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. That’s enough of the pleasantries so let’s get down to business.
After a shaky start to May, the PawSox looked to finish the month strong and begin June on a strong note. This included a week against divisional rivals that were ahead of the PawSox in the standings. Were the PawSox able to make up ground? Let’s find out.
A Week in Review
May 28 to June 2
After playing on Memorial Day, the PawSox head back home on May 28 to begin a 7-game home stand at McCoy.
Up first were the Lehigh Valley IronPigs as the two teams faced off against each other on May 28 to May 30. This included a doubleheader on Tuesday, May 28, with Game 2 being a make-up game for a game back on April 22 that was postponed due to weather.
Instead the doubleheader was rained out, forcing a schedule change.
The Wednesday match-up would become a doubleheader with Game 1 being the regular scheduled game while Game 2 was going to be the make-up game that was postponed twice. The original Tuesday game was postponed all the way to August 30, the next time the PawSox and Iron Pigs met at McCoy.
So on Wednesday, May 29, the PawSox and the IronPigs squared off in a doubleheader. The two teams split the doubleheader with PawSox taking Game 1 on the final score of 7-3 while the IronPigs took Game 2 on the final score of 3-1.
On Thursday, May 30, the two teams met for the series finale in a late morning start (11:05 a.m.).
For the first 3 innings of the game, both teams could not advance a runner past 2nd. Both starters, LHP Kyle Hart for the PawSox and LHP Ranger Suarez, were able to stymie the opposition’s bats.
The IronPigs came close to scoring in the top 4th. SS Andrew Romine got base with a 1-out double into left field and then Ali Castillo singled into left field. Unfortunately for the IronPigs, 3B Mitch Walding grounded into an inning-ending double-play to end the scoring threat.
It was PawSox who got the game’s first score in the bottom 4th.
After the leadoff man struck out, LF Sam Travis knocked a double into left field and then 1B Josh Ockimey drew a walk. Both PawSox baserunners were able to advance up a base on teammate CF Rusney Castillo’s groundout as RF Bryce Brentz came to the plate. With 2 outs and 2 men on, Brentz singled into right field to drive in Travis and Ockimey to give the PawSox the 2-0 lead.
The PawSox were able to add on to their lead in the bottom 7th thanks to a 2-run home run by 3B Jantzen Witte off IronPigs RHP Seth McGarry to go up 4-0.
The IronPigs could not get any offense going as they went down quietly in both the 8th and 9th innings, giving the PawSox a 4-0 victory in the series finale.
In his PawSox debut, Hart went the whole 9 innings as he recorded the team’s 2nd complete game of the year and the team’s first complete game shut-out of 2019.
After their series with the IronPigs, the PawSox welcomed back the Syracuse Mets for a weekend series to close out May and begin June.
The two teams met in the series opener on Friday, May 30.
It didn’t take long for the game’s first run to be scored.
During his first at-bat in the top 1st, Mets CF Rajai Davis took the second pitch of the game from PawSox starter RHP Teddy Stankiewicz over the left field wall for a solo home run to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.
Then in the top 2nd, 3B Luis Guillorme lead the inning off with a leadoff single before advancing to 2nd on a wild pitch during teammate 1B Travis Taijeron’s at-bat. Taijeron was able to work the count full before hitting a single into right field, driving in Guillorme to make the score 2-0. Taijeron proceeded to steal 2nd base but was stranded there as the next 2 Mets batters went down swinging and the last batter of the inning flew out to center.
In the top 3rd, Mets 2B Ruben Tejeda led the inning off with a double into left field. After him, 1B Rene Rivera drew a walk to put men on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Two batters later, SS Danny Espinosa came to the plate. After falling behind 0-2, Espinosa saw a Stankiewicz pitch down the middle and knocked the ball into the deepest part of McCoy Stadium for a 3-run home run to push the Mets lead to 5-0.
After Guillorme drew a walk, he then proceeded to score on a triple by Taijeron to make it 6-0 in favor of the visitors. After Taijeron’s triple, RF Gregor Blanco drew a walk to put men on 1st and 2nd as LF Tim Tebow came to the plate. Tebow then singled into left field, driving in Taijeron to make it 7-0 with no only 1 out in the inning. Stankiewicz was pulled after that with RHP Domingo Tapia to finish the inning. Tapia then got the next two Mets batters he faced out to end the inning.
Tapia was able to stifle the Mets in the top 4th but ran into trouble in the top 5th.
