Ryan L. Fox
Welcome PawSox fans of all ages to WBOB’s PawSox Notebook. The end of the 2018 IL Season is coming up fast as the PawSox only have less than 25 games left to play. This past week, they were out on the road finishing up business with a couple of teams (Louisville Bats, Indianapolis Indians) for 2018. How did the PawSox do against each squad and was it enough to help them gain some ground in their bid for the postseason? Find out below.
What’s Been Going On Lately
August 6 – August 12
A day off on Monday allowed the PawSox to rest up before heading out onto the road for the week. They first traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for a 3-game series against the Louisville Bats for their last encounter of the 2018 IL Season.
On Tuesday, the two teams met up for the first game of the series. The PawSox were able to score first in the game in the top 2nd inning thanks to an RBI single by C Oscar Hernandez to make it 1-0. The in the top 3rd inning, 1B Sam Travis and DH Josh Ockimey each added RBI singles to push the PawSox lead to 3-0. The Bats were able to score in the following bottom 3rd inning thanks to an RBI by LF Brian O’Grady off of PawSox starter RHP Josh A. Smith to make it 3-1. Three innings later, O’Grady tagged Smith with a solo home run to right field to make it 3-2. However that was the only run that was scored by the Bats (as well as both teams) for the remainder of the game. The PawSox bullpen shutout the opposition out as they ended taking the first game by the final score of 3-2.
On Wednesday, the two teams met again for the second game of the series. Like in the previous game, the PawSox scored the first run of the game thanks to an RBI by LF Sam Travis to make it 1-0. The Bats were able to take the lead in the bottom 4th inning thanks to a 2-run home run by LF Brian O’Grady off of PawSox starter RHP Chandler Shepherd to make it 2-0.
After the 4th inning, teams’ starters and bullpens kept the opposition’s offense relatively quiet for the game. It wasn’t until the top 8th inning that the bats were back to swinging again. In the top 8th inning, with 2 men on base, PawSox 3B Janzen Witte tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI double. Two batters later, the PawSox regained the lead thanks to a 2 RBI single by SS Mike Miller to make it 4-2. A RBI single by DH Rusney Castillo padded the lead to 5-2 heading into the bottom 8th inning. There, the Bats scored a run off an error by PawSox 1B Josh Ockimey to make it 5-3. The four batters later, with the bases loaded, Bats 1B Nick Longhi hit a double to right field that cleared the bases to give his team the late 6-5 lead. The PawSox couldn’t manage any sort of offense against Bats RHP Kevin Quackenbush in the top 9th inning as they lost by the final score of 6-5.
In the final game of the series on Thursday, the PawSox continued their trend of early leads during the series by taking an early 1-0 in the top 2nd inning off of an RBI single by SS Mike Miller. During the following top 3rd inning, CF Rusney Castillo knocked an RBI double to right and then 3B Brandon Phillips followed up with a sac fly RBI to right field to push the PawSox lead to 3-0. Not to be out done, the Bats answered back in the bottom 3rd inning with an RBI single by RF Gabriel Guerrero and then an RBI walk by 3B D.J. Peterson to make it 3-2.
After wards, the Bats could only muster just 5 hits against PawSox puitching. The PawSox, on the other hand, were able to provide more offense in the top 7th inning. During that inning, they got RBI singles from LF Sam Travis and 1B Janzen Witte as well as an RBI double by DH Josh Ockimey to make it 6-2. The Bats tried to rally in the bottom 9th inning but ended up stranding a man on third base as the PawSox won the game with the final score of 6-2.
After their series against the Bats, the PawSox then traveled up north to Indianapolis for a 3-game weekend against the Indianapolis Indians for the final meeting of the season between the two teams.
On Friday night, the two teams met for the first game of the series. The PawSox jumped out to an early 2-0 in the top 1st inning thanks to an RBI single by CF Rusney Castillo to score one run and then a sac fly RBI by LF Sam Travis to score the other run. PawSox starter LHP Josh D. Smith held the Indians in check, allowing just one run (RBI single by 1B Jose Osuna) in the bottom 5th inning. The PawSox extended their lead in the top 8th inning thanks to a solo home run by Travis off Indians RHP Montana DuRapau to make it 3-1. The Pirates tried to rally in the bottom 9th inning as Osuna hit a sac fly RBI to right field to make it 3-2 with two outs. However PawSox RHP Bobby Poyner got the next batter to fly out to get the save and help get the PawSox a 3-2 victory in the series opener.
In the Saturday night game, it was the Indians who jumped out to an early lead. In the bottom 1st inning, Indians 1B Jose Osuna knocked an RBI single off of PawSox starter RHP Fernando Rodriguez Jr. to make it 1-0. Three innings later, Indians 3B Max Moroff got an RBI off of PawSox RHP Travis Larkins to make it 2-0 after four innings of play.
The PawSox didn’t get their first run of the game until the top 7th inning thanks to an RBI single by DH Josh Ockimey to make it 2-1. Then in the top 8th inning, after a leadoff walk to C Oscar Hernandez, SS Tzu-Wei Lin drove in Hernandez with an RBI triple to tie the game at 2-2. Next batter later, 2B Tony Renda drove in Lin with his own RBI to give the PawSox a late 3-2 lead. The Indians tried to rally in both the bottom 8th and 9th innings but ended up falling short each time as the PawSox won with the final score of 3-2.
