing in the ninth inning down by one has a bigger impact than a runner caught stealing in the first inning. Stealing third base gives you a greater chance to score a run than stealing second base. This calculation fails to take these things into account and is therefore simply a very general picture of what the Red Sox have done. Context to statistics is key, and unfortunately I have stripped these stats of all context.

There are more sophisticated stats that exist to give a better picture of the true impact of stolen bases, but quite frankly they are too advanced for my mathematical abilities. Additionally, baserunning stats are the least mature of the four major statistical categories (hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning), so there is a lot more refinement that needs to be done by people far smarter than I.

But in the absence of any momentary lapse of math genius on my part, this will have to do to show that the Red Sox have been far and away the best team at stealing bases in the Carolina League, and it has gone far toward helping them re-write the record books.

@JoeVasilePBP

Game Preview: August 21, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Sunday, August 21, 2016 – 2:00 pm

Game 125 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Anyelo Leclerc (2-2, 5.35 ERA) vs. RHP Kelvis Valerio (3-4, 4.01 ERA)

  • The Red Sox look for the sweep behind right-hander Anyelo Leclerc, making his seventh start and 12th overall appearance with Salem. Leclerc allowed four runs in 4.2 innings against the Carolina Mudcats in his last outing on Tuesday, and is 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA overall. The righty swingman is 1-1 with a 6.04 ERA as a starting pitcher, compared to a 1-1 mark with a 4.05 ERA as a reliever. He as also seen his walk and strikeout rates increase as a starter, improving from 7.42 to 7.81 K/9, and from 5.40 to 3.90 BB/9. Leclerc became a fixture in the Salem rotation when Travis Lakins was placed on the disabled list on July 28
  • Winston-Salem rolls the dice with RHP Kelvis Valerio, who like Leclerc, began the season in the bullpen before being moved to the starting rotation. Valerio will be making his seventh start of the year for the Dash, and his 30th overall appearance. The righty has also been more effective as a starter, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.82 ERA as a starter, compared to a 1-3 ledger with a 4.15 ERA out of the bullpen.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Bryan Hudson, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, DH
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jordan Betts, 3B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 33-23
  2. Potomac Nationals, 32-24, 1.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 27-28, 5.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-34, 11.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 34-21
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-31, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-40, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • After ripping off nine straight wins, the Salem Red Sox have tied the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for first place in the Carolina League Southern Division second half standings. The winner of the second half hosts game one of the Mills Cup playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last six games and are 4-6 in their last 10, continuing their slide since a hot start to the second half. Their elimination number is now three.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • REVISIONIST HISTORY: With the doubleheader sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash Saturday night, Salem set a Red Sox-era record for most wins in a season (77), surpassing the 76 wins posted by the 2013 Carolina League champions. With 14 games to play including Sunday’s contest with the Dash, the Red Sox would have to go 10-4 to tie the all-time franchise record of 87 victories, set by the 1974 Rebels. The squad obliterated the previous Red Sox-era record for triples in a season with 57, surpassing the 2014 team’s 47. The club long ago passed the Red Sox-era record for stolen bases (180 in 2012) and with 217 thefts, is only three shy of the franchise record of 220 by the 1987 Buccaneers.
  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won nine games in a row, a new Red Sox-era record for longest winning streak, and the longest in franchise history since the 2007 Salem Avalanche won 12 consecutive contests. Additionally, the Red Sox have won 10 straight games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip.

Doubleheader Preview: August 20, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Saturday, August 20, 2016 – 5:00 pm

Games 123 & 124 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

G1: LHP Matt Kent (8-6, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Banks (6-2, 4.12)

  • Salem sends soft-tossing left hander Matt Kent to keep the ball rolling against the Dash in the weekend series opener. Kent has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent starting pitchers this season, posting an 8-6 record with a 3.87 ERA. The southpaw will be making his staff-leading 23rd start of the season tonight, and is tops on the club in innings pitched (130.1), hits allowed (147), hit batsmen (10), and strikeouts (96). Kent is fifth among active Carolina League qualifiers in ERA, and his 1.73 unintentional BB/9.0 IP ratio is the lowest among qualifiers.
  • Winston-Salem’s Tanner Banks makes his 13th start of the season with the Dash, and second against the Red Sox. On June 17, Banks stifled the Salem lineup, allowing just three hits in 7.0-shutout innings. In his last four starts, the righty has yeilded just four earned runs in 22.0 innings, good for a 1.63 earned run average. He is equally ‘effective’ against both right and left-handed hitters, with righties hitting at a .293/.328/.415 line, and lefties batting .294/.338/.397.

