Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Alex Hassan is Boston Bound

The Boston Red Sox today placed first baseman/catcher Ryan Lavarnway on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamate fracture. To fill his spot on the 25-man roster, outfielder/first baseman Alex Hassan was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Hassan will wear No. 68 and will be active for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, which begins at 7:10 p.m.

Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

Lavarnway, 26, was recalled by Boston for his first major league stint of the year on Monday and is 0-for-4 in four games for the Red Sox this season. In last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park, he made his first career major league start at first base but left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning due to a sore left wrist. The right-handed batter has a .265 average (43-for-162) with seven doubles, two home runs, and 11 RBI in 44 games for the PawSox this year. Defensively, he committed only two errors between 26 games played at first base and 10 at catcher at the Triple-A level. Lavarnway has appeared in 92 big league games, all with the Red Sox over the past four seasons from 2011-14.

For Hassan, 26, this marks his first career major league stint. In 45 games with Pawtucket this season, he has hit .217 (33-for-152) with 10 doubles, one home run, and 19 RBI. The right-handed batter is leading the PawSox with 10 doubles (tied), 22 walks, and 22 runs scored, and he has hit .288 (15-for-52) against left-handed pitching. Defensively, he has combined for a .984 fielding percentage (2 errors/127 total chances) while appearing in right field (25 games), left field (11 games), and first base (7 games). Born in Quincy, MA and a four-year letter winner at Boston College High School, Hassan was signed by the Red Sox as a 20th-round selection in the 2009 June Draft. He has hit .285 (455-for-1,598) with 109 doubles, six triples, 35 home runs, 231 RBI, 266 walks, and 232 runs scored in 469 career minor league games. Over his six minor league seasons from 2009-14, he has compiled a .393 on-base percentage. His .431 on-base percentage in 55 Triple-A games last season led all International Leaguers with at least 125 at-bats.

A Fun Thursday Read

The following link is an article written by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian about the Unwritten Rules of Baseball.

The list is honestly endless, but he outlines the top five with anecdotes from players in the game now and former players who share stories about how the game was policed back when THEY played.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece…

Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy asks, “But aren’t there unwritten rules in every industry? In journalism, you can’t steal sources, right? In hockey, guys don’t take their skates off and slash an opponent’s throat with the blade. In football, you never see a guy take off his helmet and just bludgeon an opponent. We’ve been playing baseball since the 1800s. We just have more unwritten rules.”

And every one of them is debatable and fluid and arbitrary.

To some, it’s an unwritten rule that a hitter shouldn’t dawdle before he gets into the batter’s box.

“I’ve yelled at hitters, ‘Let’s go! Get in the box!'” Baker says. “But they have a certain walk-up song. They have to mimic a certain part of it, so they wait until that part of it plays. It’s like they’re on a runway getting into the box, instead of just playing the game.”

McCarthy says, “That pisses me off, too. The rhythm of the game stops when that happens. Baseball becomes bad entertainment. The same thing applies with a pitcher that doodles around out there. That drives me just as nuts. Clay Buchholz is a really good pitcher. I love his stuff, but I can’t watch him because he takes so damn long between his pitches.”

The read the whole article, and it’s well worth it, click the following link…

http://www.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10964445/mlb-baseball-confusing-contradictory-unwritten-rules

Enjoy!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Stephen Drew Joins the PawSox Roster

The PawSox struggling offense will get a big-league boost as Stephen Drew joins the roster for tonight’s game against Gwinnett.

Drew had a solid three-game stint for Class A Greenville in which he went 3-for-8 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.

Drew took Tuesday off, and could return to the Red Sox on June 2 in Cleveland. He needs to be in the minor leagues for at least 10 days because he was optioned, not on a rehab assignment.

He will stay with Pawtucket until he is ready to be in Boston’s lineup. The PawSox have two more games on this homestand before they go on the road to Norfolk and Durham May 30-June 6.

