Ryan L. Fox
Welcome PawSox fans of all ages to WBOB’s PawSox Weekly Notebook, a weekly guide to all what’s happening with your Pawtucket Red Sox. There’s that old saying that April showers bring May flowers. But when it comes to baseball, April showers bring doubleheaders.
Because a few games this week were rained out, they were rescheduled into doubleheaders the following day or on a later date. How did this affect the PawSox? Unfortunately not for the better.
A Week in Review
April 29 to May 5
The PawSox started the week by traveling back up into Buffalo, New York, to play a 4-game midweek series against the Buffalo Bisons. This included a doubleheader to make up for game that was postponed back on April 10 due to weather.
The first game of the series took place on Monday as it was a doubleheader between the two teams.
In Game 1 of the doubleheader, the PawSox jumped out to an early 1-0 thanks to a leadoff homerun by SS Mike Miller off of Bisons starter RHP Sean Reid-Foley in the top 1st. However the Bisons countered that in the bottom 1st. After the two first batters of the inning got on base, 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. knocked a double of off PawSox starter RHP Chandler Shepherd into left field to clear the bases and give his team the early 2-1.
The PawSox were able to tie it the following top 2nd as 3B Josh Tobias hit his first Triple-A home run to make it 2-2. The Bisons responded to that with an RBI single by CF Johnathan Davis during the following bottom 2nd as the Bisons regained the lead 3-2.
In the top 3rd, the PawSox were able to load the bases with 2 outs as C Juan Centeno came to the plate. Centeno hit what would have been a routine groundout to shortstop. However SS Richard Urena ended up over throwing teammate 1B Andy Burns as the costly error allowed 2 PawSox runs to score to give the team a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as 3B Cavan Biggio ended up hitting a 2-run home run off of Shepherd in the bottom 3rd as the Bisons regained the lead again, 5-4.
Then in the bottom 4th, the Bisons broke it wide open.
After the first two men of the inning got on base, Gurriel Jr. knocked a single into right field that scored 1 run to make it 6-4. After Shepherd issued a walk, he was lifted for RHP Travis Latkins. Latkins ended up surrendering a 2 RBI double to Urena during the next at-bat as that extended the Bisons lead to 8-4. After the next 2 Bisons batters groundout and then walked, respectively, DH Michael De La Cruz came to the plate. De La Cruz then knocked a single into left field that scored 2 runs to give his team a commanding 10-4 lead.
A solo home run in the top 5th inning by LF Bryce Brentz made it 10-5 but that was the only offense that the PawSox could muster for the remainder of the game. The next 9 PawSox batters went down 1-2-3 in the remaining innings as the Bisons took Game 1 by the final score of 10-5.
Ironically enough, the second game of the doubleheader could not be played due to rain and was postponed to the following Tuesday, turning that into a doubleheader.
In Game 1 of the Tuesday doubleheader, the Bisons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a 2-run home run by 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. off PawSox starter RHP Teddy Stankiewicz. After that though, it became a minor pitching duel between Stankiewicz and Bisons starter RHP David Paulino as both teams’ offenses were stymied.
In the top 6th, the PawSox offense came to life.
After CF Rusney Castillo drew a walk, 1B Josh Ockimey was able to reach base via fielder’s choice. However during that same play, Gurriel Jr. overthrew 1B Jordan Patterson that allowed Castillo to advance to 3rd and Ockimey advance to 2nd. Castillo then ended up scoring on another fielding error, this time committed by Paulino, during SS Chad De La Guerra’s at-bat to make it 2-1. Two batters later, LF Bryce Brentz ended up hitting a sac fly into center field that scored Ockimey from 3rd to tie the game at 2-2. However during the play, Bisons CF Roemon Fields ended up committing another Bisons fielding error that allowed De La Guerra to score to give the PawSox a 3-2 lead.
However the Bisons were able to tie it up in the following bottom 6th 3-3 on a sac fly RBI by C Reese McGuire. But on the same play, SS Richard Urena ended up getting thrown out at second base to end the inning.
