8/11: Mudcats vs. Red Sox Game Notes

Sunday, August 11, 2019 | 2:00 PM | Game 119, Home Game 60 | Five County Stadium (6,500) | Zebulon, NC

By Greg Young / Carolina Mudcats | August 11, 2019 12:59 PM

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SALEM RED SOX (BOSTON RED SOX) at CAROLINA MUDCATS (MILWAUKEE BREWERS)
Sunday, August 11, 2019 | 2:00 PM | Game 119, Home Game 60 | Five County Stadium (6,500) | Zebulon, NC

RADIO: WDWG, 98.5 FM The Big Dawg
STREAMING AUDIO: carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio
STREAMING VIDEO: MiLB.tv

Overall Record: CAR: 60-58; SAL: 52-63
Streaks: CAR: L1; SAL: W1
Last 10 Games: CAR: 5-5, SAL: 4-6

Home Record: CAR: 34-25; SAL: 28-31
Road Record: CAR: 26-33; SAL: 24-32
Division Record: CAR: 24-35; SAL: 26-27

Current Series: Tied 1-1 (of 3)
Season Series: CAR leads 6-4 (of 15)
CAR v. OPP: 3-3 @CAR (7), 3-1 @OPP (8)

UPCOMING PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS...
SUN, 8/11 vs. SAL, 2:00 PM: Salem RHP Daniel Gonzalez (4-8, 4.38) at Carolina RHP Nelson Hernandez (10-8, 4.26)
MON, 8/12: Off
TUE, 8/13 vs. WS, 7:00 PM: Winston-Salem TBA at Carolina TBA

TODAY: Following last night's 3-0 loss, the Mudcats continue a six-game, seven day, home stand tonight with the finale of a three game series versus the Northern Division's Salem Red Sox at Five County Stadium... The Red Sox evened the series at 1-1 after blanking the Mudcats 3-0 last night... Carolina leads the season series 6-4 having gone 3-1 versus the Red Sox in Salem and 3-3 so far against Salem at home... Tonight's game is the final game of the three-game series, the third of seven second half games and the 11th of 15 total meetings between the two teams this season.

ICYMI: Matt Smith matched a career high with eight strikeouts while pitching through the fifth, but the Carolina offense was held to just four hits and did not score a run as the Red Sox blanked the Mudcats 3-0 in front of a crowd of 6,213 on Saturday night at Five County Stadium. The Red Sox totaled one run versus Smith in the fourth and later scored twice versus reliever Chad Whitmer in the sixth and eighth innings while taking the middle game of the series and snapping Carolina's three-game win streak.

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Mudcats dropped to 8-9 in shutouts this season after losing last night's 3-0 to the Red Sox in Zebulon. The shutout loss was Carolina's ninth overall this season and fourth since 7/24. It was also Carolina's sixth shutout loss since the All-Star break. They started the year going 4-3 in shutouts before the break.

CAROLINA'S STARTING PITCHER(S)...
Nelson Hernandez:
10-8, 4.26 ERA, 24 GS, 126.2 IP, 42 BB, 93 SO, 1.34 WHIP
Last start, 8/6 at DE: ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 99 pitches
Post All-Star: 4-3, 3.04 ERA, 9 GS, 50.1 IP, 14 BB, 35 SO, 1.29 WHIP
Has allowed 14 home runs (1.84 HR/9); tied for 3rd most in Carolina League

OF LATE: The Mudcats have gone just 9-20 since 7/10 and since starting the second half at 12-8 over their first 20 games (6/20-7/9) following the All-Star break... The Mudcats have also combined to hit just .206 with 2.9 R/G and a run differential of -22 runs since 7/10.

FIRST: Carolina scored first in both games of Thursday's doubleheader in Kinston at Grainger Stadium and have now scored first in a game just five times since 7/15 while going 8-16 in that same span. They have also scored first in a game eight times since 7/10 and are 9-20 during that span of games. 

