Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchups; Game Previews 9/8/11

International League Playoffs (First round)
Pawtucket Red Sox (Matt Fox)
vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Dave Bush) 7:05pm

GAME 1 Paw Sox vs. IronPigs – Pawtucket pulled into first place in the I.L.’s North Division back on August 7th and never relinquish that spot, despite some shaky stretches. They punched their first post-season ticket in three years and took their first North Division title since 2003. Matt Fox went 10-4 in the regular season and earns the start for Pawtucket in game 1. He finished the season with four straight victories and was 6-2 over his last 10 starts, which included a complete game, 2-hit gem against Gwinnett on August 14th. Fox went 6 innings, allowed 1 earned run, 2 hits and picked up a win against Lehigh Valley back on July 28th. The IronPigs counter with Dave Bush, who has had a whirlwind season in which he has played for three different organizations. Now with the Phillies, Bush has spent all of his time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, making 4 starts and compiling a 1-2 record and 3.91 ERA. Bush started the season playing with the Texas Rangers and was released after posting a 5.71 ERA in mostly relief spots. After playing with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Bush opted out of his contract and signed with the Phillies. Bush has logged 82 1/3 innings across the board this season…The PawSox won the regular season series against the IronPigs 10-6, taking 6 of the 8 games played at McCoy Stadium…Games 1 & 2 of the series will be played at Lehigh Valley on Wednesday and Thursday with both games starting at 7:05pm. The PawSox will return home to host games 3 (7:05pm), 4 (6:05pm, if needed) & 5 (1:05pm, if needed) Friday through Sunday at McCoy Stadium.

Eastern League Playoffs (First round)
Reading Phillies (Tyler Cloyd)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Chad Jenkins) 7:05pm

GAME 1RPhils vs. Fisher Cats – New Hampshire is in the Eastern League playoffs for the second consecutive season, this year as the Eastern Division winner. The good news for the Fisher Cats this time around is that they won’t have to face the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andy Pettitte, as they were forced to do when Trenton swept them out of the 2010 post-season. Tyler Cloyd will be the Reading starter in game 1 after compiling a 6-3 record with a 2.78 ERA in 18 appearances (17 starts) after being called up to Double-A in June. He has not picked up a loss since July 20th and over his last seven starts of the regular season he went 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA. Cloyd did face the Fisher Cats twice this season, including that July 20th loss, and only allowed 3 earned runs in 11 innings. Chad Jenkins will get the ball first for the Fisher Cats after 27 regular season starts, 16 of which came with the Fisher Cats. He was 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA in his last four regular season starts of the season. Jenkins had two starts against the RPhils, both back in July, and compiled a 1-1 record with a 5.73 ERA in 11 innings…The season series between these teams was tied 9-9 with Reading take 7 of 10 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium…As the Eastern Division champs, the Fisher Cats will host the first two games of the best-of-five playoff series, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:05pm. The series shifts to Reading for games 3 & 4 (if needed) on Friday and Saturday at 7:05pm and the teams will return to NeDDs on Sunday for a 5:05pm start if a game 5 is necessary.

New York-Penn League Playoffs (First round)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Brent Powers)
vs. Auburn Doubledays (Taylor Hill) 7:05pm

GAME 2Lake Monsters vs. Doubledays – Last night Chad Lewis sparked a five-run, first-inning with a two-out, 3-RBI triple and the Vermont Lake Monsters would not look back as they took down the Auburn Doubledays 7-1 in the first game of their best-of-three series. The win was the first playoff victory for Vermont since September 11th, 1996 when they defeated St. Catherine’s 4-3 to win their only NYPL title. Four Vermont pitchers combined to hold Auburn to only 3 hits on the night while striking out 16. Lewis finished the night with a single, triple, home run and four runs batted in. Tonight the action shifts to Auburn where Vermont starter Brent Powers will take to the hill looking to advance the Lake Monsters to the NYPL finals. He has made 12 starts this season, compiling a 4-2 record, with all 4 wins coming over his last 7 starts of the season. Taylor Hill will hit the mound looking to help Auburn even things up in this series. He started the season coming out of the pen and was then transferred to the starting rotation where he made 5 starts and went 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA…This is the third time in team history that Vermont has reached the playoffs (1994, 1996, 2011). Vermont’s 14 years between playoff appearances was a league-high drought, which is now owned by Abderdeen who have not made the postseason in ten years.

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