ALLENTOWN - Lehigh Valley IronPigs skipper Dave Huppert isn't a big fan of those 10:35 a.m. matinees that his team has to face every now and then in the International League.
Last year, every time his team played in one, it had to hop on a bus immediately following and head on the road without getting any rest and sometimes even had to play an afternoon game the next day.
Today was a little bit different.
The Pigs took on the Indianapolis Indians this morning in one of those 10:35 starts after suffering a pitiful 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates AAA affiliate, but Huppert seemed calm and relaxed having already turned on the Boston-Cleveland NBA playoff game on his office TV.
"It'll be nice for a change," he said about today's morning matchup, that saw him pitch Drew Carpenter (2-2, 4.96) against Daniel McCutchen (1-0, 1.29). " The guys will get a chance to spend the evening with their families and with a day off Wednesday, it'll help us get some of our injured players back."
DeWayne Wise, day-to-day with a groin injury, started the game as the first base coach, was used as a pinch-hitter inthe seventh inning and was available for today's game.
Chris Duffy, who left Friday's game, remained out of the lineup with concussion symptoms and Huppert hopes he'll be ready to go when the Columbus Clippers arrive in town on Thursday for a four-game series.
So the IronPigs bench has been thin and a couple of guys have been playing out of position.
Cody Ransom started his third straight game in right field and only the sixth start in the outfield in his 1,445-game professional career. He looked shaky at times and committed an error on a Brandon Jones hit ball in the fourth inning. Paul Hoover threw out Jones trying to steal third to thwart any chance of a big inning.
Neil Sellers has been playing third base and came up with five nice defensive stops in the field and slapped a triple in his first at bat.
Plenty of roster moves could loom on the horizon for the team as well. J.A. Happ and Ryan Madson are both on the DL for the Phillies. Ty Taubenheim has been called up to Reading so the Lehigh Valley could be his next stop.
With Joe Blanton activated on Tuesday by the big club, the Phillies optioned Antonio Bastardo down to the IronPigs. Bastardo was 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA in seven games with the Phillies and pitched one inning last night.
After striking out Indians' pitcher Jeremy Powell, he walked Brandon Moss before getting out Doug Bernier and Pedro Alvarez.
With last night's loss, the Pigs broke a streak of 13 games without back-to-back wins or losses. The last two losses in a row came back on April 18-19.