Ladies and gentlemen, the 2014 MiLB season has officially begun at McCoy
Ryan Fox (@Scoop_Fox87)
On a brisk evening in April the lights and sounds of McCoy Stadium were seen and heard throughout the town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Baseball had finally arrived and that means another full-filled, heart-pounding, exciting season with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Coming into tonight's game, the PawSox have an overall record of 19-18 on opening day since 1977 under the Ben Mondor & Mike Tamburro ownership era. This includes a 10-5 record for home-openers at McCoy Stadium. Currently the ballclub is on a 4-game winning streak in home-openers, going back to the 2010 home-opener. This time around they open things off against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Last year, things were not so hot for the PawSox when they faced the Iron Pigs of Lehigh Valley. Out of all the teams they faced, the PawSox struggled against the Iron Pigs. They could only muster a 5-11 season record, including an abysmal 2-6 record at McCoy. Not to mention that the last time these two met on in a PawSox home-opener was back in on April 17, 2009, where the Iron Pigs won 4-3 against the home team.
Taking the mound for the PawSox was starting pitcher Allen Webster. In 2013, Webster went 8-4 with an ERA of 3.60 in 21 appearances in Pawtucket. Opposing him was David Buchanan. Buchanan was coming off a season where he went 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 6 games with the Iron Pigs.
The opening ceremonies went without a hitch, the national anthem was sung beautifully well, and we were underway for the 2014 baseball season.
But things didn't go exactly as planned for the PawSox. Webster struggled mightily in his 2014 debut. He gave up 2 runs in the first inning and then a solo home run in the third inning before getting pulled with 2 outs in the fourth inning. His finished with the following stat line: 3.2 IP, 3 R, 7H, 4K, 2BB on 81 pitches, 46 for strikes.
On the offensive side of the plate, the PawSox were baffled by Buchanan. They could only muster just two hits from shortstop Brock Holt (1-for-3, BB, 2B) and third baseman Gabe Cecchini (1-for-2, BB). Other than Holt and Cecchini, the PawSox batters were a combined 0-for-22 for the entire game.
When the final out was recorded, the PawSox were shutout 4-0 by the Iron Pigs. The shutout loss was the first home-opener shutout in the franchise’s 42 year history. This was the PawSox’s second shutout loss in franchise, the last time was back in 1999 when they lost 7-0 to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. Ironically enough, the Red Barons were the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies at that time.
So what does this loss mean? It means that it’s just game one of a 144-game season. Things don’t happen instantly overnight. There will be some hiccups at the beginning, but once the season progresses the weather won’t be the only thing that turns up the heat.
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