TWITTER POST: Hens, losers of 7-of-9 on road, play 2 more in Norfolk Sunday-Monday before beginning homestand Thursday w/ 4 v. Charlotte, Rochester
THREE THINGS I THINK: 1. The offense is costing this team some wins. It’s bad enough that the Hens have a .212 team batting average that ranks next-to-last in the International League. What makes things worse is the team’s puny .188 average when hitting with runners in scoring position. 2. The Mud Hens defense has cost the team some wins, too. The team has a .977 fielding percentage, which is in the middle of the IL pack, and has some talented defenders in the infield. But the defense has allowed 19 unearned runs, tied for the second-highest total in the league this season. 3. Toledo’s starting rotation has been a strength early in the season. The Hens have gotten both quantity (lots of innings) and quality (good performances) from the starters, with LHP Jose Alvarez (1.61 ERA in five starts), RHP Shawn Hill (3.24 ERA) and recently departed Duane Below (2.10 ERA) leading the way.
WHO’S HOT: DH John Lindsey has hit .314 in the team’s last 10 games with four home run, seven RBIs and four runs scored. … LHP Kenny Faulk has been sharp out of the bullpen, allowing just three hits and four walks in 8.2 scoreless innings, striking out 15 along the way. … RHP Jose Ortega also has been sharp in the Hens ‘pen, giving up just five hits and seven walks in 12.0 innings. Ortega has allowed just one unearned run in his 12 innings while striking out 15.
WHO’S NOT: The Toledo offense has posted a .215 batting average in its last 10 games, although the Mud Hens have hit 16 home runs in that period. … OF Quintin Berry has hit just .132 in his last nine games and begins the week on a 3-for-21 skid. … IF Gustavo Nunez has batted just .148 in his last seven contests and begins the week in a 2-for-11 funk. … IF Kevin Russo has hit just .097 in his last eight games; he has just three hits in his last 31 at-bats. … LHP Pat Misch has had some unusual results in his last two starts. He gave up just one earned run in seven innings at Columbus April 20 but suffered the loss when the Hens were beaten 1-0. In his most-recent start, Misch allowed six hits and six runs (five of which were earned) in just five innings at Durham April 25, but got the win as Toledo beat the Bulls 9-7.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Mud Hens will play games at Norfolk Monday and Tuesday, April 29-30, then get a day off May 1 before starting an eight-game homestand. Toledo will host Charlotte for four games Thursday-Sunday, May 2-5; Thursday’s game starts at 6:30 p.m., while the Friday-Saturday games begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s game starts at 2p.m. Then the Hens host Rochester for four games Monday-Thursday, May 6-9, with all four games beginning at 6:30 p.m.
NEWS WORTH NOTING: The Mud Hens begin this week in fourth place in the International League’s West Division, 11 games behind first-place Indianapolis (after just 25 games – it doesn’t help that Indy’s 18-7 mark is the best in the IL). Toledo is 6.5 games behind second-place Columbus and 3.5 games behind Louisville in third. … The Hens also are 8.5 games behind Norfolk, the leader in the Wild Card chase. The Mud Hens’ 7-18 record is the worst in the IL. … Toledo’s 3-10 record in one-run games gives them a .231 winning percentage that also is worst in the IL. … Among the promotional highlights of the coming homestand are “Fifth Third Day” on, well, May 3. The team is asking fans to bring non-perishable food items to the ballpark to donate to Cherry Street Mission. … “May the Fourth be with you” on, well, May 4 as the Hens have a Star Wars-themed event that day and the next. The May 5 promotion? “Revenge of the Fifth.” Remember, these aren’t my jokes. … The Hens will be wearing Chewbacca jerseys that will be auctioned off Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6.
LAST WEEK’S TRANSACTIONS: April 19-IF Danny Worth placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to April 18; IF Brandon Douglas promoted from Double-A Erie. April 23-RHP Bruce Rondon promoted to Detroit; RHP Brayan Villarreal optioned to Toledo from Detroit. April 24-LHP Duane Below claimed off waivers by Miami. April 26-RHP Robbie Weinhardt promoted to Toledo from Double-A Erie. April 28-LHP Pat Misch placed on the disabled list, retroactive to April 25.
MORE LINKS: Click here to read about Pat Misch going on the disabled list. Click here to read about Robbie Weinhardt being promoted from Double-A Erie to Toledo. Click here to read about Duane Below being claimed off waivers by Miami. Click here about Bruce Rondon being promoted to Detroit.