Two for Two in Buffalo
After a 9-0 win in Buffalo on Friday night, the mighty Pawtucket Red Sox are off to a 2-0 start and it’s hard to say what’s been more impressive — their hitting or pitching.
PawSox batters are hitting .289 with a .407 OBP (22 walks and 15 hits in 2 games).
PawSox pitchers have a 1.50 ERA with 20 strikeouts and only 11 hits allowed in 18 innings.
22-year-old Michael Bowden was outstanding in his 2009 debut as he combined with 3 relievers on a 2-hit shutout, but Bowden still doesn’t have a win in 7 career starts for Pawtucket. He had a 3-0 lead in the 5th inning on Friday night, but had to leave the game one out shy of being eligible for the victory when he reached his limit of 75 pitches (he was actually allowed to throw 80 in hopes of getting the win). It’s a shame because the PawSox rarely scored runs for him last year. In Bowden’s 3 losses in ’08, his teammates scored a grand total of 1 run.
Still, it was a great way for Michael to start the season and he did it with him mom in the stands, as she traveled from Illinois to be there.
The hitting stars included Jeff Bailey and Paul McAnulty who had 3 RBI apiece, and Gil Velazquez who went 3-for-5.
I can’t wait to get home and receive this month’s edition of Esquire Magazine after reading that Dustin Pedroia made their list of “66 Guys to Emulate”. According to the mag, “Pedroia, the Red Sox second baseman, is a man. He’s five-foot-nothing and he plays with more heart than A-Rod will ever know.’
Hard to argue with that.
When Pedroia played for the PawSox in 2006, he shocked me late in the season when my broadcast partner Steve Hyder asked him if he would rather be traded to a lousy team in order to get to the big leagues quickly or stick it out in Triple-A to eventually play for the Red Sox.
Pedroia said he would rather wait because he wanted to play for a winning team.
He’s the only minor league player I’ve ever heard say that.
Speaking of Hyder, in “Stump Steve” on Friday night we played “PawSox Who Am I?” for the first time this season. That’s the game where I give him 5 clues about a former Pawtucket player who made it to the majors. Steve’s allowed to make a guess after each clue. If he gets it right he’s a winner — if he gets it wrong he’s a buffoon.
Here were the clues:
1. I was 5-0 for a major league team last season.
2. I played for Pawtucket in 1995, ’97, and ’98
3. I’ve been an extra on the soap opera “All My Children”
4. I was drafted by the Sox as an outfielder and made my MLB debut at that position, but two years later I pitched for the Boston.
5. I am not in the MLB players union because I was a replacement player during the 1994 strike.
Steve got it right on the first clue — Kansas City Royals pitcher Ron Mahay.
He’s 2-0 this season. Time to make the questions tougher.
The PawSox will look to improve to 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo and will send LHP Kris Johnson to the mound in his Triple-A debut. Pregame coverage on the PawSox radio network starts at 12:50 with the first pitch set for 1:05. I hope you’ll tune in on the radio or PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.