“Seven to nine innings at shortstop tomorrow, followed by a DH, then shortstop again,” said manager John Farrell of the plan for Drew. “In talking with him [yesterday], he’s starting to feel like he’s getting his legs underneath him. We can’t skip any steps along the way to do that. He’s progressed as we had hoped.”

Drew, who was signed by the Red Sox on May 21, was optioned to Single-A Greenville on May 23 and played in three games for the Greenville Drive (May 23 & 25 at SS and May 26 as the DH). The club has to make a corresponding roster move as Drew is not on a rehab assignment. That move will be announced Later.

The 31-year-old Drew is an eight-year major league veteran who helped the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series Championship. He played in 124 games (all at SS) for the Red Sox last season hitting .253 with 29 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR and 67 RBI. His slugging pct. of .443 was the best in a season for a Red Sox shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra in 2003 (.524). Drew finished second among AL shortstops with a .984 fielding pct. as he made just 8 errors last season. Stephen started all 16 of Boston’s post-season games last fall and in World Series clinching Game 6 he became the second Red Sox shortstop ever to hit a home run in the World Series (along with Rico Petrocelli in 1967).

Selected by Arizona in the 1st round of the 2004 June draft (#15 overall out of Florida State University) Drew played for the Diamondbacks (2006-12) and Oakland Athletics (2012) before joining Boston in 2013. In 936 career regular-season games he has a .264 average with 210 doubles, 60 triples (5th most in the majors since the start of 2006), 90 HR & 416 RBI.

He joins a club that is in the middle of dropping 8 of their last 9 games and 11 of 14 overall.

May overall has been a struggle. The PawSox are 10-16 in the month of with 4 games remaining this month so they will suffer a losing month (after a 16-11 April). The Sox had just one losing month all of last year (going 9-19 in July). Pawtucket batters are hitting .231 in May (191-for-828) with 16 HR while Sox pitchers are 10-16 with a 4.12 ERA this month (102 ER in 223 IP) with 16 homers against. Pawtucket hit .243 in April but went 16-11 thanks in large part to a Team ERA of 3.34 and a Team Defense that had the best fielding pct. in the league for much of the first month of the season.

Tonight’s lineup, which will try to provide some run support for starter Chris Hernandez:

Ryan Roberts 2B
Garin Cecchini 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Corey Brown RF
Travis Shaw 1B
Christian Vazquez DH
Alex Hassan LF
Dan Butler C
Shannon Wilkerson CF

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

The Runs, They Will Come…

Despite popular belief, the PawSox will score runs this season.

This “one-run-over-their-last-30-innings” thing will come to an end soon. It has to, right?

Yes, it will come to an end. The bats will get hot and the PawSox will cross home plate with more frequency.

A couple of major factors to this recent funk are the losses of Brock Holt to the big leagues and Bryce Brentz to the disabled list. Losing your lead-off hitter, who was hitting .315 and leading the team with 21 runs scored at the time of his promotion a week ago today, is never easy. Neither is losing your top RBI man, Brentz had 28 RBI (no one else on the team with more than 19) and a guy who could hit the ball out of the ballpark at any given moment.

Certainly those are not excuses to the dip in offensive production, but they do explain it a little better.

Now, the PawSox will have another hole to fill in the lineup with the news that Daniel Nava was recalled to Boston to take the place of Shane Victorino (strained hammy, again). Nava hit .253 (21-for-83) with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 14 RBI in 24 games. He had just two multi-hit games.

Maybe the biggest issue with the offense this year is that they just haven’t been getting on base very frequently. Coming into tonight’s action, the team’s total on base percentage is .317…and the team batting average is just .236. The Red Sox system preaches plate discipline, taking pitches and getting the starter out after five innings because he’s thrown too many pitches. And, while this PawSox team does have 176 walks drawn this season (4th most in the league), they’ve stranded the 5th most runners on base (335) and bounced into the 2nd most double plays (42).

And even with all that said, this club will score runs. Brentz will come back from his hamstring strain. Brandon Snyder has been hot of late. Corey Brown is not a .207 hitter. Ryan Lavarnway will have to pick up his run production (11 RBI in 43 games). Garin Cecchini is now hitting higher than 6th in the order (hitting 2nd tonight), and Ryan Roberts will continue to set the table.