Then in the bottom 7th inning, after DH Michael De La Cruz got on base via walk, he was pinch-run for by Jonathan Davis. He was able to advance to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt and then to 3rd on a throwing error by PawSox LHP Bobby Poyner. After Poyner struck out 1 Bisons batter, he ended up walking 2 more to load the bases before facing Gurriel Jr. Gurriel Jr. then lined a single into center field that scored Davis from 3rd and gave his team the late-inning 4-3 victory.
In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the PawSox jumped out to an early lead.
After 2B Mike Miller and SS Chad De La Guerra got on base, CF Rusney Castillo came to the plate against Bisons RHP Connor Fisk. Castillo then knocked a 3-run home run off of Fisk into right field that gave the PawSox the early 3-0 victory.
However the Bisons were able to counter that in the bottom 3rd. After the first batter flew out into left field, the next 2 Bisons batters were able to get on base via back-to-back singles. The 3B Cavan Biggio came to the plate against PawSox starter RHP Matthew Gorst. Biggio then hit a 3-run home run off of Gorst into right center field to tie the game at 3-3.
After giving up a single on the next at-bat, Gorst was then replaced by RHP Domingo Tapia. Tapia ended up hitting the first batter he faced and then walked the next batter afterwards to load the bases for DH Michael De La Cruz. De La Cruz ended up hitting a single into left field that drove in 1 run and give his team the 4-3 lead. Tapia was able to get the next 2 Bisons batters out to escape the inning before any more damage could be done.
But for the remainder of the game, the PawSox offense just sputtered and could not get anything going. They ended up losing the game on the final score of 4-3 as the Bisons ended up sweeping the doubleheader.
The two teams then were scheduled to play on the following Wednesday but that game was called off due to rain. It was postponed to the next day, during that Thursday into another doubleheader.
In Game 1 of the doubleheader, the PawSox were able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the top 1st thanks to a solo home run by DH Eduardo Nunez, on an injury rehab assignment, off Bisons LHP Ryan Feierabend.
The Bisons were able to counter that in the following bottom 1st thanks to RBIs by 3B Cavan Biggio and SS Urena to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team. Then in the bottom 4th inning, the Bisons scored 3 more runs, including 2 home runs by LF Anthony Alford and DH Michael De La Cruz off PawSox start RHP Erasmo Ramirez, to extend their lead to 5-1. After the Bisons scored on a PawSox error in the bottom of the 5th to make it 6-1, they came out in the bottom 6th swinging.
After the lead off guy flew out to center, the Bisons were able to get guys on 1st and 2nd for 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Gurriel Jr. then hit a double into center field to clear the bases and extend the Bisons lead to 8-1. After Gurriel Jr.’s double, Biggio hit a 2-run home run into center field to push the Bisons lead to an insurmountable 10-1 lead.
The PawSox tried to answer that offensive output by the Bisons by loading up the bases in the top 7th with 2 outs in the inning. However SS Mike Miller ended up flying out to left field to end the game and give the Bisons a 10-1 victory in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
In Game 2, the Bisons were able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a solo home run by RF Jordan Patterson off PawSox starter RHP Ryan Weber and then an RBI single by CF Anthony Alford 4 batters later. The PawSox answered that in the top 3rd with a 2-run home run by C Oscar Hernandez off of Bisons starter LHP Shawn Morimando to tie it up 2-2. The PawSox then took a 3-2 lead in the top 4th thanks to an RBI by RF Cole Sturgeon.
The Bisons answered that in the bottom 4th with a 2-out RBI single by RF Jordan Patterson to tie it up 3-3. After Patterson, DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed that with a 2-out RBI double of his own to give the Bisons a 4-3 lead. In the top 5th, the PawSox took a 5-4 lead with their own 2-out 2 RBI double by 1B Josh Ockimey but the Bisons answered back with a solo home run by 1B Andy Burns to tie the game up at 5-5.
The game itself ended up going into extra innings. But in the top 8th, a sac fly by Sturgeon scored teammate DH Rusney Castillo from 3rd to give the PawSox a late 6-5 lead. The Bisons were able to get men on base and in scoring position in the bottom 8th but PH Michael De La Cruz ended up grounding out to shortstop to end the game and give the PawSox a much needed 6-5 victory.
After their series in Buffalo, the PawSox then returned home to McCoy Stadium to begin a 3-game weekend series against the Rochester Red Wings.