In the series finale on Sunday, the PawSox were looking for the series sweep (their first since June 11-13 when they swept the Syracuse Chiefs at NBT Bank Stadium). The Indians scored the first run in the bottom 1st inning thanks to a leadoff solo home run by SS Max Moroff off of PawSox starter RHP Justin Haley to make it 1-0. Moroff gave Haley even more problems in the following bottom 2nd inning as he knocked a 2 RBI single into left to make it 3-0 Indians. Then in the bottom 3rd inning, former PawSox and now current Indians, C Ryan Lavarnway knocked an RBI double into right to score one to make it 4-0. Then two batters later, Lavarnway came across home plate on a fielding error by PawSox 3B Jantzen Witte for a run scored to make it 5-0.
The PawSox then rallied in the top 4th inning to cut into the 5-0 deficit. PawSox 1B Sam Travis got the ball rolling with an RBI double to make it 5-1. Four batters later, LF Kyle Wren knocked in an RBI single to make it 5-2. Then in the top 5th inning, after leading off with a double, CF Tzu-Wei Lin was able to score thanks to a combination of a single by teammate 2B Tony Renda and a throwing error by Bats RF Eric Wood to make it 5-3.
Still trailing 5-3 heading into the later innings of the game, the PawSox offense woke up in the top 7th inning. There, they were able to score 6 runs in the inning off the Indians’ bullpen. Wren and teammate DH Brandon Phillips each had 2 RBIs that inning while Witte and SS Mike Miller each added their own RBIs as the PawSox jumped out to a 9-5 lead. Except for a Lavarnway double in the bottom 8th inning, the Indians could not generate any offense as the PawSox walked out of Victory Field with a 9-5 victory and the series sweep.
Where They Stand
After having the big week that they had (winning 5 out of the past 6 games), the PawSox are currently in 3rd place in the International League North with a record of 56-61 (.479). They are 30-27 at home while going 26-34 on the road and have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The PawSox are now 15.0 games behind the division leading Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, who are sitting at 72-47 (.605) as the elimination number for contention for the IL North Divisional crown is down to 7 games.
In the Wild Card Standings, the PawSox are 6.0 games behind the Columbus Clippers, who have a 63-56 (.529) as the elimination number for the PawSox from the wildcard spot is 16 games.
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are from players currently playing on the PawSox Triple-A squad as of 8/12. 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 (103), at-bats (416), runs scored (53), hits (135), extra base hits (32), RBIs (53), total based (177), stolen bases (11), and batting average (.325)*,
- SS/Util. Tzu Wei-Lin leads the team in on-base percentage (OBP) (.380)*, slugging percentage (.486)*, and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (.866)*
- C/1B Mike Ohlman leads the team in home runs (10), walks drawn (32), and strikeouts (90)
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 70.0 IP)
- SP William Cuevas leads all starters in wins (8), innings pitched (117.1), strikeouts (102), WHIP (1.13)*, and opposing batting average (.230)*.
- SP Chandler Shepherd leads all starters in game starts (22) and no decisions (8). He is also tied with teammate SP Justin Haley in leading all starters in losses (7)
- SP Josh D. Smith leads all starters in ERA (3.16)*, game appearances (23), hit batsmen (7), walks allowed (37), and strikeouts per 9 innings (9.2)*
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 10 appearances)
- RHP Fernando Rodriguez Jr. leads the bullpen in innings pitched (55.2), walks allowed (21), and strikeouts (62), and saves (3). He is tied with teammate RHP Marcus Walden in leading the bullpen in bullpen starts (5). Rodriguez Jr. is also tied with teammate LHP Robby Scott in relief wins (3). Rodriguez Jr., Walden, and Scott are all tied in leading the bullpen in relief losses (3)
- Walden and Scott are both tied in leading the bullpen in hit batsmen (2)
- Scott leads the bullpen in game appearances (40), strikeouts per 9 innings (12.4)*, games finished (15), and opposing batting average (.206)*
- RHP Bobby Poyner leads the bullpen in WHIP (1.05)*, saves (5), and holds (7)
- RHP Trevor Kelly leads the bullpen in ERA (1.33)*
The following PawSox player transactions took place from August 6 to August 12
August 7, 2018
- Sent INF Ivan De Jesus, Jr. placed on 7-day disabled list with left wrist with left wrist inflammation (retro to August 6)
-Sent OF Cole Sturgeon to Lowell (Short Season A) via paper move
August 9, 2018
- Sent OF Cole Sturgeon to Lowell (Short Season A) via paper move
- Received INF Tony Renda from Boston (MLB) (Red Sox activate Rafael Devers).
August 10, 2018
- Sent SP William Cuevas to Boston (MLB) as part of Boston’s taxi squad as well as be their 26th man for the team’s August 11 doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles
- Placed OF Aneury Tavarez on the 7-day disabled list with neck spasms (retro to August 9)
August 12, 2018
- Received SP William Cuevas from Boston (MLB)
- Received OF Cole Sturgeon from Lowell (Short Season A) via paper move
Currently With Pawtucket
As of right now, there are no Boston Red Sox players rehabbing down in Pawtucket at this moment.
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 be back at home for their last 7-game home stand of the 2018 IL Season.
From August 13 to August 15, the PawSox host a 3-game midweek series against the Norfolk Tides. This will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The last time these two teams played against each other was back on May 29 to 31 down in Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia where the PawSox ended up sweeping the Tides. Last year, the PawSox were swept by the Tides in the 4 games that they played at McCoy.
After their series with the Tides, the PawSox will host the Durham Bulls for a 4-game weekend series from August 16 to August 19. This too will be the final series between the two teams for the 2018 IL season. The two teams last played each other back on June 1 to June 3 down in Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina where the Bulls took 2 out of 3 games against the PawSox. Last year, the PawSox ending up sweeping the Bulls at McCoy in their 4-game series.
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