WHERE THEY RANK: Mario Feliciano is 1st in the CL in home runs (19), 1st in RBI (78), 1st in slugging (.478), 4th in OPS (.803), tied for 5th in hits (112), 4th in runs (59), 1st in extra-base hits (44) and 1st in total bases (197)... Payton Henry is tied for 4th in the CL in home runs (13) and tied for 3rd in RBI (66)... Tristen Lutz is tied for 4th in the CL in home runs (13), 10th in slugging (.421), 4th in XBH (37) and 3rd in runs (61)... Matt Hardy is currently tied for 7th in the CL in wins (7) and tied for 8th in games (33)... J.T. Hintzen, Michael Petersen and Cody Beckman are currently tied for 4th in the CL in games (35)... Noah Zavolas is currently 2nd in the CL in ERA (2.98), 1st in innings pitched (133.0) and 2nd in WHIP (1.14). Zavolas is also 2nd in the CL in FIP (3.21), 2nd in xFIP (3.37), 1st in BB/9 (1.56) and 2nd in K/BB (4.43)... Matt Smith is currently 3rd in the CL in earned run average (3.59), 3rd in K/BB (3.12), 4th in xFIP (3.63) and 2nd in LOB% (75.0).

WHO'S HOT: Tristen Lutz has hit safely in five straight games and is batting .450/.476/.950 with a 1.426 OPS during his current streak (9-for-20, 5 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI). He has also hit safely in seven of his last night games and is batting .421/.450/.763 with a 1.213 OPS during that span (16-for-38, 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI)... Mario Feliciano has hit safely in nine of his last 13 games and is batting .340/.411/.640 with a 1.051 OPS during that same span (17-for-50, 13 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 17 SO). 

EXCLUSIVE COMPANY: Mario Feliciano currently leads the Carolina League in both home runs and RBI so far this season. The last CL player to lead the league in homers and RBI was Salem's Bobby Dalbec who hit 26 home runs and totaled 85 RBI in 2018. Dalbec went on to be named the league's MVP last season. Lynchburg's Bobby Bradley (29 HR, 102 RBI) and Nellie Rodriguez (17 HR, 84 RBI) also led the CL in homers and RBI in 2016 and 2015 respectively and both went on to be named the CL MVP after the season. Winston-Salem's Chris Curley (24 HR, 92 RBI) and Ian Gac (33 HR, 96 RBI) also led the CL at year's end in homers in 2013 and 2011 while earning CL MVP honors... The last Mudcats player to finish a season as the league leader (tied with Mobile's Paul Goldschmidt) in homers was Neftali Soto who homered 30 times for the then-Southern League affiliated Mudcats in 2011... Carolina has never had a player finish the season as the league leader in both homers and RBI. However, George Canale led the Southern League in RBI (102) and was second in the home runs (21) in 1995; Mark Johnson led the SL in homers (23) and was third in RBI (85) in 1994.

STREAKS OF NOTE: Phil Bickford has pitched through 12.0 consecutive scoreless innings (4 BB, 15 SO) and seven straight scoreless appearances... Rob Henry started the season with six home runs over his first 16 games, but has not homered since 4/19 in Salem while going 62 games without a home run... Devin Hairston has played through 49 straight games without an error.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: The Mudcats are currently 36-23 versus Carolina League Northern Division teams this season. They have also gone 18-10 versus Northern Division teams since 6/11 (at FRE)... The Mudcats are, however, just 8-27 vs. Southern Division teams since 5/25 (vs. DE, 2.5 G back of first before 5/25) and had suffered nine straight losses in games versus Southern Division teams before defeating the Pelicans 3-2 on 7/19. 

BACK STOP SPLITS: Payton Henry and Mario Feliciano have split catching duties this season with Henry starting 60 games behind the plate and Feliciano starting 56 games at catcher... The Carolina pitching staff is 33-27 and has totaled a 3.52 ERA (3.0 BB/9, 8.7 SO/9, 37.6 CS%) in games started by and caught by Henry... Carolina's pitchers are 26-30 with a 4.23 ERA (3.1 BB/9, 8.0 SO/9, 31.0 CS%) in games caught by Feliciano.

ALL THE Ks: The Carolina offense has combined to total a Carolina League high 1,194 strikeouts this season (6th most in MiLB). The Mudcats are on pace to set both a CL and franchise record for most strikeouts for the third straight season. 

THE TOP 30: The Carolina roster currently features five of Milwaukee's Top 30 prospects (as rated by MLBPipeline.com) including No. 1 INF Brice Turang, No. 2 OF Tristen Lutz, No. 8 LHP Aaron Ashby, No. 9 C Mario Feliciano and No. 16 C Payton Henry.

THE MUDCATS HAVE…
... played in Zebulon, NC since 1991 (29th season).
... played in the Carolina League since 2012 (8th season).
... been an affiliate of the Brewers since 2017 (3rd season).
... not made the playoffs since the 2008 season.
... not made the playoffs during their Carolina League era.
... operated under the ownership of the Brewers since Oct. 2017.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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