Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (82-56) at Nashville Sounds (71-67)
Memphis Redbirds (82-56) At Nashville Sounds (71-67)
Sunday, September 2 - 6:15 p.m. (CT) - First Tennessee Park (10,300) - Nashville, Tennessee
Game #139 - Road Game #69 (42-26)
RHP Jake Woodford (4-5, 4.81 ERA) vs. LHP Eric Jokisch (5-6, 4.13 ERA)
TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds and Nashville Sounds will play game three of a four-game set tonight at 6:15 p.m. It is the final series of the regular-season for both teams. With their walk-off win last Saturday night, the Redbirds secured their second-consecutive American Southern Division title. It is the second time in franchise history they have won back-to-back division titles, the other time being in 2009 and 2010. Memphis is coming off a 1-2 series loss to the Round Rock Express, and Nashville is coming off a 1-2 series loss to the New Orleans Baby Cakes. Awards have been flying in for the Redbirds this week. Yesterday, pitcher Dakota Hudson was named PCL Pitcher of the Year. Earlier this week, manager Stubby Clapp won the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award for the second-consecutive season, and Hudson and outfielder Tyler O'Neill were named to the All-Pacific Coast League Team. Today's game will be broadcast on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Jake Woodford will take the mound for the Redbirds tonight in game three of the series with Nashville. This will be Woodford's first appearance against the Sounds this season. Coming into tonight's game, the righty is 4-5 with a 4.81 ERA in 11 starts with Memphis. Woodford has struggled in his last five starts after getting off to a phenomenal six-game start with Memphis. In his first six games, he was 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 33.0 innings of work. He had allowed just 10 earned runs and had struck out 27 batters in that stretch. In his last five games, he is 1-3 in 25.0 innings, allowing 21 earned runs and striking out 15, giving him a 7.56 ERA in that span.
The Sounds will send left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch to the mound to battle Woodford and the Redbirds. In 25 appearances, 22 starts, with the Sounds this season, Jokisch is 5-10 with a 4.13 ERA in 141.2 innings of work. Jokisch has made two starts against the Redbirds this season. He is 1-1 in those games, having pitched 12.1 innings. He has allowed six earned runs on 12 hits and one walk against Memphis, while striking out eight batters.
HISTORY WITH NASHVILLE: Memphis and Nashville have played every season dating back to 1998 when the Redbirds joined the PCL. In that span, Nashville has been affiliated with Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and now Oakland. This will be the final series the two teams will play against one another this season, and the final series of the regular-season for both teams. They have played 14 games so far this year, and Nashville leads the series 8-6. They won each of the first two series 3-1 before Memphis took last week's series 3-1. Memphis will have to win the next two games to secure a season series tie. So far, Nashville is outpitching the Redbirds, while Memphis is outhitting the Sounds. Nashville has a 3.30 ERA, while Memphis has a 3.84 ERA. Memphis has a .257 average, while Nashville has a .239 average.
AROZARENA: Was placed on the Temporary Inactive List before Friday night's game
BARON: Has hit safely in 16 of his last 20 games since June; had a season-long eight-game hitting streak in that stretch
EDMAN: Last night, went 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring three times; hitting .339 (20-for-59) with Memphis
KNIZNER: Last night, rejoined Memphis for second stint of season and picked up where he left off; went 2-for-5
MEJIA: Friday night, drove in lone Memphis run with his fourth home run; is hitting just .184 (7-for-38) in last 13 games
RAVELO: Recently went hitless in three-straight but has dominated in last six, hitting .348 (8-for-23) in that stretch
SCHROCK: Went 2-for-4 with an RBI Wednesday night; hit just .200 (11-for-55) in August
SOSA: Recently had back-to-back games with a home run for the first time in his Triple-A career; 5 HR with Memphis
THOMAS: Had three of Memphis' seven hits Friday night, recording his second three-hit game since joining Memphis
TOVAR: Last night, went 3-for-5 with two RBI; second three-hit game in last week after also having one Wednesday
URIAS: Has recorded at least one hit in 11 of his last 15 games with Memphis; just snapped eight-game hitting streak
WILLIAMS: Drove in all three runs Memphis scored from 8/19-8/22 on a solo home run and two-run home run
BY THE NUMBERS
112 steals for the Redbirds this season is a new franchise-record. The previous high was 110, set in 1999. The 'Birds stole three bases in the sixth last night to set the record.
BY THE NUMBERS
87 home runs on the road by Memphis hitters this season is tied for the second-most home runs in franchise history hit on the road by Memphis in a single season. The record is 90 (2004).