Taijeron lead the inning off with a leadoff walk as Tebow induced a walk himself two batters later. A single by Davis then loaded up the bases as Tejeda came to bat in the inning. Tejeda hit was would have been an inning-ending double at PawSox SS Mike Miller. However Miller bobbled the ball, allowing Tejeda to be safe at 1st and Taijeron to score from 3rd to make it 8-0. C Rene Rivera then came to the plate and was plunked by Tapia on the first pitch during the at-bat, driving in a run to make it 9-0. Luckily for Tapia and the PawSox, Mets DH Matt Kemp hit into a double play to end the inning before the Mets could drive in any more runs.
The PawSox were able to score their first run of the game in the bottom 5th thanks to a solo home run by CF Gorkys Hernandez off of Coleman into left center field to make it 9-1. The PawSox tried to build off that with a 2-out double by C Oscar Hernandez but Miller ended up striking out to end the inning.
In the top 6th inning, RHP Adam Lau came into pitch for Tapia for the PawSox. He then proceeded to give up a leadoff walk to Espinosa as Guillorme got on base thanks to another error by Miller. With men on 1st and 2nd, Taijeron came to the plate. Facing a 1-2 count, Taijeron knocked the next Lau pitch he saw out of McCoy for a 3-run home run to make it 12-1 in favor of the visiting Mets. Lau then proceeded to walk the next 3 batters he faced to load the bases before facing PH Arismendy Alcantara. Lau then struck Alcantara before then getting pulled himself in favor of RHP Trevor Kelley. Kelley then proceeded to get the next two Mets batters out to end the inning.
The PawSox tried to rally in the later innings.
In the top 8th, the 3B Jantzen Witte drove in a run with a single into center field to make it 12-2. A walk to 2B Marco Hernandez put men on 1st and 2nd with only 1 out in the inning. However the next two PawSox batters struck out to end the inning and the PawSox scoring threat.
The Mets tacked on another run in the top 9th thanks to an RBI single by Blanco off of PawSox OF Cole Sturgeon, who was pitch in the inning, to make it 13-2.
The PawSox tried one more time to rally in the bottom 9th inning.
RF Bryce Brentz led the inning off with a double and advanced to 3rd on a single by G. Hernandez. The next 2 PawSox batters then proceeded to pop out to shortstop as the team’s chances were dropping. Then Miller induced a walk to load up the bases with 2 outs in the inning as Witte came to the plate. Witte hit what would be a routine ground out to Mets LHP Ryan O’Rourke to end the game. However O’Rourke overthrew Taijeron, allowing both Brentz and G. Hernandez to score to make it 13-4 while allowing Miller and Witte to advance to 3rd and 2nd respectively. But then M. Hernandez ended up lining out for the game’s final out, giving the Mets the 13-4 victory.
The 13 runs were the most allowed runs this season and the most runs allowed by the PawSox at home since April 11, 2018, when they lost to the Buffalo Bisons at home 14-8. Also, Mets 1B Travis Taijeron ended up hitting for the cycle in the game (4-4, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 2 R), becoming the 1st Syracuse* player minor leaguer in 32 years to do so since OF Sil Campusano against the Richmond Braves** on August 25, 1987 at Diamond Ballpark in Richmond, Virginia.
(* = They were the Syracuse Chiefs at the time and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue
Jays from 1978 to 2008)
(** = The Richmond Braves were a past incarnation of the Gwinnett Stripers from 1966 to 2008)
On Saturday, June 1, the two teams met for the rubber match of the series.
The PawSox were the first to score in the bottom 2nd inning.
After the first 2 PawSox batters got out in the inning, DH Bryce Brentz and CF Gorkys Hernandez were each able to induce walks to put baserunners on board. The C Juan Centeno came to the plate. Centeno then singled into right field, driving in Brentz from 3rd for the early 1-0. Then after Centeno, LF Cole Sturgeon came in and singled into right field again to drive in G. Hernandez to push the lead to 2-0.
In the bottom 3rd, 3B Jantzen Witte led the inning off with a single. After the next 2 PawSox players got out, RF Rusney Castillo doubled into right field to put runners in scoring position. After Castillo, Brentz came to bat again. He was able to induce a walk but Mets C Rene Rivera allowed the ball to pass by him. As a result, Witte came in to score to make it 3-0. After that, G. Hernandez singled into center field that drove in Castillo to make it 4-0 in favor of the home team.
The Mets tried to class back in the top 4th thanks to an RBI single by SS Danny Espinosa off PawSox starter RHP Erasmo Ramirez to make it 4-1. Then in the top 5th, 2B Ruben Tejada was able to hit a sac fly into right field to drive in another Mets run to make it 4-2.
