Ryan L. Fox
Welcome PawSox fans of all ages to WBOB’s PawSox Weekly Notebook, a weekly guide to all what’s happening with the Columbus Avenue Crew (aka, the Pawtucket Red Sox). Things are looking bleak for the PawSox right now. Since the last notebook, they’ve gotten pretty cold to say the least (losing 7 out of their last 9 games). With the fear of being eliminated from playoff contention looming in the rearview mirror, can the team get back on the winning track before it’s too late?
A Week in Review
After taking a much needed break on Monday, the PawSox began the month of August with having one of their own being traded away. At the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, the Boston Red Sox ended up trading PawSox RHP Jamie Callahan (1-1, 4.03 with 4 Ks and 4 SVs) along with a couple other Red Sox minor league pitchers (RHP Gerson Bautista & RHP Stephen Nogosek) to the New York Mets in exchange for RHP Addison Reed.
Though it’s never good to see a key pitcher go from the bullpen, the PawSox pressed on with a quick 3-game home series against the Syracuse Chiefs. A majority of fans and those following the team this season would have seen this game as a quick 3-game sweep due to the fact that the PawSox had plenty of success against the Chiefs for the entire season. The PawSox were 15-2 against the Chiefs and were looking to get their 16th victory against the team on Tuesday, August 1, with southpaw Roenis Elias taking the mound for the home team
However things did not go the way many Red Sox fans had hoped.
The Chiefs took the first game of the series 10-2 thanks in part to 1B Neftali Soto, who ended up going 3-for-5 with all 3 hits being home runs and collected 6 RBIs for the game. On the PawSox side, 1B Ryan Court and LF Bryce Brentz each slugged a solo home run to keep their team from being shut out.
The following game between the two series saw a rain delay that lasted one hour and 25 minutes with first pitch being at 8:30 p.m. EST instead of the usual 7:05 p.m. EST start. It was a back-and-forth affair as the PawSox were down 5-4 going into the later innings. However a solo home run by Bryce Brentz (his team-leading 24th one of the season) tied things up and both teams went into extra innings for the first time in meetings against one another this season. Unfortunately the Chiefs scored the go-ahead run thanks to an RBI single by pinch-hitter Irving Falu and gave them a 6-5 lead, which was ultimately the final score.
During the final game of the series between the two teams, the Chiefs went up earlier 6-0 and then withstood a late-inning rally by the PawSox and ended up winning 6-4 and taking the midweek series sweep. It was the final meeting of the season between both teams as the PawSox handedly took the season series 15-5, including 6-4 at McCoy and 9-1 at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York.
Following the series against the Chiefs, the PawSox took to the road to Moosic, Pennsylvania, for a 3-game weekend series against the IL North Divisional leaders, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. It would also be the last time this season that the two teams would be playing against each other.
The first game saw the RailRiders beat the PawSox thanks to a walk off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 9th by RailRiders DH Tyler Austin to give his team the 3-1 victory. Being lost in all that was the performance of PawSox starter Justin Haley, who went 7 strong innings of while allowing just 4 hits, 1 run, and striking out 3 RailRiders batters for the no-decision.
The next game saw another PawSox pitcher put in a strong performance in Brian Johnson after being missing some time due to a left shoulder inflammation. Johnson pitched 5 strong innings, giving up just 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and striking out 1 RailRiders batter for the no-decision. However the PawSox bullpen collapsed for the second game in a row, allowing the RailRiders to score 2 runs to break a 1-1 tie and ultimately win 3-1.
The series & season finale between both teams then took place this past Sunday. The RailRiders were able to go up 3-1 but the PawSox were able to bring the score within one in the top of the 6th inning thanks to a solo home run by 3B Matt Dominguez. However the RailRiders were able to pull away to a 6-2 lead thanks to home runs by LF Billy McKinney and 1B Ji-Man Choi in the bottom of the 6th inning and tacked on another run in the bottom of the 7th to make it 7-2. The closest the PawSox were able to get was in the top of the 8th inning. An RBI single by LF Brian Bogusevic made the score 7-3. The PawSox were able to get two more men on base and then SS Ryan Court drove in 2 more runs to make it 7-5. However 1B Steve Selsky flew out to center field for the final out of the inning, thus ending the scoring threat.
