August 31- Mudcats Game Notes

By Gregory Young / Carolina Mudcats | August 31, 2017 6:05 PM ET

DOWNLOAD the full game notes packet.

WINSTON-SALEM DASH (CHI) at CAROLINA MUDCATS (MIL)
Thursday, August 31, 2017 | 7:00 PM
Game 134, Home Game 69
at Five County Stadium | Zebulon, NC

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

Overall Record: CAR: 68-65; WS: 53-82
Streaks: CAR: W2; WS: L3
Last 10 Games: CAR: 7-3, WS: 3-7

Home Record: CAR: 35-33; WS: 34-37
Road Record: CAR: 33-32; WS: 19-45
Division Record: CAR: 45-39; WS: 31-51

Current Series: CAR leads 2-0 (of 3)
Season Series: CAR leads 18-5 (24)
CAR v. OPP: 12-0 @CAR (13), 6-5 @OPP (11)

UPCOMING PROBABLES:
THU, 8/31, 7:00: Winston-Salem RHP A.J. Puckett (10-7, 4.10) at Carolina RHP Zack Brown (3-0, 1.89)
FRI, 9/1, 7:00: Myrtle Beach RHP Duncan Robinson (4-3, 2.01) at Carolina RHP Conor Harber (3-9, 5.47)
SAT, 9/2, 5:00: Myrtle Beach RHP Thomas Hatch (5-10, 3.90) at Carolina RHP Marcos Diplan (6-8, 5.30)
SUN, 9/3, 6:00: Myrtle Beach RHP Alec Mills (0-1, 6.75) at Carolina RHP Jordan Yamamoto (8-4, 2.68)

ICYMI: Lucas Erceg had a two-run double in the third, Max McDowell and Wendell Rijo hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth and Nate Griep earned his franchise record tying 28th save of the season as the Mudcats defeated the Dash 5-3 on Wednesday night at Five County Stadium. With the victory, the Mudcats improved to 12-0 this season versus the Dash at Five County Stadium and took an 18-5 lead in the overall series between the two teams. Carolina also went up 2-0 in the current three game series and earned their fifth straight series victory. 

PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Mudcats are currently 4.5 games out of first behind Buies Creek in the Southern Division Second Half Standings. Carolina's elimination number currently sits at just one with five games remaining this season. 

CLOSING TIME: Nate Griep earned his Carolina League leading 28th save (career high) of the season on 8/30 vs. Winston-Salem and is now tied for the most saves in Mudcats' franchise history. Griep is currently tied with 2008 Mudcats' closer Chris Mobley for the most saves in franchise history. The Carolina League record for most saves in a season is 41 and was set by Kinston's Mike Soper in 1991.

WALK THIS WAY: Trent Clark has totaled 97 walks over 128 games this season and is currently tied with 1998 Mudcat Tracy Sanders for the most walks in franchise history. The Carolina League record for walks in a season is 161 and was set by Salem's Gerald Davis in 1981.

THE MATCHUP: Tonight's game between the Mudcats and the Dash is the series finale of a three game series between the two teams at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats have won the current series as they currently lead 2-0 and will look for their fifth sweep of the season with a victory tonight. The Mudcats are also a perfect 12-0 versus Winston-Salem at home and 18-5 overall against the Dash this year.

HOME PERFECTION: The Mudcats are currently a perfect 12-0 when playing the Dash at home this season. With another victory in tonight's series finale the Mudcats can finish the season at 13-0 versus Winston-Salem at Five County Stadium this year. Carolina last swept a Carolina League opponent in their overall home season series back in 2015 after finishing at 7-0 versus the Frederick Keys in Zebulon. Carolina also finished the 2015 season going 13-3 versus the Keys overall. The (Southern League) Mudcats also finished 5-0 at home versus the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in 2006.

STARTING OFF: Zack Brown has tonight's series finale start for the Mudcats against the Dash at Five County Stadium. Brown has started three times for the Mudcats and is currently 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 19 strikeouts over 19.0 innings pitched since arriving from Low-A Wisconsin earlier this month. He last pitched on 8/25 in Myrtle Beach and worked through his third straight quality start after allowing just one run on four hits over 6.0 innings pitched. Brown also walked one and struck out six his last time out. 

TURN IT: Carolina turned a season high four double plays on 8/26 in Myrtle Beach and have totaled 24 double plays over 27 games in August. They have also successfully converted 15 double plays since 8/16. The Mudcats executed 21 double plays in April, 19 in May, 10 in June and 22 DPs in July.

JEKYLL AND HYDE: Carolina opened the month of August at just 3-11 and were batting a combined .188 and slugging .285 over those first 14 games. They have since gone 10-3 over their last 13 games and are batting .287 and slugging .425.

HEATING UP: Lucas Erceg is batting .407/.500/.648 with a 1.148 OPS over his last 14 games (22 H, 10 R, 7 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 10 BB)… Monte Harrison is batting .373/.413/.542 with a .955 OPS over his last 13 games (22 H, 13 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 18 SO, 8 SB).

ERCEG 2X POW: Lucas Erceg was recently named the Carolina League's Player of the Week for the week ending on 8/27. Erceg went 11-for-22 and hit .500/.621/.773 with a (CL high) 1.393 OPS, eight runs, three doubles, one home run, (CL high) seven RBIs and seven walks while earning the weekly honor for the second time this season. Erceg additionally won the Carolina League Player of the Week award earlier this season on 7/31. Monte Harrison also won the award on 8/6.

THIEVERY: The Mudcats have totaled a Carolina League high 172 stolen bases and are 3rd in most steals in MiLB this season. Luis Aviles (37 SB, 8 CS) leads the Mudcats in steals and is also tied for 2nd in the CL in steals this season. Trent Clark (36, 5 CS) is 3rd in the CL in most steals this season. Corey Ray (24 SB, 10 CS) is 5th in the CL in stolen bases this season. The club record for steals in a season is 208 and was set by the 2000 Mudcats.

WHERE THEY RANK: Lucas Erceg currently leads the Carolina League in RBIs (81). Erceg is also tied for 2nd in the CL in XBH (49), tied for 3rd in doubles (33) and is tied for 5th in home runs (15)… Trent Clark currently leads the Carolina League in walks (97, 2nd in MiLB) and is tied for the league lead in outfield assists (13). Clark also leads the CL lead in games (128), is 3rd in runs (76) and tied for 2nd in stolen bases (36).

THE HAVES:
- The Mudcats have combined to hit .237 and are 32-33 in the 2nd Half (4.5 R/G, +13 DIFF, .241 AVG w/RISP).
- The Mudcats have combined to pitch to a 3.88 ERA and an 8.03 SO/9ip ratio in the 2nd Half.
- The Mudcats have combined to hit 98 home runs this season; 2nd most in the club's Carolina League era (105, 2012).
- The Mudcats have totaled 29 stolen bases over their last 13 games; they had previously totaled only five (5) steals between 8/1 and 8/14.
- The Mudcats have won 26 of 32 (26-6) when scoring at least one run in the first inning this season.
- The Mudcats have gone 9-9-1 in series played so far in the second half.

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

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