G2: LHP Trey Ball (6-5, 3.91 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Thompson (2-4, 7.63 ERA)

  • The back end of the double dip will feature another left-handed pitcher on the rubber as Trey Ball gets the call. Making his 21st start of the season, Ball has had a mixed bag of results this season, pitching to the tune of a 6-5 record with a 3.91 ERA, the sixth-best mark in the Carolina League. His overall stat line would be much better if not for his extreme struggles in the month of July, during which the lefty posted an ugly 8.17 ERA. However, he has rebounded nicely in August, pitching to the tune of a 3.18 ERA in three starts. Against Winston-Salem this year, Ball has been fantastic, posting a 1.42 ERA across three starts.
  • Meanwhile Zach Thompson makes his eighth start of the season for the Dash after beginning the season with Low-A Kannapolis. Thompson is 2-4 with an unsightly 7.63 ERA overall, but at BB&T Ballpark he has been far better. At home Thompson is 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA, compared to 0-3 with a 9.90 ERA on the road. This will be the first time that Thompson faces Salem this season.

RED SOX LINEUP

Game One

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. David Sopilka, C
  8. Ben Moore, DH
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

Game Two Lineup TBD.

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-23
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 31-23
  3. Frederick Keys, 26-28, 5.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 21-34, 11.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-20
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 32-21, 1.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 9.5 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-39, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off seven straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 1.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last four games and are 5-5 in their last 10 and have continued their slide since a hot start to the second half. The Red Sox can twart whatever remaining hopes of the playoffs Winston-Salem has this weekend.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 57-1 (.983). The second-best record in the Carolina League in that situation belongs to the Potomac Nationals at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of seen full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the stupendous seven with their .986 (69-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 23-10 (.697), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories
  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won 10 consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in seven straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to onehit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks. In Thursday’s series finale, the Mudcats were able to muster one run on four hits against Red Sox pitching.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 31 extra-base hits in 44 games played, including 19 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .340/.387/.606 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has more than 30 extra-base hits in that span, and his 114 total bases pace all MiLB hitters. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com, who rates him the #3 prospect in the organization.

Game Preview: August 19, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Friday, August 19, 2016 – 7:00 pm

Game 123 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Matt Kent (8-6, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Banks (6-2, 4.12)

  • Salem sends soft-tossing left hander Matt Kent to keep the ball rolling against the Dash in the weekend series opener. Kent has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent starting pitchers this season, posting an 8-6 record with a 3.87 ERA. The southpaw will be making his staff-leading 23rd start of the season tonight, and is tops on the club in innings pitched (130.1), hits allowed (147), hit batsmen (10), and strikeouts (96). Kent is fifth among active Carolina League qualifiers in ERA, and his 1.73 unintentional BB/9.0 IP ratio is the lowest among qualifiers.
  • Winston-Salem’s Tanner Banks makes his 13th start of the season with the Dash, and second against the Red Sox. On June 17, Banks stifled the Salem lineup, allowing just three hits in 7.0-shutout innings. In his last four starts, the righty has yeilded just four earned runs in 22.0 innings, good for a 1.63 earned run average. He is equally ‘effective’ against both right and left-handed hitters, with righties hitting at a .293/.328/.415 line, and lefties batting .294/.338/.397.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Ben Moore, DH
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-22
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 31-23, 1.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 25-28, 6.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 20-34, 12.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 32-21, 2.0 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-38, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off seven straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 2.0 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last four games and are 5-5 in their last 10 and have continued their slide since a hot start to the second half. The Red Sox can twart whatever remaining hopes of the playoffs Winston-Salem has this weekend.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won 10 consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in seven straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to onehit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks. In Thursday’s series finale, the Mudcats were able to muster one run on four hits against Red Sox pitching.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 31 extra-base hits in 44 games played, including 19 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .340/.387/.606 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has more than 30 extra-base hits in that span, and his 114 total bases pace all MiLB hitters. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com, who rates him the #3 prospect in the organization.