Where They Stand
Luckily for the team, even with their recent slide this past week the PawSox are still in 4th place in the International League North with a record of 54-59 (.478). They are currently 18.0 games back behind the divisional leading the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, who are sitting at 72-41 (.637). In the Wild Card Standings, the PawSox are 12.5 games behind the current Wild Card leader, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, who are sitting at 67-47 (.588).
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are of players currently playing on the PawSox roster. This excludes players on the disabled and temporary inactive lists as well as those who were called up into Boston, sent down to lower minor league levels, released, or traded away.
At the Plate
(*=min. 150 at-bats)
- LF Bryce Brentz leads the team in games played (94), at-bats (345), runs scored (57), extra-base hits (42), home runs (24), RBIs (65), total bases (185), slugging/SLG (.536)*, and on-base plus slugging/OPS (.878)*
- CF Rusney Castillo leads the team in hits (97), stolen bases (14), and batting average (.309)
- 3B Ryan Court for team lead in walks drawn (37) and on-base percentage/OBP (.368)*
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 60.0 IP)
- SP Marcus Walden leads all starters in wins (9), games played in (23), games started (14), complete games (1), shutouts (1), innings pitched (91.0), hit batsmen (4), and strikeouts (75)
- SP Hector Velazquez leads all started in ERA (2.05)* and WHIP (1.01)*
- SP Jaleen Beeks leads all starters in opposing batting average (.218)
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 20 appearances)
- LHP Edgar Olmos leads the bullpen in wins (7), innings pitched (70.2), strikeouts (53), hit batsmen (4), and strikeouts (57)
- RHP Noe Ramirez leads the bullpen in game appearances (30), ERA (2.62)*, saves (4), WHIP (1.05)*, and games finished (23)
- LHP Kyle Martin leads the bullpen in holds (5)
- RHP Austin Maddox leads the bullpen in opposing batting average (.190)*
The following team transactions took place from July 31 to August 6
- Sent RHP Austin Maddox to Boston (MLB)
- RHP Jamie Callahan was traded to the New York Mets and sent to Las Vegas 51ers (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League as part of the deal that brought over RHP Addison Reed
- Placed CF Rusney Castillo on temporary inactive list retro to July 29
- Received LHP Williams Jerez & C Jake Romanski from Portland (AA)
- Reinstated CF Rusney Castillo from the temporary inactive list
- Received RHP Joe Kelly from Boston (MLB) to begin MLB 30-day injury rehab assignment
- Placed OF Aneury Tavarez placed on 7-day disabled list with right hand inflammation retro to August 1
- Received RHP Robby Scott from Boston (MLB)
- Sent C Tim Roberson to Lowell (Short Season-A) via paper move
- Sent RHP Joe Kelly to Boston (MLB) after completing injury rehab assignment
- Reinstated SP Brian Johnson from the disabled list
- Received RHP Austin Maddox from Boston (MLB)
-Placed SP Shawn Haviland on temporary inactive list retro to August 4
Red Sox Rehab Watch
Currently the only Red Sox player rehabbing with the PawSox is SP Roenis Elias for a right oblique strain he suffered before the start of the 2017 MLB Season.
With Pawtucket, Elias has pitched in three games. He has gone is 0-3 In 3 starts, threw 8Ks, 3 BBs, given up 7 home runs, hit 2 batters, and accumulated an ERA of 10.54, a WHIP of 1.76, and an opposing batting average of .344.
Following the conclusion of their game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the PawSox will return back home for 7-games. Up first is a 3-game series against the Charlotte Knights (August 7-9). This will mark the last time these two teams will play against each other this season with the Knights leading the season series 2-1.
Following the series against the Knights, the PawSox will host the Columbus Clippers for the first meeting between the two teams this season (August 10-13). Last year, the PawSox went 2-6 against the Clippers with their only two victories of the series coming at McCoy (a 6-4 win on June 30 and a 5-4 16-inning marathon victory on July 3).
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