Month: April 2009

Hanson, Braves Silence PawSox 5-0

PAWTUCKET- The PawSox bats were quieted by strong pitching once again, amassing only 3 hits in falling to the Gwinnett Braves 5-0 tonight at McCoy.  It’s the first time the PawSox have been shut out this season.

The loss was Pawtucket’s third straight, over which they have scored a total of two runs.  Gwinnett has now won four straight.

Braves starter Tommy Hanson (1-3) showed the fans at McCoy why he is considered the top prospect in the Atlanta organization.  Hanson allowed only 3 hits over six innings.  He walked one and struck out nine.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen him.” said Pawsox Manager Ron Johnson, “I heard the hype.  You see why he’s rated where he’s rated.”

The best threat of the night for the PawSox came in the bottom of the first when they loaded the bases with only one out.  But Hanson settled down and struck out Dusty Brown and Chip Ambres to get out of the jam.

“When you got someone on the ropes like that, you gotta close the deal” said Johnson, “If they get into that point where they haven’t settled in yet, you’ve got to capitalize.”

Lefty Mariano Gomez pitched three perfect innings in closing out the game for the Braves.  The PawSox were held hitless for the last seven innings of the game.

PawSox starter Charlie Zink (0-3) had trouble finding the plate all night.  He gave up five runs on nine hits.  He walked five, struck out only three, and hit three batters.  Zink has hit nine batters so far in 2009.  The team record is 11 by Danny Parks in 1981.  Zink threw 98 pitches, only 52 for strikes.

“I thought Charlie did a pretty god job” said Johnson, “But going six innings and giving up five (runs), I’m sure Charlie isn’t too pleased with that.”

LH Chris George relieved Zink and pitched three scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.

Offensively the Braves were led by SS Diory Hernandez, had three hits and drove in two of the Braves runs.  LF Brian Barton also had three hits and drove in a run.   CF Gregor Bianco added a pair of hits and one RBI.

Game two of the series is tomorrow night (6:15pm) as Michael Bowden (1-0, 0.64 ERA) will return to the PawSox mound.  He’ll be opposed by Kris Medlen (2-0, 2.04 ERA) for the Braves.

Braves Increase Their Lead to 5-0 Over PawSox After Four

The Gwinnett Braves now lead the PawSox 5-0 through four innings tonight at McCoy.

PawSox starter Charlie Zink has not had a good night, giving up four runs (two earned) in the top of the fourth.  He has given up eight hits while walking five and hitting two batters.  Zink has hit 8 batters so far in this young season.  He has thrown 77 pitches, 39 for strikes…

Braves Lead PawSox After Two 1-0

The Gwinnett Braves lead the PawSox 1-0 after two innings tonight at McCoy.

PawSox starter Charlie Zink has had a shaky couple of innings, giving up a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Braves SS Diory Hernandez.  He also struggled in the second, allowing the first two Braves to reach base before getting out of the jam unscathed.

The PawSox were able to load the bases in the first with one out, but Braves starter Tommy Hanson struck out Dusty Brown and Chip Ambres to end the threat…

PawSox vs. Gwinnett Braves-April 30, 2009

sox-gwinnettWelcome to McCoy as the PawSox return home to open up an eight game homestand with four games against the Gwinnett Braves.  RHP Tommy Hanson (0-3, 2.18 ERA) throws for the Braves.  He’ll be opposed by RHP  Charlie Zink (0-2, 4.96) for the PawSox.

The weather is seasonable for April 30th, so we will get this game in…

Here’s a quick preview from press row…

GWINNETT BRAVES (8-12)

LINE-UP

Gregor Blanco CF
Brian Barton LF
Brooks Conrad 2B
Barbaro Canizares DH
Diory Hernndez SS
Reid Gorecki RF
Van Pope 3B
J.C. Boscan C
Wes Timmons 1B

The Braves come to McCoy for their only visit of 2009.  They do so in a new location…moving to Gwinnett County, GA after spending 33 years in Richmond, VA.

