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Pair of PawSox Named All-Stars

The International League today announced the members of its 2014 All-Star Team. The squad of 30 IL standouts will take on the Pacific Coast League’s best in the 27th Annual Cree Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16 in Durham, North Carolina. The matchup will be broadcast live from Durham Bulls Athletic Park on MLB Network, the American Forces Network, and the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network beginning at 7:00 p.m. eastern.

Pawtucket had two players selected by International League Manager Charlie Montoyo, starter Anthony Ranaudo and catcher Christian Vazquez.

For Ranaudo, he’s been one of the league’s best pitchers all season. His 2.35 ERA ranks 5th in the league, opposing batters are hitting .202 (best in the IL) and his 9 wins are tied for 2nd most. But most impressive, over his last 12 starts, Ranaudo is 8-2 with a 1.63 ERA (13 ER/72.0 IP) allowing just 43 hits and striking out 56. To take the numbers just a bit further, over his last 9 starts, Ranaudo has allowed just SEVEN runs in 55 innings pitched (a 1.15 ERA).
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Catcher Christian Vazquez enjoyed a break-out month of June where he batted .299 with all 3 of his homers. Overall, he’s batting .275 with 16 doubles (2nd most on the team) with 19 RBI. But maybe his largest contribution to the club has come behind the plate. He’s gunned down 39% (18 of 46) of base stealers, the 3rd best mark in the league, and he leads the league with a .995 fielding percentage (2 errors in 424 total chances).
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Congrats to both players as they are both very deserving of this great honor representing the Red Sox in the All-Star Game.

The PawSox, meanwhile, continue their 10-game homestand with a 2-game set against division rival Rochester tonight at 6:15pm. Matt Barnes will make the start for Pawtucket.

Thanks for reading, and congrats again to Anthony and Christian!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Carlos Rivero Earns Player of the Week Honors

Pawtucket third baseman/shortstop Carlos Rivero led the International League with 12 hits this past week while sparking the PawSox to six wins in seven days. Rivero hit safely in all seven games last week (pushing his overall streak to nine), and heʹs also scored a run in each of the past six contests. Rivero and the PawSox have now climbed to three games over .500 and are within just 2.0 games of the top spot in the Leagueʹs Wild Card standings. He is the first member of the PawSox to claim an IL weekly award this season
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26‐year‐old Carlos Rivero is in his first season in the Boston organization after signing as a free agent this past December. He was an International League All‐Star in his first full season at the Triple‐A level in 2012 with Syracuse. He has yet to make his Major League debut. Rivero is a native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

Rivero has been an RBI machine lately. To prove it; he didn’t have an RBI in his first 12 games with the PawSox. In his last 23 games, he’s got 22 RBI! During the month of June, alone, he’s hitting .319 (30-for-94) with 4 2B, 2 3B and 2 HR. Even better, he’s been coming up in the clutch with runners in scoring position and two outs. He’s hitting .478 (11-for-23) with 10 RBI, and it feels like all of those hits have come in the last two weeks. Two-out RBI’s are killers for opposing teams, and Rivero has been the PawSox assassin in this department during their recent hot streak.
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As a club, the PawSox have won seven of their last 10 games and are using their offense to get back into the race. During the last 10, Pawtucket is hitting .277 and averaging 5.8 runs a game. As told above, Rivero is hot as are Dan Butler (.370, HR, 7 RBI in his last 7), Ryan Roberts (.344, 2 HR, 7 RBI in his last 8), Alex Hassan (.353, HR 6 RBI in his last 9) and Travis Shaw (2 HR and 8 RBI in his last 9).

Oh, and Mookie Betts made his big league debut last night in the Bronx helping the Red Sox to an 8-5 victory over the Yankees. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Not too shabby for a 21-year-old that played just 23 Triple-A games before his call up.

Congrats to Carlos and here’s to hoping the PawSox run their season high winning streak to six games tonight with Anthony Ranaudo on the hill against Durham.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

A Chance for a Series Win; Other News and Notes

After back to back wins against the Tides (and in commanding fashion, I might add), the PawSox have a chance to win their first series since June 7-10 against Louisville.

