Results tagged ‘ Doug Mathis ’

PawSox Win the 2012 I.L. Wildcard

It took 142 games to nail down a post-season berth, but who cares.

Saturday night the PawSox shutout the North Division champion Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 2-0, and in doing so, won the wild card.

PawSox players celebrating on the field after Saturday night’s won over the Yankees. (Jillian Souza)

As Pawtucket heads back to the Governors’ Cup playoffs for the second straight year, here are some facts, figures, and observations about this 2012 PawSox club:

  • 68 players have played for the PawSox this season — 70 is the franchise record set in both 1995 and 2006 (“so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance”).
  • 21 different players have been promoted to Boston this season (not including 10 called-up from injury rehab).
  • Five players in the Boston’s lineup Saturday night had played for Pawtucket in ’12.
  • Three of the Red Sox five pitchers Saturday had spent time with the PawSox this year.
  • The members PawSox six-man Opening Day rotation are currently spread over four different time zones:
      • Justin Germano: traded to the Cubs on July 19
      • Brandon Duckworth: signed with Japan
      • Doug Mathis: also signed with Japan
      • Alex Wilson: now in the PawSox bullpen
      • Aaron Cook: in Boston’s rotation
      • Ross Ohlendorf: opted out of his contract, signed with the Padres
  • Since August 1, the PawSox have received seven players from Double-A Portland currently on the active roster. They had 23 games of Triple-A experience, combined.
  • Pawtucket has won seven of its last eight games. During that time the PawSox…
      • Rotation has gone 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA (11 ER/50.2 IP) with six quality starts
      • Closers have gone 5-for-5 in save situations
      • Are hitting .271 (overall this year, Columbus leads the league batting .269)
  • Somehow I haven’t mentioned yet some of the position players now in Boston:
      • Mauro Gomez: 2012 International League MVP
      • Will Middlebrooks: We knew he wouldn’t last long
      • Ryan Lavarnway: Hit a league-best .405 in June
      • Pedro Ciriaco: The club’s offensive spark plug and played three positions
      • Jose Iglesias: One scout told me, “the best shortstop in all of baseball.”

The PawSox will host Scranton-Wilkes/Barre in the playoffs on September 5 and 6 in a best-of-five series. The two clubs will then travel to Rochester, Ny. to finish the series at Frontier Field.

A Red Sox vs. Yankees post-season will happen after all.




Duckworth, Mathis Sign with Japan

The final two remaining members of the PawSox Opening Day rotation are now not only gone, they’re a world away.

Right-handers Brandon Duckworth and Doug Mathis have signed to play professional baseball in Japan and were officially released from their Red Sox contracts late Wednesday. While pitching overseas doesn’t carry the same prestige as Major League Baseball in the United States, for many it can be a wise financial option and a terrific opportunity.

Duckworth and Mathis join former Toledo designated hitter Brad Eldred (Japan) and Lehigh Valley starter Dave Bush (Korea) as 2012 International League alums to sign abroad.

Duckworth has spent parts of eight years (511.0 IP) in the Major Leagues with Philadelphia, Houston, and Kansas City. (Kelly O’Connor)

Duckworth, 36, has been one of the most reliable starters in the league all season. He ranks among the I.L. leaders in ERA (8th, 3.17) wins (T-3rd, 9), and innings pitched (11th, 110.2) despite missing his most recent scheduled start. In 2011 with the PawSox, Duckworth finished 8-6 with a 3.97 ERA over 22 appearances (21 starts).

From 2008-10, Mathis pitched in Arlington for the Texas Rangers. He went 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA over 45 appearances (six starts). (Kelly O’Connor)

For Mathis, 29, this marks his second trip to the Pacific Rim after pitching last year with the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization.  In 19 appearances (18 starts) with Pawtucket this year, Mathis went 7-6 with a 4.07 ERA. June stands out as his best month where he put together a 2.50 ERA (10 ER/36.0 IP) while walking nine and striking out 27.

All the best to both Duck and Mathis. Both made terrific contributions to the PawSox and will no doubt do the same in Japan.



Tom Selleck's "Mr. Baseball"

So maybe it’s no “Field of Dreams” or “The Natural,” but I always thought Tom Selleck’s “Mr. Baseball” was entertaining.

Carl Crawford Rehabs with PawSox

Following the three-day All-Star break, the PawSox are back at it tonight versus the Buffalo Bisons from McCoy. Joining them this evening will be Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford who begins a new 20-day rehab assignment.