ON THIS DATE
In 2011, Redbirds manager Chris Maloney became the winningest manager in Memphis history, surpassing Gaylen Pitts with his 365th win. He still holds the franchise record with 367 total wins.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds won last night's game in dominant fashion over the Nashville Sounds 8-1. Memphis allowed just one run and pounded out 14 hits.
Adam Wainwright got the start for the Redbirds in his second rehab appearance with the team. Wainwright was lights-out in five innings of work. He allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out a season-high seven batters in his scoreless outing to earn the win.
Tyler Lyons piggy-backed Wainwright's start, throwing four innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits and striking out five to earn the save.
Memphis had 14 hits, all singles, in the 8-1 win. Tommy Edman, Wilfredo Tovar, and Rangel Ravelo all had three hits in the contest. Ravelo and Tovar both drove in two runs, and Edman scored three runs in the game.
WAINWRIGHT LIGHTS IT UP: In last night's win over the Nashville Sounds, right-hander Adam Wainwright got the start for the Redbirds. Wainwright is with the team on Major League rehab. It was his second start with the team, and he bettered his initial start last night. Wainwright threw five scoreless innings, earning the win. He allowed just five hits and two walks, while striking out a season-high seven batters. Wainwright got in a bases loaded jam in his final inning of work before striking out the final batter he faced to escape with no damage. In his two starts with Memphis, he is 1-0 in 9.0 innings, while striking out 11. Last night, he threw 90 pitches, 63 of which were strikes. On his road back to St. Louis from the injury he suffered in May, Wainwright has made six rehab starts at three different levels of the St. Louis system. So far, he is 1-0 in 17.0 scoreless innings. He has allowed just 12 hits and four walks, while striking out 23 batters.
ANOTHER PIGGY-BACK WIN: After Adam Wainwright exited last night's game, left-hander Tyler Lyons came into the game for Memphis. Lyons also piggy-backed Wainwright's previous start with the team, throwing five scoreless innings to secure a 2-0 win over Nashville last week. Last night, he came in to throw the final four innings. He allowed just one run on three hits in his outing, while striking out five batters. Because of the score when he entered the game, Lyons earned the save, despite the seven-run win. In his quest to get stretched out for a starting role earlier this season, Lyons made two starts and had right-hander Chris Ellis piggy-backing him. Memphis won both games in which Ellis followed Lyons in his starts, and have now won both games in which Lyons has followed Wainwright in his starts.
NEW STEALS RECORD: Last night, Memphis stole three bases in the sixth inning to set the franchise record for steals in a season. The Redbirds came into the game with 109 steals, one shy of tying the franchise record. Max Schrock tied the record, swiping second and then set the record by swiping third. Edmundo Sosa stole second in the inning as well to extend the new record to 112 steals. This season is the first time the Redbirds have recorded at least 100 steals in a season since 2013 when they stole 104 as a team. In the 21-year history of the franchise, the 'Birds have only stolen 100 bases seven times in a season (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2018). The 'Birds have only stolen 100 bases as a team four times since 2002. The previous franchise record for steals was 110, set in 1999. Before he was traded, outfielder Oscar Mercado led the team with 31 steals on the season. Randy Arozarena now has the team lead with 17 steals so far. The Redbirds also have the third-most steals in the PCL this season behind Colorado Springs' 161 and Fresno's 122. The Redbirds have only been caught 38 times on the base paths this season, giving them a 75 percent success rate.
RAVELO GOES ON A TEAR: On August 15, infielder Rangel Ravelo left the Redbirds' game against New Orleans after being hit in the face with a pitch. He spent more than a week on the Disabled List before returning to the lineup on August 25. At the time of his injury, Ravelo was riding a 16-game hitting streak, tied for the longest such streak of his career. Ravelo went 0-for-8 in his first two games back with the 'Birds. However, in the last six games, he has been finding some consistency. Last night, he went 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring once, walking once, and driving in two runs. Before last night, he had recorded one hit in each of the previous five games, and had recorded at least one RBI in three of those five games. Thursday night, Ravelo drove in two of the three Memphis runs via a single and a sacrifice fly. The other run scored on a Lane Thomas solo home run. After last night's performance, Ravelo is now 8-for-23 (.348) in the last six games with six RBI and three walks. He leads current Memphis players with a .305 (104-for-341) batting average, and .389 on-base percentage.
