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). Already things have gotten underway for the PawSox 2019 season so if you want to find out what the team has been up to, just click below.
A Week in Review
Well the PawSox began their 2019 season on the road in upstate New York. Their first series was against the Syracuse Mets, originally the Syracuse Chief.
The first game of the series took place on April 4.
Pitching for Pawtucket in the season opener was RHP Mike Shawryn, who looked pretty sharp through the first 4 innings of the game holding the Mets to 1 hit and 0 runs over that span. Over that same span, the PawSox batters were getting stifled by Mets pitcher LHP Hector Santiago.
It wasn’t until the top of the 5th inning where the first score of the game took place.
C Sandy Leon was able to get on base on a 1-out single, allowing 2B Mike Miller to come to the plate. Miller then knocked out a 2-run home run off of Santiago, giving the PawSox the early 2-0 lead. However in the bottom of the 5th, the Mets were able to get their own run scored thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice by 3B David Thompson that allowed SS Adeiny Hechavarria to score from 3rd base to make it 2-1.
Then in the bottom of the 6th, the Mets got two men on base with only 1 out as PawSox Manager Billy McMillon decided to go with RHP Marcus Walden to finish the inning. But right after the pitching change, Mets 1B Travis Taijeron knocked a double to center field that scored two runs, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.
The PawSox were able to tie things up 3-3 in the top of the 8th inning as 1B Michael Chavis took Mets LHP Daniel Zamora deep with a solo home run as the first game of the 2019 had to go to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, the PawSox were able to load the bases against Mets LHP Ryan O’Rourke. Then 3B Tony Renda came up to the plate. Renda then took a 3-1 pitch and hit a bases clearing double to left field to make it 6-3. RHP Jenrry Mejia came in the following inning and got the 3 batters he faced to ground or fly out for the first PawSox save of the season as the team won its first game of the season on the final score of 6-3.
The next game of the series was supposed to take place on Friday, April 5 at 1:05 p.m. but it ended up being postponed to the next day due to inclement weather, forcing Saturday’s contest into becoming a doubleheader.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the PawSox were able to jump out to a 2-0 in the top of the 2nd thanks to a 2-run home run by 2B Tony Renda off of Mets RHP Corey Oswalt. But in the following bottom 2nd, things started to unravel. After 1B Travis Taijeron lead things off with a double, LF Tim Tebow singled to center that allowed Taijeron to score to make it 3-1. Three batters later, C Colton Plaia came to bat with runners at the corners and 2 outs and hit a double into centerfield that cleared the bases, tying the game up at 3-3.
The Mets then continued to score over the next two innings with an RBI double by Tebow in the bottom 3rd and then a solo home run by Dilson Herrera off of PawSox RHP Chandler Shepherd to push the lead to 5-2. The PawSox cut into the lead with an RBI by CF Gorkys Hernandez in the top 6th to make it 5-3 but the Mets responded with an RBI single by 2B Danny Espinosa to make it 6-3, which ended up being the final score of the game.
In second game of the doubleheader, the PawSox jumped to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a 2-run home run by CF Gorkys Hernandez off of Mets starter RHP Casey Coleman. The Mets countered the Hernandez home run with a solo shot by CF Gregory Blanco off of PawSox starter RHP Erasmo Ramirez to make it 2-1. After 3 scoreless innings, the PawSox got a run in the top 5th thanks to a sac fly RBI by Hernandez to score C Juan Centeno to make it 3-1.
But then the Mets scored a run in the bottom 6th and 7th inning, sending the game into extra innings. In the bottom 8th with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Mets 3B Adeiny Hechavarria faced against PawSox RHP Trevor Kelly. On a 0-1 count, Hecvhavarria hit a single to center to drive in the game winning run and give the Mets the 4-3 come-from-behind victory and the doubleheader sweep.
On Sunday, April 7, the two teams met for the last game of the opening weekend series. The Mets went up big in the early goings of the game with a sac fly RBI by 1B David Thompson in the bottom 2nd and a bases clearing double by 3B Dilson Herrera all off PawSox RHP Josh Smith. Thompson added another RBI in the bottom 6th inning to push the Mets’ lead to 5-0 heading into the later innings.
