Advance Scout: Lehigh Valley IronPigs

vs. IRONPIGS: The Bisons are 7-5 against the IronPigs this year following a series win last week in Buffalo, taking 3-of-4 games. The Bisons and IronPigs split four-game sets in Lehigh Valley, May 22-25, and in Buffalo, June 12-15.

Buffalo lost the season-series last year, 6-10. Dating back to 2009, the Bisons have now won eight of their last 11 games against the IronPigs at Coca-Cola Field. Since returning to the IL, the Herd is 21-23 against Lehigh Valley.

UPCOMING PROBABLES: LEHIGH VALLEY VS. BUFFALO
MON: LHP Brian Mazone (6-11, 3.65) vs. LHP Mike Antonini (NR)
TUE: RHP Drew Carpenter (7-8, 3.79) vs. LHP Pat Misch (10-4, 3.44)

LOOKING AT LEHIGH VALLEY:
PIG TAILS: The Pigs have started 0-4, following Gwinnett’s sweep, on the current eight-game homestand and have now lost 12 of their last 13 affairs. With last night’s loss, the Pigs have set a new ’10 low-water mark of 25 G below .500- their lowest since ending ’08 at 55-89 (34-G below). They are now also a season-high 23 GB in the North – their largest deficit since ending ’08 at 33.0 GB.

OFFENSIVE WOES: In the Pigs last 13 G (1-12), the team is averaging just 2.5 R/G (33) and batting just .222 – scoring just 1 R in 4 of the last 10 G. LHV hasn’t had a SB in last 8 G and 81.1 innings (since Bocock in the 3rd on 7/29 vs. DUR). Saturday night, the Pigs had 9 extra basehits (7 2B, 2 HR) after having just 8 in the previous 8 G (all 2B).

ARMED WITH A BAT TOO: LHP Brian Mazone hit the first HR of his Triple-A career (62nd AB). His first/only HR came with Double-A Norwich on 8/9/05 @ BIN. Rather ironic, both LHV all-time pinch-hit HRs have been by pitchers (Joe Savery, 7/17/10 @ LOU). On the mound, Mazone’s last 2G has gone 1-0, 1.20 (15 ip, 10 h, 2 r, 2 er, bb, 10 k).

NORTHERN LIGHTS: The Pigs’ will play their final 29 G against the North Division. LHV has gone just 21-43 out-of-division [9-23 vs. South, 12-20 vs. West] while going a much more respectable 24-27 (.471) vs. the North. Last season, the North was the only division the Pigs had a winning record against at 42-38 (.525).

WHO’S HOT (BATTING): OF Rich Thompson has hit in his last 8G (13-34, .382-0-4, 4 2B) and has a combined 12-G hitting streak (22-55, .400-0-9). Overall, he’s hit in 17 of his last 22 w/ LHV (30-82, .345-1-11)… Since returning from the DL 7/28 (missed 13 G), INF Melvin Dorta has hit in 9 of 11 G (15-41, .366-1-6) – including his first 4-hit G of ’10 on 8/3 (4-5, 2 RBI)… SS Brian Bocock has hit in 18 of last 26 G (26-92, .283-3-15)… OF Matt Rizzotti has hit in his last 8 GS combined (11-29, .379-0-4) and .361-17-73 (138-382) in ’10… C Paul Hoover has hit in his last 5 G (6-15, .400, 2 2B).

WHO’S HOT (PITCHING): LHP Antonio Bastardo has not allowed a R in 15 G w/ LHV (3 SV, 0.00, 13.2 ip, 4 h, 3 bb, 21 k) — retiring 22 consecutive BF at one point from 7/17-7/31… RHP Michael Schwimer started his Triple-A career with 8 scoreless appearances (9.1 IP) and is unscored upon in 10 of 12 G… RHP Vance Worley went 12.0 scoreless IP in his first 2GS w/ LHV – going 30.0 consecutive scoreless IP combined before a Fernando Martinez HR, 8/1.

“MATT THE BAT” ARRIVES!: INF Matthew Rizzotti — who has a had a remarkable 2010 season — was promoted to LHV from Double-A Reading on 8/5. Since his 5/13 promotion from Clearwater, Rizzotti, 24, was batting .362-13-61 in 76 G with Reading — leading
the Eastern League in AVG, SLG (.638) and OBP (.451)… The Floral Park, NY, native has racked up several honors this season: EL All-Star selection, EL Player of the Month for June (.369-7-24), an EL Player of the Week (6/21-6/27) and the Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for May. Originally selected by PHI in the 6th round of 2007
out of Manhattan College, Rizzotti batted .358-1-10 in 31 G with CLE (A+) — and is a combined .361-17-73 in 2010.

GREAT SCOTT!: With his 20th SV on 7/24, 2010 IL All-Star RHP Scott Mathieson has tied both the LHV single-season and franchise record for saves (RHP Matt Childers, 20 in 2008). The Vancouver native is unscored upon in 13 of last 16 G (6/27-pres), going 1-2, 8 SV. He has now pitched 2.0 IP on 11 occassions – going 2-0, 6 SV, 0.41 (22 ip, 1 er) in those outings. On 6/18 vs. MIN, made his first ML appearance since 9/3/06.

500 ALLERGY: The ‘Pigs have only been at .500 for just two times in LHV history… and they still have never been above .500 in 402 games… In fact, the Phillies Triple-A affiliate has not been above .500 since Ottawa was 22-21 on 5/24/07 — a span of 503 games (3 years, 2 months, 15 days)… Since that point, the teams have combined to go 204-299. Lehigh Valley is combined 171-231 (.425) in its 402-game history.

HUPPERT CLIMBING CHARTS: With Lehigh Valley’s 5-1 win 5/31/09, ‘Pigs skipper Dave Huppert earned his 1,500th career MiLB win since starting his managerial career in 1986. With a record of 1,551-1,377, ‘Hupp’ entered the season ranked 3rd among all active managers in wins behind (1) Round Rock’s Marc Bombard [entered season 1,706-1,541] and (2) Orem’s Tom Kotchman [entered 1,584-1,327]. Unofficially, the record for Minor League wins is held by Stan Wasiak 2,530 from 1950-1986; 1,824 needed to crack Top 20.

LOOKING BACK AT THE HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCHUPS:
8/3/10: LHV 6, BUF 1
GAME STORY: ‘Pigs pound out victory

8/2/10: BUF 7, LHV 3
GAME STORY: Gee, Evans power Bisons win

8/1/10: BUF 2, LHV 1
GAME STORY: Evans drives in game-winner

7/31/10: BUF 4, LHV 1
GAME STORY: Misch dominates IronPigshttp://bisonsblog.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/07/misch_dominates_ironpigs_1.html

6/15/10: BUF 7, LHV 3
GAME STORY: Bisons hit for split

6/14/10: BUF 7, LHV 6
GAME STORY: A grand finish

6/13/10: LHV 10, BUF 1
GAME STORY: I-Pigs roll in win

6/12/10: LHV 6, BUF 3
GAME STORY: Rain dampens Herd’s return

5/25/10: LHV 2, BUF 1
GAME STORY: IronPigs split with Herd

5/24/10: LHV 6, BUF 3
GAME STORY: Bisons win streak stopped

5/23/10: BUF 6, LHV 4
GAME STORY: Red-Hot Herd win again

5/22/10: BUF 4, LHV 1
GAME STORY: Pitching powers win

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