Month: September 2008

PawSox’ Season Ends With Dramtic Extra Inning Loss

Scranton Wilkes/Barre RF Shelly Duncan belted a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Yankees to a 2-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox and advance them to the Governor’s Cup Finals. Scranton won the best-of-five series over the PawSox 3 games to 1.

Duncan’s blast came on a 1-0 pitch right over the heart of the plate thrown by PawSox right hander Edgar Martinez, who had just entered the game in relief of lefty Hunter Jones. Jones (0-1) took the loss as 2B Bernie Castro led off the inning with a double to left and scored ahead of Duncan.

It was a tough way to end the season for Pawtucket as the team never really was able to get its league leading offense going against a stellar Yankees pitching staff. The PawSox were able to score a total of only 8 runs in the four game series.

This game was a pitcher’s duel from the get-go as both PawSox starter Bartolo Colon and Yankees starter Phillip Hughes showed the crowd at PNC Field why they are Major League-caliber pitchers. Colon had his best outing of the season, hurling 7 2/3 scoreless innings giving up only two hits. He struck out three and walked no one. Hughes matched Colon inning for inning, working eight scoreless frames giving up four hits while striking out 11 and also walking no one. Both these right handers should find themselves back with their Major League clubs before the end of the season.

The PawSox saw their best chance to score a run come in the top of the ninth when they had two men on with one out. But Yankees reliever Scott Strickland struck out Chris Carter and forced George Kottaras to ground out to third to end the threat.

Strickland (1-0) also worked a scoreless tenth to earn the win.

The most successful regular season in PawSox history did not carry itself into the playoffs. But Manager Ron Johnson and his club should take satisfaction in that they were able to successfully develop talent for Boston while still put together an entertaining product for the fans at McCoy.

NOTES: The Yankees will square off against the Durham Bulls in the Governor’s Cup Finals after the Bulls dispatched the Louisville Bats, 9-1 tonight to win their best of five series 3 games to 1. BOX



Igawa, Yankees Stymie PawSox

The Pawtucket Red Sox were done in by another solid pitching performance by the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees, falling 6-4 last night in game three of the Governor’s Cup opening round playoffs. The Yankees now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Yankees’ ace Kei Igawa (1-0) kept the PawSox offense in check, allowing only two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven innings of work. The lone Pawtucket runs off Igawa came on a two-run single in the fourth by Josh Wilson.

Dusty Brown tagged a two-run homer off Yankees’ reliever Steven Jackson in the eighth. But despite cutting the Yankees’ lead to two runs, the PawSox were never much of an offensive threat against the Scranton pitching staff.

PawSox starter Adam Mills (0-1) took the loss in his Triple A debut. He worked only 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Mills gave up a single run in the first and two more in the second.

The big blow against the PawSox came in the fourth, in the form of a three-run homer to right by 3B Eric Duncan off PawSox reliever Jon Switzer. Two of those runs were charged to Mills.

The PawSox offense was only able to amass a total of six hits. Scranton collected ten, led by Ben Broussard who had three and Nick Green with two.

The PawSox are in a must win situation as game four of the series will be played tonight (7:05 pm) at PNC Field in Moosic, PA. RHP Bartolo Colon (3-1, 2.27) will pitch for the PawSox. He’ll be opposed by RHP Phil Hughes (1-0, 5.90) for the Yankees. Rain is in the forcast as tropical storm Hanna heads up the east coast.

NOTES: Game three of he Governor’s Cup playoff series between the Louisville Bats and Durham Bulls was postponed last night due to rain. Game three will be played tonight.


Hansack, Lane Lead PawSox, Series Even

Starter Davern Hansack pitched six innings of hitless ball and OF Jason Lane belted a home run and drove in two runs as the Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees 3-1 last night, knotting their best-of-five Governor’s Cup playoff series at one game apiece.

Hansack (1-0) struck out 8 and walked two during his outing, and was charged with giving up the Scranton run even though he did not yield a hit. Hansack began the top of the fifth by walking SS Nick Green, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Green would score after advancing on two consecutive ground outs.

The PawSox bullpen did the rest, limiting the Yankees to two hits over the last three innings. Hunter Jones struck out three over the last 1 1/3 innings and picked-up the save.

The PawSox offense was still not up to its season-long standards, but got the job done. Lane drove in Jonathan Van Every with an RBI single in the third. He added a solo homer as insurance in the eighth. OF Jeff Corsaletti contributed a solo home run to right in the bottom of the fourth.

The Yankee pitching staff put together another respectable performance in the loss. Starter Ian Kennedy (0-1) worked seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out five. Reliever Zachary Kroenke gave up Lane’s homer in the eighth.

The remainder of the series will be played at PNC Field in Moosic, PA beginning with game three tonight (7:05PM). RHP Adam Mills (NR) will make his debut for the PawSox. He’ll be opposed by LHP Kei Igawa (14-6, 3.45) for the Yankees.


NOTES: In game two of the other Governor’s Cup playoff series, the Louisville Bats showed why they tied for the best record in the league, banging out 24 hits and dominating the Durham Bulls 19-3. That series is also tied at one game apiece with game three tonight in Durham. BOX

Governor’s Cup Playoffs- Game Two, Yankees vs. PawSox, September 4, 2008

The Pawtucket Red Sox look to even up their playoff series with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees as they play game two of their best-of-five game series tonight (7:05pm) at McCoy. The Yankees have a 1-0 lead following their 7-1 game one win last night. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-3, 2.35) will pitch for the Yankees. He’ll go up against RHP Devern Hansack (6-10, 4.08) for the PawSox.