TOVAR STILL AT IT: Last night, infielder Wilfredo Tovar went 3-for-5 at the dish, scoring once and driving in two runs. His performance continued his recent dominance at the plate. Since returning from the Disabled List on August 14, Tovar has appeared in 15 games, and has hit safely in 12 of those contests. In that stretch, he is hitting .364 (20-for-55), scoring seven times, hitting three doubles, one triple, one home run, and driving in seven runs. With his recent dominance at the dish, Tovar is now hitting .295 (104-for-352) in 106 games with Memphis this season. The 104 hits are his most in a season since having 112 with Triple-A Rochester of the International League in 2016. Tovar struggled at the plate in May and early June before flipping the switch. On June 21, he went 0-for-4 at the plate, falling to a .259 batting average. In 45 games since June 21, he is hitting .340 (54-for-159).
BIG NIGHT FOR EDMAN: Along with Rangel Ravelo and Wilfredo Tovar last night, infielder Tommy Edman also had a big night at the plate for Memphis. The switch-hitting utility infielder went 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring three of Memphis' eight runs. Before being sent to Springfield late last month, Edman had hit safely in nine of his first 10 games with Memphis this season, and had an eight-game hitting streak in that stretch. Since rejoining the 'Birds a few days ago, Edman has hit safely in three of his five games. Edman has appeared in 15 games with the Redbirds, and has hit safely in 12 of them, and recorded multiple hits in seven of those contests. He is hitting .339 (20-for-59) with Memphis, and is hitting .303 (155-for-511) in 124 games between Springfield and Memphis this season.
THOMAS ON A ROLL: Last night, outfielder Lane Thomas went 1-for-4 at the plate, driving in a run. The night before, he went 3-for-4 in the game, and he had home runs in each of his previous two games, hitting a two-run shot and a solo shot. It was the first time in his Triple-A career that he had homered in consecutive games. In 30 games with Memphis since being promoted from Springfield last month, Thomas is hitting .268 (33-for-123). Thomas is having a breakout season in his first year in the St. Louis organization. Between the two levels of the organization, he is hitting .262 (133-for-507), the second-highest average of his career. He has also scored 83 runs, hit 22 doubles, hit 26 home runs, driven in 85 runs, and walked 49 times, all career-highs. His six triples, and 16 stolen bases are just shy of his career-high marks. He has hit safely in seven of his last nine games and is hitting .313 (10-for-32) in those nine games.
RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Yesterday, catcher Andrew Knizner rejoined Memphis for his second stint of the season. Knizner was transferred from Springfield after the Cardinals recalled Carson Kelly in the first wave of September call-ups. In his first stint with the club from May 17 - June 8, Knizner was a force at the plate. He hit .333 (15-for-45) in 14 games, and recorded hits in 11 of those games. At the time he was transferred back to Springfield, Knizner had a five-game hitting streak with the 'Birds. It was his second five-game hitting streak in his brief time with Memphis. Last night, Knizner started at catcher and hit fifth in the lineup. He went 2-for-5 in the game, continuing his hitting streak right where he left off. In 92 games between Springfield and Memphis this season, Knizner is hitting .317 (105-for-331) with 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 45 RBI. He has walked 27 times, and struck out only 47 times. He is posting a .371 on-base percentage this season.
INFIELDERS IN THE OUTFIELD: Friday night, usual infielders Alex Mejia and Max Schrock both played in the outfield for the first time this season. Schrock played left field, while Mejia played right field. It was the first outfield appearance for both players in their entire professional careers. Schrock has spent four years in the Minor Leagues, and has appeared in 319 games. He had played 2,721.1 innings in the infield before making his outfield debut last night. Mejia has spent seven years between the Minor Leagues and St. Louis. Mejia had appeared in 643 games in the field in his professional career before his outfield debut last night. He had played in 5,152.2 innings in the infield. They both appeared in the outfield again last night in the same positions. They each recorded the first outfield assists of their careers. Schrock cut down a runner trying to take third, while Mejia cut down a runner trying to take home.
STRUGGLES WITH THE DIVISION: Despite having a strong overall record of 82-56, and winning their division, Memphis has struggled mightily against its own division this season. Memphis has had to rely on their dominance over other divisions to get the job done. The 'Birds are 6-8 against Nashville, 7-9 against New Orleans, and 8-8 against Round Rock. Memphis has two games remaining this season. They lost the season series with New Orleans, and tied the season-series with Round Rock, and have to win their last two against Nashville to secure a season-series tie with the Sounds. Memphis has struggled to hit and pitch against the division this season. Memphis is hitting .274 (859-for-3136) against opponents in other divisions, and are hitting much lower at .261 (398-for-1525) against the division. Memphis pitchers are posting a 3.79 ERA (169ER, 401.0IP) against the division, while posting a 3.42 ERA (308ER, 811.2IP) against everyone else.
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