Gwinnett got off to a rough start this season, but has turned things around, winning their last three contests. The currently sit in third place in the IL South, 4 1/2 games behind Durham.

Hanson is rated as the #1 prospect in the Braves organization.  He is also ranked 13 in the Baseball Prospectus Top 100.  He has pitched fairly well over his first four starts, giving up a total of only five earned runs.  Unfortunately the Braves offense has not been able to score enough runs to earn him a win.  It will be interesting to see how he fares tonight.

PAWTUCKET RED SOX

LINE-UP

Sean Danielson CF
Gil Velazquez SS
Paul McAnulty 1B
Chris Carter RF
Dusty Brown C
Chip Ambres DH
Travis Denker 2B
Jeff Corsaletti LF
Angel Chavez 3B

The PawSox return home after a 3-3 road trip through Lehigh Valley and Rochester.  Pawtucket is in third place in the IL North, 5 1/2 games behind Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  The PawSox had great success against the Braves in 2008, going 6-1, winning all four games played at McCoy.

Zink comes into the game off his most impressive performance of the season, a six inning, one hit, one run affair last week against the Iron Pigs.

Tonight marks the McCoy return for two members of the team who spent part of their early season in Boston. Gil Velzaquez was called up when Jed Lowrie injured his wrist. Chris Carter started 2009 on the Boston roster and was optioned back to Pawtucket last week while the team was in Lehigh Valley.

With all the call-ups and injuries to the team, it has really played a negative impact on the offense.  The PawSox have hit a home run in over a week, dating back to Jonathan Van Every’s game-tying grnad slam on August 22nd against Rochester.

That’s it for now…join me for updates throughout the game….

PawSox Bats Quieted by Chiefs 4-1

The Pawtucket Red Sox offense was limited to 8 singles, and they hit into three double plays, falling to the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-1 last night in Syracuse.

The PawSox lone run came in the top of the third on a RBI single by Sean Danielson.  Danielson, Chris Carter, and Gil Velazquez each had two hits to lead the PawSox.

Chiefs third baseman Cory Castro drove in a pair of runs while RF Jorge Padilla had two hits for Syracuse.

Kris Johnson (1-2) took the loss for the PawSox.  He gave up all four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work.  He gave up five hits walking three and striking out six.  Daniel Bard again had an impressive relief appearance, working two innings, giving up one hit while striking out four.  He lowered his ERA to 1.42.

Syracuse starter Michael O’Connor (1-0) picked up the win for the Chiefs.

The PawSox return home tonight to begin an eight game home stand with four against the Gwinnett Braves.  Charlie Zink (0-2, 4.96 ERA) throws for the PawSox.  He’ll be opposed by Braves top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson (0-3, 2.18 ERA).

I plan to be at tonight’s game and will provide updates throughout.

NOTES:  PawSox starter Michael Bowden returned to the PawSox yesterday after his brief relief appearnce with Boston last Sunday against the Yankees.  Bowden is expected to start game two of the series against the braves on Friday.  To make room for Bowden RP Robert Coello was sent to Single A Salem.

The Ups and Downs Through 15 Games

Real life work and family commitments have kept me away from the blog quite a bit during the early goings of the 2009 season.  I apologize to those who follow this blog. This labor of love needs to take a back seat to what pays the bills.  That’s just the way it is..

The good thing is that you don’t have to miss any news from the team in my absence.  The PawSox themselves are doing a great job in providing daily updates on the team.  A visit to the team’s website will provide any fan with a daily dose of team information and statistics.  There is always enough news and notes to be found in the great work done by Bill Wanless.  Don’t forget to add the blogs from radio guys Dan Hoard and Steve Hyder to your favorite news aggregator.  They have the inside scoops that come with their daily access to the club.  And he new MLB-look to the site is a plus in and of itself!

