Ryan L Fox
Welcome PawSox fans of all ages to WBOB’s PawSox Notebook. The end of the 2018 International League regular season is less than 10 days away as the Pawtucket Red Sox continue to try and fight to get into the postseason. The past week, they traveled through upstate New York, taking on key divisional opponents with the hope that each victory will bring them closer to that coveted wildcard spot.
What’s Been Going On Lately
August 20 – August 26
The Pawtucket Red Sox spent the entire week in upstate New York. The opened up their road trip with a 4-game series against the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York.
The first meeting between the two teams was on Tuesday as they played a doubleheader that day. Game 1 was actually a make-up game from July 5 that was postponed due to inclement weather.
In Game 1, the PawSox jumped to an early 1-0 thanks to a solo home run by 1B Josh Ockimey in the top 2nd inning off of Red Wings starter RHP Michael Pineda, who was on an injury rehab assignment for the Minnesota Twins. But the lead did not hold up for long. In the bottom 3rd inning, the Red Wings were able to load the bases on PawSox starter RHP Chandler Shepherd. Then 2B Gregorio Petit hit a 2 RBI single to right field, giving the Red Wings a 2-1 lead. A sac fly RBI by 1B Kennys Vargas and then a RBI triple by LF LaMonte Wade pushed the Red Wings lead up to 4-1. An RBI double in the bottom 6th inning by Red Wings 3B Taylor Motter extended the lead up to 5-1.
Looking to try to make the comeback, the PawSox were able to score 2 runs in the top 7th inning on a wild pitch by Red Wings RHP D.J. Baxendale and then an RBI single by 2B Mike Miller to pull within 2 runs, 5-3. However in the bottom frame of that inning, the Red Wings got an RBI single by C Juan Graterol to push the lead back up to 6-3. Then Red Wings RHP Nick Anderson came in to shut down the PawSox for the remainder of the game as the Red Wings won the game on the final score of 6-3.
In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the game started off scoreless for the first two innings of the game. As the 3rd inning came around, the bats of both teams woke up. In the top 3rd inning, the PawSox scored the first run of the game thanks to an RBI single by CF Rusney Castillo. Two batters later, 2B Brandon Phillips tagged Red Wings starter LHP Lewis Thorpe with a 3-run home run to give his team a 4-0 lead. But in the bottom frame of the inning, the Red Wings answered back with a 2-run home run by DH Kennys Vargas off of PawSox starter LHP Josh D. Smith to make it 4-2.
The Red Wings added another home run in the bottom 5th inning, this time by C Willians Astudillo to make it 4-3. The PawSox added a run of their own in the top 6th inning thanks to an RBI double by SS Mike Miller to make it 5-3. Then RHP Marcus Walden came into the game as he closed the Red Wings down, preserving the 5-3 victory for the PawSox.
In the third game of the series on Wednesday, the PawSox waited until the top 3rd inning to score their first runs of the game. An RBI single into center field by CF Tzu-Wei Lin got them on the scoreboard first, 1-0. Then 3 batters later, DH Sam Travis hit a 2 RBI single into right field to push the lead to 3-0. Two innings later in the top 5th, PawSox 3B Brandon Phillips hit a two-run home run off Red Wings reliever Tyler Duffey to make it 5-0.
An RBI double by Red Wings DH Kennys Vargas off of PawSox starter RHP William Cuevas made it 5-1 after 6 innings of play. But in the top 7th inning, PawSox 2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. extended the lead with a 2 RBI double to make it 7-1. An RBI single by Vargas in the bottom 8th inning made it 8-2 as the Red Wings could not muster any more offense after that. The PawSox ended winning on the final score of 8-2.
In the final game of the series on Thursday, the Red Wings got on the scoreboard first thanks to a solo home run by RF Jon Kemmer for the early 1-0 lead. Two innings later, Kemmer added an RBI single to go along with an RBI double by DH Kenny Vargas to push the Red Wings’ lead to 3-0. The PawSox had to wait until the top 8th inning to score their first run of the game thanks to an RBI by DH Josh Ockimey to make it 3-1. But the Red Wings pulled away in the bottom frame of the inning thanks to RBI singles by C Willians Astudillo and LF LaMonte Wade to make it 5-1 as they went on to win with the final score of 5-1.
After their stay in Rochester, the PawSox traveled west to Buffalo for a 4-game series against the Buffalo Bisons, the last meeting between the two teams for the season.
