Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (1-1) vs Fresno Grizzlies (1-1)
Memphis Redbirds (1-1) vs Fresno Grizzlies (1-1)
Friday, September 14 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - AutoZone Park (10,000) - Memphis, Tennessee
PCL Championship Series Game #3 - Series Tied (1-1)
RHP Chris Ellis (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP Rogelio Armenteros (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds will continue to defend their 2017 PCL Championship in game three of the PCL Championship Series tonight against the Fresno Grizzlies. Memphis won its opening series of the playoffs over Oklahoma City 3-1, while Fresno won its series with El Paso 3-2. It is the second time in franchise history that Memphis has advanced to the PCL Championship Series in consecutive seasons. The Redbirds finished the regular-season with a record of 83-57, slightly off their record-setting 91-50 2017 campaign. In last season's opening round of the playoffs, Memphis defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) in the series 3-2. Memphis then went on to defeat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 3-2 before falling in the Triple-A Championship Game to the Durham Bulls. Today's game will be broadcast on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Chris Ellis will take the mound for the Redbirds in tonight's game three. In his first playoff start, Ellis earned the no-decision against Oklahoma City in Memphis' walk-off win last Friday. In that game, he threw five innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out seven batters. Ellis faced Fresno once in the regular-season and did not fare well. He allowed eight earned runs on three home runs in five innings of work. As a whole in the regular-season, Ellis pitched well. He finished the year with a record of 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 starts and two piggy-back outings.
The Grizzlies will send right-hander Rogelio Armenteros to the mound to battle Ellis and the Redbirds. In his first playoff appearance against El Paso, Armenteros took the loss. He threw six innings, allowing just two runs while striking out seven. He did not face Memphis in the lone series the two played against one another in the regular-season. However, he finished the season with an 8-1 record and a 3.74 ERA in 22 games, 21 of which were starts.
THIS SEASON AGAINST FRESNO: Memphis and Fresno squared off in four games this season, with Fresno taking the series win 3-1. The lone series against Fresno was a slugfest on both ends. The two teams combined for 67 runs and 13 home runs in just four games. Fresno out-hit the 'Birds and out-pitched them. The Grizzlies hit .301 off Memphis pitching, while Memphis hit just .248 off Fresno pitching. The Redbirds' pitchers struggled to a 9.49 ERA in the four games, while Fresno pitching posted a 6.25 mark. Fresno out-scored Memphis 41-to-26 in the series.
AROZARENA: Is hitting .375 (6-for-16) in five playoff games so far; has scored three times, and driven in two
BARON: In game two against OKC Thursday night, went 1-for-3 with an RBI single, but the comeback fell just short
EDMAN: Has now played in 14 postseason games with Memphis in career; hitting .438 (14-for-32) in those games
KNIZNER: Has now hit safely in each of the last three games after going hitless in the first two postseason games
MEJIA: Hit a bases-loaded triple in Tues night's win, giving him one hit and three RBI; hitting .333 (8-for-24) in playoffs
RAVELO: Went 2-for-3 in Friday night's comeback, walk-off win; drove in first of three Memphis runs in ninth
SCHROCK: Friday night, went 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in the game-winning run in the ninth inning
SOSA: Came into game as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning Friday night, scoring the game-tying run
THOMAS: Went 2-for-3 with two walks in Friday night's win; drove in game-tying run with single in the ninth inning
TOVAR: Tues. night, went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring once to help lead Memphis to victory
URIAS: Sunday afternoon, moved tying runner to third base on a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning; run later scored
WILLIAMS: Drove in all three runs Memphis scored from 8/19-8/22 on a solo home run and two-run home run
YOUNG: Will join Memphis for his Triple-A debut; hit .289 between Palm Beach and Springfield with 21 home runs
BY THE NUMBERS
2-2 all-time record for Memphis in game three of the PCL Championship Series. They are 1-1 at AutoZone Park in game three of the second round.
BY THE NUMBERS
66 total players have been listed on the Memphis roster this season, a franchise record. 64 of those players have appeared in a game for Memphis, also the franchise record.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds dropped game two of the PCL Championship Series to Fresno 10-1 Wednesday night in Fresno. The Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead to put the game out of reach.
Memphis starter Tyler Lyons was hit hard in the game. He lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the seven hits were home runs. He surrendered one two-run home run and one three-run home run.