The first game of the series took place on Friday on the PawSox’ 40th Annual Armed Forces Night.
After a scoreless 1st inning, both teams scored just one run in the 2nd innings. For the Red Wings, it was off an error by PawSox starter RHP Mike Shawaryn. For the PawSox, it was off an RBI double by LF Bryce Brentz of Red Wings starter LHP Dan Smeltzer. From then on, it became a pitching duel between Shawaryn and Smeltzer as each starter kept the opposing batters off the scoreboard.
But in the top 9th inning, disaster struck the PawSox.
With the bases and 1 out in the inning, PawSox manager Billy McMillon decided to lift LHP Bobby Poyner in favor of RHP Domingo Tapia. The first batter Tapia faced was DH Zander Wiel, who singled into left field to score a run to make it 2-1. After a strikeout, SS Ronald Torreyes reached base on a throwing error by PawSox 3B Jantzen Witte that not only allowed 2 runs to score to make it 4-1 but extend the inning even more. The Red Wings ended up platting 3 more runs in the inning to push their lead to 7-1.
The PawSox could not answer than in the following bottom 9th, going down 1-2-3 as the Red Wings won the series opener on the final score of 7-1.
The second game of the series took place on Saturday night.
The PawSox jumped out to an early lead in the bottom 1st. After loading the bases with 1 out in the inning, LF Sam Travis hit a single into left field that scored two runs to make it 2-0. Then after Travis, DH Bryce Brentz hit a 3-run home run off Red Wings starter LHP Lewis Thorpe to make it 5-0. An RBI single by SS Mike Miller during his 2nd at-bat in the inning pushed the lead to a commanding 6-0 as it seemed like the PawSox were ready to cruise for the rest of the game.
However the Red Wings began to chip into the PawSox lead in the top 2nd. They got back-to-back RBI singles by 2B Jordany Valdespin and 3B Drew Maggi to make it 6-2. Then PawSox starter RHP Chandler Shepherd hit SS Nick Gordon with a pitch to drive in another run to make it 6-3. An RBI double in the top 3rd by Valdespin then made it 6-4 as the Red Wings continued to claw their way back into the game.
The in the top 4th, Gordon lead things off with a double into left field. Two batters later, RF LaMonte Wade Jr. got on base via single that advanced Gordon to 3rd. Then during LF Brent Rooker’s at-bat, the Red Wings pulled off a double steal as Wade Jr. stole 2nd and Gordon stole home to make it 6-5. Rooker then proceeded to hit a 2-run home run into left field to give his team the early 7-6 lead.
In the bottom 4th, SS Mike Miller got on base via a leadoff walk. He was then able to score on a RBI double by RF Rusney Castillo 2 batters later as the PawSox were able to tie it up 7-7. Then in the bottom 5th, Brentz got on board via a leadoff hit-by-pitch. He was able to advance to 2nd on a ground out to the by CF Gorkys Hernandez before scoring on an RBI single by 2B Josh Tobias to allow the PawSox to regain the lead 8-7. But an RBI by Valdepsin in the top 6th tied the game at 8-8 heading into the later innings.
In the top 9th inning, the Red Wings were able to tag PawSox RHP Jenrry Mejia with back-to-back doubles, including an RBI double by Gordon, as they took a late 9-8 lead. The Mejia ended up throwing back-to-back wild pitches against Wade Jr. that allowed Gordon to score and give the Red Wings a late 10-8 lead.
The PawSox offense could not respond back as they went down 1-2-3, giving the Red Wings the 10-8 victory.
The two teams were scheduled to face off against one another on Sunday matinee series finale but it was called off due to rain and rescheduled for June 7.
Where They Stand
We are now approximately 30 games into the 2019 IL season.
As of right now, the PawSox are currently sitting tied for 5th place in the International League North with the Buffalo Bisons, each team sporting a record of 11-17 (.393). They are 7.5 games back behind the divisional leading Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who are sitting on top of the division at 19-10 (.655).
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are from players currently playing on the PawSox Triple-A squad as of 5/5. This excludes players who were called up, traded, currently on the disabled list, or currently on the temporary inactive list.