On Friday night, the two teams squared off in the series opener. The PawSox scored the first run of the game thanks to a solo home run by SS Mike Miller off of Bisons starter LHP Shawn Morimando in the top 2nd inning to take the early 1-0. But in the bottom 2nd inning, Bisons 2B Darnell Sweeney lead the inning off with a solo home run off of PawSox starter RHP Mike Shawaryn. An RBI single by CF Jonathan Davis gave the Bisons the 2-1 lead. In the following bottom 3rd inning, Shawaryn was tagged with another home run. This time it was a 2-run shot by SS Gunnar Heidt as the Bisons lead grew to 4-1.
The PawSox were able to bounce back for the time being in the top 4th inning. In his PawSox debut, Red Sox top prospect 3B Michael Chavis hit his first Triple-A home run, a 2-run shot off Morimando, to help the PawSox pull within a run, 4-3. But in the bottom frame of the inning, the Bisons answered back as CF Jonathan Davis hit a solo home run off of Shawwaryn and 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added an RBI double to make it 6-3. Two innings later, the Bisons added two more runs on the scoreboard (RBI double by DH Dwight Smith Jr. & sac fly RBI by Guerrero Jr.) to push the lead to 8-3.
The in the bottom of the 7th inning, the flood gates opened up. With RHP Austin Maddox on the mound, the Bisons stampeded over him with to tune of 3 hits, 5 runs (all earned), and 2 walks and ballooned the lead to 13-4. It wasn’t until Maddox was pulled from the game that the Bisons got their first out of the inning. But by then, the game had been put out of reach. The PawSox added a run in the top 8th inning thanks to a RBI single by Miller to make it 13-4. However the deficit was too much as the PawSox dropped the series opener on the final score of 13-4.
The two teams met again on Saturday as the PawSox were looking to avenge their blowout loss from the previous night. An RBI double by LF Dwight Smith Jr. followed by an RBI single by 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gave the Bisons the early 2-0 lead after an inning of play. The PawSox answered back with a 2-run top 2nd inning thanks in part to a 2-run home run by 3B Michael Chavis to tie it up 2-2. But the tie didn’t last long as Bisons CF Jonathan Davis hit a solo home run off of PawSox starter RHP Justin Haley to help his team regain the lead 3-2. An RBI single by RF Roemon Fields in the bottom 4th inning pushed the Bisons’ lead up to 4-2. The PawSox pulled within a run in the top 5th inning thanks to an RBI single by CF Tzu-Wei Lin to make it 4-3.
Then in the top 6th inning, after 2 quick outs, the PawSox were able to keep the inning going thanks to a fielding error by Guerrero Jr. during Chavis’ at-bat. The error proved to be costly as 1B Josh Ockimey launched a 2-run home run off of Bisons reliever RHP Luis Santos to give the PawSox the 5-4 lead. Three batters later, C Dan Butler hit a 2 RBI double to center to push the PawSox lead to 7-4. The Bisons answered back in the bottom 7th inning on an RBI single by DH Anthony Alford to make it 7-5. An RBI sac fly by RF Aneury Tavarez pushed the PawSox lead to 8-5 as PawSox RHP Bobby Poyner shut the Bisons down in the bottom 9th inning, preserving the 8-5 victory.
On Sunday in an early afternoon game, the two teams met in front of a crowd of 11,094 for the third game of the series. The PawSox opened the game up in top 1st inning thanks to RBI singles by 3B Michael Chavis and 2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. for the early 2-0 lead. Four innings later, the PawSox offense exploded with another 4-run inning in the top 5th inning. An RBI by Chavis was then followed up by a 2 RBI single by 1B Josh Ockimey and then another RBI single by De Jesus Jr. as the PawSox lead jumped to 6-0.
The Bisons were able to answer back with a 2-run home run by 2B Darnell Sweeney off of PawSox starter RHP Chandler Shepherd in the bottom 6th inning to make it 6-2. But in the following top 7th inning, Ockimey hit a 2-run shot off of Bisons starter RHP Brandon Crumpton to make it 8-2. An RBI single by Bisons 1B Michael De La Cruz in the bottom 8th inning made it 8-3 but the Bisons couldn’t get any closer. PawSox reliever LHP Robby Scott shut down the Bisons in the bottom 9th inning as they PawSox won on the final score of 8-3.
Where They Stand
With less than 10 games left in the season, the PawSox are currently in 3rd place in the International League North with a record of 63-68 (.481). They are 33-31 at home while going 30-37 on the road and have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games.
In the Wild Card Standings, the PawSox are 5.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers, who have a 69-63 (.523) as the elimination number for the PawSox from the wildcard spot is now down to just 3 games.
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are from players currently playing on the PawSox Triple-A squad as of 8/26. This excludes players who were called up, traded, currently on the disabled list, or currently on the temporary inactive list.
