TinCaps Game Notes: May 20 vs. South Bend (Game 41)
Fort Wayne TinCaps (17-23, 6th East) vs. South Bend Cubs (24-17, T-2nd East)
LHP Ryan Weathers vs. RHP Derek Casey
Monday, May 20 - Parkview Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) - First Pitch 7:05 PM (Game 41 / 138)
WATCH: Evan Stockton & Brett Rump (Comcast Network 81 & MiLB.TV)
LISTEN: Mike Maahs (ESPN Radio 1380 & 100.9 FM | TinCapsRadio.com | TuneIn)
LAST SERIES: Fort Wayne took two out of the three games in a rain-shortened series against the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays), as Sunday's series finale was cancelled by persistent rain. The TinCaps slugged their way to a 9-0 win on Thursday (a six-inning game cut short by rain) and rode sterling pitching to a 3-2 win on Saturday, while Lansing salvaged the final game of the series with a 7-1 win on Saturday. Some series highlights: Justin Lopez had a hit in each game (including an RBI triple Thursday and a two-run home run Friday), Lee Solomon went 3-for-4 Saturday with two doubles, and Sam Keating twirled a brilliant start in his Parkview Field debut Friday, striking out eight in 5.1 innings while allowing just two runs on four hits.
X FACTOR: Infielder Xavier Edwards leads the Midwest League in Batting Average (.366) and hits (49), is second in OBP (.428) and ranks tied for 5th in Stolen Bases (11)...Arguably even more impressive: Edwards has the lowest Swinging Strike % (2.6%) and 2nd lowest K% in the MWL (7.2%)...Edwards is presently on a 13-game Hitting Streak and a 21-game On-Base Streak, both of which are the longest on the TinCaps this season.
MAKING HIS MARK: Infielder Tucupita Marcano got off to a slow start this season, slashing .179/.270/.196 through his first 15 games. But since April 22, Marcano has been red hot. Over his last 21 games, Marcano has slashed .384/.430/.523 with 7 doubles, a triple, a homer, and 12 RBIs. He was the MWL Player of the Week for April 29-May 5.
POWER SURGE: The TinCaps have a combined 17 extra-base hits in their last four games, including four doubles in Saturday's game (two each from Lee Solomon and Agustin Ruiz). Fort Wayne had two extra-base hits combined between its previous four games.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: Justin Lopez has seen a resurgence at the plate as of late. The recently turned 19-year-old (on May 9th) has a triple and two home runs in his last four games, including a 377-foot two-run shot onto the right field concourse Friday night. Lopez had gone his previous 11 games without an extra-base hit.
LITTLE STREAK: Outfielder Grant Little had hit safely in 8 consecutive games prior to an 0-3 performance on Saturday night. The outfielder still managed to drive in the 'Caps only run via a sacrifice fly. He's 12-for-30 (.400 AVG) with 5 walks (.486 OBP) and only 2 strikeouts during his last nine games. The former Texas Tech Red Raider has officially busted out of an 0-for-22 stretch from April 25-May 3.
WALK & RUN: Outfielder Jawuan Harris has walked in 19.5% of his plate appearances this season. That's the 3rd highest BB% in the MWL (and a jump from 14% for him last year as a rookie). The former two-sport star at Rutgers (he also played football) drew another walk in Friday night's game.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: The 'Caps have showcased a versatile infield throughout the season, and the same holds true tonight. Lee Solomon makes his 22nd start at first base-the Ohio native has also played four games at second base. Meanwhile, Xavier Edwards makes his 21st start at second base (he's started 13 times at shortstop) and Justin Lopez makes his 15th start at short (he's started twice at third and seven times at second). Tucupita Marcano is back in the starting lineup at third base-he's started eight times at second, 14 times at third, and 14 times at shortstop.
IN CONTROL: TinCaps pitchers have walked the fewest batters in the MWL this year (120 BB in 337.1 IP). A similar song played on Saturday, as the Fort Wayne pitching staff allowed three walks in 39 batters faced. The 'Caps starters have particularly had pinpoint accuracy lately-they've allowed two walks in the last five starts combined (Sam Keating, Joey Cantillo, Gabe Mosser, Efraín Contreras, Angel Acevedo).
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Sunday's cancellation against Lansing marked the seventh game this season affected by rain/snow. It was the second cancellation in less than two weeks, as the 'Caps also had a game wiped out by rain at Wisconsin on May 8th. It was also the second game in the series affected by rain, as Thursday's game ended after six innings when a massive thunderstorm swept through the area. This adds to two games postponed by rain at Parkview Field in April, coupled with a game at Bowling Green on April 13 suspended by rain halfway. Fort Wayne has even had weather problems against South Bend. During the TinCaps' trip to the Cubs in late April, a game scheduled for the 27th was postponed by rain (with some snow flurries mixed in).
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