Five Memphis relievers combined to threw the rest of the game. Will Latcham made his Triple-A debut, throwing 2.1 innings, allowing one hit. Edward Mujica and Austin Warner combined for two scoreless frames, and Genesis Cabrera and Conner Greene threw the final two innings allowing three combined runs.
Memphis batters collected just six hits in the contest. Randy Arozarena and Andrew Knizner both turned in multi-hit performances for the 'Birds. Knizner also scored the lone Memphis run on a Max Schrock sacrifice fly.
Tommy Edman, and Justin Williams collected the other two hits for Memphis. Memphis went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
HIT MACHINE: In Wednesday night's loss to Fresno, infielder Tommy Edman continued to collect hits. He went 1-for-3 in the game, giving him a hit in each of Memphis' six playoff games. In Tuesday's opener, the switch-hitter absolutely raked at the plate for Memphis. He went 4-for-5, falling just a triple short of the cycle. He led off the game with a home run, providing the first home run of the postseason for Memphis. On Sunday, he tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly, sending the contest to extra-innings. He doubled in the 10th inning to move the lead runner to third. After the lead runner scored on a wild pitch, and he moved to third, Edman scored on Alex Mejia's single to tie the game. On Friday night, he also went 2-for-4 scoring two runs and walking once in the game. He started the Memphis comeback, leading off the ninth inning with a single, and scoring on Rangel Ravelo's hit. In six playoff games thus far, Edman is hitting .500 (12-for-24) for the 'Birds. He has scored five times and walked once so far. Edman spent most of the final month of the season on the Memphis roster. He appeared in 17 games, hitting .318 (21-for-66) with a triple, home run, five RBI, 13 runs scored, and three stolen bases. He hit safely in 13 of his 17 regular-season games, and has hit safely in all six playoff games with Memphis. Including his six playoff games, the switch-hitting infielder is hitting .367 (33-for-90) in 23 games.
LYONS STRUGGLING AS A STARTER: Memphis' game two starter Tyler Lyons struggled Wednesday night for the 'Birds. In his second playoff start, he lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits, including two home runs. In his first start of the playoffs against Oklahoma City, he lasted just four innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and one walk. He allowed a solo home run and a two-run home run in the game, taking the loss for the 'Birds. After being designated for assignment earlier this season, Lyons was outrighted to Memphis, and began to get stretched out for a starting role. As a starter with Memphis in the regular-season, he was 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in three starts spanning 10.2 innings. As a reliever, he was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in four appearances, spanning 11.0 innings. As a starter between the regular-season and playoffs, Lyons is now 0-3 in five starts spanning 16.1 innings. He has allowed 14 earned runs as a starter, giving him an ERA of 7.83. He has given up five home runs as a starter after Wednesday night's performance.
'PEN PICKING UP THE SLACK: Wednesday night, Memphis starter Tyler Lyons was pulled after allowing six earned runs in just 1.2 innings of work. The bullpen combined to pitch the rest of the game, allowing four earned runs in 6.1 innings of work. It continued a trend that Memphis has encountered frequently in six playoff games so far. In the six games Memphis has played up to this point, the starting rotation in a combined 1-2. Both losses have been charged to Tyler Lyons. In six games, the starters have combined to throw just 22.1 innings, allowing 17 earned runs on 21 hits and 10 walks, while striking out just 22 batters, giving them an ERA of 6.92. The Memphis bullpen, meanwhile, has picked up the slack. The 'pen is a combined 3-0, combining to throw 26.2 innings, allowing 11 earned runs on 25 hits and nine walks, while striking out 29 batters, giving them a 3.78 ERA.
AROZARENA QUIETLY SURGING: In Wednesday night's loss to Fresno, outfielder Randy Arozarena turned in another solid playoff performance at the plate. The speedy outfielder went 2-for-4 at the plate, collecting one of two Memphis multi-hit performances. Andrew Knizner had the other. After Wednesday's performance, Arozarena has continued his steady play in the postseason. He has appeared in five of six games thus far and is hitting .375 (6-for-16). He has scored three times, driven in two runs, hit one double, and walked four times.
RAVELO SNAPS STREAK: In the last eight regular-season games, Ravelo regained the same consistency he had before going on the Disabled List in mid-August. In the game Wednesday, Ravelo went 0-for-3 at the plate, snapping a 13-game hitting streak that had dated back to the regular-season. In those 13 games, Ravelo was hitting 17-for-49 (.347) with nine RBI, and six walks. Earlier this season, he had a 16-game hitting streak. It was tied for the longest such streak of his career, and tied for the longest streak of the season for a Memphis player. Patrick Wisdom also had a 16-game hitting streak in late May. Ravelo finished the regular-season leading current Memphis players with a .308 (107-for-347) batting average, and .392 on-base percentage.
