Game Notes: Louisville Bats (6-9) at Indianapolis Indians (9-4)
Game 16, Away 8
Louisville Bats (6-9) at Indianapolis Indians (9-4)
7:15 PM | Friday April 19, 2019 | Victory Field
LISTEN: Nick Curran, 790 KRD; iHeartRadio.com; iHeart app
TONIGHT'S OPENER: The Louisville Bats and Indianapolis Indians open up a three-game series at Victory Field on Friday night, the first of 23 scheduled matchups between the clubs in 2019. Coming off an eight-game homestand, Louisville briefly hits the road for a weekend series before heading home for a six-game homestand against Durham and Norfolk, which will round out its 14 April home games. Tonight, right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (0-0, 4.50) makes his fourth start as the Bats look to snap their two-game skid.
AGAINST INDIANAPOLIS: The Bats and Indians met 20 times last season, with each team winning 10 games. Louisville went 6-4 at home, and 4-6 at Victory Field, bringing matchup total to 765 games heading into 2019. Last year, the IL West Division rivals did not meet until May 7, and did not meet at Victory Field until May 21. This season, the clubs will meet 7 times at Victory Field before playing each other at Louisville Slugger Field for the first time on May 21.
BOMBS AWAY!: There were 6 more home runs in Thursday's 8-5 loss, 2 hit by the Bats and a season-high 4 hit by their opponent, Columbus. For Louisville, Rob Refsnyder's three-run homer was his first and Aristides Aquino blasted his fourth of the season, now homering in back-to-back games. Through 8 games at Louisville Slugger Field this season, there have been a combined 27 home runs (12 by the Bats, 15 by opponents), averaging over 3 homers/game. In the early going, the number of homers/game (3.38) in 2019 is over double compared to the 2018 season (1.61 homers/game), with 114 total homers (47 by the Bats, 67 by opponents) hit in 71 games at LSF in 2018.
THE BEST COMPETITION: Coming into play Friday, the Bats' opponent in 14 of their first 15 games (and every possible game) this season has been above .500. With Indianapolis owning a 9-4 record, the Bats will play 17 of their first 18 games to begin the season against an above-.500 club. In 2018, Louisville played 80 of its 137 games against teams above .500 (58%; 33-47), 9 games against .500 teams (7%, 4-5) and 48 games against teams below .500 (35%; 24-24).
FIRST INNING WOES: During their eight-game homestand, the Bats allowed their opponent to score first in 7 of 8 ballgames, and in the first inning in 6 of 8 games. The one game in the homestand that Louisville did score first (4/17), they ended up losing 9-5 after leading 3-0. This season, the Bats are just 2-4 overall when scoring first, a season removed from owning the worst winning percentage in the IL in that scenario, when they finished 42-27 (.609).
BLAME IT ON THE RAIN: In the series finale on Thursday night, Louisville and Columbus sat through a 47-minute rain delay before the game was eventually called due to rain. It was the first time Louisville played in a rain-shortened game since June 20 last season vs. Durham, winning 9-6 after the game was called with one out in the top of the eighth. Last night, the game was called with Louisville trailing by 3 runs, 8-5, with Phillip Ervin up in the bottom of the eighth with 2 outs.
AA IN AAA: Bats slugger Aristides Aquino went 3-for-4 on Thursday, now clubbing home runs in back-to-back games. The 24-year-old last homered in consecutive games on August 5-6 last season with Double-A Pensacola, and is now hitting .298 (14-for-47) with 10 runs, 5 doubles, 4 homers and 8 RBI in 12 games with Louisville during his Triple-A debut season.
HITTING ODDITY: Despite the Bats ranking third in the IL in hits (128), they failed to out-hit their opponent in all 8 games on the recent homestand, once tallying the same number of hits (10; 4/12), and only once being out-hit by more than 2 hits (11-to-6 hits; 4/14). On both 4/16 and 4/18, the Bats were out-hit by exactly 14-to-13 hits.
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