But in the top 7th, the PawSox first got on the bored with a bases clearing triple by CF Gorkys Hernandez to then make it 5-3. Next batter later, 2B Michael Chavis drove in Hernandez with his own RBI single to make the score 5-4. Two batters later, 1B Josh Ockimey tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single to center, helping bring back the PawSox from their early game deficit to have a chance for their own comeback victory. But in the bottom 8th, Thompson hit an RBI double into left off of PawSox LHP Josh Taylor to give the Mets a 6-5 lead. The PawSox had a chance in the top 9th as they were able to get Chavis into scoring positon. But with 2 outs and Chavis on 3rd, 3B Tony Renda flew out to right field for the final out of the game, giving the Syracuse Mets the 6-5 victory.
Where They Stand
We are just 4 games into the season so anything can happen.
But for now, the PawSox are currently tied with the Rochester Red Wings for last place in the International League North with a record of 1-3 (.250). They are 2.0 games back behind the divisional leading Syracuse Mets and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who are both sitting at 3-1 (.750).
Just the Stats Jack
Normally this segment has the statistics from players currently playing on the PawSox Triple-A squad. This excludes players who were called up, traded, currently on the disabled list, or currently on the temporary inactive list.
But being it so early in the season, the stat nerds have asked for the week off.
Don’t worry, next week they’ll be back and have all the statistical goodness that you PawSox fans have been craving for.
The following team transaction took place from April 3 to April 7
- Sent RHP Marcus Walden and SS/Util. Tzu-Wei Lin to Boston (MLB)
- Received 1B/OF Sam Travis from Boston (MLB) after he was optioned back on 4/4
As of right now, there are no Boston Red Sox player on the current PawSox roster rehabbing with an injury.
Media Day Special
Last week before the start of the 2019 season, the PawSox players, coaches, and brass met up with the media for Q & A sessions as well as pictures and sound bites.
Coming off a 2018 where the team finished 66-73, the team had a turnover in both the roster and the coaching staff in the offseason.
One of the key changes with the team was Kevin Boles, who managed the team for the past 5 seasons, was stepping down. However taking over was Billy McMillon, who had previously managed at Single-A Greenville (2010-2011), Advanced-A Salem (2012-2013), and Double-A Portland (2014-2015) as well as have worked within the Boston Red Sox organization (2016-2018).
On media day, yours truly was able to conduct a one-on-on interview the new PawSox manager. During which, McMillon expressed his gratitude of getting the chance to manage to team, his goals and priorities for the 2019 season, and much more.
Also a familiar face that many Red Sox fans had come to know over the years was back in Pawtucket. After spending the 2018 season in the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets farm systems, OF Bryce Brentz returned to Pawtucket. A player who was a part of 2 Governors’ Cup teams (2012 & 2014), spend some time in Boston, Brentz brings not only veteran leadership to the team but as well as experience to a team brimming with youth.
I was able to catch up with Bryce on media as we both chewed the fat, reflecting on Bryce’s 2018 season away from Pawtucket, what it was like to come back to the organization that you played for nearly your entire baseball career, how the team looks compared to year’s past, the departure of Kevin Boles whom Bryce played for (2014-2017), and much more.
The PawSox will begin the week travelling to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York to face the Buffalo Bisons from April 8 to April 10 for the first time this season. Last year, the PawSox went 11-9 in the season series between the two teams, including 6-5 at Sahlen Field.
Then the team will travel back to McCoy for their home series of the season.
The team will play a 4-game weekend series against the Syracuse Mets from April 11 to April 14. This will be the PawSox first home meeting against the Mets. Last year when they were the Syracuse Chiefs, the PawSox had a 5-2 record against them at McCoy.
For Thursday night’s game on April 11, the first 5,000 fans will receive a 2018 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship poster. Friday night’s game on April 12 will be Red Sox Legendary Night
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