Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (72-67) at Louisville Bats (61-75)
The Indians conclude their 2018 season today in Louisville.
Location: Louisville Slugger Field
First Pitch: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Game #140 / Road #70: Indianapolis Indians (72-67) @ Louisville Bats (61-75)
Probables: RHP Tyler Eppler (12-6, 3.76) @ RHP Jose Lopez (5-12, 4.40)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Indians dug themselves an early 4-0 hole and couldn't overcome that deficit in a 10-2 loss to the Bats last night. J.T. Brubaker (L, 8-4) had a shaky start, allowing six runs for just a second time in 28 starts (also: 6/23 vs. DUR). Four of the six runs he allowed were earned, just the third time in his 28 outings between Double-A Altoona and Indy where he surrendered that many. The Indians strung together four straight hits in the fourth inning to make it a 4-2 ballgame, but solo homers by Gabby Guerrero and Steve Selsky in the fifth pushed Louisville's advantage back to four at 6-2. Brubaker had yielded just six home runs in 152.0 innings on the season prior to the Guerrero/Selsky dingers in the fifth. The Bats added two-run innings off both Clay Holmes and A.J. Schugel in their final two at-bats to complete the rout.
PLAYOFF HOPES DASHED: The Indians were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night. The Tribe's loss paired with a 3-2 victory by Scranton/W-B in Pawtucket was the final straw. Toledo also defeated Columbus 10-5, making the Mud Hens IL West Champions for the first time since 2007. The RailRiders' narrow win over the PawSox put them in the Governors' Cup Playoffs for a fourth straight season and first as the IL Wild Card representative since 2001.
KRAMER FINISHING STRONG: Kevin Kramer ranks among league leaders in batting average (.311, 3rd), hits (148, 3rd), total bases (234, 2nd), doubles (35, 2nd), runs scored (73, T-4th), extra-base hits (53, 2nd) and slugging percentage (.492, 2nd). He finished 2-for-4 with a double in last night's 10-2 loss, giving him a team-high 47 multi-hit games.
.311: Kevin Kramer's current average of .311 would be the highest by a Tribe player in a single season since Jim Rushford hit .311 in 2003. Rushford also hit .316 in 2002 for the Tribe.
35: Kevin Kramer's 35 doubles are the most by a Tribe player since Matt Hague had 37 in 2013. Since 1997, only Brian Hunter (36, 1997), Damian Jackson (36, 1998), D.T Crome/Jason Hardtke (37, 1999), Jose Fernandez (37, 2000), Pete Zoccolillo (36, 2003), Matt Hague (37, 2011 & 2013) and Jeff Clement (35, 2012) have hit that mark for Indianapolis.
BATTING AVERAGE TIDBITS: The Indians lead the International League with a .271 batting average. Indy has never led the IL in batting and hasn't led its respective league in batting since 1978, when the Indians led the American Association with a .286 average. Louisville is second in the league in batting with a .261 mark. The 10 point difference between Indy and Louisville would be the largest difference in batting averages between the top two teams in the International League since 2004 when Buffalo's .297 season average beat second-place Richmond (.280) by 17 points.
SEVEN AND COUNTING: J.T. Brubaker's 3.10 ERA currently ranks seventh among IL leaders. The Indians will have a pitcher in the top 10 among qualifying pitchers in ERA now for a seventh consecutive season; 2011 was the last season where Indy didn't have a pitcher make the top 10.
13 ON THE FINAL DAY: Tyler Eppler has either lost or taken a no-decision in each of his last four appearances. He was the IL's first 11- and 12-game winner of the season but has since been surpassed in wins by Lehigh Valley's Cole Irvin, who has 14. Irvin was named to the IL Postseason All-Star team and the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher this past week. Eppler is trying to become Indy's first 13-game winner since Rick van den Hurk in 2012.
LABORING ON LABOR DAY: The Indians have lost five consecutive games on Labor Day and seven of their last eight overall. Since 1996, the Tribe are just 8-13 on Labor Day. The Indians have played at Louisville in 19 of those 21 games, going 8-11.
DOUBLES-R-US: The Indians have racked up a league-high 309 doubles through 139 games this season (2.22 doubles per game), second to only Triple-A Las Vegas (312) in all of professional baseball. The Tribe are on pace for 311 doubles and have nine players with 20-plus doubles. The 309 doubles are the most by a Tribe team in the Victory Field era (1996-present), with the previous high being 299 in both 1998 and 2000. The Indians have led the IL in doubles four times previously (2017, 2013, 1998 and 1963) and will do so again in 2018. The Tribe are the first IL team to total 300-plus doubles in a season since 2010, when Buffalo (330), Louisville (314) and Columbus (304) all broke the barrier.
WHAT A YEAR: Victory Field welcomed 14,624 fans through its gates for the Indians' home finale Saturday night, the second-largest crowd of the season and fifth sellout in 2018. Indy finished with an overall attendance of 619,122, second to only Charlotte in all of Minor League Baseball. The Indians have exceeded 600,000 fans in 12 of Victory Field's 22 full seasons. Ballpark Digest recently announced the Indianapolis Indians as its 2018 Team of the Year.
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- Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (72-67) at Louisville Bats (61-75) - Indianapolis Indians
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