Heading into this season, Baseball America (the minor league bible) rated Michael Bowden and Daniel Bard as the top 2 pitching prospects in the Red Sox minor league system.
(Clay Buchholz was not included, since he has pitched in 20 major league games for Boston)
In any case, you can debate whether it should be Bowden then Bard or Bard then Bowden, but both of the young righties are living up to the hype.
On Wednesday night at McCoy, Bowden had a no-hitter going with 2-outs in the 7th inning before allowing a double to Toledo’s Ryan Roberson. The 22-year-old pitcher would have been out of the inning without facing Roberson if not for a Pawtucket error.
It was the only hit that Bowden allowed in 6.2 IP, and marked the 2nd straight start in which he’s only allowed 1 hit (he gave up 1 hit in 6 IP last Friday vs. Gwinnett). Michael’s ERA for the season is down to 1.01.
By the way, here’s a great Fantastic Fun Fact about Bowden. In his 2 appearances in the big leagues, his uniform number with Boston has been 64. Can you name the only other player in Red Sox history to wear that number?
Dustin Pedroia, who debuted in the #64 before eventually switching to #15.
Then there’s Bard who recorded the final 4 outs — all by strikeout — for his 6th save. The 23-year-old hit 99 mph on the stadium radar gun and now has 29 strikeouts in 16 IP (for a Little League-like 16.3 K per 9 innings).
Marcus McBeth also tossed a scoreless inning (reducing his ERA to 1.32) as the PawSox held Toledo to 2 hits in a 2-1 win.
Here’s an amazing stat.
Pawtucket has already had 10 games this year (out of 25 total) in which the opposition has been held to 5-or-fewer-hits:
Pretty incredible stuff.
* * * * *
In honor of the Toledo Mud Hens, we played “2 Out of 3 Ain’t Bad” on “Stump Steve” in which the last name of the correct answer to all 3 questions began with the letters “H-E-N”
1. I spent 18 years in the majors with 6 teams, including 7 years with the St. Louis Cardinals. I was a 4-time All-Star and made the final out in Tom Seaver’s only no-hitter.
2. I’m a right-handed pitcher who spent 14 years in the majors, winning 19 games in 1993 and 20 games in 1996.
3. In 1977, I was involved in perhaps the most famous trade in New York Mets history. I wound up playing in 99 games for the Mets that year and finished 2nd in the National League Rookie-of-the-Year vote to Andre Dawson.
The answers are:
1. George Hendrick
2. Pat Hentgen
3. Steve Henderson (who was traded to the Mets as part of the Tom Seaver deal with Cincinnati).
Hydes was only able to get #1, so he falls to 8-11 this season.
* * * * *
We passed along an amusing story on the broadcast on Wednesday night. Regin Philbin claims that Hanley Ramirez tried to kill him.
* * * * *
The PawSox will go for their 6th straight win on Thursday afternoon at 12:05. If you can’t make it out to McCoy, join us for the broadcast beginning at 11:50am on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.