The offense will come…it has to.

The good news, it’s still very early in the season. There are three months to go and hitting in contagious. When it’s going well, everyone seems to be going well. But, when it hits a rough patch, it seems like everyone struggles. Also, the team is still over .500 at 25-24 and EVERYONE in the North Division is within three games of 1st place.

The club just needs to stay positive and stick to their approach.

Meanwhile, Rubby De La Rosa starts tonight for the PawSox against the Chiefs looking to snap their 5-game losing skid, the team’s longest since July of 2013 when they lost nine straight.

De La Rosa struck out a season high 8 his last time out, the most he’d had in a game since 2011…he also allowed 9 nits, the most he’d allowed since…2011. Pawtucket will need him to go deep into tonight’s game due to their thin bullpen. Chris Hernandez started last night for Brandon Workman (who was scratched) and Matt Barnes went just 3+ inning on Thursday night.

Here’s Manager Kevin Boles lineup for tonight’s game:

Ryan Roberts 2B
Garin Cecchini 3B
Ryan Lavarnway 1B
Brandon Snyder DH
Christian Vazquez C
Corey Brown RF
Mike McCoy CF
Carlos Rivero SS
Justin Henry LF

And, if you’re keeping score at home, this is game #50 for the PawSox…Boles has a used a different lineup in 49 of the 50 games.

Let’s go get a “W”…even if it is a 2-1 win!

Thanks for reading,

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

PawSox End Homestand with a Strike

The PawSox finish off a brief four-game homestand this afternoon at 12:05 at McCoy Stadium. They need a win today to avoid losing back-to-back series and have Anthony Ranaudo on the hill. Pawtucket had not lost a regular season series of any kind since August until they had their hearts broken in Indianapolis last Friday night.

Ranaudo is the author of four terrific outings in a row going 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA (6 ER/23IP) over those starts.

And, while the PawSox lost a tough one last night 5-3 in 10 innings…they did do something that hadn’t done in nearly five years…turn a triple play! Here is how it sounded on the radio…

The last time they did it was June 24th, 2009 vs. Norfolk. It was the 3rd triple play I’d ever called, and first since 2009

But, even bigger than a possible win, the PawSox will host their annual Strike for Cancer event TONIGHT after the game.

The Pawtucket Red Sox are very excited to announce we will host a BOWLING EVENT to raise money for the TOMORROW FUND…the PAWSOX STRIKE FOR CANCER event will occur Tonight from 7:00pm – 10:00pm at the EAST PROVIDENCE LANES on 80 Newport Avenue, East Providence, RI 02916.

The event will benefit THE TOMORROW FUND. The Tomorrow Fund is the only local nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families.

For only $25.00 per person you receive, your bowling shoes, food, and a chance to Bowl with some PawSox Players (and maybe even a broadcaster)!! We will have some great auction items as well!
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The net proceeds benefit the Tomorrow Fund. So if you would like to bowl and have some fun then please come on over the the East Providence Lanes tonight with a check made payable to the Pawtucket Red Sox Charitable Foundation. If you’re unable to attend, but would like to make a donation anyway, you can! Stop by the ballpark or send to the Pawsox Baseball Club, McCoy Stadium, P.O. Box 2365, Pawtucket, RI 02861.

We look forward to seeing you and to bowling a STRIKE AGAINST CANCER!!

In roster news, the PawSox today placed OF Bryce Brentz on the 7-day disabled list (retroactive to May 16) with a right hamstring strain suffered while running out a groundout on May 15 at Indianapolis. The PawSox also today reinstated RHP John Ely from the disabled list. Ely, who had Tommy John surgery just over a year ago (April 24, 2013), has been on the DL since the beginning of the season. He has been rehabbing with Single-A Greenville since May 4 making 6 relief appearances over the past two weeks going 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA – 8 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO. He pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief last night for Greenville – 1.1/1/0/0/0/2. Ely made 18 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010 going 4-10 with a 5.49 ERA. He also appeared in 5 games with the Dodgers in 2011 and 2 more in 2012. His last full season before his surgery came in 2012 when he went 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 27 starts for Albuquerque.