Game Preview: August 18, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Thursday, August 18, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 122 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Michael Kopech (2-1, 1.41 ERA) vs. RHP Caleb Beech (2-7, 4.53 ERA)

  • Salem sends flamethrowing prospect Michael Kopech to the mound in the series finale with the Mudcats. The Texan right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.41 ERA in eight starts with Salem this season. He has struck out a mind-boggling 60 batters in 38.1 innings pitched (14.09 K/9), a ludicrous ratio for a starting pitcher. Kopech made his season debut at Carolina on July 7, striking out six in 4.0 innings, including an immaculate inning in the fourth – whiffing three batters on nine pitches. The right-hander set a career high with 11 strikeouts in 5.0 innings against Wilmington in his last start, and has fanned 28 batters in his last 16.0 IP.
  • Carolina’s Caleb Beech has pitched better than his record and ERA might suggest, falling victim to bad luck and other factors. In 57.2 innings across his 11 starts with the Mudcats, Beech has struck out 33 and walked only seven batters. He faced Salem on July 6th at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, getting the win while holding the Red Sox to just one run on six hits in 5.2 innings. Since then, Beech has lost five straight decisions.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, DH
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Betts, 1B
  8. David Sopilka, C
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-21
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 30-22, 1.5 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-27, 7.0 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 19-34, 13.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 31-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-37, 18.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off six straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 2.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 13 of their last 14, will try to climb their way out of the Carolina League cellar after falling 0.5 games behind the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the league last night.
  • Salem seeks its 42nd win of the season at LewisGale Field, which would tie the Red Sox-era record of 42 home triumphs in the 2013 season. The Red Sox won the Mills Cup in 2013.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to one-hit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks.

  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won nine consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). A win against Carolina tonight would give Salem their first home winning streak of 10 games or more since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 69-41 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a mind-boggling 123-70 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in six straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 56-1 (.982). The second best record in the Carolina League in that situation belongs to the Potomac Nationals  at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of seven full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the elite eight with their .986 (68-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 22-10 (.688), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories.

Game Preview: August 17, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 121 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Daniel McGrath (6-5, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Thurman (0-2, 9.86 ERA)

  • Salem looks to keep the perfect homestand alive by sending lefty Daniel McGrath to the hill against the Mudcats, facing Carolina for the first time since an Opening Night quality start at LewisGale Field. Overall, the Australian southpaw is 6-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 80.2 innings pitched in 15 starts this season. McGrath has struck out 51 and walked 32 batters, and is the team leader with two complete games, though both resulted in losses. Against the Wilmington Blue Rocks in his last start on Friday night, McGrath tossed 6.0 innings of three-hit ball, yielding only one unearned run to receive the victory.
  • Mudcats starting pitcher Andrew Thurman began the year with the Double-A Mississippi Braves, pitched in 19 games to the tune of a 1-7 record and 6.89 ERA, and was transferred to Carolina on July 20. Since joining the Mudcats, Thurman has been downright dreadful, going 0-2 with a 9.86 ERA in five starts, striking out 19 and walking 18 while hitting five batters in 21.0 innings.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Mike Meyers, DH
  6. Jayce Ray, RF
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jose Sermo, 2B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-20
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 30-22, 2.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-27, 7.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 18-34, 14.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 33-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 30-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-28, 9.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-36, 17.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off five straight wins, the Salem Red Sox stand 2.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 12 of their last 13, will try to climb their way out of the Carolina League cellar after falling 0.5 games behind the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the league last night.
  • Salem seeks its 41st win of the season at LewisGale Field, one shy of the Red Sox-era record of 42 home triumphs in the 2013 season. The Red Sox won the Mills Cup in 2013.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 55-1 (.985). The second best record in the Carolina League belongs to the Potomac Nationals at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of eight full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the elite eight with their .986 (68-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 22-10 (.688), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories.

  • WAR OF ATTRITION: With an 11-inning win Tuesday against Carolina, the Red Sox sport a 10-3 (.769) record in extra-inning games in 2016. The second best extra-inning record in the Carolina League belongs to Potomac at 10-7 (.588). Salem is one of only seven clubs in Minor League Baseball to notch at least 10 wins in extra innings, and has the second-best winning percentage, behind the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA, MIL) at 10-2 (.833). The Durham Bulls (AAA, TB) have played an MiLB-high 19 extra-inning games this season, and have posted an 11-8 (.579) record in such contests. Of the victories, six have come via a walk-off hit, including three times in the Red Sox’ last 10 games played. Overall, Salem has won an incredible 19 games in their final at-bat.

  • OUTPERFORMING EXPECTATIONS: The Salem Red Sox have used their good fortune in close games to post the second-best record in the Carolina League at 73-47, one game behind the Lynchburg Hillcats. In doing so, Salem has outperformed their expected pythagorean win-loss record of 64-56. The nine-game difference is the largest gap between actual and expected wins of any team in the Carolina League. Pythagorean W-L projections are calculated using a team’s run differential. At +44, Salem has the third-best run differential in the Carolina League, trailing Lynchburg (+144) and Myrtle Beach (+61). Unsurprisingly, the two worst teams in the league in terms of run differential, Carolina (-109) and Wilmington (-165), also sport the two worst records in the league.

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