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Happenings Down South: Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

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Memphis is getting it done on the mound.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis is still winning games. In fact, their 35-22 record going into Sunday was the team’s second best record through 57 games behind only the 2000 Redbirds, who were only one game better. The thing is, if you look at their hitting stats, offensively the Redbirds are fairly average in the PCL. In fairness however, their stats for the whole season in 2017 were pretty similar, and the team won a record number of games en route to the PCL Championship. Speaking of similarity...

Just like last season, Memphis is near the top of the PCL in all of their team pitching statistics. The one key difference is individually the Redbirds are up at the top, too. Daniel Poncedeleon is up towards the top of the PCL in most pitching categories, and if you compare his stats from this season to last, you almost have to think that before his brain injury last May, he was heading for a very similar season.

                                                                                                     
Year   W L  W-L%  ERA RAvg  G GS   IP  H  R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP  BF  WHIP  H9 HR9 BB9  SO9 SO/W
2017   2 0 1.000 2.17 2.17  6  6 29.0 20  7  7  2 13   0 25   2  0  0 119 1.138 6.2 0.6 4.0  7.8 1.92
2018   4 2  .667 2.48 3.31 11 10 54.1 46 20 15  2 29   0 68   5  0  2 242 1.380 7.6 0.3 4.8 11.3 2.34
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/4/2018.

Another guy up towards the top of the pitching heap is righty Dakota Hudson. Dakota’s stats are right up there with Daniel’s, with Dakota holding down a 2.69 ERA and a tied-for-the-PCL-lead 6 wins on the season. The recently called up Austin Gomber was a bit further down the league leaders list this time around, but he still was hanging around the top 10 in several categories.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

At The Dish

Individually, several Redbirds have been struggling at the plate recently. One of the PCL’s hottest hitters in the early going was Oscar Mercado. Oscar was hitting .176 (6-for-34) since ending his eight-game hitting streak on May 25th, and followed it up with a 1-for-4 performance Sunday. Max Schrock started out the season fairly hot, hitting .408 over his first 11 games, but cooled off in May to finish at .269 for the season thus far. Randy Arozarena had a 15 game on-base streak snapped on May 25th and followed it up by going 3-of-22 since. Patrick Wisdom was another one, having recently gone through a 16 game hitless streak and overall hitting .336 (39-for-116) since May 1st.

A Look Ahead

The Redbirds kick off a 7 game homestand this week on Tuesday with 3 games against the Tacoma Rainiers and then 4 over the weekend when the Reno Aces head into Memphis. After that, the ‘Birds hit the road with consecutive series against Albuquerque and El Paso.