Crawford rehabbed from June 23-30 with the Gulf Coast Red Sox and continued from July 3-5 with Portland before suffering a left groin strain while running out a triple on July 5 in New Hampshire. Having not played for the past six days, Crawford is eligible to begin a new rehab assignment.

Originally a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, Crawford is yet to suit up for the Red Sox this season after suffering wrist, elbow, and groin injuries. (Kelly O’Connor)

The second-year Boston outfielder went 3-for-14 with five walks in five games for the Gulf Coast Red Sox, and 4-for-10 with a triple, RBI, and two walks in three games for Portland.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Ryan Lavarnway, Pawtucket’s lone mid-season All-Star not in Boston, finished last night’s Triple-A All-Star game 1-for-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of over 18,000 in Buffalo.
  • Red Sox pitching prospect Matt Barnes needed just two pitches to record two outs Sunday evening at the Futures Game in Kansas City.
  • Barnes’ Salem teammate, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, suited up for the World Team and finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts as the designated hitter.
Doug Mathis (6-6, 4.05 ERA) starts tonight for the PawSox and will be opposed by Jeremy Hefner (4-2, 2.50). First pitch is set for 7:05, we hit the air at 6:50 with the pre-game show.

Talk with you then.



No Rest for Red Sox Farmhands

After hours of rain postponed game one of the current series from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa., the PawSox and ‘Pigs split yesterday’s double-header, with each team winning a one-run affair.

In total, the two teams combined for 22 runs on 45 hits over two games, spanning 14 innings (5 hours, 8 minutes). It could have been worse, the High-A Salem Red Sox dropped both games of their twin-bill last night against Myrtle Beach (Rangers) and played a total of 16 innings (5 hours, 29 minutes).

Even Double-A Portland played a pair yesterday, winning the first and dropping the second against Altoona (Pirates). After a long Saturday at the ballpark, the top-three levels of the Red Sox farm system combined for the following totals:


Games: 6

Innings: 44 innings

Time: 15 hours, 13 minutes

Won-Lost: 2-4

Home runs: 5

Doubles: 15

Hits: 60

Runs: 24

Of course, the odd-man left out is the Single-A Greenville Drive who got to bed early after topping Charleston 10-4 in a brisk 2 hours, 25 minutes (9 innings).

Hopefully it will be a shorter day at the yard for the PawSox, Sea Dogs and Red Sox. The PawSox and IronPigs wrestle this afternoon at 1:35 with Doug Mathis (3-3, 4.86 ERA) getting the start.

Talk with you then.



Top-10 PawSox Moments in May

Between the late nights, early morning flights, bumpy bus rides, and countless other factors, a minor league baseball season can quickly become a blur. Today, as we flip the calendar to the start of June, we’ll begin by rewinding to the beginning of May to rank the Top-10 moments from the month that was.

#10 – Nava Gets Second Call-Up to Boston (May 10)

Even though there wasn’t a grand slam this time, Daniel Nava’s return to the Major Leagues was, to some, maybe as unthinkable as his historic slam in his big league debut in 2010.

Never mind the fact that Nava wasn’t invited to Major League camp, he wasn’t even in the PawSox Opening Day lineup. After a slow start to the year, Nava caught fire and has continued to produce with Boston.

#9 – Gomez Delivers in the Eighth Inning (May 10)

The PawSox trailed the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium by a run going into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled, then Lars Anderson reached on an error by former PawSox second baseman, Joe Thurston. That’s when Mauro Gomez ripped a two-run double that bounced off the right-field wall to plate two runs and give the PawSox the lead and the eventual win, 7-6.

Gomez has had plenty to smile about this season. Not only has he received his first Major League call-up, but he leads the PawSox in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, and hits. (Kelly O’Connor).

#8 – Mathis Nearly Perfect, Youkilis Rehabs (May 21)

After struggling in April, Doug Mathis flipped the switch in May and dominated the Norfolk Tides in his ninth start of the year.

The former Texas Ranger had maybe the best outing of any Pawtucket starter this year by tossing seven-innings scoreless, allowing just one hit – a fifth-inning triple that was almost caught with two outs.

The PawSox blanked the Tides 4-0 and were aided by rehabbing Kevin Youkilis who finished 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a pair of walks.

#7 – Middlebrooks Gets the Call (May 2)

After thrashing International League pitching throughout April, PawSox third baseman, and Red Sox No. 1 prospect, Will Middlebrooks received his first-ever call-up to Boston.

Since joining the Red Sox, Middlebrooks is batting .316 (30-for-95) in 24 games with six homers and 21 runs batted in. Safe to say it’s looking less likely he’ll see Pawtucket again this season.