At the Plate
(*=min. 175 at-bats)
- CF Rusney Castillo leads the team in games played (114), at-bats (460), runs scored (55), hits (148), extra base hits (35), RBIs (57), total based (193), stolen bases (13), and batting average (.322)*,
- SS/Util. Tzu Wei-Lin leads the team in on-base percentage (OBP) (.374)*, slugging percentage (.462)*, and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (.836)*
- INF Ivan De Jesus Jr. leads the team in walks drawn (32) and hit by pitch (7)
- OF Aneury Tavarez leads the team in strikeouts (99). He is also tied with teammate 1B/OF Sam Travis in team lead in home runs (8)
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 70.0 IP)
- SP William Cuevas leads all starters in innings pitched (128.1), strikeouts (111), and WHIP (1.18)*. He is tied with teammate Josh D. Smith in leading all starters in wins (9)
- Smith leads all starters in ERA (3.18)*, game appearances (26), hit batsmen (13), walks allowed (43), opposing batting average (.233)*, and strikeouts per 9 innings (9.1)*
- - SP Chandler Shepherd leads all starters in game starts (24), losses (9), and no decisions (8).
- SP Mike Shawaryn leads all starters in complete games (1, complete game shut outs (1), and games finished (1)
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 10 appearances)
- RHP Fernando Rodriguez Jr. leads the bullpen in innings pitched (61.0), bullpen starts (6), walks allowed (24), and strikeouts (67). Rodriguez Jr. is also tied with teammate LHP Robby Scott in relief wins (3). Rodriguez Jr. and Scott are both tied with teammate RHP Marcus Walden in leading the bullpen in relief losses (3)
- Scott leads the bullpen in ERA (1.90)*, game appearances (44), strikeouts per 9 innings (11.8)*, games finished (18), and opposing batting average (.199)*
- RHP Bobby Poyner leads the bullpen in hit batsmen (3), WHIP (1.04)* and saves (6)
The following PawSox player transactions took place from August 20 to August 26
August 23, 2018
- Placed OF Cole Sturgeon on the 7-day disabled list with a left foot contusion
- Reinstated OF Kyle Wren from the 7-day disabled list
August 24, 2018
- Sent 3B/Util. Jantzen Witte to Portland (AA)
- Received 1B/3B Michael Chavis from Portland (AA)
- Reinstated OF Aneury Tavarez from the disabled list
- Received RHP Austin Maddox from Gulf Coast Red Sox (GCL Rookie) to continue injury rehab assignment for right shoulder strain
Currently With Pawtucket
As of right now, only Boston Red Sox RHP Austin Maddox is currently rehabbing with the team. Maddox rejoined the PawSox back on August 24 for his 3rd rehab stint with the team as he is recovering from a right shoulder strain.
Since rejoining the PawSox, Maddox has only made one game appearance. It was back on August 24 against the Buffalo Bisons at in a 13-4 loss at Coca-Cola Field. He pitched in the 7th inning of the game, only facing 5 batters. However Maddox ended up giving up 3 hits, 5 runs (all earned), and walked 2 Bisons batters on 17 pitches and was pulled for RHP Travis Larkins.
In 5 total rehab games with the PawSox, Maddox has gone 1-1 with a 24.55 ERA and 5.45 WHIP. He has pitched in 3.2 total innings, giving up 12 hits, 10 runs (all earned), walking 8 batters, and striking out 4 more as opposing batters are hitting .522 against him.
Previously Rehab Stints with Pawtucket
- SP Drew Pomeranz (April 8 - April 10) (July 2 – July 24)
- SS Xander Bogaerts (April 24 - April 27)
- RHP Tyler Thornburg (April 30 - May 7) (May 16 – May 24) (June 5 – June 27)
- INF/OF Brock Holt (May 7 - May 8)
- 2B Dustin Pedroia (May 14 – May 25)
- RHP Hector Velazquez (May 21 – May 24)
- RHP Austin Maddox (May 18 – May 30) (June 2 – June 5)
The PawSox will finish their series against the Buffalo Bisons on Monday with the series finale being at 7:05 p.m. pending on weather.
Afterwards, they will play a quick 3-game series at McCoy against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on August 28 to August 30 for the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The IronPigs lead the season series 10-4 but have gone 4-3 at McCoy Stadium.
Then to close out the 2018 IL regular season, the PawSox will play an away-home series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. They will play 2 games at PNC Field on August 31 and September 1 before playing the final 2 games of the season at McCoy on September 2 to September 3. The season series is tied at 7-7 with the PawSox being 5-4 at home and 2-3 at PNC Field.
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