Results tagged ‘ Ross Ohlendorf ’

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.




Nate Spears Heating Up

In his second year in Pawtucket, utility-man Nate Spears has settled into the role of everyday third baseman for the PawSox since Will Middlebrooks was promoted to Boston on May 2.

“Most of the games in my career are at second base, but I’ve familiarized myself with a number of other positions to become more versatile and valuable to a ball team,” said Spears from the PawSox dugout.

In 2011, Spears appeared at six different defensive positions: second base (37 games), right field (23), third base (16), left field (13), shortstop (four), first base (one).

Spears made his Major League debut last season on September 6 at Toronto. He totaled three games with the Red Sox in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

While he has helped the PawSox all year with his versatility, Spears is in the midst of his best offensive stretch of the season. He’s batting .400 (8-for-20) over his last eight games and is currently riding a season-best seven-game hitting streak (his previous best as a PawSox was six games last year,  Aug. 17 -22).

Of his recent offensive success, what stands out the most is that three of his four home runs this season have come in his last five games.

“I really haven’t changed a whole lot,” Spears remarked about his approach. “I’ve been working on using my hands a little bit more and seeing the ball, letting it travel, and getting a good pitch.”

Spears is already halfway to his home run total from a year ago with the PawSox where in 96 games he hit eight out of the yard (his second-highest total outside his 20 home run season with Double-A Portland in 2010).

Originally drafted by Baltimore in the 5th Round in 2003, Spears played in his 1,000th career professional game yesterday where he went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer.

The PawSox play Game 2 against Norfolk tonight from McCoy where righty Ross Ohlendorf (4-3, 4.07) will be opposed by Tides’ right-hander Eddie Gamboa (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:05, pre-game coverage starts at 6:50.



Spears received his second-career call-up to Boston this year on April 15 and appeared in four games. (Kelly O’Connor)

Tazawa, Hassan, and Iglesias Contributing

After soaking in their only off-day of the month, the PawSox are back home tonight where they open up an eight-game homestand against Toledo and Norfolk.

Pawtucket’s 5-3 rain-shortened win Tuesday against the Tides salvaged the recent road trip at 4-4, keeping the PawSox with the top record in the I.L. at 29-18. Their 15 road wins are also the best in the league.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Because he spent time behind Tim Federowicz in Portland and Luis Exposito in Pawtucket, Ryan Lavarnway appeared as the designated hitter in 62-of-133 (47%) games he played in last year. Now a full-time catcher, Lavarnway DH’d for just the second time all year on Tuesday.
  • Junichi Tazawa has surrendered five runs over his last two appearances – all unearned. If you combine his work with Pawtucket and Boston this year, Tazawa has allowed just two earned runs over 25 1/3 innings (0.71 ERA). Since both his earned runs came in the same outing (May 6 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre), the right-hander has not allowed an earned run in 15-of-16 appearances.

Tazawa has been lights out for the PawSox – and Red Sox – this season. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much room currently in the Red Sox bullpen. (Kelly O’Connor).

  • In his first season in Triple-A, Alex Hassan continues to lead the PawSox in on-base percentage (.373) despite ranking 7th among current batters in hits (29), and 8th in batting average (.234). He’s tied with Lars Anderson for the team-lead in walks (24), and paces all PawSox hitters by getting plunked by four pitches. Hassan lead the entire Red Sox farm system with a .404 OBP last season.
  • After an April batting average of exactly .200 (17-for-85) with one extra-base hit, Jose Iglesias is batting a club-best .360 over his first 18 games in May. He already has four extra-base hits (including his second-career home run), and is the active monthly leader in OBP (.375) and on-base plus slugging (.828).
  • In 22 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, former major league All-Star Scott Podsednik was batting a slim .203 with no homers, one extra-base hit, and four RBIs. The Red Sox then purchased his contract from the Phillies and assigned him to Pawtucket. In nine games with the PawSox Podsednik hit .323 with a home run and six RBIs and was called-up the the bigs on Tuesday. Yesterday the “Podfather” played in his first major league game since 2010 and hit a home run for the Sox in Baltimore. Sometimes you just never know what can happen.

Podsednik’s solo homer in the eighth inning helped the Red Sox edge Baltimore 6-5 Wednesday. Notice former PawSox Luis Exposito catching for the Orioles. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The PawSox are not only back home tonight, they’re also back on TV. I’ll be joined by former PawSox and Red Sox reliever Ken Ryan for tonight’s game aired in Rhode Island on the Ocean State Network. Righty Ross Ohlendorf (3-3, 4.64) will be opposed by lefty Adam Wilk (2-3, 2.64). First pitch from McCoy is set for 7:05.

Talk with you then.


Beaneater Home Run History

What Josh Hamilton did last night in Baltimore is almost unreal. Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to homer four times in a single game – the first since Carlos Delgado did it with Toronto on September 25, 2003.

Head shot of Bobby Lowe. If this isn’t the look of a guy who will go deep four times in a game, I don’t know what is.

Although a Boston Red Sox batter has never accomplished the feat, someone else from The Hub actually has. In fact, he was the first to ever accomplish the feat. On May 30, 1894, Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters homered four times against Cincinnati.

I wish I could make this stuff up.

