BATS AND PIGS BACK AT IT: The Louisville Bats and Lehigh Valley IronPigs play game two of a four-game set Friday night in Allentown. Last night was a continuation of Lehigh Valley's dominance against the Bats in their home ballpark, going 4-0 against Louisville at Coca-Cola Park in 2017. Last season, the IronPigs had games against the Bats in which they scored 13 and 14 runs, and totaled 13 runs in last night's game.
SMALL SAMPLE SIZE GALORE: Going into Thursday night's game, Louisville pitching (2.67 ERA) was tied for 2nd-best in the International League. After yesterday's 13-run, 16-hit barrage by Lehigh Valley, the Bats' pitching staff's ERA ballooned to 4.21, now ranking 12th in the IL. The bullpen's 1.25 ERA heading into yesterday was increased by over 2 runs, now sitting at 3.38 on the season after the Pigs combined for seven runs off LOU relievers Barrett Astin and Ben Rowen .
FIRST IS THE WORST: The Bats grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning of last night's game, the fourth time through seven games this season that Louisville has scored first. Oddly enough, the Bats are just 1-3 when they score first in a game, and 2-1 when their opponent gets on the board first. Louisville's .250 winning percentage when scoring first ranks last in the IL. Last season, the Bats went 38-27 (.585) when scoring first, finishing last in the IL.
NICK SENZEL: Through his first 7 games at the Triple-A level, Nick Senzel is batting .207 (6-for-29) with 3 runs scored, 2 doubles and a stolen base, with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. In Tuesday night's game against Columbus, Senzel walked for the first time in 2018, having previously gone 49 plate appearances (including 29 in Reds Spring Training) without drawing a base on balls. He's gone hitless in 4 games, and has registered exactly two hits in 3 games. The infielder was rated as the #7 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball-America after being rated as the #9 prospect prior to the 2017 season. The former number two overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft is the first Top 10 B-A prospect to appear in a Louisville uniform before making his MLB debut since LHP Aroldis Chapman in 2011, and the first position player since OF Jay Bruce in 2008.
FIRST ROAD AB: Leadoff hitter Mason Williams singled to begin last night's ballgame in Louisville's first road plate appearance of the season. He became the first Bats hitter to register a hit in the team's first road PA of the season since Dave Sappelt doubled at Indianapolis on April 13, 2011 off Indians starting pitcher Sean Gallagher in a 10-4 Bats victory.
McBRIDE & ORTIZ: Lehigh Valley's Matt McBride and Danny Ortiz crushed Bats pitching last night, driving in 6 and 5 runs, respectively. McBride hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the eighth inning, while Ortiz hit a two-run homer as part of a three-hit game. Mitch Walding also had a great game for Lehigh Valley, going 4-for-5. McBride and Ortiz are the first pair of teammates to each drive in 5+ RBI in the same game against Louisville since at least the 2006 season.
MLB EXPERIENCE: On the 25-man roster as of April 13, Louisville currently has 11 players who played in the Majors at any point last season (Astin, Stephens, Stephenson, Turner, Kivlehan for Cincinnati; Crockett for Cleveland; Floro for Chicago (NL); Nicolino for Miami; M. Williams for New York (AL); Selsky for Boston; Sanchez for Atlanta). Finnegan also pitched for Cincinnati last season, bringing the total to 12. Other players on the roster with MLB experience include Ben Rowen (last appeared with MIL in 2016), Tony Cruz (KC, 2016), Hernan Iribarren (CIN, 2016) and Tyler Goeddel (PHI, 2016), bringing the total players with MLB experience on Louisville's roster to 15 out of 25, and 16 out of 26 with Finnegan included.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: The Louisville Bats last played on a "Friday the 13th" in May 2016, with LOU defeating Scranton Wilkes-Barre, 4-1. In that game, right-hander Daniel Wright tossed a complete game, giving up one unearned run with 8 strikeouts.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.