In 24 games with the PawSox, Middlebrooks hit .333 with nine homers and 27 runs batted in. Five of is home runs came with two men on base. (Kelly O’Connor)

#6 – Hassan Delivers on Mother’s Day (May 13)

On a beautiful Mother’s Day at McCoy, the PawSox and Columbus Clippers were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With his mom in the stands, Alex Hassan homered to left-field with one out to give Pawtucket a 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

Hassan finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs batted in, three runs scored, and was a triple shy of the cycle.

#5 – PawSox and Bulls Take Center Stage in Japan (May 17)

In front of over 10,000 fans, plus thousands more watching on Japanese sports cable channel J SPORTS, two of the Pacific Rim’s biggest  baseball stars squared off at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Rehabbing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for the PawSox as Hideki Matsui played his third-career game in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. Although Pawtucket lost 5-0 and never moved a runner past second base, the media hype and overall buzz within the ballpark made it one of the more memorable games this season.

There were over 35 Japanese media members in Durham to report on Matsuzaka vs. Matsui. (Kelly O’Connor).

#4 – PawSox Homer Five Times (May 27)

Not only did the PawSox club five home runs, but three of the first four batters in the bottom of the first inning went deep.

Pedro Ciriaco hit a lead-off homer to left, followed by Nate Spears’ home run to right. After Darnell McDonald smoked a line drive to third base, Lars Anderson went deep to right field.

Anderson homered again to begin the sixth inning, followed by Alex Hassan’s 2-run shot in the eighth. For Anderson, it was his third-career two-homer game, his first since 2009.

#3 – PawSox Take Down Andy Pettitte (May 6)  

Originally scheduled to be played at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, Ny., the PawsSox and Yankees dueled in front of a record crowd at Frontier Field in Rochester. Because of the media and fan interest, the Yankees, PawSox, and Red Wings all agreed to move the contest to Rochester where, in a matter of days, the Wings sold 13,584 tickets to watch Andy Pettitte.

With the Triple-A Yankees’ ballpark under season-long construction, the PawSox dealt the five-time World Series champion a loss. In fact, the first four PawSox batters recorded hits off Pettitte: Pedro Ciriaco (double), Jose Iglesias (infield single), Ryan Lavarnway (RBI double), and Lars Anderson (RBI single).

Iglesias went 2-for-3 with an RBI against Pettitte and the Yankees. Even more impressive, the PawSox shortstop hit .341 in May with his second-career homer and nine runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

#2 – Lavarnway’s Bomb Caps Seven-Run Inning, and the Win (May 26)

The PawSox went into the bottom of the eighth inning trailing Toledo 5-1. When the inning was over, they lead 8-5. Ryan Lavarnway’s 3-run homer was the bow on top of  a 7-run, 7-hit inning – the most runs scored in a single frame this season by Pawtucket.

Not only was Lavarnway’s home run a first pitch no-doubter, it was his first home run since April 17 (99 at-bats).

#1 – Lars Anderson Makes SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays (May 29)

For the first time in the history of McCoy Stadium, a home run was hit of the HD video board in right-center field. As part of his third-career, five-RBI night, Anderson pounded a two-run shot in the fourth inning that blew out a small portion of the two-year old board.

Photo taken of the video board at McCoy Stadium seconds after Anderson’s blast. (Jillian Souza)

For his efforts, Anderson was among the Top-10 plays that night (and the next morning) on SportsCenter.

There were plenty of noteworthy moments throughout May for the PawSox, who ended the month 18-12. Tonight June begins with Game 1 of a brief four-game road trip to Lehigh Valley to face the Iron Pigs. Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.22) will be opposed by righty Scott Elarton (5-2, 3.44).

First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Park is scheduled for 7:05, we hit the air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Dice-K Scratched From Start in Norfolk

Following a dominating performance by Doug Mathis who surrendered just one hit (a triple) over seven innings, the PawSox wrap up this four-game series – and an eight-game roadtrip – in foggy Norfolk this afternoon.

Despite losing four of its last five games, Pawtucket still owns the best record in the International League at 28-18 and has the most road wins of any club with 14. All that said, just 1.5 games separates first and third place in the North (Lehigh -1.0, Buffalo -1.5).

We will likely see a heavy dosage of the PawSox bullpen this afternoon with reliever Tony Pena Jr. making his second spot-start of the season. Daisuke Matsuzaka was today’s scheduled starter but has been temporarily shutdown after receiving an injection for a sore right trapezius muscle, located in the upper back.