Today’s lineup is as follows:
Ryan Roberts 2B
Alex Hassan RF
Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Lavarnway DH
Brandon Snyder 1B
Garin Cecchini 3B
Corey Brown CF
Dan Butler C
Mike McCoy SS

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Ranaudo Rolls On; PawSox Look for Split with Indy

PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo continued his stretch of strong pitching with his best outing to date in yesterday’s 4-0 shutout in Indianapolis.
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He tossed a season high seven innings allowing just five hits while walking just one and striking out five. He threw 109 pitches, 72 for strikes and had 1st pitch strikes on 14 of 26 batters faced.

This gem comes as no surprise as Anthony has really pitched well over his last four starts. Since going a season low three innings April 24th, he’s 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA (6 ER/23 IP) on 14 hits, 10 walks and 17 strikeouts. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a run over his last 11 innings pitched. The last time he allowed a run was the 2nd inning back on the 10th of May in Louisville
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In other PawSox news, Bryce Brentz matched a career high with three extra base hits in yesterday’s 4-0 victory. He clobbered a solo homer to center field in his 1st at-bat then followed it with a double off the center field wall and an RBI double into the right center field alley. It was the fourth time in his career that he’d collected three extra-base hits in a game, and the first time since he’d done so twice in Double-A Portland in 2012. He scored three of the Sox four runs and drove in the other.

It was a great day at the plate for a guy who was marred in an 0-for-26 slump before clubbing a three-run homer in Louisville Saturday. He’s gone 7-for-19 (.368) with a pair of homers over his last five games. BUT, in his last at-bat of the game yesterday, Brentz landed on the first base bag awkwardly, fell to the ground behind the base and began grabbing his right hamstring. He was removed from the game. Additional tests will be done today to determine if he’ll need to go on the disabled list, but Bryce is expected to at least miss the next couple of days.
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Daniel Nava also went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He’s gotten exactly one hit in each of the seven games. It is his 2nd seven-game hitting streak of the season and he’s collected at least one hit in 15 of his 18 games played with Pawtucket.

Tonight is a big night for the PawSox as Matt Barnes takes the hill against Indianapolis in the series finale. Pawtucket needs a victory in order to split the four-game series. They have still not lost a regular-season series since last August 8-10 when they dropped 3 of 4 in Syracuse. The Sox are 4-0-6 in their first 10 series of 2014 with four series victories and six series splits.

Barnes has not allowed more than two runs in any start this season and is coming off of an impressive seven inning outing against Louisville on Mother’s Day. The rest of tonight’s lineup:

Brock Holt 3B
Alex Hassan RF
Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Lavarnway 1B
Dan Butler C
Brandon Snyder DH
Corey Brown CF
Mike McCoy SS
Justin Henry 2B

Pawtucket returns home to McCoy Stadium for a quick four-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starting tomorrow at 6:05pm. Looking forward to coming back home after an eight-game road trip! And, despite what happens tonight (obviously looking for a win) the PawSox have guaranteed themselves a .500 trip into the Western Division.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

The Power of Positive Thinking

Everyone has a bad day…Everyone slumps…Everyone has had stretches where they struggle. This is true not just in baseball but in life.

The best way to get yourself out of it? Stay positive.

For PawSox 1B/3B/OF/DH Brandon Snyder, the beginning of the season did not start the way he wanted it to. Until Monday morning’s game in Louisville, he was hitting just .160 (13-for-81) with 5 homers and 12 RBI. He’d show flashes hitting a home run here or there, but his consistency did not match his career numbers of .273/84 HR in almost 800 minor league games coming into the season.
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Players will do ANYTHING to try and get out of a slump. To prove this point, Brandon shaved his beard that he’d had for over 3 years into mutton chops…he went clean shaven a day later…he tried hitting with his pants up showing off his socks…he hit with no batting gloves. Nothing seemed to be working.

