Dogs (24-22, 4th North) vs. RailCats (21-25, 5th North)
Tuesday, 7/9: LHP Luke Westphal (6-1, 2.66 ERA) vs. LHP Lars Liguori (4-4, 6.00 ERA)
Wednesday, 7/10 Game One: RHP Trevor Simms (1-4, 6.86 ERA) vs. RHP Jumpei Akanuma (2-1, 2.96 ERA)
Wednesday, 7/10 Game Two: LHP Jake Dahlberg (3-2, 4.20 ERA) vs. LHP Seth Hougesen (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Thursday, 7/11: LHP Austin Wright (2-5, 3.85 ERA) vs. LHP Trevor Lubking (5-3, 3.97 ERA)
SERIES NOTES: Series Notes July 9-11 GAR
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Dogs, winners of three of their last four, after taking their most recent series from the Texas AirHogs in Grand Prairie over the weekend.
Chicago’s (24-22, 4th North) 2018 home run king, Trey Vavra, had a Herculean series against the AirHogs, notching three hits in each of his last three games, hitting .647 over his last five games. Austin Wright and Luke Westphal also looked sharp as ever against Texas, allowing the Dogs to comfortably win the series in Grand Prairie.
They now return home for four games in three days against the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Impact Field. Tuesday’s series opener will start at 11:35 AM. Game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader is scheduled for a 5:05 PM first pitch, with game two starting 30 minutes after the end of game one, and the series finale on Thursday is set to begin at 6:05 PM.
LHP Luke Westphal will start for the Dogs in game one. The southpaw was back to his old self in his most recent start, chucking six scoreless frames and allowing just four Cleburne baserunners while striking out 11. His 67 strikeouts lead all American Association pitchers.
RHP Trevor Simms will reprise his role as a starter for game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Simms looked solid out of the bullpen for Chicago in his two most recent outings. He gave up three runs in five innings of work, striking out nine and walking just one in two combined appearances against two potent offenses in Kansas City and Cleburne. He pitched in a tough-luck loss to Texas on Friday and is looking to bounce back against Gary.
LHP Jake Dahlberg is scheduled to start the second game of the twin bill. He has continued a run of good form, picking up his third win of the season in a 9-4 win over Texas on Friday. Despite only three strikeouts last time out, the UIC alum has continued to show exemplary command, allowing 10 walks in 45 innings of work this season, and never allowing more than three per appearance, which has only happened once.
LHP Austin Wright will start the series finale for the Dogs. The fireballing lefty turned in his best start of the year on Saturday, striking out a franchise-record 13 AirHogs in just six innings while surrendering one run on three hits. The fastball-slider combo remains deadly, and his 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings lead all Dogs starters.
SCOUTING THE RAILCATS
The RailCats (21-25, 5th North) sit three games behind the Dogs heading into the mid-week series. The Gary SouthShore bats have struggled mightily this year. With a second-worst .243 average as a club and league-low 14 home runs on the season, the RailCats have stayed afloat on the back of some phenomenal pitching (3.97 team ERA) and aggressive baserunning. Tom Walraven leads the team with a .313 average in 34 games, and Colin Willis has driven in a team-high 31 runs while still batting .284. Game two starter Jumpei Akanuma, a converted reliever, has been stellar for Gary, allowing opponents to his just .237 and never scoring more than four runs against the right hander.
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