Two nights ago, the PawSox pounded out a season high 16 runs on 15 hits. And it wasn’t as if it was one huge inning that brought the run total up. They scored in every inning but the 2nd and the 8th. The Tides even used two position players to cover the final two innings. Oddly enough, it was the 1st time the PawSox had scored 16 runs in a game in exactly one year. They accomplished the feat June 25, 2013 at home against Toledo…one year later, a 16-5 win over Norfolk. Sounds like June 25th is a good day to score runs.

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Last night, the PawSox rode a five run first inning to a 7-2 win. An RBI single by Carlos Rivero (who now has 20 RBI in his last 20 games played) and a grand slam by Garin Cecchini. For Garin, it was just his 3rd homer of the season, but this one was impressive. A lefty/lefty match-up, a pitch on the inner part of the plate and into the wind. For a guy not known for his power, he hit this one well.

That grand slam was more than enough for Matt Barnes who had, arguably, his best start since June 7th when he went 6.2 innings allowing 2 runs against Louisville. This time around, a season high 102 pitches/69 strikes, in 5.2 innings he gave up just 2 runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts. He breaking ball was as sharp as it has been all season and he mixed and matched his change up effectively and efficiently. He earned his 3rd win of the season in the 7-3 PawSox victory.

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Last night was also Armed Services Night, and the PawSox know how to do it right in honoring the men and women who keep this country safe. Members of all five military branches were represented as well as veterans from World War II, The Korean War, The First War in Iraq and the War in Afganistan.

Pedro Martinez signing autographs before the game

Pedro Martinez signing autographs before the game

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Garin Cecchini crossing the plate after his grand slam

Garin Cecchini crossing the plate after his grand slam

Tonight, the PawSox send Allen Webster to the mound, he and his 9th best league ERA at 2.97 ERA in 16 starts.

NOTES

Today’s the last day to vote for your favorite PawSox players to get into the All-Star Game. Visit http://www.pawsox.com or http://www.milb.com/milb/events/asg/y2014/ballot/ballot.jsp to vote! There are plenty of deserving players who should represent the club, so vote early and often.

And TOMORROW (Saturday), PawSox Insider will be live at Dave and Buster’s in the Providence Place Mall. Josh Maurer and myself will be on hand from 2-3pm with PawSox pitcher Anthony Ranaudo and a couple other special guests to record our show. Ranaudo will also be available to sign autographs during the event. So come on by and enjoy an afternoon at Dave and Buster’s and hear PawSox Insider.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

PawSox Try to ‘Knuckle’ a Series Split

The PawSox look to snap a quick two-game losing streak tonight at 7:05pm in Moosic, PA against the RailRiders.

It has been an interesting road trip as the PawSox are currently 3-4, but have had late leads evaporate and, in turn, have become losses. So, that 3-4 could easily be 5-2, but, nonetheless, a win tonight could see them come home to a 10-game homestand with a .500 trip, which is never a bad thing. That’s the old adage, “Win at home and split on the road”.

Yesterday’s 5-4 loss raised some eyebrows as Pawtucket had runners on the corners (Shannon Wilkerson at 3rd and Mookie Betts at 1st) with two outs and Mike McCoy at the plate. McCoy was battling at the plate in a 2-2 count against a tough reliever in Danny Burawa. On the last pitch of the game; however, Betts took off for 2nd base, and with a right hander at the plate, the shortstop left his position to cover the bag. McCoy hit a one-hop seed right to where the shortstop was moving to cover the base. It turned out to be a 6-3 ground out and the game was over. Had Betts not been in motion, the ball would have been into center and the game would have been tied. Instead, the game was over with a loss.

To my knowledge, Betts was on his own at 1st. And while I understand his desire to get into scoring position representing the go-ahead run, running in that situation may not have been the best decision. There are arguments to both sides, but it’s one of those situations where, if it works, you look like a genius, if it doesn’t…well, you know. He’s 21 with a tremendous skill set. The little things will come. That’s why he’s in the minor leagues, to make mistakes, so that he doesn’t make them in the big leagues…and he might be there in the very near future. This is purely my opinion and should not be taken as views of the organization, by the way.

On to tonight where Steven Wright makes his 5th start of the season for the PawSox. He’s been brilliant since coming off a late start to the season because of Sport Hernia surgery in February.

