Results tagged ‘ Chris Hernandez ’
Friday night was a complete heartbreaker. With the PawSox one out away from a trip to the Governors’ Cup finals, Yankees’ center fielder Melky Mesa belted a 2-0 Pedro Beato pitch over the left field fence for a two-run homer, and a 4-3 walkoff win.
With Pawtucket’s second chance tonight to take the series, here is a post-season edition of the PawSox Notebook:
- Manager Arnie Beyeler said earlier today that closer Josh Fields (groin) will not be available Saturday night — or the rest of this series. The injury came on his final warmup pitch in the bullpen before pitching in the regular season finale at McCoy on Monday.
- In the first three games of the playoffs, outfielder Bryce Brentz is batting .364 (4-for-11) with an extra-base hit in each game (two homers, one double). He leads the club with five post-season runs batted in.
- Entering Friday night’s loss, the PawSox bullpen had worked eight scoreless innings over the first two games of the playoffs and was 2-for-2 in save situations. Saturday it allowed all four Yankees’ runs over 2 1/3 innings and blew the save.
- Saturday’s PawSox starter, 38-year-old Nelson Figueroa, will be facing his former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre teammates for the fourth time this year. The last time he faced the Yankees was in his last start of the regular season when he tossed eight scoreless innings for the win.
- Figueroa will be opposed by 25-year-old lefty Vidal Nuno making his Triple-A debut. With a name like Vidal Nuno, I’m sure you’re not at all surprised to learn that he was born in Baldwin City, Kansas. Of course he was. Described to me as the Yankees’ version of Chris Hernandez, Nuno went 9-5, 2.45 ERA in 20 starts with Double-A Trenton. His walk-to-strikeout ratio of 27/100 is as impressive as his ERA. In three starts against Double-A Portland, Nuno went 1-0, 2.60 ERA (5 ER/17.1 IP) and allowed two homers.
A win tonight, and the PawSox would return to the finals for the first time since 2003 when they were swept by the Durham Bulls. Hope you can join us tonight along the PawSox Radio network, or by listening live online.
Up two games to none in Round 1 of the Governors’ Cup playoffs, the Pawtucket Red Sox have a chance to sweep the North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Friday night in Rochester.
PawSox Playoff Facts:
- A win would mark the first post-season series sweep by the PawSox in franchise history.
- It would also send Pawtucket to the league finals for the first time since 2003 when they were swept by Durham.
- Of the club’s 14 managers since 1973, Arnie Beyeler has become just the third to lead the PawSox to the playoffs in consecutive years (Joe Morgan, 1977-78; Ed Nottle, 1986-87).
- The PawSox have gone 27 years since winning their last Governors’ Cup Championship in 1984 when they took down the Maine Guides.
- Since ’84, Pawtucket has won just one playoff series when they beat the Ottawa Lynx in the 2003 semi-finals. It was their first playoff series win in 19 years.
Billy Buckner, one of the league’s best pitchers over the last two months, starts for the PawSox and will be opposed by left-hander Mike O’Connor. Over his last eight starts, Buckner is an outstanding 7-1 with a 1.63 ERA. In fact, the righty has given up less earned runs over his last eight starts (8) than he did over his first two starts with Pawtucket in June (11).
“He’s gotten the ball down and has worked ahead of hitters,” Beyler said from the visiting dugout inside Frontier Field. “When you do that, your stuff becomes more effective. Just the consistency of being more efficient and allowing yourself to get deeper into games.”
My full conversation with Arnie can be heard on the pre-game show tonight starting at 6:50. He also talks about Bryce Brentz, J.C. Linares, and Chris Hernandez. Hope you can join us tonight along the PawSox Radio Network.
Down 4-0 going into the bottom of the third inning Wednesday night, the PawSox rallied to score seven unanswered runs — highlighted by three homers — to defeat the Yankees, 7-4.
One of the biggest storylines from last night easily overlooked was Alex Wilson, who tossed maybe his best two innings of relief all season. The righty sat consistently at 93-94 mph and topped at 96. Wilson worked six-up-six-down, marking the first time in his last 16 appearances he did not allow a hit.
Left-hander Chris Hernandez is Pawtucket’s Game 2 starter and will be opposed by veteran righty, Ramon Ortiz. Hernandez made seven starts for the PawSox during the regular season, five of which were quality starts.
The biggest problem Hernandez has had this season has been receiving run support. If you remove his first start on July 22 in Louisville where the PawSox scored six runs in the 12 inning, Hernandez is averaging 2.6 runs of support per start.
Should be another fun one tonight from McCoy where the PawSox can jump up 2-0 with a win in this best-of-five series.
He is still making ridiculous defensive plays every night at shortstop, but, lately, Jose Iglesias is also contributing at the plate on a regular basis.
Since the start of August, Iglesias is batting .320 — so is PawSox masher, Mauro Gomez. In 13 games this month, the Cuban leads the club with five doubles, and, with five walks, is on pace to set a monthly-high in that category as well (he had eight in April).
“I told myself to relax at the plate and stop focusing so much on the results,” Iglesias said. “I’ve had months where I’ve hit the ball really hard, but have just hit it to the wrong spots and haven’t gotten hits.”
After finishing 2-for-4 Tuesday night against Scranton-Wilkes/Barre, Iglesias extended his hitting streak to nine games (15-for-39) and is also riding a 13-game on-base streak.
“By hitting more doubles, he’s opening the field up,” said PawSox manager, Arnie Beyeler. Opposing infields aren’t able to tighten up as much when they know there’s a chance he’ll hit a double.”
Iglesias was on pace for one of the best offensive months of his career this May when he hit .341 with a home run and nine RBI over 20 games. Unfortunately, a lower back injury ended his month early and put him on the disabled list from May 26 – June 25.
When talking about Iglesias’ batting average, runs batted in, etc., it’s important to remember how many runs he saves and how many hits he takes away from the opposing team because of his remarkable defense. As PawSox starter Chris Hernandez said, “I know that every night I’m on the mound, Jose is going to give me 100% effort on every ball put in play.”
After 18 starts with the Portland Sea Dogs where he compiled a 3.13 ERA (36 ER/103.2 IP) – good for the 12th-best in all of Double-A – Chris Hernandez is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut Sunday night from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Ky.
Taken in the 7th round, the University of Miami product becomes the first player from the Red Sox 2010 draft class to reach Triple-A. Among those taken ahead of the left-hander: Kolbrin Vitek (1st Red Sox selection, batting .252 with Portland), Bryce Brentz (taken 2nd by Boston, hitting .274 with the Sea Dogs), and Anthony Ranaudo (currently on Portland’s disabled list).
Last year, in his first full season of pro ball, Hernandez was a mid-season and post-season All-Star in the Carolina League with High-A Salem. He ranked 4th in the C.L. and 5th among Red Sox qualifying farmhands with a 3.18 ERA (45 ER/127.1 IP), and racked up a team-leading 10 wins, tying for 2nd in the system.