But Brandon looked deep within himself and made one phone call to seek advice. That call was to Steve Springer.

Steve is not a house hold name within the game of baseball if you look at the record books, but over the last 15 years, he’s helped revolutionize the way players approach their at-bats. He played in 4 big league games with Cleveland in 1990 going 2-for-12 and 4 games in 1992 with Mets going 2-for-5…career 4-for-17 in his big league career. He’s now a scout in the Blue Jays system and does speaking engagements all over the country to teach his mental approach to hitting.

I had the opportunity to meet and hear Steve talk in 2001 when he came to speak to my college team my freshman year. He changed the way I approached at-bats from there moving forward to have a “Quality At-Bat” every time I came to the plate. Sometimes that meant sacrificing your own personal numbers for the betterment of the team. Take pitches, be ready to hit when your pitch comes and, most importantly, keep yourself on an even keel.

Brandon and Steve talked for over two hours after Sunday’s game. Before Monday’s 11:05am start, Brandon tweeted this…

His outlook changed after one conversation with Steve. Brandon remembered the big picture. And how did he do? 3-for-5 with a homer and two rockets for singles. And you could see the positivity in his eyes.

I’m not here to say that one good game has everything fixed for Brandon, but the fact that he went back to the basics can only help in a positive way.
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For those of you with kids, or play the game yourself, and are interested in improving offensively, give Steve’s techniques a try. There is nothing mechanical, it’s all about the approach. And I can tell you from my own personal experience that it helps…not only with baseball but looking at life in a more positive way too. http://www.qualityatbats.com/

On the team side, the PawSox took 3 of 4 from Louisville (their 3rd straight road series win) and begin a four game set in Indianapolis tonight at 7:05pm. Rubby De La Rosa will start for the PawSox looking for back-to-back wins.

Here’s the rest of the lineup…
Brock Holt SS
Ryan Roberts 2B
Daniel Nava DH
Ryan Lavarnway 1B
Bryce Brentz LF
Garin Cecchini 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Corey Brown CF
Alex Hassan RF

Welcome to Indianapolis!

Is it allowed for me to post a picture of this stadium?

Is it allowed for me to post a picture of this stadium?

The Circle City

The Circle City

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

A Good Start to the Weekend in Louisville

The PawSox finished off an eight-game homestand after Thursday’s 5-3 victory over Toledo and, in doing so, played their minor league leading 23rd home game!

It’s crazy to think that Pawtucket had only played 12 games on the road this season until last night. Now, the Sox are in the midst of playing 20 of 28 AWAY from the friendly confines of McCoy Stadium.

Well, Pawtucket started a series against Louisville last night and despite a 49 minute rain delay between the top and bottom half of the 4th, the PawSox won the game 5-0. And, wouldn’t you know, Allen Webster tossed another gem. This time, he got some run support, four runs while he was on the mound to be exact, while he threw five scoreless innings. He earned just his 2nd win in the process.

Utility player Mike McCoy busted out of a 0-for-20 slump by blasting his first homer of the season, a two-run blast, and was not retired in the game. He also walked twice and had a sacrifice fly while playing flawless defense at shortstop.

Here’s how the homer sounded…

Earlier today, after getting some rest, Josh Maurer and I made our way over to the Louisville Bat Factory and Museum which is only a stones throw away from our hotel.

Shannon Siders, who is in the marketing department with the museum, set up a personal tour for the two of us to see the ins and outs of how all the bats are made.

