Explorers, T-Bones Renew Rivalry; Goldeyes Need Sweep of Saints
In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier previews the two great series in the American Association starting Sunday. This includes the Winnipeg Goldeyes welcoming the St. Paul Saints and the Kansas City T-Bones traveling to take on the Sioux City Explorers.
A Great Weekend of Baseball!
The Sioux City Explorers hope to rebound after being swept in their clash against the Cleburne Railroaders. That dropped the Explorers into third in the South Division, now trailing the Kansas City T-Bones, who enter this contest as winners of 11 straight games. Kansas City is now in second, three behind the Railroaders, while the Explorers trail the T-Bones by half a game.
In the North Division, the Winnipeg Goldeyes welcome the St. Paul Saints for two games. St. Paul enters this series as winners of five straight games. They are in second in the North with Winnipeg currently in fourth, four games behind St. Paul.
On the Trail: Sioux City Explorers Welcome Kansas City T-Bones
These two teams will face each other 10 times in the final 16 days of the season. While neither team can view being swept as the end of the world, it clearly would not help their playoff chances.
These two teams have squared off three times this season (June 18-20). Sioux City won two of those three games in Kansas City, outscoring the T-Bones a combined total of 17-14.
Clearly, that series means little right now. These are two entirely different teams than the ones that faced off in June, especially considering how hot Kansas City has been. The Explorers are 6-9 this month, and have been struggling at the plate, hitting just .243. Meanwhile, the T-Bones are the hottest team in the league, posting a 12-4 record in August. Kansas City is hitting .302 this month and has a respectable 4.25 ERA.
Game 1: Jonathan Perrin (5-1, 3.48) vs. Pete Tago (3-2, 2.68)
Game 2: Christian Binford (4-2, 3.09) vs. Sam Held (1-0, 3.68)
Game 3: Dylan Baker (3-4, 3.64) vs. Carlos Sierra (7-1, 3.59)
The pitching matchups seem to favor Kansas City in the series. Tago has been brilliant for the Explorers, making the Game 1 contest the featured battle of the series. However, Held will be making his first start for Sioux City and Sierra is coming off a rough outing against Cleburne. Meanwhile, the combination of Perrin, Binford, and Baker has been awesome, as they are a combined 6-0 this month with each posting an ERA less than three.
Because these two teams have faced each other just three times this year, there is a small sample size in terms of performance. Casey Gillaspie leads the Kansas City T-Bones against Sioux City this season, posting a .500 batting average (4-8). Christian Correa leads the team in RBI with three and the T-Bones have had just one homerun against Explorers pitching.
Of the three projected starters, only Perrin has faced Sioux City this year. He is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, striking out 10 in seven innings. Oddly enough, the T-Bones have undergone such a transformation that only three of the eight pitchers who have faced the Explorers this season are still on the staff.
Dylan Kelly leads the Explorers against the T-Bones posting a .455 batting average (5-11). Kelly is also tied for the team lead in RBI with four. Nate Samson is hitting .364 against Kansas City and he also has four RBI against the team. Sioux City has hit two home runs against K.C.
Sierra is the only projected starter to have faced Kansas City this year, allowing one hit in five innings while posting a 0.00 ERA. The bullpen has been spectacular, as Tyler Fallwell, Jose Velez, Nate Gercken, Matt Pobereyko, and Ryan Flores have combined to make seven appearances without allowing a run to the T-Bones.
Goldeyes Hoping to Lure in Victories: Winnipeg Goldeyes Host St. Paul Saints
Winnipeg is in desperation mode now. After losing two of three to the Chicago Dogs, they now welcome St. Paul in desperate need of winning these games. The Saints enter this contest as winners of five straight and are 8-2 in their last 10, while Winnipeg is 4-6 in their last 10.
This is the final opportunity that the Winnipeg Goldeyes will have to makeup ground directly against the St. Paul Saints, as this two-game series is the last between these two teams. The Saints currently lead the series 6-5. These two teams squared off most recently last week in St. Paul (August 12-14), where the Saints won two of three. They have played each other five times in Winnipeg this season, with the Goldeyes winning three of those games.
Game 1: Ryan Zimmerman (6-3, 3.67) vs. Parker French (5-4, 5.52)
Game 2: Landon Beck (4-2, 3.54) vs. Kevin McGovern (11-6, 3.65)
Winnipeg absolutely has to sweep this series, putting a lot of pressure on French. Zimmerman is proving to be a star at the top end of the St. Paul rotation, but French has been inconsistent to say the least. The Goldeyes have to feel pretty good about McGovern in Game 2, so it would not be surprising to see a split in the series.
Devon Rodriguez leads the St. Paul Saints against Winnipeg this season with a .480 batting average. Brady Shoemaker follows closely behind it .462 and Josh Allen has a .385 batting average against the Goldeyes. Allen and John Silviano lead the team in home runs with four against Winnipeg, and Brady Shoemaker is the team leader with 14 RBI.
Zimmerman has been outstanding against the Goldeyes this season, going 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in his three starts. Beck has made four appearances, all in relief, and has a 4.00 ERA. The bullpen has been quite solid as well, as Mike Devine has not allowed a run in six appearances and Ken Frosch has a 0.90 ERA in six appearances.
Winnipeg is led by Jonathan Moroney, who posted a .545 batting average in three games against St. Paul since joining the team. Wes Darvill is hitting .452 in 11 games, and Kyle Martin has a .325 batting average. Martin and Willy Garcia lead Winnipeg in home runs against the Saints this season with three, with Martin as the team leader in RBI with 11.
McGovern is 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts against St. Paul. French is 0-1 with 13.00 ERA in his two appearances against the Saints. Closer Victor Capellan has struggled against St. Paul, posting a 1-0 record with two saves but a 7.71 ERA. Brandon Bingel has been the most dependable reliever, posting a 1.23 ERA in four appearances.
By Robert Pannier