On opening night in Pawtucket it felt more like August than April.
The temperature reached 68 degrees in the afternoon and was 65 degrees at game time.
In short, a magnificent night to begin the home portion of the schedule and 11,982 PawSox fans responded, making it the biggest crowd in McCoy Stadium history.
The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the final score as Lehigh Valley beat Pawtucket 4-3.
Charlie Zink was a little sharper than he was in his first appearance but still struggled with his control, walking 3 and hitting 3 batters in 6 IP. He took the loss to fall to 0-2.
LHP Billy Traber was outstanding in relief, tossing 3 scoreless innings.
If you toss out backup catcher Carlos Maldonado’s pitching stats from the 15-inning loss to Buffalo last Sunday, the PawSox pen has a 1.09 ERA (5 ER in 41.1 IP).
Reliever Marcus McBeth will make a spot start on Saturday due to Clay Buchholz’s sore hamstring. It will be McBeth’s first start in 179 career pitching appearances.
Here’s a FFF (Fantastic Fun Fact) about McBeth. In 1999 he was the kickoff specialist and backup punter for the University of South Carolina under Head Coach Lou Holtz. The Gamecocks went 0-11 that year, but McBeth says that Holtz was such a great speaker that they thought they were going to win every week.
The PawSox face Lehigh Valley on Saturday afternoon at 1:05. If you can’t make it to McCoy, I hope you’ll join Bob Montgomery, Steve McDonald and me for the TV coverage on Cox Sports throughout Rhode Island.
Steve Hyder and Mike Logan have the radio call on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
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