Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Season: 11-33 (.250) 18.5 GB
Last Week: 3-3 (.500)
Lehigh Valley is beginning to gain some respectability as they look to climb as far as they can out of the International League basement. Pitching help has arrived in the form of Les Walrond (1-2, 1.26) and Stephen Randolph (1-0, 0.00), plus, they get starter Travis Blackley (0-3, 6.64) back Monday night and he figures to finally be healthy and turn around his season. Blackley's return comes at the expense of J.D. Durbin (0-5, 9.42) who was demoted to Double-A Reading to make room for Blackley's return. Durbin started the season in the starting rotation and was then moved to the bullpen, but never regained the form that had the Phillies thinking he might be able to help them at some point down the road. Blackley and Walrond will start the two games of Monday night's double-header for Lehigh Valley.
Tough week for Ron Chiavacci, who suffered two losses in the six 'Pigs games. Chiavacci threw 10.1 innings and posted a 7.84 ERA on the week to push his season ERA from a very respectable 3.95 to 5.25 with a 1-5 record.
Offensively, the 'Pigs have been spotty, but have shown much more spark. Jon Knott had another good week, hitting .333 (5-for-15) and getting on-base at a .542 clip. Knott had a 12 game hitting streak ended last Thursday and he hit .463 (19-for-41) during the span. Brandon Watson has a 5 game hitting streak going and he's hit .318 (8-for-21) in his streak. He's also had hits in 26 of the 33 games that he's played this season.
Forget the problems that Jason Jaramillo was having throwing out base runners early in the season. Last Wednesday, Norfolk tried to take advantage of him and he threw out three potential thieves at second base.
Season: 19-22 (.463) 7.5 GB
Last Week: 2-3 (.400)
Kip Bouknight (3-4, 3.33) hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 13.1 innings and opponents have hit just .133 (6-for-45) against him in that span. Bouknight had a rough stretch of starts for Reading, but appears to have gotten himself straightened out and regaining his control has played a big part in that turnaround.
The jump from Clearwater to Reading doesn't seem to have bothered Antonio Bastardo. The left-hander is now 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA at Reading and led the Eastern League with 13 innings pitched last week. He's averaging just under six innings per start and opponents are hitting just .209 against him at Double-A after he put up impressive numbers at High-A Clearwater (2-0, 1.17) in five starts with the Threshers. Speaking of adjusting, Josh Outman seems to be adjusting to life in the R-Phils' bullpen and he's dropped his season ERA to 2.68, but then again, when he went into a relief role, it was just 3.16. He threw four more innings without allowing an earned run this week and he's not compiled nine straight innings without giving up an earned run.
Big week for Greg Golson, who banged out nine hits last week and hit .474 to push his average up to .331 on the season at Reading. Golson has shown consistency at the plate and has hit in 10 of the last 12 games that he's played in coming into Monday night's action. Lou Marson has been picking up RBIs in bunches, driving in nine runners during the past week. Marson had six RBI including his first home run of the season - a grand slam - in Reading's 14-1 drubbing of Akron on Sunday. Marson has shown solid discipline at the plate and has just three more strikeouts than walks this season and a .438 OBP. Luke Appert has had some rough stretches with Reading this season, but he's hit in four straight and hit .429 for Reading over the past week.
(.395) 11 GB
Last Week: 3-4 (.429)
Joe Savery (1-4, 5.19) continues to struggle for Clearwater and got his butt handed to him the last two times that he's taken the mound. His line over the last two starts is ugly: 7.2 IP, 20 H, 12 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 3 K. It wasn't that long ago that there were whispers that Savery would be following Bastardo to Reading, but now, there's no way that happens until he's straightened out and stays straightened out for a while. Meanwhile, an encouraging sign from Zack Segovia, who threw very well in his last start, going 6.2 innings and allowing just one earned run, which came on a fourth inning home run. Segovia kept the ball down in the zone and walked just one while striking out five.
Gus Milner went 5-for-18 (.278) over the past week, but all of his hits were for extra bases; four doubles and a home run. On the season, Milner is hitting .285 with 24 RBI for Clearwater.
Season: 20-23 (.465) 7.5 GB
Last Week: 1-6 (.143)
Rough week for the 'Claws. Drew Naylor struggled to keep the ball down in his last start and was tagged for three home runs in six innings. Coming into the game, Naylor had only allowed two home runs in his previous 53 innings of work this season. The good news is that Naylor only allowed two other hits in the game and came away with a no-decision.
Michael Taylor pushed his average up a little by hitting .375 (9-for-24) over the past week, to take his average from .333 to it's current .347 mark for Lakewood. The rest of the team struggled at the plate, hitting just .222 (43-for-193) when you subtract Taylor's numbers from the equation.