His numbers – 1-1, 1.57 ERA (4ER/23IP), 18 hits and 23 strikeouts and just SIX walks. The low walk total is incredible considering the time missed and that he throws a knuckleball, the most unpredictable pitch a guy can throw. His feel for that pitch has been incredible thus far.
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Wright was dominant in his 4 starts against the RailRiders in 2013 to the tune of a 2-0 record and a 1.08 ERA (3 ER/25IP) including a complete game shutout July 1st where he used just 96 pitches and had four double plays turned behind him.

The PawSox will need a solid start out of him tonight as they finish off their 8-game road trip and come home to their longest homestand of the season.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

The PawSox Coming Home Soon

While the PawSox still have four games left on their road trip in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when they return home, there will be plenty of action at McCoy Stadium.

For instance…Tuesday, June 24 will be the first of TWO Peanut Free Nights when the PawSox host Norfolk at 7:05 pm and July 30 vs. Syracuse at 7:05 pm. Peanut products will not be sold anywhere throughout the ballpark during those two games. Both of these “Peanut Free” games have been scheduled on the first day of a homestand ensuring that McCoy Stadium will be completely washed down multiple times to allow for a safe peanut free environment. Peanuts, Cracker Jacks, peanut flavored ice cream, and ice cream that contain peanuts will not be sold. All bags will be checked at the main entrance gate to McCoy ensuring that no peanuts or products containing peanuts are brought into the ballpark.

But even better, former Boston Red Sox infielder and member of the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox, Pokey Reese will appear at McCoy Stadium the same night during Pawtucket’s game vs. Norfolk. Pokey will be available for autographs between 7:15 – 8:30 pm as part of Cox Red Sox Signature Night at McCoy thanks to our friends from Cox Communications.

Every Wednesday home game allows fans the chance to take photos on the McCoy Stadium field after the game…

One of the most colorful nights of the year at McCoy Stadium will take place on June 26th prior to the PawSox game with the Norfolk Tides at 7:05 pm. With extra special meaning again this year, please join us as we celebrate our 35th Annual Armed Services Night in a tribute to the men & women who serve our nation. Armed Services Night pre-game ceremonies feature the Colonial Militia, Parade of Flags, and performances from the 88th Army Band.
AND The first 3,000 fans entering the ballpark will receive a Camo T-Shirt compliments of Family Health Plans and WPRI/FOX Providence.

Friday, June 27 A PawSox Water Bottle will be given to the first 4,000 fans coming to McCoy when Pawtucket plays Norfolk at 7:05 pm. The Water Bottle is courtesy of Berocca and B101. In addition, PawSox fans can meet former New England Patriot offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi. Joe will be appearing at McCoy as part of the (Up) Beat Cancer Joe Andruzzi Foundation in association with the RI Blood Center. Andruzzi will be available for autographs between 7:15 – 8:30 pm in the Verizon Fan Center at McCoy.

You need more?! We’ve got more!

The PawSox will host Super Heroes Night at McCoy Stadium on June 28 when the PawSox play the Durham Bulls at 6:05 pm. Super Heroes likes Batman, Captain America, Ironman, and Superman will be in attendance to meet and greet fans before and during the game. Josh Maurer and I MIGHT even dress up in our favorite super hero costumes!

And to top it all off, July 1st, 2nd and 3rd will all be fireworks nights to celebrate the Independence Weekend. If you haven’t seen a fireworks show at McCoy Stadium, you’re missing out! I’ve seen thousands of pyrotechnics over the course of my career and the displays at McCoy are the very best…bar none!

Pawtucket will look to Anthony Ranaudo, who has not allowed a run in over 15 innings, to get the PawSox back in the win column after a heartbreaking loss yesterday in Rochester.

Hope to see you all at McCoy Stadium when we return Tuesday for a season long 10-game homestand!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Thoughts on the Passing of a Legend

Tony Gwynn left the world too soon.

A battle with cancer in his cheek took the life of one of the best baseball players and best human beings of our lifetime.

He had, arguably, the sweetest left handed swing in the history of baseball. That may be a blasphemous comment to make considering that I work within the same Red Sox organization that produced Ted Williams, but it’s true.

When I grew up, I had the pleasure of seeing Tony Gwynn play a good amount as his Padres played in Northern California against the Giants. I saw him in person a handful of times, but even watching him on TV I marveled at his ability to hit a baseball.

