Game #31/98 Lakewood (14-16/40-57) vs Rome (11-18/47-51)
RHP Jeb Stefan (3-4, 3.78) vs RHP Jason Hursh (0-0, 0.00)
Series: Meeting 3 of 4 (Lakewood leads season series 4-1 of 7)
Last Game Recap…The BlueClaws picked up seven strong innings from Nic Hanson and took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning…Lino Martinez gave it right back in the bottom of the eighth and the Braves tacked on another run in the ninth on a walk-off single from Joey Meneses…Larry Greene, Jr had two hits and an RBI in the losing effort.
Road Woes…The BlueClaws dropped to 18-31 on the road after last night’s loss to Rome…This season Lakewood is hitting better on the road that at home by 26-points, .258-to-.232…but the real woes come on the mound for the Claws’ arms…In the 48 games away from FirstEnergy Park, the pitchers have accrued a 5.40 ERA…At home the pitchers are 22-26 with a 3.35 ERA…However, through all of this the BlueClaws have won 5 of their last 7 on the road.
With a Win…With a win today, the BlueClaws would move to 14-12 against Southern Division through the first 26 games against Southern foes this season…They would again climb to within one game of .500 in the second half…Lakewood has not been at an even .500 since they began the second-half 1-1…The BlueClaws had been as many as 8-games under .500 at 4-12 after dropping the first two games in Greensboro on July 4th and 5th.
Raise the Roof…Jonathan Roof had two hits on Wednesday and is 16-51 (.314) since joining the BlueClaws on July 5th from Clearwater, where he hit .280 with 3 home runs…Roof has five home runs (including two with Lakewood)…He had just two in 2010-2012 (two years with the Rangers and one with the Padres)…Roof has three multi-hit games, two home runs, and 12 RBIs in nine games with the BlueClaws.
Crushing Carmona…Over his last 32 games, Willie Carmona is 46-122 (.377) with 19 multi-hit games (10 of 16)…He hit his fifth home run of the year (9th professional) on July 19th against Augusta…Carmona has 31 multi-hit games to lead the BlueClaws in that category…He is 66-185 (.357) since May 21st…He is hitting .335 since starting the season 10-55…Carmona was an 11th round pick last year from Stony Brook and he helped the SeaWolves reach last year’s College World Series.
LGJ…Not LBJ…After hitting .182 in the first half, Larry Greene Jr. is 36-112 (.321) in the second half with 13 multi-hit games…He has reached safely in his last 16 road games and is hitting .393 (24-61) during those games…He had just three mutli-hit games in 46 games played before the All-Star break….Greene was the 39th overall pick in the 2011 draft from Nashville, Georgia.
Point of Blast…Brian Pointer hit his 5th home run of the year (21st professional) on Saturday night against Hickory…Pointer joins Roman Quinn, Art Charles and Willie Carmona as the only players to hit at least two HRs in Lakewood this year (Quinn has three, one was inside-the-park)…Pointer is hitting .284 in the second half (25-88) after hitting .210 in the first half…Pointer has led off 14 times since Roman Quinn’s injury and is 14-58 in the lead-off spot.
Scouting Rome…Lakewood travels to Rome for their lone visit to State Mutual Stadium this year and their first visit in nine years…The Braves come in with the 5th ranked offense in the South Atlantic League with a .254 average….Through 98 games they have plated 417 runs and hit 45 home runs, 6th best in the league…They are also in the middle of the pack in pitching…Their 9th ranked staff has logged a 4.13 ERA and has allowed 461 runs on 790 hits…Shae Simmons serves as the closer for Rome and leads the league with 22 saves.
Off the Schnide…Finally…Lakewood plated three runs in the ninth inning of Friday’s game against the Augusta GreenJackets and earned their first win of the season when trailing after eight frames…They are now 1-43 when trailing after eight and 2-44 when trailing after seven innings.
Sterling Starters…Over this stretch of 10 wins in 14 games the BlueClaws starters have been superb…They have logged 75.1 innings and allowed just 32 runs, 26 earned, on 70 hits, with 26 walks and 52 strikeouts…Nic Hanson has been among the best with a 0.95 ERA in three starts…
Viva Villa…After hitting .247 in the first half, Alejandro Villalobos is hitting .328 in the second half (21-64) with four doubles (one double in the first half)…Villalobos, who hit .271 with Lakewood last year, opened the season in extended spring training before joining the BlueClaws on April 18th.
No-No-No…The no-hitter on last Thursday night was the 4th in BlueClaws history – Keith Bucktrot (4/12/2011, 7 innings), Gavin Floyd (7/24/2002, 9 innings, loss), and a 8/13/2006 combined no-hitter between Carlos Carrasco and Andy Barb…All four of the no-hitters have come at FirstEnergy Park.