9/2: Mudcats at Red Sox Game Notes

Monday, September 2, 2019 | 1:05 PM | Game 139, Away Game 69 | Haley Toyota Field (6,300) | Salem, VA

By Greg Young / Carolina Mudcats | September 2, 2019 12:28 PM

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CAROLINA MUDCATS (MILWAUKEE BREWERS) at SALEM RED SOX (BOSTON RED SOX)
Monday, September 2, 2019 | 1:05 PM | Game 139, Away Game 69 | Haley Toyota Field (6,300) | Salem, VA

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

Overall Record: CAR: 65-73; SAL: 66-70
Streaks: CAR: L4; SAL: W4
Last 10 Games: CAR: 3-7, SAL: 9-1

Home Record: CAR: 37-33; SAL: 36-32
Road Record: CAR: 28-40; SAL: 30-38
Division Record: CAR: 25-44; SAL: 29-31

Current Series: SAL leads 3-0 (of 4)
Season Series: SAL leads 8-6 (of 15)
CAR v. OPP: 3-4 @CAR (7), 3-4 @OPP (8)

UPCOMING PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS... 
MON, 9/2 at SAL, 1:05 PM: Carolina LHP Scotty Sunitsch (2-0, 1.26) at Salem RHP Alex Scherff (0-0, -.--)

TODAY: Having lost four straight, the Mudcats play the final game of the 2019 season today with game four of a four game series in Salem, VA versus the Salem Red Sox... Today's game is also the 15th and final meeting between the two teams this season. The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead in the current series with a series and second half championship clinching victory yesterday; they also took an 8-6 lead in the overall season series between the two teams. 

ICYMI: Reliever Phil Bickford pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth and struck out one while running his scoreless innings streak to 26 and 2/3 consecutive innings, but the Red Sox earned a series and playoff berth clinching 3-1 victory versus the Mudcats on Sunday afternoon in Salem. Salem brought across two early runs in the opening frame while taking a 2-0 lead in the first. Carolina then came back with their lone run of the game in the third, but the Red Sox scored once more in the sixth while taking a two-run lead in Sunday's 3-1 series and playoff berth clinching victory versus the Mudcats.

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Mudcats fell to 65-73 overall with yesterday's 3-1 loss to the Red Sox; matching last season's overall record as the 2018 team finished the year going 65-73 overall. The Mudcats have finished below .500 in each of the last two seasons and below .500 19 times in the club's 29 season history.

WHERE THEY RANK: Payton Henry is tied for 4th in the CL in home runs (14) and 3rd in RBI (75)... Rob Henry is currently 7th in the CL in OBP (.360)... J.T. Hintzen is tied for 3rd in the CL in games (42)... Cody Beckman is 6th in the CL in games (41)... Michael Petersen is 7th in the CL in games (40)... Matt Hardy is 10th in the CL in games (38)... Noah Zavolas is currently 2nd in the CL in ERA (2.98), 4th in innings pitched (133.0) and 2nd in WHIP (1.14), 1st in BB/9 (1.56) and 1st in K/BB (4.43)... Matt Smith is currently 5th in the CL in ERA (3.67), 6th in WHIP (1.29) and 6th in K/BB (2.84).

PAT THE BAT: Pat McInerney is batting .292/.340/.521 with a .860 OPS, five doubles and two home runs over his last 13 games (14-for-48, 5 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI). McInerney went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the first inning of Friday's 3-2 loss to the Red Sox and has totaled 10 home runs this season; matching a career high for homers in a season. McInerney currently owns a .188 ISO, placing him 4th in the CL among players with at least 300 plate appearances this season.

OF LATE: The Mudcats have gone just 14-35 since 7/10 and 10-27 since 7/24... Carolina started the second half at 12-8 over their first 20 games (6/20-7/9) and was 51-38 overall before 7/10... The Carolina offense has combined to hit just .202 with 3.0 R/G and a run differential of -54 runs since 7/10 and have hit .202 with 3.0 R/G and a -41 run differential since 7/24 (10-26 since 7/24).