Pitches inside, he pulled…pitches away, he pounded his patented “5.5 hole” between short and third…pitches down the middle, he did whatever he wanted to. He wasn’t flashy and he didn’t need to be. When I started swing wood bats in high school, I wanted to pattern my approach after his and even wrote 5.5 on the knob of my bat and on my spikes. That’s about the only thing (other than being left handed) that I had in common with Gywnn, writing 5.5 on my cleats.

Folks on the east coast missed out on seeing the brilliance that was Tony Gwynn sweet swing on a consistent basis.

Gwynn was lucky to have played collegiality in the city that he grew up in (San Diego State)…then play his entire 20 year career in that same city. He could have made millions more, but he was home and he was happy. And he played that way. Carefree, easy going and always smiling.

That smile. That alone made him a Hall of Famer. And that is something that is, more often than not, lost with today’s players. You don’t see a lot of them smile when they play. Gywnn loved the game, loved playing and loved the challenge.

The world lost a great man yesterday and way too soon at the age of 54. I’ll never forget his famous meeting at the mound with the rest of the 1999 All-Stars at Fenway Park with Ted Williams. Two of the best left-handed hitters of all time, shaking hands and talking hitting. There will be nothing better.

My words don’t do it justice, honestly. ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian put together a great piece that aired last night. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:11092503

On the Red Sox front, the rehabbers (Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks) continue their assignments tonight in Rochester. Victorino is leading off and playing right field while Middlebrooks is batting 3rd as the DH. Both are 1-for-15 with the PawSox over their two rehab stints.

And Clay Buchholz has been named the PawSox starter for the final game of this series on Thursday afternoon. “We need to get him up to 90 pitches or so in this next outing,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

In his first rehab start with the PawSox, Buchholz went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, including a pair of solo shots, on four hits. He tossed 62 pitches, 42 for strikes.

“Clay went out and accomplished some of the delivery adjustments he’s been working on. Overall strikes were improved,” Farrell said. “Higher percentage of strikes and better power overall. He also had more defined shape to his pitches.”

Thanks for reading,

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Rehab Weekend at McCoy

Clay Buchholz will start Game One of today’s double header…Will Middlebrooks is penciled in the third spot as the DH of the lineup and Shane Victorino is batting 2nd in right field. That’s not a normal game one of a double header for a PawSox contest in 2014.

For Victorino, he’s battling his hamstrings again, this time the right one. He’s expected to play five to seven innings in right field.

If things go well today, Victorino will play with Pawtucket on Monday and Tuesday in Rochester. He’ll likely be the designated hitter in one of those contests.

Buchholz was slated to start last night, as was Middlebrooks, but the game was postponed due to poor weather.

Anthony Ranaudo is scheduled to start Game Two of the double dip today. Over his last 8 starts, he’s 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA (10ER/47.1IP) with 39 strikeouts. However, he hasn’t started in 7 full days (June 6th in Durham) because of off-days and big league rehabs.

Speaking of which, Felix Doubront will start the homestand finale tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm against Charlotte. He last pitched on Tuesday (4.2 IP, 2 ER) in a no decision against Louisville. That outing was his 2nd in coming back from a sore left shoulder.

“It’s a great day to win TWOOOOOOOO!” Bruce Levering, in Appleton, WI in 2003 cheering on the eventual D-III National Champion Chapman Panthers.

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

More Rehabbers on the Way?

Felix Doubront started for the PawSox on Tuesday afternoon and pitched ok. 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, BB and 3 k’s in his 2nd rehab appearance in an attempt to come back from a sore shoulder. He may pitch for Pawtucket Sunday as well.

Rumors have swirled in recent days that Clay Buchholz will start for Pawtucket tomorrow in his comeback from a hyper-extended knee injury that he sustained in Atlanta. That will not be made official until tomorrow, if/when it happens.

And even more rehabbers may be on the way over the weekend…Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has been rumored to be set to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with the PawSox on Friday, and the club is “hopeful” that right fielder Shane Victorino will join him at some point this weekend, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

Middlebrooks has been out since May 17 with a fractured right index finger. And Victorino is in the midst of his second stint on the disabled list due to a right hamstring strain.

“The last couple of days have been encouraging,” said manager John Farrell. “Things have ramped up quite a bit. Like I said, hopefully some time on the weekend, he initiates a rehab assignment.”