The entrance to the museum, and a random yougester

The entrance to the museum, and a random yougester

The entry wall of the building has the model types and years from almost every player they've ever made a bat for, including 2007 Rookie of the Year and AL 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia

The entry wall of the building has the model types and years from almost every player they’ve ever made a bat for, including 2007 Rookie of the Year and AL 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia


Last year, they had a Lego exhibit within the factory, this year they are doing tribute to Warner Brothers Cartoons. Many cartoons have featured the game of baseball and the Museum was able to obtain sketches and origianl figurines of some of the more iconic cartoon moments.
Some sketches from Melvin Millar from 1937

Some sketches from Melvin Millar from 1937

One of my favorite Looney Tunes...Marvin the Martian

One of my favorite Looney Tunes…Marvin the Martian

Bugs Bunny vs. the Gas House Gorilla

Bugs Bunny vs. the Gas House Gorilla

Sketches of the iconic cartoon

Sketches of the iconic cartoon

Friz Freeling sketch of Bugs Bunny from 1946

Friz Freeling sketch of Bugs Bunny from 1946

The evolution of bats from Ty Cobb to Jason Heyward

The evolution of bats from Ty Cobb to Jason Heyward

Ted Williams testing out his bats

Ted Williams testing out his bats

The inner sanctum of the Bat Factory...the Vault! Where the original model of every bat they've ever made lives. I HELD a Yogi Berra prototype.

The inner sanctum of the Bat Factory…the Vault! Where the original model of every bat they’ve ever made lives. I HELD a Yogi Berra prototype.

The bats within the vault...there's a Stan Musial in there!

The bats within the vault…there’s a Stan Musial in there!

A model of the Factory/Museum

A model of the Factory/Museum

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Maybe the single coolest thing about the tour was seeing the original contracts hand written by the stars. They even had a hand written correspondence from Babe Ruth in their files.

The hand written bat contrasts of Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron. The missing wedges are where the signature was taken for the mold on the bat

The hand written bat contrasts of Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron. The missing wedges are where the signature was taken for the mold on the bat

Josh and I couldn’t thank Shannon enough for taking the time out of her day to share the behind the scenes look at the factory and museum. It really makes the trip to Louisville special!

Hope you all enjoyed a little trip through the factory as well…if you’re ever in the area, I would HIGHLY recommend it.

The PawSox, meanwhile, are back in action tonight at 6:05 against the Bats (the animal) with Anthony Ranaudo looking for his 3rd straight victory.

The rest of the line up is as follows:
Ryan Roberts 2B
Alex Hassan 1B
Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Lavarnway DH
Bryce Brentz RF
Dan Butler C
Corey Brown CF
Brandon Snyder 3B
Mike McCoy SS

And, if I don’t have a chance to blog tomorrow…Happy Mother’s Day! Especially to my mom, Cathy…I’m biased of course, but she’s the best. Always supportive…always pushing me (and others) to be better and always my biggest fan! And, to my wife, who is not YET a mother, but will be in September…I hope you ALL have a great Mother’s Day weekend!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Webster Staying Strong on the Hill

Allen Webster has been on some kind of a roll lately.

And while it has not translated into wins for his personal record (just 1-1 in 7 starts), his team has won when he is on the mound (they are 5-2 and winners in each of his last three starts)
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His overall ERA currently sits at 2.77 (12ER/39.0IP)….Batters are hitting just .238 against him and he’s induced four double plays with his heavy sinker.

Think of this, though, he doesn’t allow a ton of runs, but the PawSox also dont score a ton for him either. So far, in seven starts, Pawtucket has scored a TOTAL of 17 runs while Webster has been on the mound…and SEVEN of those came in his 2nd outing against Syracuse (his only win). In fact, they’ve scored just SIX runs over the course of his last four starts combined. Talk about pitching with pressure.
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Since his 1st start of the season on Opening Night, he’s allowed just 9 runs over 6 starts spanning 35.1 innings on just 27 hits.

The walk numbers (17) are still a bit high, but he’s only walked more than 2 batters in two starts, and they came in back to back outings 4/13 and 4/18 against a veteran Buffalo team. But since those two starts, he’s rattled off three straight quality starts (19.0 IP, 17 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 12 K).

AND just to put some of the numbers to bed, the 1st inning was his bugaboo in 2013 (5.14 ERA, highest among all of his innings pitched)…not so much this year. He’s allowed just TWO 1st inning runs all year. And he’s been the only pitcher that has pitched into the 7th inning…and he’s done that in two of his last three starts.