Now back to the team.  I really don’t think you can expect much more than its 9-6 start after 15 games.  The number of players moving to and from Manager Ron Johnson’s club makes it difficult for the team to develop any consistency.  As of Friday the PawSox have already used 31 players (16 position and 15 pitchers).  More moves are on the way for today as IF Gil Velazquez is expected to retrun to the PawSox after being optioned by Boston yesterday.  The outfield has been in shambles with the latest news that Zach Daegas has been placed on the 7 day DL with a right ankle injury.  Chris Carter just returned to the team on Friday.  Chip Ambres has been the only consistent member of the tandom through 15 ganes.

Although the starting rotation has been intact since opening day, the bullpen has been taxed.  Over the last two days alone RJ has had to employ his entire pen.  I can’t wait to see when the injury situation settles down in Boston how this team will look and beigin to work as one unit.

Elsewhere across the International League, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees at 14-1?  I’m sure they’ll cool down soon, right?  The PawSox are in second place, already five games off the pace.   Once SWB comes back to earth we may come to enjoy another Sox-Yankees division race.  Let’s hope so.

I am hoping to be back at McCoy when the club returns from its road trip on Thursday.  Talk to you then…if not sooner.

PawSox Earn Spilt Over IronPigs 2-0

PAWTUCKET- The Pawtucket Red Sox scored two runs in the first inning, then rode another solid staff-wide pitching performance to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 2-0 to earn a split of their four game series this afternoon at McCoy.

The PawSox scored their runs on a wind-aided two-run homer to left by DH Paul McAnulty, his second homer of the season.

PawSox starter Michael Bowden (1-0) once again put in a solid performance, pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up only three hits.  He walked one and struck out seven.  He lowered his ERA to 0.64.  The win was Bowden’s first Triple A victory.

“He’s made progress each and every outing” said PawSox Manager Ron Johnson of Bowden, “His slider was impressive today. I was impressed with everything he did today.”

“It definitely felt well” said Bowden, “I felt comfortable out there, getting ahead of guys.”

Fernando Cabrera followed Bowden by throwing 2 2/3 innings of no hit ball.  Daniel Bard came in to pitch a scoreless ninth to pick-up his third save of the season.  PawSox pitchers struck out a total of 10 IronPig batters.

Bowden’s only shaky inning came in the top of the fourth, when he loaded the bases with one out.  But he settled down, inducing Lehigh Valley right fielder Jeremy Sladen to ground to third where Angel Chavez forced a runner at home.  Chavez then made a diving stop on a grounder to force out J.J. Furmaniak at first to end the threat.

“Anything in Chavez’ vicinity he’s gonna grab.” said Bowden, “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen over there.”

IronPigs starter Kyle Kendrick (1-1) could not duplicate the success of his first two starts of 2009.  He had trouble commanding his pitches in taking the loss, throwing 88 pitches through only four innings of work.

PawSox RF Chip Ambres led all PawSox hitters with two of the PawSox’ five hits.

Pawtucket opens up a two-game home series tomorrow night (6:15 pm) with the Rochester Red Wings.  Kris Johnson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) throws for the PawSox.  He’ll be opposed by Anthony Swarzak (0-2, 0.82) for the Red Wings.

AFTER THE FACT: With Boston’s Rocco Baldelli injuring his hamstring in today’s win over the Orioles, could the Sox be calling up Jeff Bailey to take his spot on the Red Sox roster?  As of this writing nothing is official…but Bailey was replaced in the field in the top of the ninth by Zach Daegas and Manager Ron Johnson was not coaching third base in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Could a call have come in from Boston?  We’ll wait and see.

PawSox Still Lead After Four

The PawSox still lead the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 2-0 after four innings on this Patriot’s Day matinee…

The PawSox scored their runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer to left by Paul McAnulty…

Starter Michael Bowden has held the Iron Pigs scoreless through four.  He did struggle a bit in the fourth, loading the bases with one out.  But he induced LHV right fielder Jeremy Sladen to ground to third where Angel Chavez forced a runner at home.  Chavez then made a diving stop of a grounder to force out J.J. Furmaniak at first to end the threat…  Through four Bowden has thrown 75 poitches, 48 for strikes…