However that was as much offense that the Mets could muster up for the remainder of the game. Ramirez and the PawSox bullpen stymied Mets batters, holding them to a total of just 3 singles for the remainder as the PawSox ended up winning on the final score of 4-2.
Then on Sunday, June 2, the two teams met for the series finale as each team were looking to get the victory and win the weekend series.
The Mets were able to get on the board first thanks to an RBI single by 1B Travis Taijeron off of PawSox starter LHP Dedgar Jimenez in the top 1st for the early 1-0 lead. But the PawSox were able to match that with a leadoff solo home run by CF Gorkys Hernandez off Mets starter RHP Chris Flexen in the bottom 1st to make it 1-1.
In the top 2nd, LF Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run off of Jimenez over the right field wall to give the Mets the 2-1 lead. Three batters later, CF Rajai Davis added his only solo home run into left field to push the Mets lead to 3-1.
In the bottom 2nd, DH Bryce Brentz led the inning off with a double. Two batters later, 2B Mike Miller hit what would have been a routine ground out to 3rd. However Mets 3B Luis Guillorme bobbled the ball, allowing Brentz to score safely to make it 3-2. Two innings later, the PawSox were able to tie the game up at 3-3 thanks to a leadoff solo home run by 3B Jantzen Witte off of Flexen into center field.
After 2 scoreless innings, the PawSox were able to break the tie in the bottom 6th thanks to 1B Josh Ockimey’s solo home run off of Flexen to make it 4-3.
In the top 7th, after the leadoff man popped out to 2nd, DH Matt Kemp got on base with a single. Then SS Danny Espinosa came to the plate against PawSox RHP Adam Lau. On the first pitch from Lau, Espinosa hit a 2-run home run over the right field wall to make it 5-4 in favor of the Mets.
The PawSox were able to rally in the bottom 7th. After C Oscar Hernandez reach 2nd on 2 costly errors by Mets RHP Eric Hanhold, G. Hernandez singled into right field to put runners at the corners. After Witte got on base during the following at-bat, SS Marco Hernandez came to the plate with the bases loaded. M. Hernandez then ripped a line drive single into right field to drive in both O. Hernandez and G. Hernandez to make it 6-5 in favor of the home team. Two batters later, RF Rusney Castillo singled into center field to drive in Witte to make it 7-5.
The Mets had one more chance to rally in the top 9th.
Mets 2B Ruben Tejada lead the inning off with a led off single off of PawSox RHP Jenry Mejia into center field. However the next 2 Mets batters struck out swinging as Taijeron came to the plate. During his at-bat, Mejia ended up throwing a wild pitch that allowed Tejada to advance to 2nd. Taijeron ended up walking to put 2 baserunners on board with 2 outs in the inning. However 3B Luis Guillorme ended up grounding out to end the game, giving the PawSox the 7-5 victory as well as the series, their 2nd consecutive series won in a week.
Where They Stand
Things are slowly improving for the PawSox was they head into the month of June.
They are now currently sitting in 4th place in the International League North with a record of 23-31 (.426), going 11-13 at McCoy while 12-18 on the road.
Still, they PawSox are 8.5 games back behind the divisional leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, who are sitting on top of the division at 30-21 (.588).
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are from players currently playing on the PawSox Triple-A squad as of 6/3. This excludes players who were called up, traded, suspended, currently on the disabled list, currently on the temporary inactive list, or have yet to report to the team after being optioned by Boston.
At the Plate
(*=min. 60 at-bats)
- CF Gorkys Hernandez leads the team in stolen bases (7)
- 1B Josh Ockimey leads the team in games played (5), runs scored (34), home runs (12), extra base hits (22), RBIs (28), total bases (84), walks drawn (41), strikeouts (56), OBP (.383)*, SLG (.538)*, and OPS (.922)*
- INF Mike Miller leads the team in at-bats (175) and hit (48)
- 1B/3B Jantzen Witte leads the team in batting average (.295)*
There is a 5-way tie between Ockimey, G. Hernandez, Witte, CF Rusney Castillo, and LF Bryce Brentz in leading all batters in being hit-by-pitch (2)
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 20.0 IP)
- SP Erasmo Ramirez leads all starters in games played (10), games started (9), no-decisions (4), innings pitched (41.1), hit batsmen (4), walks allowed (28), strikeouts (432), WHIP (1.32)*, opposing batting average (.248)* and batters faced (182). He is tied with teammate SP Teddy Stankiewicz in leading all starters in wins (2). Ramirez is also tied with teammate SP Josh Smith in leading all starters in hit batsmen (2)
- Stankiewicz leads all starters in losses (4), ERA (3.98)*, and walks allowed (21)
- Smith leads all starters in K/9 (10.4)*. He is tied with teammate SP Kyle Hart in leading all starters in complete games (1)
- Hart leads all starters in complete game shut-outs (1)
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 7 appearances)
- RHP Trevor Kelley leads the bullpen in bullpen wins (4), ERA (1.05)*, and holds (4)
- LHP Bobby Poyner leads the bullpen in walks allowed (15), strikeouts (29), and K/9 (12.2)*
- LHP Dan Runzler leads the bullpen in opposing batting average (.211)*.
