ALLENTOWN – The weather is making a mess of everything including the Lehigh Valley. While the rain kept falling, it stopped long enough for Cody Overbeck to come through in the clutch as the IronPigs won Saturday's suspended game over the Toledo Mudhens 2-1.
If saves are given to pitchers who secure the game at the end, then Cody Overbeck should be awarded his first career save.
After closer Michael Schwimmer blew his second straight save appearance in the top of the ninth, Overbeck belted Enrique Gonzalez's 2-2 offering to the opposite field and over the 17-foot tall right field wall for the walk-off homer and a 2-1 win.
"He saved the day," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "If you told me a right-handed hitter would hit a ball against the wind, in the mist, and the cold temperatures? I mean that ball was really crushed."
Freddy Galvis ripped his second single of the game. Two batters later, Kevin Frandsen's hard shot to first bounced off the glove of first baseman Ryan Streiby to score Galvis for a 1-0 IronPig lead.
The first game was the continuation of Saturday night's game that was halted after 3 12 innings of scoreless play. Joe Savery pitched two scoreless innings relieving Scott Mathieson. Mike Zagurski pitched a scoreless seventh.
Schwimmer, who has been lights out all season, pitched two innings of one run ball earned him his ninth win of the season, tying him with Ryan Feierabend for the IronPig lead.
"He is human," Sandberg said of Schwimmer (1.86 ERA), "He battled through on a night where he didn't have a feel for the ball. He battled through it and got the last out without giving up and ultimately gave us a chance for a win."
The rain returned for yesterday's regularly scheduled game and halted it after Toledo's Jeff Salazar drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third.
The win keeps the IronPigs (69-53) within a half-game of division leader Pawtucket, a 5-0 winner over the Gwinnett Braves.
Lehigh Valley and Toledo will resume yesterday's 7-inning game today at 6:05 pm. That will be followed by tonight's regularly scheduled contest with Nate Bump (3-7, 5.25) pitching against Toledo's Adam Wilk (6-5, 3.14)
Overbeck heating up
Overbeck's homerun is typical of his recent success at the plate. With his batting average hovering around .200, the first-baseman has strung together an eight-game stretch that has lifted his average and his game to reflect his ability.
"Maybe I am (a slow starter). Looking at the history I would say 'yes'. Last year I was struggling a little bit (at Reading)," Overbeck said. "I've cut down my strikeout and just tried to put more balls in play. I am a lot more patient right now,"
In the last eight games, Overbeck is batting .308 and although last night's homer was only his fourth, he is hitting the ball with more confidence.
"I think he's adjusting to (to Triple-A) and he's feeling comfortable," Sandberg said. "When he waits for the ball in the strike zone he takes some rips at it. He's basically a fastball hitter and he is on the fast ball, good things come to him."