“The Red Sox will need to determine a role for Middlebrooks when he returns, now that shortstop Stephen Drew is back with the club and Xander Bogaerts has moved to third,” says Browne.

“He took BP yesterday,” said Farrell. “He’s going to DH on Friday initially. He swung the bat, at least in a BP session, very well. We’re still working to get full range of motion and I’m sure there will be some exam on that finger just to make sure that once he initiates a throwing program more in earnest, there’s not going to be any pushback from it.”

Should be a fun weekend, the say the least, at McCoy Stadium against the Charlotte Knights.

In other Red Sox news, the team agreed to terms on a Minor league deal with outfielder Andres Torres. Torres, a switch-hitter with 650 games of Major League experience with the Tigers, Giants and Mets, hasn’t played since Aug. 21, 2013, when he was shut down with bone spurs in his left heel and wound up having surgery over the winter.

The 36-year-old Torres will start with Boston’s short-season Class A affiliate in Lowell on Friday and work his way up the ladder before presumably getting a chance in Boston.

Torres was an integral part to the Giants run to the World Series in 2010 when he hit .263 while belting a career high 16 home runs, driving in 63 and stealing 26 bases.

Tonight, the PawSox get a four-game series started with Charlotte. Knuckleballer Steven Wright is scheduled to make the start for Pawtucket.

The rest of the lineup is as follows:

Mookie Betts 2B
Mike McCoy CF
Travis Shaw 1B
Carlos Rivero SS
Corey Brown RF
Garin Cecchini 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Alex Hassan LF
Dan Butler DH

Thanks for reading, and check back in with further updates on the possible rehabs over the weekend.

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

Chris Hernandez Stringing Together Great Starts

PawSox starter Chris Hernandez has been flat out dealing in his last two starts at McCoy Stadium.

Back on May 28th against Gwinnett, Hernandez fired 7 scoreless innings allowing just 3 hits while matching a career high with 8 strike outs. Impressively, he did this after throwing just 2.2 inning in his previous start when he replaced Brandon Workman in the rotation. Of his 8 k’s on May 28, 6 were to the last 8 batters he faced. Hernandez had struck out no more than TWO in any of his previous 12 appearances.

Then, he started in Durham: 5.1 innings allowing 5 runs, only 2 earned because of some poor defense, as he ran into some bad luck in a 4 run 6th inning where only one ball got out of the infield.

A return to McCoy Stadium yesterday put him up against a veteran laden offensive Louisville team that had had a 5-game winning streak snapped a night prior. AND Pawtucket on the verge of their first three-game winning streak since the middle of April.

Hernandez did not disappoint. Not at all. Even with a major league rehabbing former National League MVP Joey Votto in the line up, Hernandez took a no hitter into the 7th inning. He was so good, he allowed just ONE baserunner over the first 6 innings (a 2nd inning walk) and had retired 14 in a row. Votto, however, broke up the ho-hitter in the 7th.

The lefty was not flustered after the crowd gave him a standing ovation for his accomplishment as he struck out the next batter, his 8th matching his career high, and induced a double play to get through the inning.

He’d go out for the 8th, just the 3rd PawSox pitcher to do so, and struck out Neftali Soto establishing a new career high with his 9th strikeout. Hernandez walked the next batter Thomas Neal to see an end to his outing after 7.1 innings, 1 hit and 2 walks to go along with those 9 k’s. The 7.1 IP, his longest in his Triple-A career.

The bullpen gave up a couple late homers, one scoring the Hernandez 8th inning walk, to bring the Bats within just a run, but Chris Resop was able to get the final out in the 9th to preserve the win for Hernandez, his 3rd of the year.

PawSox manager Kevin Boles was glowing in his remarks about Hernandez to milb.com after the game. “There was a lot of life to his pitches. There was a lot of sink to his fastball. But the thing behind his success, I think, was his cutter. There was a lot of depth and tumble to it. It was a little bit different than what we’ve seen lately, and that’s certainly encouraging. The stuff [Hernandez] showed, he would have pitched well even out of the stretch. You could tell [a no-hitter] was definitely a possibility. It was an exciting pitching performance. But then Votto got the single, and he got a very good reaction by the crowd. Everyone in our dugout was impressed by him. If you’re going to lose a no-hitter, it’s not too bad to lose it to a guy like Joey Votto.”