At the Plate
(*=min. 40 at-bats)
- CF Gorkys Hernandez leads the team in stolen bases (4) and strikeouts (31)
- INF Mike Miller leads the team in batting average (.310)*, OBP (.412)*, and OPS (.883)*. He is tied with teammate CF Rusney Castillo for team lead in hits (27)
- Castillo leads the team in at-bats (93), runs scored (18), RBIs (22), and total bases (45). He is also tied with teammate 1B Josh Ockimey for team lead in hit-by-pitch (2)
- Ockimey leads the team in home runs (5), extra base hits (12), walks drawn (19), and SLG (.500)*
- There is a 3-way tie between Castillo, Ockimey, and 1B/OF Sam Travis in leading the team in games played (26)
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 15.0 IP)
- SP Mike Shawaryn leads all starters in ERA (2.72)*, innings pitched (36.1), strikeouts (27), WHIP (1.16)*, opposing batting average (.236)*, and batters faced (146). He is tied with teammate SP Ryan Weber in leading all starters in no-decisions (3). Shawaryn is also tied with teammate SP Chandler Shepherd in leading all starters in games played (6) and games started (6)
- Weber leads all starters in complete games (1)
- Shepherd leads all starters in losses (4), hit batsmen (4), walks allowed (13), and K/9 (9.3)*
- There is a 3-way tie between Shawaryn, Ramirez, and Weber in leading all starters in wins (1)
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 7 appearances)
- RHP Jenrry Mejia leads the bullpen game appearances (12), saves (5), innings pitched (13.1), games finished (9), and WHIP (1.13)*. He is also tied with teammate LHP Bobby Poyner in bullpen loses (2).
-Poyner leads the bullpen in walks allowed. He is tied with teammate LHP Josh Taylor in leading the bullpen in K/9 (13.9)*
- Taylor leads the bullpen in ERA (1.54)*, strikeouts (18), opposing batting average (.195)*, and holds (2)
- RHP Trevor Kelley leads the bullpen in bullpen wins (2)
- RHP Domingo Tapia leads the bullpen in hit batsmen (3) and total batters faced (67). He is tied with teammate RHP Matthew Gorst in leading the bullpen in bullpen starts (1)
The following team transaction took place from April 29 to May 5
- Received RHP Travis Lakins for Boston (MLB) after being optioned on 4/26
- Received 2B/3B Eduardo Nunez from Boston (MLB) to begin 20-day injury rehab assignment (mid-back strain)
- Sent 2B/Util. Brock Holt to Boston (MLB) after completion of MLB injury rehab assignment
- Received 2B/SS Nick Lovullo from Portland (AA)
- Placed 2B/3B Cha De La Guerra on the 7-day disabled list with a right wrist sprain
- Sent 2B/3B Eduardo Nunez to Boston (MLB) after completion of MLB injury rehab assignment
As of right now, there are currently no Boston Red Sox on an injury rehab assignment with the PawSox.
The most recent Boston Red Sox player to rehab with the PawSox was 2B/3B Eduardo Nunez.
Nunez was originally placed on the 10-day disabled on April 19 due to a mid-back strain. It wasn’t until April 29 that he was sent to Pawtucket for an injury rehab assignment. His first game appearance was that day in a 10-5 road loss against the Buffalo Bisons in Buffalo, New York. In the game, Nunez played DH and batted 2nd in the order for the game, going 0-for-4 in the contest. Nunez played in 3 more rehab games before getting recalled back to Boston on May 4.
Overall, Nunez appeared in 4 rehab games with the PawSox. He hit .133 (2-for-15) with 1 RBI, 1 HR, 1 strikeout, and an OBP/SLG.OPS line of .133/.333/.467.
Previously Rehab Stints with Pawtucket
- 2B/Util. Brock Holt (April 16 – April 20, April 26 - April 29)
The PawSox will take May 6 off as a rest/travel day as the team heads south.
From May 7 to May 9, the PawSox will face off against the Norfolk Tides in Norfolk, Virginia. Last year, the PawSox won the season series between the two teams 4-2, including going a perfect 3-0 at Harbor Park.
After their midweek series against the Tides, the PawSox will head further south to Lawrenceville, Georgia to take on the Gwinnett Stripers for a weekend series from May 10 to May 12. Last year, the two teams split the season series 3-3 with the Stripers sweeping their 3 home games against the PawSox.
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