He’s been great pitching with runners in scoring position as well. Opposing batters are just 5-for-37 (.135) against him this season. Expand that to just runners on in general, and batters are just 11-for-60 (.183). To use the cliche, when the going gets tough, the tough get going!

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So, to sum up, keep up the good work, Allen. The hard work has paid off and the runs from the offense will come…as will the person wins. He’s scheduled to start next in Game 1 of the Louisville series in Louisville Friday night.

One final bit of news, my wife and I are expecting our first child in September…I told you that back in March…but today, we found out that we’re having……a BOY! We could not be more thrilled!

Set to make his first September Call-Up!

Set to make his first September Call-Up!


Thanks for reading everyone and have a happy (and SAFE) Cinco De Mayo!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Barnes is Back and Bringing the Heat

Matt Barnes, the Red Sox 1st selection (19th overall) in the draft in 2011 out of UConn, is back with the PawSox.

He’s now made two starts and he’s been impressive in both after missing much of the 1st month of the season with right shoulder inflammation.

In his first outing, back last Friday against Rochester, the 6’4″ righty went 5 innings allowing just 1 earned run on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2. He earned the win as the PawSox beat the Red Wings 6-2. He used 81 pitches and threw just 41 strikes, and there may have been a little rust after facing batters in extended spring training.
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Last night, Barnes was even better than in his debut. Against the potent lineup of Indianapolis, Barnes, again, went 5 innings allowing just a run. But he limited the Indians offense to just 2 hits whole striking out a season high 6. He threw 86 pitches, but this time, 52 strikes.
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Barnes threw mostly fastballs, which ranged from 93-97 on the McCoy stadium radar gun, but sprinkled in his curveball and change up.

In my opinion, his most impressive inning was his last one Friday. After allowing his first hits of the game, a double and a single, in the 5th inning, he struck out Jaff Decker with high heat. He then got some great defense behind him as Bryce Brentz made a sensational catch in foul territory to add to his 2014 defensive highlight reel…however, it produced a run. But, Barnes came back to get the third out and keep Pawtucket in front.

What was impressive about it the inning, despite the run scoring, was his poise. With runners at 1st and 3rd and nobody out, he got the big strikeout and limited the damage to just one run using just 16 pitches to do it. It was an inning that could have easily been broken wide open, but Barnes settled in and got the outs he needed to to keep the lead in tact.

Against mega-prospect Gregory Polanco of Indy, Barnes struck him out in the 1st inning with a high fastball and got him to ground out weakly to first base. Polanco would hit a triple off of Dailer Hinojosa in the 6th.

Two starts down for Barnes, and two quality outings to the tune of a 1-0 record and a 1.80 ERA (2 ER/10 IP).

What a rotation for the PawSox…no breaks for opposing teams when they have to face the likes of Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Brandon Workman.

Pawtucket is back at against tonight at 7:05 with Workman on the hill.

As for the rest of the lineup:
Brock Holt SS
Ryan Roberts 2B
Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Lavarnway 1B
Bryce Brentz RF
Garin Cecchini 3B
Christian Vazquez 2B
Corey Brown CF
Alex Hassan DH

Two first place teams battling it out at McCoy Stadium over the next three days at home. Then the Toledo Mud Hens come to town Monday-Thursday next week.

Also don’t forget that TONIGHT the first 3,000 adult fans coming to McCoy be given a PawSox Travel Mug courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts and NESN. The travel mug has color images of Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster.

AND, the first of four Free Youth Clinics at McCoy Stadium will take place this Saturday from 2:00-3:15 pm. Sponsored by Citizens Bank in association with ABC 6, the clinic is open to youngsters of all ages free of charge. PawSox manager Kevin Boles, pitching coach Rich Sauveur, hitting coach Dave Joppie, coach Bruce Crabbe, and several players will be on the field at McCoy to offer youngsters instructions and tips on the game of baseball. That’s the first Free Youth Clinic of the season on Saturday from 2:00–3:15 pm followed by a 6:05 pm game against Indianapolis.

Thanks for checking in,

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

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