The underlying fact is that Hernandez has been absolutely dominant at McCoy this year. Here are the splits…

Home numbers: 3-1, 1.09 ERA in 8 games, 2 starts… 24.2 IP, 16 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 9 BB, 23 k’s and opponents are batting just .193 (16-for-83) against him. And his last two starts: 14.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 5 BB and 17 k’s.

Utter domination.

And the Hernandez streak adds to the starting pitchers success in the last 5 games, and it’s no surprise that Pawtucket is 4-1 in that time frame. Since June 4, Game 2 vs. Durham, PawSox starters are 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA (4 ER/34IP) on 21 hits, 8 BB and 30 k’s. That is GREAT work!

Tonight, the PawSox face another big league rehabber in Mat Latos. He’s coming off of injuries to his knee and right elbow.

Pawtucket will send this lineup up against Latos:

Mookie Betts CF
Mike McCoy 2B
Travis Shaw 1B
Carlos Rivero SS
Corey Brown RF
Garin Cecchini 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Dan Butler DH
Shannon Wilkerson LF

And Allen Webster makes the start…another starter on a roll as he’s allowed just 2 runs in his last 2 starts (14 IP) with 11 k’s and just 4 walks with 10 hits allowed. His 2.81 ERA is the 10th best in International League entering play tonight.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

The Bumpy Road to Durham

Yes, the PawSox have been in Durham for two days already, but getting here was slightly tricky.

After losing 3 of 4 in Norfolk over the weekend (all three losses by the same 3-1 score) the PawSox boarded the bus to make the rough three hour, 15 minute drive to Durham.

The first snag came when we couldn’t get onto highway 85…the entrance for a 10 mile stretch had been shut down because a semi had jack knifed.

Detour city…

The local police in the middle of Emporia, VA (AKA, where?!) gave our bus driver a “back way” to bypass the accident and get to 85.

After 10 miles on a rural road meant for passenger cars (buses and trucks are forbidden from driving this road, but since it was 1am, the police gave us a pass) we finally hooked up with 85.

At this point I fell asleep thinking we were 2 hours away and I’d wake up and be in Durham. What felt like 10 minutes went by (actually 40 minutes of drive time) before I was awakened by the rumble strip on the side of the road. You know, the grates that are designed to wake you up if you drive over them if you fall asleep at the wheel. However, this was an intentional pull over by the bus driver as the computer to the bus’s engine went on the fritz.

This was at 2am Tuesday morning. Our bus had broken down. Nothing the bus company could do. Nothing the driver could do to prevent it…just a wacky thing within the engine that shut down the flow of gas…SLIGHTLY important to a motor vehicle transporting 34 people.

Flashers go one, confusion within the bus sets in and the players go to twitter…This ensues (in chronological order)…

Needless to say…it was entertaining and frustrating at the same time.

To the bus company’s credit they had a replacement bus to come and get us within 90 minutes and, honestly, that was remarkable considering we were in the middle of no where.

The police that provided the road flares and protection were very helpful. Lord knows that if our flashers went out, which they did a couple times when the power was cut, the trucks flying by us no more than 5 feet away could have been a BIG problem if they didn’t see us.

So, we eventually made it in after a (pardon the term) “3 hour tour” turned into a 5 hour and 30 minute ordeal.

Again, lots a credit goes to the bus company for having a replacement at that hour get to us quickly. Credit goes to our Athletic Trainer Jon Jochim, who also doubles as our travel coordinator, for keeping an even keel and, most importantly, keeping the players from getting themselves in trouble by straying away from the bus.

Most important lesson in this whole thing…we made it. It took a while, but we made it…SAFELY!

Back to baseball…Allen Webster starts tonight for the PawSox. He is from Madison, North Carolina, just 70 miles from Durham, so he’ll most assuredly have a lot of friends and family here to watch him tonight. He’s coming off his best outing of the season where he went 8 innings allowing just 1 run on 3 hits with 7 strikeouts against Norfolk on Friday.

Let’s hope he replicates those numbers tonight as the PawSox have lost 4 in a row and 16 of their last 21 games.

Also noteworthy, Ryan Roberts will be starting in left field tonight. It’s his 70 career appearance in the outfield in more than 1,200 career games and his first game outside the infield since 2012 when he did it witht he Arizona Diamondbacks.

Let’s go PawSox!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

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