Ryan L. Fox
The crack of the bat, the snap of the glove, it’s that time of the year. The boys are back in town.
Baseball has returned to Pawtucket as your Pawtucket Red Sox played host to the visiting Syracuse Mets on a brisk Thursday evening of baseball.
Prior to the first pitch, opening ceremonies included the presentation of World Series rings to PawSox players who were on the 2018 Boston Red Sox team including C Sandy Leon, a military chopper fly by over McCoy Stadium, and even New England Patriots WR/ST Matthew Slater stopped by to say hi to the McCoy faithful.
Taking the mound in front of PawSox fans was RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, 4.50) looking for his first victory as a PawSox pitcher in 2019. Squaring off against him was Mets RHP Casey Coleman (0-0, 3.00) who was also in search of his first victory of the 2019 season.
The ceremonial first pitch was tossed as both teams took to the field to begin the first 2019 home game at McCoy.
It was the PawSox who got the ball rolling in the bottom 2nd. Facing a 3-1, 1B Josh Ockimey took the next pitch he saw deep to right field for a solo shot home run to make it 1-0. Then it was LF Bryce Brentz’s turn to come to the plate. After taking a called strike, Brentz drove the next pitch he saw deep into center field for a solo home run, making it 2-0. Then CF Gorkys Hernandez got on board with a single with no outs.
For a moment, it looked like the PawSox were poised to break things wide open.
But when C Sandy Leon was at bat, Hernandez was picked off. Then Leon struck out looking followed by 3B Mike Miller getting thrown out trying to steal second after getting on base via walk.
From then on, it became more of the Erasmo Ramirez show as he held the Syracuse Mets off the scoreboard with a dazzling 6 inning performance.
The PawSox almost got a chance to add to their lead in the bottom 6th. DH Sam Travis got on base with a 2-out single before stealing 2nd base and advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch. After Ockimey drew a walk, that paved the way for Brentz to come to the plate with runners at the corners. However he struck out looking to end the scoring threat.
But they didn’t have to wait long to add to their lead.
After drawing a walk to lead off the bottom 7th, Hernandez was able to advance to 2nd on a ground out by Leon. Then Miller hit a ball into centerfield as Hernandez turned on the jets, easily scoring from 2nd to make it 3-0.
Things then tightened up for the PawSox in the top 8th.
With RHP Josh Taylor on the mound, the first two Mets batters he faced (C Tom Nido & LF Tim Tebow) were able to get on base with no outs. Two batters later RF Gregor Blanco hit a ball at PawSox SS Tzu-Wei Lin in what would be a routine ground out. However Lin misplayed the ball and the error allowed Nido to score to make it 3-1.
Another two batters later, Mets SS Danny Espinosa came to the plate with 2 men on and 2 outs. He then hit a ball into left field as Brentz was able to field it. He then tried to throw out Thompson trying to score from 2nd but the throw missed Leon’s glove, allowing Thompson to be save and make it 3-2. Luckily, PawSox RHP Jenrry Mejia came in to get the final out of the inning before any more damage was done.
Coming back out for the top of the 9th, Mejia faced the heart of the Mets’ order. After he got DH Rajai Davis to pop out to 3rd, he ended up hitting 2B Dilson Herrera to put the tying run on base before then striking out Nido. Then Tebow came to the plate with 2 outs and a man on 1st. On a 3-2 count, Tebow ended up striking out for the final out to give the PawSox the 3-2 victory.
Erasmo Ramirez was awarded the win, going 6 strong innings while allowing 3 hits, 0 walks and runs, and struck out 5 Mets batters on 72 pitches (47 for strikes). Mejia was awarded the save, his 3rd of the season.
After the game, PawSox Manager Billy McMillon spoke with the media about the media. Just hit below to hear what the manager has to say after getting his first home victory as the PawSox skipper.
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