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SWB RailRiders Game Notes - September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders News Release


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (65-47) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (50-63)

RHP Brody Koerner (3-4, 3.50 ERA) vs. RHP Mauricio Llovera (2-1, 3.99 ERA)

| Game 113 | Road Game 54 | Coca-Cola Park | Allentown, PA | September 15, 2021 | First Pitch 7:05 p.m. |

CERTIFIED STRIKEOUT BOYS: RailRiders pitchers have posted high strikeout totals throughout the season, but in the month of September have kicked it into another gear. SWB hurlers have recorded 147 strikeouts in 102.0 innings, and are posting gaudy rates of 12.97 K/9 and 33.6 K%. Those rates are approximately the equivalent of Chris Sale's K/9 during the 2017 season (6th-best single season all-time) and Randy Johnson's K% in 1999 (25th-best single season all-time). In a small sample size, those rates are by far the best monthly strikeout rates posted by the RailRiders staff this season. In Tuesday's series opener with Lehigh Valley, SWB pitchers struck out 16 batters, and have struck out 86 batters in 59.0 IP over their last seven games.

RACING CLOSE TO A NEW RECORD: Through 112 games, the RailRiders have stolen 127 bases in 160 attempts in the 2021 season (79.4% success). The all-time Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise record for most stolen bases in a season belongs to the 2000 Red Barons, who stole 139 bases, meaning that the 2021 RailRiders are 13 steals shy of setting a new franchise record with 15 games to play. The team has stolen an average of 1.13 bases per game this year, which puts them on pace to break the record during the Final Stretch. The thievery has ticked up in September, with SWB currently 20-for-21 in steal attempts in 12 games during the month (1.67 steals/game).

CLOSE CALLS & BLOWOUTS: The RailRiders have played an extraordinary number of close games this season, with 56 of SWB's 112 games being decided by one or two runs (50%). Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has performed approximately average in these close contests, going 15-16 (.484) in one-run games and 14-11 (.560) in two-run games. However, the RailRiders have also participated in their share of extreme blowout games, decided by eight-or-more runs. In 13 such contests, SWB is 11-2 (.846) on the season, and is part of the reason why the team is +132 in run differential this season, second-best in Triple-A East.

SANDS STORM: After beginning the last homestand on a 1-for-17 (.058) slide, RailRiders catcher Donny Sands has been on a tear over his last six games played. Since last Sunday, Sands is batting .381/.458/.810 (8-for-21) with 3 2B, 2 HR, and 9 RBIs. The streak has raised his season OPS by 87 points, and 33.3% (9-of-27) of his season RBIs with SWB have come during it.

STOP THE STEAL: The Lehigh Valley IronPigs were 2-for-3 on stolen base attempts during Tuesday's series opener, continuing a troubling trend of teams running wild on the RailRiders. Opponents are a combined 17-for-19 in stolen base attempts against SWB in the month of September. Since the beginning of August, RailRiders opponents are a stunning 36-for-42 (85.7% success rate) when trying to steal against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That is approximately the career success rate of Jack Perconte, who retired as the all-time leader in stolen base success rate and currently ranks fourth all-time.

ONE OF THE BEST: Throughout the 2021 season, the RailRiders bullpen has been the backbone of the pitching staff, posting a 3.08 ERA as a unit and racking up 44 of SWB's 65 wins. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has the third-best bullpen ERA in full season baseball (minors and majors), trailing only Somerset (2.90) and Buffalo (2.92). The bullpen is posting impressive rates of 11.02 K/9, 4.05 BB/9, and has limited opposing batters to just a .203 AVG this season.

THE FINAL STRETCH BEFORE THE FINAL STRETCH™: Wednesday continues the final series of the regular season across Minor League Baseball, as the RailRiders finish on the road at Lehigh Valley. Unlike all other classifications, Triple-A does not have playoffs this year, instead every team plays 10 extra games in the Triple-A Final Stretch. The Triple-A Final Stretch is a 10-game, 2-week "postseason tournament" which sees SWB playing a home series with Syracuse and a road series at Rochester. The team with the best overall record over the 10-game period will be dubbed the Final Stretch Champion and receive a prize which is inexplicably still TBA. Team and individual stats and records achieved during the Triple-A Final Stretch will be counted toward regular season numbers, as confirmed by MLB's statistics team.

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