TigsTown MLN: 'Hens Hit a Cold Streak

The Toledo Mud Hens had two four-game series at home this past week, winning the first three before losing the fourth against the Louisville Bats, and losing the first three before taking the fourth against the Buffalo Bison.

The Hens red hot offense averaged only three runs per game in their loses and only hit four home runs in their loses (nine home runs total this week to increase their team total to 94).

Brent Clevlen had a good week going 12-for-31 with a RBI in six of eight games this week (13 in total) including six in the Hens' lone win against Buffalo. Clevlen was hit or miss at times during his hot streak walking only three times while striking out ten times. When Clevlen shows patience at the plate he tends to put great statistics, but needs to show it on a more consistent basis.

The Mud Hens on the whole have shown a tendency like Clevlen to strike out at a high frequency. In the eight games this week, the Mud Hens struck out 75 times bringing their season total up to 448. That is one strikeout for every 4.12 plate appearances. The thing that has given the Mud Hens offensive success has been their aggressiveness at the plate, so the high strikeout total is one of the cons of that aggressiveness.

Mike Hessman's bat was also hot and cold again the week going 10-for-30 with three RBI, including two home runs, while striking out 14 times. In his past ten games, Hessman has only three RBI and three extra-base hits while striking out 16 times and walking eight times.

The Mud Hens' inconsistent offense this week increased the need for the pitching to carry the team a bit this week. The starting pitchers were hit or miss with only three quality starts this week, but the bullpen was outstanding.

The Mud Hens bullpen pitched 33 2/3 innings this week allowing only three earned runs while striking out 31 batters. Closer Blaine Neal only had two appearances this week, converting on his lone save opportunity to increase his total to 16.

Virgil Vasquez, like many of his Mud Hen teammates, was hot and cold this week. In his first start he pitched seven shutout innings allowing eight hits while walking one and striking out four. Unfortunately he was not able to make it back to back strong starts in his next outing, lasting only five innings and giving up five earned runs on 12 hits.

LHP Casey Fossum has continued his great run the past two weeks with two more dominant outings. In his first game, he gave up one run on two hits and two walks in seven innings while striking out 11 batters. In his second start of the week he was able to pick up the win, pitching another 6 2/3 dominating innings allowing one run on three hits and three walks while striking out 10 batters.

Since Fossum was promoted to the starting rotation, he has pitched four times going at least six innings each time while not allowing more than three hits in any of his games. HE has also struck out at least ten batters in each of his last three outings.

News and Notes: Josh Rainwater was activated from the Erie disabled list this past week. To make room, Caonabo Cosme was placed on the disabled list. Another DL placement; Santo de Leon went to the Flying Tigers' disabled list. Reliever Gabriel Benitez has replaced De Leon on the roster. There's still no word on a replacement for the promoted Jeff Larish in Toledo.


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