After finishing an eight game home stand at 3-5, the Rochester Red Wings took the short trip east on the New York State Thruway to Syracuse to play the Chiefs (Nationals). Last season the Red Wings won just three games in Syracuse, a total they matched in their first trip to NBT Bank Stadium.
The Bats Come Alive
In their four-game series against the Chiefs, Rochester scored 31 runs on 50 hits. Outcomes can change when you average almost eight runs and over twelve hits per game. Before their series began on Tuesday, the Red Wings had not scored more than seven runs in a game since April 7th
and through their first 18 games, they had scored a total of 53 runs (2.9 runs per game). The Wings also continued to improve their average with runners in scoring position (RISP). In the four game road trip, Rochester was 14-53 (.264), which is significantly higher than in previous weeks.
The Pitching Woes Continue
It seems so far this season, either the pitching or hitting is strong, but never at the same time. This trend continued. In the four games against the Chiefs, starting pitchers combined to give up 11 runs in 23 innings (4.30 ERA). The bullpen had their own problems also: in 18 1/3rd
innings they gave up 10 runs (4.91 ERA) and had two blown saves.
Coming Back Home
After going 3-1 on the road, improving their record to 8-14, Rochester returned to Frontier Field for a four-game series against the Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays). On Friday, Kyle Gibson pitched his best game of the season , going 6.2 innings, giving up two hits and striking out seven. Caleb Thielbar and Tim Wood pitched the remaining 2.1 innings to preserve the shutout.
Winners of four straight games entering Sunday, there were high hopes with Liam Hendriks on the mound; maybe the Wings winning streak would continue. Unfortunately for Rochester and Hendriks, he was unable to contain the Buffalo offense, giving up eight hits and five runs in five innings pitched. Tyler Robertson and Daniel Turpen did pitch four shutout innings in relief, but the four-run deficit was too much for Rochester to overcome. If all aspects of this team can produce at the same time, there is still hope that they will have something to play for in September.
Now at 9-15 on the year, Rochester has two more games at home against the first place Bisons. The Red Wings then go on the road, starting a four-game series against the Columbus Clippers (Indians). Last season the Red Wings went 6-2 against the Clippers, going 3-1 at Huntington Park. After four games in Columbus, Rochester continues to Toledo, playing four against the Mud Hens (Tigers). The Wings went 8-0 against Toledo last season, the only team Rochester swept in 2012.