Dice-K will resume his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but at this time it’s unclear when he will start pitching again. (Kelly O’Connor)

Dice-K was scheduled to end his rehab assignment tomorrow, but it is unknown when he will start pitching again.  In five minor league starts (three with the PawSox), the righty surrendered 13 earned runs on 25 hits over 25 ⅓ innings, including six homers.

Pena (0-3, 5.95) made his last spot-start on May 3 at Toledo and picked up the loss surrendering three runs on seven hits over three innings. Interestingly, it was not his longest outing of the year. On April 15, Pena tossed 3 ⅓ innings at Buffalo using up a season-high 75 pitches in long relief.

A former starting shortstop of the Royals, Pena played in 134 games for Kansas City between 2008-09 before being converted into a full-time pitcher.

First pitch today from Harbor Park is scheduled for 12:15, we hit the air at 12:00.

Talk with you then.



For the First Time Since 1973 …

There have been Hall of Famers, Cy Young winners, and MVPs play for the PawSox since the franchise was founded in 1973. However, despite the wealth of talent that has passed through McCoy Stadium over the last 39 years, something the Pawtucket Red Sox have never had is a ten game winning streak.

That could change this afternoon.

For the sixth time in club history, the PawSox have won nine games in a row – it’s the first time since August 8-17 of 2000. The team’s current winning streak dates back to April 17 at Syracuse which happened to be the start of a four-game series the Sox would eventually sweep. Pawtucket then swept the Durham Bulls at McCoy Stadium, marking the first time in franchise history the PawSox have swept back-to-back four-game sets.

Here are some notes from the PawSox last nine wins:

  • Since the start of the winning streak, Will Middlebrooks is batting .393 (11-for-28) with five home runs and 14 runs batted in. (Kelly O'Connor)

    The PawSox have outscored their opponents by a total of 55-30

  • They have outhit their opponents by a total of 87-69
  • The club has pounded 17 home runs
  • That home run count is equal to, or greater than, the home run total for ten of the remaining 13 teams in the International League through the first 20 games of the season.
  • They have homered in every game but one (Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader)
  • Eight homers were hit over the first two games against Durham – three from Mauro Gomez
  • In five separate games, the PawSox have scored 4+ runs in a single inning
  • The rotation has combined for five quality starts
  • In six of the nine wins, the opposition has been held to three runs or less
  • Twice the PawSox have pitched a shutout
  • Until the bottom of the first inning in Game 4 against the Chiefs, the PawSox had not trailed for 29 innings.

The PawSox are on a remarkable ride and could make history today from McCoy Stadium. Righty Doug Mathis takes the ball for Pawtucket and will be opposed by right-hander Adam Warren. First pitch this afternoon is set for 12:05, we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 11:50.

Talk with you then,



Opening Day…Madness

Opening Day is finally here. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s totally crazy trying to get everything ready for our first broadcast of the season.

The PawSox initial rotation was announced this morning:

1. RHP Justin Germano – Tonight
2. RHP Brandon Duckworth – Friday
3. RHP Alex Wilson – Saturday, Game 1
4. RHP Aaron Cook – Saturday, Game 2
5. RHP Doug Mathis – Monday
6. RHP Ross Ohlendorf – Tuesday

The PawSox will start the season with two players on the disabled list:

  • INF Tony Thomas – hamstring
  • LHP Jesse Carlson – shoulder

Some things that stand out on the PawSox Opening Day roster:

  • All 12 of the club’s pitchers are right-handers (seriously).
  • Eight of the 12 pitchers are new to the Red Sox system (Wilson, Tazawa, Duckworth, and Pena, Jr. return).
  • Overall, 12 of the 25 players on the PawSox roster are new to Boston’s farm system.
  • Of the 13 players who are NOT new to the system, OF Alex Hassan is the only one new to Pawtucket.

The PawSox enter tonight having won six straight season-openers for the first time in club-history. The current streak began with a 3-2 win vs. Indianapolis on April 6, 2006 at McCoy. Also of note, this evening’s game marks the 40th Opening Day for the Pawtucket Red Sox as the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Off to the booth to continue getting everything in order. Steve Hyder and I hit the air at 6:50 p.m. ET for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch. Talk with you then!



Iglesias to PawSox, FOX to McCoy, and a $26 Hot Dog

We’ve all heard it said that things are “Bigger in Texas.”  After living in the Dallas-area for the last two years working for the Texas Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, I will personally attest to the truth of that statement. However, during my time in the Lone Star State I can honestly say that I never saw anything as “Texas” as the recently unveiled $26 two-foot long hot dog that will soon be sold at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The dog itself weighs one pound and by the time you add Texas chili, caramelized onions, jalapenos, and a specialty cheese sauce, the meal is estimated to have somewhere around 2,500 calories. Who’s hungry?

