Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Starting Nine: 9 Notable Facts Entering the PawSox-Yankees Series

The International League-leading, 14-5 PawSox will host a brief, two-game set with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon.

With their respective eight- and four-game winning streaks, the Sox and the Yanks are officially the two hottest teams in the IL leading up to their first of 16 encounters in the 2012 season.

Here are nine pregame pop-ups to tune up for Tuesday’s 6:15 p.m. pitch at McCoy Stadium.

·         Both of Scranton’s scheduled starters are returnees from 2011 and have had inverse fortunes against Pawtucket. D.J. Mitchell, slated to toe the rubber on Tuesday, is 3-0 lifetime and went 2-0 against the PawSox last season whereas Wednesday’s starter, Adam Warren, has lost three straight decisions.

·         Mitchell is already 2-0 on the year in 2012 and the only Triple-A Yankees hurler with at least one win and no losses on his tab. He most recently pitched eight innings in a 2-0 victory over Rochester last Tuesday, confining the Red Wings to two hits and striking out seven adversaries.

·         For the second straight series, a team will come into McCoy Stadium bearing the league’s batting average leader. Within the last four days, Durham’s Leslie Anderson has given way to nine other hitters, including two apiece from the PawSox and Yankees. The category’s new leader is Scranton’s Dewayne Wise, who has hit .439 through 11 games and 41 at-bats.

·         Wise is second in the league in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage at .477 and .829, respectively.

·         First baseman Steve Pearce has hit 12-for-27 amidst a seven-game hitting streak for the Yanks. He has also batted in at least one run (seven total) over his last four outings.

·         Former Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen, already 1-1 and with a 1.93 ERA on the year, was placed on Scranton’s seven-day disabled list this past Friday, meaning he will not be seen by his former rooters in this series.

·         The PawSox went 10-6 overall against the Yankees last season, but split their eight meetings at McCoy. The minor league rivals went an identical 4-4 against each other in Pawtucket during the 2010 season series.

·         Pawtucket has not won the majority of its home games against Scranton since going 6-1 in that matchup during the 2006 season.

·         The 8-8 Yankees have played the fewest games of all IL teams to date, chiefly owing to repeated instances of inclement weather. They managed to get in only half of their four-game wraparound home set with the Norfolk Tides, Monday’s game being called off due to unseasonable snow in Pennsylvania.