Game 90, Home 45Toledo Mud Hens (40-49) at Louisville Bats (33-56)RHP Keury Mella (5-8, 5.15) vs. LHP Ryan Carpenter (3-5, 5.00)7:00 PM | Thursday, July 11, 2019 | Louisville Slugger FieldLISTEN: Nick Curran & Jim Kelch, 790 KRD; iHeartRadio.com; TuneIn
Game 90, Home 45
Toledo Mud Hens (40-49) at Louisville Bats (33-56)
RHP Keury Mella (5-8, 5.15) vs. LHP Ryan Carpenter (3-5, 5.00)
7:00 PM | Thursday, July 11, 2019 | Louisville Slugger Field
LISTEN: Nick Curran & Jim Kelch, 790 KRD; iHeartRadio.com; TuneIn
SECOND HALF STARTS TODAY: The Louisville Bats and Toledo Mud Hens play a four-game series at Louisville Slugger Field coming out of the 2019 All-Star break, with the IL West Division clubs looking to turn their fortunes around after finishing the first half below .500. Louisville will send right-hander Keury Mella to the mound on Thursday night, hoping to win his second consecutive start.
AGAINST TOLEDO: Louisville welcomed Toledo to town during their last homestand, playing a pair of games at LSF on June 26-27. The Bats finish off a season-long stretch of 18 consecutive games against divisional opponents with their upcoming four-game set against the Hens, set to travel to Pawtucket and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a road trip against the IL North after the series vs. Toledo.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS: During the first half of the 2019 season, the Bats have tallied a number of league leaders, franchise records and other accolades as they celebrate their 20th season at Louisville Slugger Field:
- The storyline in Triple-A baseball this season has been the arrival of the Major League baseball, but even relative to the league, the Bats' offense has been a power threat all season long. Louisville's 18 individual multi-homer efforts this season easily shattered their previous franchise record (11, 1999) and have 5 more than the next-closest IL club, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (13).
- With 105 homers through 89 games, LOU is on pace to finish with approximately 165 home runs, which would set a new Bats record (160 HR in 2010), and nearly break the all-time franchise record (166 HR in 1999).
- The Bats have received a number of individual accolades this season, with OF Aristides Aquino, RHP Lucas Sims and IF Josh VanMeter all making the IL All-Star team, the first time multiple position players have made it for LOU since 2014, and the first time a starting pitcher made it since 2013.
- VanMeter was nearly unstoppable in the month of April, batting .358 (34-for-95), leading the IL in games played (26), hits (34), runs (24), home runs (11), RBI (28), total bases (24), slugging percentage (.758), OPS (1.204) and weight runs created plus (196). He was awarded the IL Player of the Month award, the first for the Bats since Scott Schebler won it in July 2016.
- Aquino tallied a 22-game hitting streak from May 23-June 19, the second-longest hit streak in LOU franchise history (since 1982), trailing only Brandon Larson's 26-game streak during the 2003 season. Aquino batted .345 (28-for-81) with 20 runs, one double, one triple, 8 home runs, 19 RBI and 9 walks during the streak. He also had a 7-game RBI streak, the first LOU player to do that since Danny Dorn in 2011.
- Sims leads the IL in strikeouts (97) at the break and is one of just 2 qualified pitchers (Sal Mendez, Carolina League) without a loss in 2019. He's accounted for all 3 of LOU's double digit strikeout performances this season, including a career-high 13 on April 20 at Indianapolis.
- Brian O'Grady set a franchise record with his fifth multi-homer game of 2019 on July 1 vs. Indianapolis, leading the Bats with 22 home runs and 55 RBI at the break. O'Grady's 174 total bases rank one behind Gwinnett's Adam Duvall for the IL lead. Christian Colón leads the IL in games played (87), at-bats (331) and stolen bases (tied, 17), ranking fourth in hits (99). Phillip Ervin won the IL Batter of the Week for May 27-June 2, batting .423 (11-for-26) with 10 runs, 2 doubles, 5 HR & 10 RBI.
- Three players have gone up to Cincinnati to make their MLB debuts in 2019, OF Nick Senzel (5/3), IF/OF VanMeter (5/5) and RHP Jimmy Herget (7/7).
- In total, 53 players (25 batters, 28 pitchers) appeared for Louisville in the first half, just 15 away from the 68 that appeared for LOU in all of 2018. Of the 53 Bats, 11 have also appeared with the Reds this season, including players on MLB rehab assignment. LOU's had 5 rehabbers this season: IF Alex Blandino, IF Scooter Gennett, LHP Wandy Peralta, RHP Robert Stephenson and LHP Alex Wood.