At 14-20, the Rochester Red Wings' record is substantially better than it was two weeks ago. After a 2-11 start, the Red Wings have gone 12-9 in their last 21 games. After facing the top tier teams in the International league to start the year, it was finally time for Rochester to play teams they have had success against in years past.
First Stop Columbus
Rochester began the road trip by going to Columbus to play a four game series against the Clippers (Indians). Last season the Red Wings went 6-2 against the Clippers, so it was safe to say that hopes were high the winning ways would continue on the road.
The bats continued coming to life in this series, as the Wings scored 18 runs in the four game series (4.5 per game) and recorded 39 hits, as well (9.75 hits per game). In addition to the improving run production and increase in number of hits, the important stat, average with runners in scoring position rose to .250, with eight hits in 32 chances during this series.
While the offense is continuing to improve, the pitching is also continuing to get better. In the series in Columbus, Rochester pitchers allowed 16 runs in those four games. (Four runs per game). The starters combined for a 4.09 ERA, but that number is a bit deceiving. In 11 innings, Kyle Gibson and P.J. Walters gave up 8 runs which translates to a 6.55 ERA. Liam Hendriks and Samuel Deduno combined to pitch 11 innings in two starts, giving up just 2 earned runs (1.64 ERA).
The bullpen side of the pitching staff also continued to improve. After giving up three earned runs in game one of the series, they then allowed just one run in their next 9.1 innings, producing a 3.00 ERA.
After splitting the two game series in Columbus, the Red Wings took the two-hour drive north to Toledo to begin a four game series against the Mud Hens (Tigers). Last season Rochester went 8-0 against Toledo, so there was hope the Red Wings hot streak would continue.
In four games against the Mud Hens, the Wings scored 13 runs (3.25 runs per game); this number is very much inflated by the eight run slugfest that took place Tuesday night. If you take out that one game, Rochester combined to score just five runs in three games (1.66 runs per game) and went 1-2 in those games.
Often, when one area of your team is inconsistent, you’re hopeful that other aspects of the team will be able to pick you up; that was not the case in this series with the pitching staff. Rochester’s starters gave up eight runs in 26 1/3 innings which yields a fine 2.73 ERA. The bullpen was not nearly as miserly, giving up 10 runs in 15 2/3rd
innings (5.75 ERA). Rochester went on to split the series with Toledo and Columbus, ending the eight game road trip at 4-4.
What Lies Ahead?
Rochester returns home to Frontier Field on Friday, opening a four game series against the Columbus Clippers (Indians). The Red Wings then finish up the eight game homestand hosting mega prospect Wil Myers and the Durham Bulls (Rays). Last season Rochester was 2-6 against Durham, including losing three out of four games at Frontier Field.
Clete Thomas - .346
Chris Colabello - .313
Evan Bigley - .303
Chris Colabello – 8
Clete Thomas – 6
Oswaldo Arcia – 3
Chris Colabello – 23
Clete Thomas – 17
Doug Bernier – 11
P.J. Walters – 3
Kyle Gibson – 2
Virgil Vasquez – 2
Tyler Robertson – 2.45
Shairon Martis – 3.04
Andrew Albers – 3.30
P.J. Walters – 36
Kyle Gibson – 35
Andrew Albers - 27