The Pawtucket Red Sox have been playing baseball since 1973 and have never had a player hit four home runs in a single game. The last time a PawSox batter homered three times in a game was when Mike Lowell did it on rehab assignment on July 27, 2010 in Toledo.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Infielder Pedro Ciriaco is batting .579 (11-for-19) vs. LHP and .467 (7-for-15) with RISP. He’s currently riding an 8-game hitting streak – tied for the club’s longest this season (Josh Kroeger, April 18 -27).
  • Tuesday night, Ryan Lavarnway suddenly started wearing his red socks pulled up to his knees. The result: he went 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. He fashioned the same look last night with a different outcome: 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. As a result, the most intriguing storyline going into tonight’s game is what will Ryan do with his socks?
  • Behind 5.0+ innings pitched from Ross Ohlendorf last night, the PawSox offense managed just one run for the fourth time this season. The last time it happened was on April 27 at Columbus in 4-1 loss. Pawtucket’s starting pitcher that night? Ross Ohlendorf.
  • The always steady Mauro Gomez is currently in his longest offensive drought of the season. He’s 2-for-21 (.095) over his last five games with one home run and two runs batted in.  Gomez has been an offensive force this year and is currently the International League’s active leader in homer runs (10). Of his 35 hits this year, 19 have been for extra-bases (54%).
  • This may surprise you, but among active PawSox players, Jose Iglesias is tied for third on the club with 25 hits.  Only Gomez (35) and Daniel Nava (27) rank ahead of him. He’s tied with Josh Kroeger.

If the skies clear tonight, the PawSox will play Game 3 against Rochester from McCoy. Right-hander Justin Germano (3-1, 2.16) starts for Pawtucket and will be opposed by righty Cole DeVries (0-2, 2.89). First pitch is set for 6:15, we hit the air at 6:00.

Talk with you then.



Hamilton set an American League record last night with 18 total bases. All four home runs were two-run blasts with Elvis Andrus standing on first base. (Joy R. Absalon/US PRESSWIRE)

Reactions to Middlebrooks on Twitter

Will Middlebrooks was shredding International League pitching when he was called up to Boston on May 2. In his first four major league games, the Red Sox No. 1 prospect is 8-for 21 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. Last night in Kansas City, Will homered feet shy of the foul pole in right field, smoked a double off the center field wall, and then dinged a home run off the foul pole in left.

Are you serious?!

Middlebrooks had an “all fields” approach here in Pawtucket with two homers to right, one to center, and the remaining six to left field. Of his nine home runs, five came with two runers on base. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise us that he connected on a three-run opposite field homer last night against the Royals.

Middlebrooks celebrating his first major league home run – a fifth inning grand slam against Baltimore. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters photo)

Not only has Will been the talk of Boston, but he’s also been a hot name on Twitter. Here is what local and national media members are saying about the Red Sox newest third baseman:

Jeremy Lundblad, Senior Researcher for ESPN Stats & Info (@JLundbladESPN):

Will Middlebrooks is 1st #RedSox player with 3 HR in his 1st 4 career games since Billy Conigliaro in 1969.

Tim Britton, Red Sox Beat Writer, Providence Journal (@TBritton_Projo):

The Rangers lead the AL with seven three-run homers this season. Between Pawtucket and Boston, Will Middlebrooks has six by himself.

D.J. Short, Writer for Hardball Talk on (@djshort):

Lucas Duda has six extra-base hits in 102 plate appearances. Will Middlebrooks has six in his first four MLB games.

Tom Caron, NESN Studio Host (@TomCaron):

The legend of Will Middlebrooks grows. 3 HRs/ 9 RBI in the last 2 games. Think he’s ready for the bigs?

 Major League Baseball (@MLB):

On Sunday morning, Will Middlebrooks had 0 career homers. Now, he has 3.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what Middlebrooks does tonight as the PawSox and Red Wings play Game 2 from McCoy Stadium. Ross Ohlendorf gets the start and will be opposed by Liam Hendriks, recently send down from Minnesota. First pitch this evening is scheduled for 6:15, we’ll hit the air at 6:00.

Talk with you then.



Welcome to Syracuse

It’s a beautiful 82 degree afternoon from Syracuse, New York where tonight the PawSox open up a four-game series with the Chiefs (Washington Nationals).

Yesterday afternoon the PawSox gave up a 9-3 lead and suffered a shocking 10-9 loss in extra innings to the Buffalo Bisons to split the series 1-1. We had about a three hour bus ride from Buffalo to Syracuse and to my surprise, I’m pretty sure I heard someone yell a request from the back of the bus before we left to watch Scooby Doo during our brief trip. He was quickly vetoed, and instead we were able to watch ESPN Sunday Night Baseball on the bus’ satellite TV.

Scooby Doo and company couldn't compete with ESPN. Sorry, Scooby.

Scooby Doo and company couldn't compete with ESPN. Sorry, Scooby.

PawSox Notebook

  • I’m looking forward to watching Ross Ohlendorf make his second start of the year for the PawSox. Today the right-hander was named International League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 9-15. Ohlendorf fired six scoreless innings in his previous start on April 10 vs. Lehigh Valley and faced just one batter over the minimum.
  • Thanks to his two hits and two RBIs yesterday, Will Middlebrooks is tied for an I.L.-leading 11 RBIs this year and is currently riding a team-best seven-game hitting streak.
  • Over the first 10 games of the year, the Pawtucket bullpen allowed five total earned runs over the span of 30 1/3 innings. Yesterday in Buffalo they allowed seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
  • In this four-game series in Syracuse, the PawSox will face arguably the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball: Bryce Harper. The former catcher turned outfielder is hitting .220 with 0-HR and 1-RBI in the first 10 games of his Triple-A career.
  • Chatting with PawSox catcher Ryan Lavarnway at a rest stop last night on our way to Syracuse, I learned that both his sister and his girlfriend are outstanding pastry chefs. His girlfriend, Jamie, has a website called that is well worth a look. I have a feeling this discovery will require a blog of its own at some point soon.

Lavarnway somehow lost 20 pounds over the off-season despite being surrounded by great food. (Kelly O'Connor)

First pitch tonight from Alliance Bank Stadium is set for 6:00. Our pre-game coverage begins at 5:45.

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!