PawSox Headed to the Finals
The Pawtucket Red Sox used a two-out, three run rally in the second inning to beat Rochester in the Semi-Finals of the Governors’ Cup Playoffs Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium by a 3-0 final score.
For much of the season, the PawSox had a pair of knuckleballers in their rotation. It was only fitting that Charlie Haeger, who missed the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, got the start and performed the way he did tossing 5.1 scoreless innings. Through his first five full innings, only one Red Wings batter reached 2nd base (Antoan Richardson in the 1st).
The key inning for the Pawtucket was the top of the 6th. I realize they scored three times in the 2nd inning, and I’ll get to that shortly, but the 6th was the back breaker for Rochester. Haeger began the inning allowing a single and a hit a batter with a pitch. The next batter was Eduardo Escobar who hit a rocket down the third base line. PawSox third baseman Jonathan Diaz make a sensational play to knock the ball down. If the ball get by Diaz, it goes into the corner. At least one run would have scored and runners would have been at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Instead, the bases were loaded…still a precarious situation to be in.
Haeger then got into a battle with Jeff Clement (who had gone 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI) and would strike him out on a knuckleball in the dirt on the 8th pitch of the at-bat and his 99th pitch of the afternoon. Chris Martin was summoned from the bullpen and went 2-0 on pinch hitter Chris Parmelee. After a foul ball, Parmelee swung and missed at two straight sliders for the 2nd out. Aaron Hicks then flied out to left to end the inning and strand the bases loaded. Momentum was securely in the PawSox dugout.
The PawSox originally got the momentum in the 2nd inning with two outs. Jeremy Hazelbaker started the rally with a triple before Dan Butler singled him home to make it 1-0.
Justin Henry then doubled and Heiker Meneses singled both Butler and Henry home to grab a 3-0 lead in the span of just 9 pitches.
The combination of Haeger for 5.1, Martin for 2.1, Ryan Rowland-Smith for 1 and Anthony Carter, who tied the PawSox franchise record for saves in a single season with 24, recorded the final out to put the PawSox into the Governors’ Cup Finals against the Durham Bulls.
Pawtucket will match up against Durham in the finals. The first two games will be down south before the series shifts back to McCoy Stadium Friday night at 7:05pm. Games 4 & 5 would be at McCoy at 6:05 and 1:05 respectively, if necessary. Great tickets are still available, so visit pawsox.com to get your seat and maybe get a chance to see Pawtucket win back-to-back Governors’ Cup Championships.
A preview of the PawSox/Bulls series will come tomorrow!
Thanks for reading, looking and listening!