TinCaps Game Information: September 19 at Dayton
Fort Wayne TinCaps (54-65) @ Dayton Dragons (64-55)
Sunday, Sept. 19 (2:09 p.m.) | Day Air Ballpark | Dayton, Ohio | Game 6 of 6 in Series | Road Game 60 of 60 | Game 120 of 120
RHP Connor Lehmann (8.64 ERA) vs. RHP Christian Roa (3.86 ERA)
TV: MiLB.TV (FREE) | Audio: 1380thefan.com (Jack McMullen & Mike Maahs)
LAST NIGHT: The TinCaps dropped their 5th in a row at Dayton, as the Dragons won, 8-5. Dayton opened with 3 runs in the 1st, and after Fort Wayne responded with 2 in the top of the 4th, the Dragons piled 4 more on in the bottom of the inning. Despite the loss, TinCaps reliever Wen-Hua Sung shined in his final outing of the season, throwing 2 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts.
UH OH: The TinCaps are at-risk of being swept for the first time since Minor League Baseball adopted the six-game series coming into the 2021 season. Fort Wayne lost the last 5 games of a series at Parkview Field against the Great Lakes Loons from June 30-July 4, but the TinCaps were last swept in a series from July 24-26, 2019, at Bowling Green.
LOW POINT: Fort Wayne is 11 games below .500 after falling 10 below for the first time this season on Friday. The team's previous low-water mark was a 23-32 mark after July 7, when the TinCaps had lost 7 in a row. Following a home win against the Dragons on Aug. 28, Fort Wayne was only 3 games below .500 (49-52) but has gone 5-13 since. The team is assured of having the worst record in the HAC's East Division.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER: The TinCaps have utilized 57 players over the course of the season (27 position players, 30 pitchers). Fort Wayne used 58 players over 140 games in 2019. The franchise record is 63 in 2016.
DOUBLES LEADER: As a team, the TinCaps rank 2nd in the HAC in doubles with 210. Individually, outfielder Tirso Ornelas leads the league in 2B with 31, while infielder Justin Lopez ranks 9th with 23.
PATIENT APPROACH: The TinCaps lead the HAC in free passes (walks and hit by pitches), averaging about 5 per game. Fort Wayne is walking in approximately 12% of its plate appearances. The rest of the league has walked at a 10% rate... For context, the Yankees lead MLB in BB% (10.4%). The Padres rank 2nd (9.8%).
PITCHING PROGRESS: Over their last 64 games since July 7, TinCaps pitchers have the 6th lowest ERA out of all 30 teams in High-A (4.16), as the team has gone 31-34. In this stretch, 'Caps pitchers also have allowed the fewest home runs in High-A: 37 (11 fewer than Dayton, who's allowed the 2nd fewest). Over their first 54 games, they ranked 9th/12 in High-A Central at 5.25 and were 23-31.
ANGELES HIGHLIGHTS: Euribiel Angeles was leading Low-A in batting at .343 when he was called up from Lake Elsinore on Aug. 28. At 19, he's the 2nd youngest hitter in the HAC (to only Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker of Peoria; he's also 19)... Last week Angeles was selected with the 12th overall pick (2nd round) in the Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM) Draft by the Toros del Este.
TIRSO TURNS IT UP: Outfielder Tirso Ornelas had hit safely in 14 consecutive starts until Thursday. Even so, in 21 games since Aug. 25, he's batting .368 with a .444 OBP and .984 OPS. His season average has jumped from .216 to .247, while his season OPS has spiked 69 points to .733 (league average is .721).
LOPEZ LOCKS IN: Over his last 27 games, since Aug. 13, infielder Justin Lopez has hit .307 with an .805 OPS (7 doubles, 3 HR) and 25 RBIs. For the season, his 68 RBIs rank 5th in the HAC.
HASSELL'S HISTORIC HOMERS: On Sept. 1 @ Great Lakes, in just his 3rd game with the TinCaps since being called up from Low-A Lake Elsinore, Padres No. 3 prospect Robert Hassell III became just the 3rd player in Fort Wayne's 28-season history to hit 3 home runs in a game.
LOOK OUT: Dayton pitchers have hit the most batters in the HAC (89). For the 'Caps, Ripken Reyes has been hit 11 times through 19 games here, Euribiel Angeles 4 times in 17, and Jonny Homza a team-high 11 times.
REY RUNS: Reinaldo Ilarraza is tied for 3rd in the HAC in stolen bases (38). He's also tied for 6th in triples (6).
CLOSE CALLS: The TinCaps are 15-10 in games decided by 1 run, and 10-15 in 2-run games... The 'Caps are 4-3 in extra-innings.
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