Created: 08/27/2014 9:26 PM WHEC.com
TONIGHT'S GAME: After their last off day of the season on Tuesday, the Red Wings travel to Syracuse to open a brief two-game series against the first-place Chiefs (Nationals) from NBT Bank Stadium. The Wings, who took 3 of 4 from SWB over the weekend, are coming off their first series win this month and with only 6 regular season games to play remain in the thick of the playoff picture. Rochester is in a virtual tie with BUF for 3rd-place in the North and trails PAW by 2.0 games for the Wild Card. The Wings will play each of these teams two more times in the next week (vs. BUF 8/29-8/30 & @ PAW 8/31-9/1). The Bisons begin a 3-game, 2-day series @ SWB tonight; while the Paw Sox open a 2-game series in LHV.
→SYR's Aaron Laffey, who ranks T-2nd in the IL in W (12) & 5th in ERA (3.38), is 0-2, 5.06 ERA (9 ER/16.0 IP) in 3 G vs. ROC in '14...The Wings last faced him in the completion of the suspended game on Friday & notched 12 hits over 7.0 IP.
WITH A WIN TONIGHT...:
→The Wings will win three straight games for the first time since a 6-G win streak, July 22-27 (span of 29 games).
→AND tomorrow (THU), the Wings would earn a split of the season series vs. SYR for a 2nd straight year...ROC was just 14-33 vs. the Chiefs from 2010-12...ROC's last season series win over SYR came in 2009 (9-7).
→The Wings would win at least 75 games for the second straight season, for the 5th time during the Twins era (2003- ), for the 6th time in the Frontier Field era (1997- ) and for just the 10th time since 1977 (38 seasons).
THE HIT MAN: Red Wings 2B James Beresford, who has a hit in 6 of his last 7 games, leads the Wings 138 hits this season -- a total that ranks 5th in the IL. His 138 hits are the most by a Red Wing since Brian Dinkelman (139) in 2010. He'll likely finish the season with the most hits by a Wing since 2008 (G. Jones, 147 & J. Pridie, 151). Beresford will need 9 more hits over the last 6 games to set a new career high (146 w/ BEL in '10). As it is, he's already set career highs in doubles (28), HR (2) and extra-base hits (32) in his first full season at Triple-A.
→Beresford is the only Wing to collect two, 4-hit games this season (4/12(1) @ LHV & 8/2 @ LOU).
REALLY GOOD RELIEF: The Red Wings bullpen - after allowing 7 runs in a 9-0 loss to Durham on August 14 - has posted a 1.40 ERA (6 ER/38.2 IP) over the last 12 games allowing 28 hits and 19 walks with 41 strikeouts. The bullpen, which is 9-for-10 in save chances in August, has been one of the strong suits for the Wings all season posting a 3.19 season ERA.
KJ's DAY: The Wings will hand the ball to LHP Kris Johnson today making his 22nd start of the season and his 3rd straight against SYR, although his previous start (8/21 @ SYR) was cut short after just 0.2 innings by rain. In his 3 starts against the Chiefs this season, Johnson is 0-2, 7.43 ERA (11 ER/13.1 IP). In his 4 August starts, Johnson is just 0-3 with a 9.64 ERA having allowed 26 hits and 7 walks in 14.0 innings while striking out just 6. After going 5-2, 1.83 ERA (11 ER/54.0 IP) in 9 GS in April & May, KJ is only 4-5, 5.05 ERA in 12 GS since. Still, his 3.60 ERA is good for 7th-best in the IL and his .239 BAA is T-3rd in the league with teammate Alex Meyer.
→The Wings starting rotation is just 7-10 with a 5.15 ERA over the first 25 G of August...Entered month 41-32, 3.52 ERA.
HOT WINGS: Over his last 16 G, INF Pedro Florimon is hitting .321 (18-56) w/ 6 2B, 2 3B, HR, and 11 RBI...Over his last 11 G, C/OF Chris Herrmann is batting .378 (14-37) with 6 2B, HR, 5 R and 5 RBI...OF Eric Farris has a hit in 7 of his last 10 G, batting .419 (13-31) w/ 3 2B & 3 RBI...C Josmil Pinto is batting .362 (25-69) with 7 2B, 3B, HR, 9 R & 12 RBI over last 20 G...OF Daniel Ortiz is batting .339 (21-for-62) with 6 2B, 2 HR and 9 RBI in 20 August games...OF Chris Rahl was activated off the DL Monday, Rahl was hitting .333 (33-99) w/ 16 RBI in his last 29 G before DL
'RISP'-Y BUSINESS: The Wings won on Monday night despite going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. As a team over the last 13 games, the Wings are batting just .173 (19-for-110) with RISP. On the season, Rochester is batting .268 with RISP. INF Doug Bernier, who has led the team with RISP for much of the season (.317 AVG), snapped a 1-for-15 spell with RISP with his go-ahead 2-run double on Sunday.
OLIVEROS ON A ROLL: After tossing 2.0 more scoreless innings on Sunday, Wings reliever Lester Oliveros has now thrown 19.2 straight scoreless innings over his last 11 G (11 H, 7 BB & 31 SO). The 19.2-inning streak is the longest by a Wings pitcher this season and longest since Kyle Gibson's 20.0-inning streak from 5/14-5/30/13. Oliveros has struck out multiple batters in each of his last 14 appearances (39 SO/24.0 IP) and in 17 of his 21 games with Rochester. If he had enough innings to qualify, his 13.50 SO/9 IP ratio would be best among IL relievers.