Pal Joey

In Joey Gathright’s first at-bat for the PawSox, he hit a ground ball toward the shortstop/third base hole and beat it out for an infield single.

 

With one of baseball’s fastest runners aboard at first, Scranton/WB pitcher Ivan Nova promptly walked Jed Lowrie on four pitches.

 

Chris Carter, Jeff Bailey, and Mark Wagner followed with consecutive hits, and Pawtucket had a 3-0 lead in the first inning, en route to a 5-3 win in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader.

 

Do you know how many times the 2009 PawSox had scored three first inning runs prior to Gathright’s arrival?

 

Zero.

 

In 131 games.

 


Gathright 2 re.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Tom Perreira)

 

The 28-year old outfielder isn’t likely to be with Pawtucket for very long.  Major league rosters expand on Tuesday, and the Red Sox didn’t trade for Gathright just before the deadline to have him spend a week with Pawtucket.  Chances are, Joey will spend two days in a PawSox uniform before joining Boston at Tampa Bay.

 

But now that he’s in the Red Sox organization, there’s certainly a chance that Gathright could play for Pawtucket next season.  Manager Ron Johnson would welcome it.

 

“Joey’s got ridiculous speed,” RJ said.  “When he gets on base it’s straight chaos.  He completely controls the momentum of the game when he gets on.  I was sitting in the dugout with (Red Sox special assistant) Allard Baird when I got the call that we traded for Joey, and we both looked at each other and thought, ‘What a great acquisition.’  You’re not just talking about somebody that’s fast – you’re talking about an Ellsbury-plus type runner.  As a manager, you look at that and there’s a lot of different ways that he can impact the game.”

 

Gathright probably won’t get much playing time for the Red Sox in September, but you never know when one pinch-running appearance can help win a key game.

 

Does the name Dave Roberts ring a bell?

 

* * * * *

 

It’s been a rough year for Pawtucket offensively.  The team batting average is .230 and the ’09 PawSox appear to be a lock to break the franchise record for lowest batting average in a season (.237 in 1975).

 

Perhaps they should steal an idea from the Single-A Dayton Dragons.

 

Heading into Saturday’s game against the Lansing Lugnuts, the Dragons had scored a total of 10 runs in their previous six games.

 

So clubhouse manager Corey Brinn made a suggestion.  Corey told manager Todd Benzinger (who played for the PawSox from 1985-1987) and hitting coach Tony Jaramillo that it was the 10th anniversary of an idea that Rod Carew used when he was the hitting coach for the slumping Angels – have everybody on the team use the same bat.

 

Dayton decided to try it for the first time through the batting order.  When the first nine hitters got five hits, the Dragons elected to keep using the same bat and wound up with 17 hits before somebody broke the bat on a ground out.  They won their game 10-6.

 

(Corey Brinn, by the way, is a friend of mine.  He was the head manager of the University of Cincinnati basketball team for several years while I was broadcasting their games.)

 

Here’s the full story from the Dayton Daily News.

 

* * * * *

 

The PawSox open a brief 2-game series at Lehigh Valley on Monday night before returning to McCoy Stadium for the final homestand of 2009.

 

Michael Bowden starts the opener in what could be his final minor league outing of the year before a September call-up.

 

I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.

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