Mmmm, does anyone want seconds? (Brad Newton/Texas Rangers)

Report From The Fort

  • Iglesias will begin 2012 in Pawtucket, but how long he stays with the PawSox is unkonwn. (Kelly O'Connor)

    By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news that uber-shortstop-prospect Jose Iglesias has been optioned to minor league camp and will open the season at McCoy Stadium. According to Rob Bradford of, the decision had to “do with a combination of Iglesias perhaps starting to go the other way in regard to his confidence, along with the continued encouragement gained from watching [Mike] Aviles.”

  • This means that Aviles will be the Red Sox Opening Day shortstop with former St. Louis Cardinal utility-man Nick Punto coming off the bench. Iglesias, who has a .235 career Triple-A batting average, could use some more at-bats in the International League before becoming a mainstay at Fenway.
  • PawSox first baseman Lars Anderson was also optioned to Triple-A this morning. Lars was in his fourth Major League Spring Training and has appeared in 24 big league games in his career. The former 18th Round selection in 2006 lead the International League and topped Sox farmhands with 80 walks last season. He tied for 7th in the IL with 78 RBI and tied for 3rd with 136 games played.
  • This morning the Red Sox also reassigned right-handed pitchers Justin Germano and Doug Mathis and outfielder Josh Kroeger to minor league camp. I saw Germano start a minor league game in Ft. Myers and was impressed. He struck out five batters – two looking – and utilized a strong curve ball.
  • Don't worry, Michaela. I'm not upset that you didn't want to film my blogging today. (

    Have you ever wondered what a minor league broadcaster does from 9-5 this time of year? If you’re curious, I’ve spent the majority of today working on our Game Notes by updating all of our batters’ and bullpen notes. If you’re curious what the rest of our front office is doing, you can learn all about it thanks to Michaela Johnson, host of the Rhode Show on FOX Providence. Michaela has been here today working various jobs around McCoy Stadium: merchandising in our team store, processing ticket orders, arranging lockers in our clubhouse, even receiving a Coors Light keg order. Her “day in the life of” piece will air from 9-10 a.m. on April 5th.

Thanks to some recent subscribers to the blog: battleforthebaylzackinjemiller1965billbosox, and jbarker001. You can subscribe by entering your email address in the box in the top-right corner of this page. Who knows, it might be the best decision you make in the next five minutes.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of some passes that arrived to my desk today. My new job is now official.



PawSox Roster Projection

Since Grapefruit League play officially kicks off this afternoon, what better time than to try and guess what the PawSox Opening Day roster will look like.  We won’t know the actual roster until a couple weeks before April 5, but the good folks at have already given it a guess.

Here’s what they came up with:

Pojected Starting Lineup (*indicates left-handed batter **indicates switch-hitter) 
1 CF Che-Hsuan Lin
2B Brad Emaus
1B Lars Anderson*
C Ryan Lavarnway
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Josh Kroeger*
7 DH Mauro Gomez
LF Alex Hassan
SS Jose Iglesias

If Jose Iglesias breaks camp with the PawSox, he likely won't be with the club for very long. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bench
C Luis Exposito
C Max St. Pierre
IF Pedro Ciriaco
IF/OF Tony Thomas
OF Juan Carlos Linares
OF Daniel Nava**
OF Jason Repko

I have great memories of watching Danieal Nava play in Portland during the 2009 season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Starting Rotation
RHP Ross Ohlendorf
RHP Vicente Padilla
RHP Clay Mortensen
RHP Alex Wilson
RHP Carlos Silva
6 RHP Brandon Duckworth
7 RHP John Maine

Brandon Duckworth will once again give some stability and veteran leadership to the PawSox rotation in 2012. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bullpen
CL RHP Scott Atchison
SU RHP Junichi Tazawa
SU RHP Tony Peña, Jr.
MID RHP Chris Carpenter
MID LHP Jesse Carlson
MID RHP Sean White
MID LHP Justin Thomas
MID RHP Will Inman
MID RHP Justin Germano
LR RHP Doug Mathis

Junichi Tazawa, who entered the Red Sox system in 2009 with so much hype and promise, pitched in Salem, Portland, Pawtucket, and Boston last season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projecting a roster at the start of Spring Training is never easy, but it’s still fun (when someone else gives) it a try.  Enjoy the Red Sox game this afternoon and have a great rest of your weekend.




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