Lava Flow for June

If you played the Volcanoes in June, it might have seemed like Joey Votto was always on-base. For the month, Votto was 33 of 79 (.418 BA) with 14 walks and 1 HBP (.505 OBP) and 6 HRs (.722 SA). By Strat’s sabermetric calculations, Votto created 29.6 (of the Volcano’s total 110.9) runs in June. While the Volcanoes “created” 111 runs in June, they actually scored 101 runs. The Volcanoes left 155 runners on base in June, with 49 left on base in the Applegate series alone. Margaritaville won 12 games in June (4 against Tatooine, 3 against Bismarck and Satellite Beach, 2 against Applegate). The Volcanoes welcomed five new players in June: Andrew Cashner, Pat Neshek, Alex Claudio, Domingo Santana and Jarrod Dyson. The quintet of ex-Scorpions underwhelmed in their Volcano debuts. Cashner was 1-1 with a 7.25 ERA; Neshek was 1-1 with a 4.25 ERA (and 5 HRs allowed – 4 HRs to the Bombers); Claudio was 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA, Santana batted .183 (13 for 71) with a .326 OBP and .408 SLG. Dyson batted .290 with 2 HRs – a walk-off win against the Paperclips and a walk-off win against the Brawlers. The walk-off HR saved the Volcanoes in June play, as Chris Taylor added a 3-run walk off against the Rebels and Joey Votto’s 11th inning walk-off capped a comeback from 4 runs down in the 9th inning of game 5 against the Rebels. The walk-offs contributed to a 7-1 record for the Volcanoes in 1-run games in June play, offsetting a .260 team batting average, and a 5.05 team ERA in June play.

Disappointing so far has been Francisco Lindor’s batting. For the Indians in 2017, Lindor slashed 81 extra base hits (44 doubles, 4 triples and 33 home runs). For the Volcanoes in 2018, Lindor has slushed his way to 28 extra-base hits (18 doubles, 1 triple and 9 home runs). Lindor’s Volcano slugging is 132 points below his Indian slugging (.373 vs .505) and his OPS is 171 points below his Indian OPS (.671 vs .842). With his 2L card, Lindor has been surprisingly particularly pathetic against left-handed pitching. Against lefties, Lindor is 15 for 73 (.205 avg), with 2 doubles and 1 home run (.274 slugging) for a total OPS of .575.

With 51 wins at the halfway pole, the Volcanoes are on pace to win 102 games. In 2017, the Volcanoes had 49 wins through 80 games, and ultimately won 106. The 2017 team had scored 513 runs and allowed 433 runs through 80 games, the 2018 team has scored 435 and allowed 347. Through the first 80 games of 2017 David Ortiz hit .304 with 31 doubles and 27 HRs, scoring 57 runs and driving in 73. Big Papi’s bat is obviously missed, with the Volcanoes scoring 80 fewer runs. By deploying a deep bullpen the Volcanoes cut their runs allowed by 86 runs. So far in 2018 the Volcano bullpen has pitched 310 innings, and is on pace to pitch 620 bullpen innings. The 2017 team had a total of 522 bullpen innings pitched.

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Clip Files for June

Jorge Alfaro

Alfaro

The Clips’ front office can’t come to an agreement on whether the club is underachieving or overachieving. While its 48-32 mark at the season’s midpoint was built somewhat on a favorable early schedule, the Clips have established a 96-win pace without much contribution from slugger Aaron Judge, who has only 25 extra-base hits to this point (8-0-17), on the heels of 79 extra-base hits last year (24-3-52) for the Yankees. … Regardless, Applegate posted a 14-6 June and the Clips outscored their opponents 116-77. … The Clips packed their active roster with limited sluggers Nicky Delmonico and Jorge Alfaro, hoping to rack up wins against teams that were struggling this year. The strategy worked, with Alfaro hitting .367 and driving in a team-high 20 runs. He hit five homers and used up 49 of his limited ABs. For the year, Alfaro is hitting .398 in 93 at-bats. His catching counterpart, Willson Contreras, benefited from the extra rest, but still led the Clips in hitting in June at .458. … Brian Dozier slugged a team-high six homers, including a 10th-inning solo blast in Game Five against Dyersville that enabled the Clips to win that series, 3-2. … Interesting tidbit from Game Three of that series: After Applegate jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning (keyed by an Alfaro grand slam), Dyersville began the bottom of the first by pinch-hitting for limited leadoff man Michael Conforto. … The Dyersville series also saw the Clips turn a 5-4-3 triple play in the fourth inning on a lomax roll — one inning after a one-out lomax roll ended Dyersville’s bases-loaded threat in that inning too. The Treblemakers still won the game, 3-1. … Applegate’s 4-1 series win over Tatooine was highlighted by a 7-5 Game Four win in which the Clips were down 5-1 starting the eighth inning. … Applegate likewise went 4-1 at home vs. Bismarck, losing only Game Five, 7-5, leaving 18 runners on base. Applegate hit .324 that series and Judge had his only good series of the year with three homers and six RBIs. Judge does have a league-leading 80 walks in 80 games. …  Matt Chapman, spelling a limited Josh Donaldson at third, hit .412 with two homers and eight RBIs. Delmonico hit .545 and Alfaro .500. … The Clips walked off to victory in Game Two on a 2b (x) roll that went for a 1B** with Chapman up, runners at second and third, one out and the infield in in the 9th to win 4-3. … In its toughest battle of the month, Applegate invaded Margaritaville and reeled off wins in each of the first three games before suffering one-run walkoff losses in Games Four and Five. A seesaw Game Four saw Margaritaville surrender leads of 3-0 after three innings and 4-3 and 7-6 in late innings; Applegate coughed up a 6-4 lead in the eighth and saw the Volcanoes walk off in the ninth on a bases-loaded single by Kris Bryant off ace closer Blake Parker.  Kyle Crick was the victim in the ninth inning of Game Five; after the Clips scored two runs in the top of the ninth on a Billy Hamilton homer to tie the game 3-3, Jarrod Dyson led off the home half of the inning with an equally unexpected long ball to win it 4-3 for Margaritaville. Every game in the series was decided by one or two runs. … Stephen Strasburg had a good month, going 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA that included the club’s only complete-game outing of the year, coming against the Volcanoes. … Fernando Rodney was a bullpen workhorse, pitching 23 2/3 innings and notching a 3-1 record with a 2.28 ERA. … At the 80-game mark, Applegate is 16-3 in games in which the opposition starts a left-handed pitcher. Jose Martinez has 11 of his 13 homers against southpaws. … Applegate trails Superior now by one game in its division and trails only the Titans in best run differential in the league (+96 for Applegate, +104 for Superior)… The Clips have returned to the top of the team ERA standings after their solid June, checking in at 3.94. They have allowed the fewest homers in the league at 89 and trail only Margaritaville in homers hit (135-127)… The Clips also have a healthy lead for most team walks at 379. …