Again I am unable to attend tonight’s game. Here is a brief preview…

Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees (1-0)

The Yankees belted three home runs last night as part of their game one victory. They look to take the series back to PNC Field in Moosic, PA with a 2-0 series lead.

Kennedy made 12 starts for Scranton this season. In his last outing, last Saturday at Rochester, Kennedy pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and striking out 11 in a no decision against the Red Wings.

Pawtucket Red Sox (0-1)

It may be too simplistic to call this a must win game for the PawSox, but they do not want to take the series to Scranton down 2-0.

The PawSox had trouble converting their opportunities against the Yankees last night, stranding a total of 13 runners on base.

Hansack is coming off a brief two inning outing last Saturday against Buffalo, his first appearance since coming off the disabled list with a right arm contusion. In that game against the Bisons Hansack gave up two runs on four hits and did not figure in the decision.

Yankees Take Opener 7-1

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees used timely hitting and solid relief pitching to earn a 7-1 victory in game one of the Governor’s Cup opening round playoff series against the Pawtucket Red Sox last night at McCoy. The Yankees hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Scranton scored six runs off PawSox starter and IL Pitcher of the Year Charlie Zink (0-1). They scored three runs in the fourth on a Chris Stewart RBI double to center and a two-run homer to left by Justin Christian. The Yankees tacked on three more in the sixth on a Stewart solo homer, a sacrifice fly by Melky Cabrera, and a Juan Miranda RBI single to right.

Scranton added they seventh run in the top of the ninth on a solo homer by Ben Broussard off PawSox reliever Marcus McBeth.

The PawSox offense did collect 8 hits in the ball game but could not take advantage of multiple scoring opportunities, stranding a total of 13 runners on base. Pawtucket’s lone run came in the fifth on a solo home run by Gil Velazquez off Yankees starter Chase Wright.

Four Yankees reliever worked to hold the PawSox scoreless over the final 4 2/3 innings of the ballgame. Steven Jackson (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings to earn the win. Zachary Kroenke, David Robertson, and Scott Strickland combined to pitch the remaining three innings, giving up only two PawSox hits.

Stewart and Eric Duncan each had three hits to lead the Yankees. Christian and Chris Basak chipped in with two apiece. Velazquez and Jeff Natale had two hits each for the PawSox.

A must win game two of the series will be played tonight (7:05 pm) at McCoy. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-3, 2.35) will pitch for the Yankees. He’ll go up against RHP Devern Hansack (6-10, 4.08) for the PawSox.



NOTES: In the other IL Playoff series, the Durham Bulls blasted three solo homers, enough to shut-out the Louisville Bats 3-0. The Bulls also take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series. BOX

Governor’s Cup Playoffs- Game One, Yankees vs. PawSox, September 3, 2008

The International League’s second season begins tonight as two best of five playoff series gets underway. One of those series kicks-off at McCoy as the PawSox host the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees in game one of the opening round. LHP Chase Wright (2-1, 2.41 ERA) pitches for the Yankees. He’ll be opposed by RHP Charlie Zink (14-6, 2.84 ERA) for Pawtucket.

The two teams split their 16 match-ups throughout the regular season, with each club also 4-4 in their respective home stadium. Scranton and Pawtucket last met in the playoffs in 1992 with Scranton winning the opening round series 3 games to 1.

It is with great disappointment that I announce that my work and family schedule is keeping away from the stadium for the two games in Pawtucket. Here is a brief look at the match-up nonetheless…

Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees (88-56)

The Yankees tied with the Louisville Bats for the best record in the International League. It is the third consecutive season that Scranton has ended the year with the league’s best mark. Despite their success, Scranton has not gotten past the first round of the playoffs since 2001 and has never captured the IL title.

Manager Dave Miley’s squad is an impressive 72-2 when leading after seven innings. The Yankees are also an impressive 26-13 in one-run games.

Pitching has been the Yankees strength, leading the IL in ERA (3.67) and fewest hits allowed (1,171) . Wright made six starts for the Yankees in 2008. He suffered his only loss of the season in his last outing, giving up three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings last Thursday at Buffalo. Wright compiled a 8-2 record for Double A Trenton, with an ERA of 2.96 over 16 starts.

Pawtucket Red Sox (85-58)

The PawSox completed the 2008 season by garnering the most wins in franchise history. This is the first post season appearance for the club since 2003. At 46-26 they tied with Scranton and Rochester for the best home record in the league.

The PawSox have had great balance all season, leading the International League in runs scored (752), while giving up the fewest (579). Pawtucket also led the league with a .983 team fielding percentage.

Zink enters the game as the International League’s Pitcher of the Year. He made 28 starts in 2008, with two complete games and one shutout. He also lost his last outing, giving up only one run over eight innings last Friday against Buffalo.

The PawSox will be without their top two power hitters as Jonathan Van Every and league MVP Jeff Bailey have been promoted to Boston. They do have some power with outfielders Chris Carter (24 HR) and Jason Lane (18 HR). IF/OF Joe Thurston brings his .316 season batting average into this series.