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT: In game two against Fresno Wednesday night, catcher Andrew Knizner turned in one of two multi-hit performances for Memphis. He joined outfielder Randy Arozarena in going 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring the lone Memphis run. The young catcher has now hit safely in each of the last three games for Memphis after not recording a hit in his first two playoff games. In Sunday's series-clinching, walk-off win, Knizner started the Memphis rally in the seventh inning. The game was scheduled to be just seven frames, and Memphis trailed 1-0 entering the inning. He led off the inning with a double, his first hit of the postseason. His pinch-runner then scored the tying run and Memphis eventually won in 10 innings. In Tuesday's opening game against Fresno, Knizner went 1-for-4 at the plate, scoring twice and walking once. After Wednesday's two-hit performance, Knizner is now hitting 4-for-10 in the last three games.
PAIR OF TRIPLE-A DEBUTS: In Wednesday night's game, two Memphis players made their Triple-A debuts. Pitcher Will Latcham and infielder Andy Young were added to the Memphis roster for the second round of the playoffs earlier this week. Neither appeared in the opening game of the series, but both made an appearance Wednesday. In his first plate appearance at the Triple-A level Young walked for the Redbirds. He entered as a pinch-hitter to replace Rangel Ravelo, and stayed in the game as the designated hitter. Meanwhile, right-handed pitcher Latcham was the first Memphis reliever to appear in the game. Starter Tyler Lyons was bounced after allowing six earned runs in 1.2 innings. Latcham picked up the slack, throwing the next 2.1 innings. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out five Fresno batters.
HISTORY YOU DON'T WANT: Wednesday night, Memphis dropped game two of the PCL Championship by a score of 10-1. The nine-run loss was the worst loss in Redbirds' playoff history. The previous mark was a seven-run loss in 2014.
PCL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HISTORY: After advancing to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series with Sunday's walk-off win, the Memphis Redbirds are looking to win consecutive PCL Championships for the first time in franchise history. Last season, Memphis beat El Paso three games to two to win its third PCL Championship in history. They also won PCL Titles in 2000 and 2009. This season marks just the second time in franchise history that Memphis made the playoffs in consecutive seasons, the other being 2009-2010. Memphis advanced to the PCL Championship round in 2010, but fell to Tacoma. Memphis has now made it to this round of the playoffs in five of the six seasons they have played in the postseason. Memphis went 3-1 in this round in 2000, 3-0 in 2009, 0-3 in 2010, 3-2 in 2017, and now 1-1 this season, giving them a combined record of 10-7 in this round. The 'Birds are a combined 4-1 in the opening game of this series after Tuesday night's win.
SHARING THE FUN: Including the postseason, Memphis now has four walk-off wins this season. All four of the walk-off hits have come from different players, and all of them have come since the month of August started. In early August, Rangel Ravelo hit a walk-off single to propel Memphis over the Fresno Grizzlies in the 10th inning. On August 25, Wilfredo Tovar hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth, and another run scored on an error to give Memphis a walk-off win over the Nashville Sounds, and clinch the division. Friday night, Max Schrock hit the walk-off single for the 'Birds, giving them a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Dodgers, and Sunday, pitcher Giovanny Gallegos hit the walk-off single to send Memphis to the next round.
BACK-TO-BACK FOR CLAPP: Last week, Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year for the second consecutive season. Last season, he led the Redbirds to a franchise-record 91-50 in his first season at the helm of the 'Birds. They won the PCL Championship, winning 97 total games between the regular-season and playoffs. He became the first manager in Memphis history to win the award last season. This season, Memphis finished this season at 83-57. After winning last Sat. night, the Redbirds clinched their second-consecutive division title for the first time since 2009-2010. Clapp is just the third PCL manager on record to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining Dan Rohn of Tacoma (2004, 2005) and Jim Lefebvre of Phoenix (1985, 1986). With the ninth win of the season this year, he became the fastest manager in both Memphis history, and the 116-year history of the PCL to reach 100 wins. He is 174-107 in two seasons with Memphis, a .619 winning percentage, best in franchise history. He also sits fifth in wins among Redbirds' managers.
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