EARLY FAREWELLS: C Payton Henry suffered a season ending leg injury on 8/27... OF Tristen Lutz has not played since 8/17 and is not expected to return... CL MVP and C Mario Feliciano was promoted to Double-A Biloxi on 8/25... CL Pitcher of the Year and starter RHP Noah Zavolas reached his season long innings limit in early August (8/14) and will not return... Manager Joe Ayrault and Hitting Coach Bobby Bell have returned to their homes in Florida due to Hurricane Dorian. 

BICKFORD'S RUN: Phil Bickford has pitched through 26.2 consecutive scoreless innings (6 BB, 39 SO, 13.2 SO/9) dating back to 6/30. He has not allowed a run since giving up a three-run home run that scored two inherited runners on 6/30 vs. the Nationals at Five County Stadium. That homer came off the bat of Bickford's first batter faced after he had taken over in the ninth in relief of Clayton Andrews; Bickford went on to record two outs after the homer and has not allowed a run since... Bickford has additionally pitched through 13 straight scoreless appearances from 7/9 through 8/28 (26.0 IP, 6 BB, 39 SO, .108 AVG)... Among Carolina League pitchers with at least 30.0 IP, Bickford is currently 3rd in K/9 (14.6), 2nd in K% (41.1%) and 2nd in xFIP (2.03) per Fangraphs.

IN BUNCHES: The Mudcats are one of two CL teams to have had four players (Mario Feliciano 19, Payton Henry 14, Tristen Lutz 13, Pat McInerney 10) reach double digits in home runs this season. Fayetteville also has had four players reach double digits in homers. 3 Players w/10+ HR: DE, MB, POT, WS... 2 Players w/10+ HR: FRE... 1 Player w/10+ HR: LYN, WIL. Salem is the only CL team without a player with at least 10 homers this season.

RECORD SETTING: Payton Henry (currently on the IL) totaled a Mudcats franchise record 22 hit by pitches this season. Henry also tied the all-time team record for double plays hit into (18) this season... The Carolina offense has combined to total a CL high and franchise record 106 hit by pitches this season; previous high was 73 HBP in 2010 and 2013... The Carolina offense has combined to total a Carolina League and franchise record 1,406 strikeouts this season (currently the most in the CL and 4th most in MiLB). Carolina batters combined to total a CL and franchise record 1,311 strikeouts last season; breaking the previous CL and franchise record of 1,245 SO set by Carolina in 2017.

MVP: Mario Feliciano was named the 2019 Carolina League Most Valuable Player on 8/22 (promoted to Double-A Biloxi on 8/25). Feliciano was the first Mudcats player to win the MVP award since the Mudcats joined the Carolina League for the 2012 season. Feliciano, however, is the fifth player overall in team history to be named league MVP as Mark Johnson (1994), Jason Kendall (1995), Gaby Sanchez (2008) and Dave Sappelt (2010) were all named Southern League MVP during Carolina's Double-A and Southern League era (1991-2011). Feliciano also earned post-season All-Star honors at catcher.

P.O.Y.: Noah Zavolas was named the 2019 Carolina League Pitcher of the Year on 8/22. Zavolas is the second Mudcats pitcher in team history to earn the Carolina League's Pitcher of the Year award, joining Cody Anderson who won the same award following the 2013 season. Former Mudcats pitcher Travis Wood was additionally named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher during his 2009 season with Carolina. Zavolas also earned post-season All-Star honors at starting pitcher.

EXCLUSIVE COMPANY: Recently promoted CL MVP Mario Feliciano still currently leads the CL in home runs (19). The last Mudcats player to finish a season as the league leader in homers was Neftali Soto who homered 30 times for the then-Southern League affiliated Mudcats in 2011 (tied with Mobile's Paul Goldschmidt).

THE TOP 30: The Carolina roster currently features five of Milwaukee's Top 30 prospects per MLBPipeline.com... No. 1 INF Brice Turang, No. 8 LHP Aaron Ashby, 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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