- RHP Domingo Tapia leads the bullpen in bullpen starts (1), innings pitched (29.0), hit batsmen (4) and total batters faced (133)
- RHP Jenrry Mejia leads the bullpen in bullpen losses (3), game appearances (24), saves (7), WHIP (1.19)* and games finished (19)
The following team transaction took place from May 28 to June 2
- Received SP Kyle Hart from Portland (AA)
- Sent SP Matt Kent to Portland (AA)
- Sent LHP Josh Taylor to Boston (MLB)
- Received RHP Travis Latkins from Boston (MLB) after he was optioned on 5/29
- Sent SP Mike Shawaryn to Boston (MLB)
- Placed LHP Jeremy Bleich on the 7-day disabled list with a left knee sprain
- Sent 1B/OF Sam Travis to Boston (MLB)
- Received SP Dedgar Jimenez from Portland (AA)
- Received 2B/3B Josh Tobias from Portland (AA)
As of right now, there are currently no Boston Red Sox on an injury rehab assignment with the PawSox.
Previously Rehab Stints with Pawtucket
- 2B/Util. Brock Holt (April 16 – April 20, April 26 - April 29, May 15 – May 24)
- 2B/3B Eduardo Nunez (April 29 – May 4)
- LHP Brian Johnson (May 15 – May 21)
- 2B Dustin Pedroia (May 17 – May 24)
Currently there are 6 PawSox players that are on the disabled list.
Most recently, LHP Jeremy Bleich was placed off the disabled list on May 30, prior to the team’s game against the Syracuse Mets, with a left knee sprain.
Current Players on Disabled List
RHP Austin Maddox (April 4 to present day)
RHP Mark Montgomery (April 4 to present day)
RHP Zack Putnam (April 4 to present day)
RHP Carson Smith (April 4 to present day)
INF/OF Tony Renda (April 14 to present day with right shoulder strain)
LHP Jeremy Bleich (May 30 to present day with left knee sprain)
This will be an interesting week for the PawSox.
From June 3 to June 6, the PawSox will be facing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for another midweek series. However from June 3 to June 4, the teams will be playing at McCoy with the game on June 4 starting at 11:05 a.m. After that, the two teams will head down to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to play 2 games at Coca-Cola Park from June 5 to June 6.
After their midweek series against the IronPigs, the PawSox will host the Rochester Red Wings for a 4-game weekend series from June 7 to June 9. This will include a double-header on Friday night, June 7, with Game 1 being the regularly scheduled game while Game 2 will be a make-up game for a postponed game back on May 5.
There following PawSox season promotions will be taking place during the upcoming week.
On Tuesday, June 4, will be Osos Polares de Pawtucket night, the 5th of the 2019 season, to celebrate the team’s surrounding Hispanic community in the city of Pawtucket.
Also on that same day, the PawSox will have STEM Student Day for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM. Each student who will attend the game will receive a Baseball Math and Science workbook and will be treated with between innings performances by Atomic Allen from Mad Science.
On Friday, June 7, the PawSox will have Mookie Betts MVP where the first 3,000 fans will receive a Mookie Betts MVP bobblehead prior to the start of their match-up against the Rochester Red Wings. Also the team will be host their 3rd annual Deaf Awareness Night at McCoy. Started back in 2016, it was designed to bring more recognition and awareness of deaf and hard-of-hearing members in the New England Community.
On Saturday, June 8, the PawSox will have their 8th annual Star Wars night. Then after their game against the Red Wings, the PawSox will be having their seasonal Post-Game Fireworks. This time, it’ll be a Star Wars Theme to celebrate Star Wars night.
The on Sunday, June 9, the team will have their annual ‘Bark at the Park’ where fans can bring their 4-legged friends to McCoy for the game. Then after the completion of the game, the team will have its seasonal Post Game Run the Bases where fans and their dogs can run the bases.
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