At 14-20, the Rochester Red Wings are substantially better than they were two weeks ago. After a 2-11 start, the Red Wings have gone 12-9 in their last 21 games, and 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, that the winning ways may continue on the road.
The bats continued to come to life in the series, as the Wings combined to score 18 runs in the four game series (4.5 per game) and compiled 39 hits in the series as well (9.75 hits per game). In addition to the continued run production and increase in hits, the most important stat, runners in scoring position. In 32 at bats versus Columbus, Rochester compiled eight hits or a .250 batting average over the four game stretch.
While the offense is continuing to improve, the pitching continues to get better for the Red Wings as well. In the series in Columbus, Rochester pitching allowed 16 runs in those four games. (Four runs per game). The starters combined for a 4.09 ERA, however 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, while giving up just 2 earned runs in their starts (1.64 ERA).
The bullpen continued to get better as well, after giving up three earned runs in game one of the series, they would allow just one run in their next 9.1 innings pitched, combining for a 3.00 ERA, much improved as well.
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), that 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.
Usually when one area of the team is inconsistent, youre hopeful that the other aspects of the team will be able to pick you up, that was not the case in this series. The numbers are lopsided in this series as well, Rochester allowed 20 runs over the four game series, and however 19 of the 20 runs were scored in two games. Rochesters starters gave up just eight runs in 26 1/3 innings which is an impressive 2.73 ERA. The bullpen however, was not as overwhelming, giving up 10 runs in 15 2/3rd
innings pitched (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 finish up an eight game home stand, 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 in 2012.
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