Since being traded from Pawtucket to Buffalo on June 10th, Chip Ambres has been struggling.
Going into Thursday’s game at McCoy Stadium, Ambres was batting .159 in 25 games with the Bisons and was mired in a 0-for-23 slump.
In his first game back at McCoy Stadium as a visiting player, Ambres went 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs to lead Buffalo to a 3-1 win over his former mates.
His performance immediately brought to mind a game from my first year as Steve Hyder’s broadcast partner on the PawSox radio network.
It was in Toledo on July 25, 2006. The Mud Hens roster included outfielder Dustan Mohr who started that year with Pawtucket and played horribly. Mohr batted .169 in 22 games with the PawSox and struck out 23 times in 65 at-bats. Boston eventually released him in mid-June.
So you can probably guess what happened when he got to face the PawSox. Mohr hit a 2-run, pinch-hit, walk-off home run in the 10th inning.
Hyder was doing play-by-play at the time and after describing the essential details, Steve added a classic tag line, “Too bad he never did that for us!”
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On Friday night, Jon Lester faces Kansas City for the first time since throwing a no-hitter against the Royals on May 19th last year.
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
We were in Scranton/WB that night and Ron Johnson tells a great story about trying to follow the progress of Lester’s no-no while managing the PawSox.
He found a Red Sox fan in the stands at PNC Field who was getting the details from Fenway via cell phone and then would pass them along to RJ.
When Lester recorded the final out in his masterpiece, the fan in Scranton jumped out of his seat and threw his hands up in the air. RJ immediately realized what must have happened, so he screamed out, “Yea . . . he did it!”
Unfortunately, that was totally inappropriate for what was going on in the PawSox game at the time and everyone around him thought that he was completely nuts.
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I saw something really cool before Thursday’s game at McCoy Stadium. Someone brought an electronic keyboard into the PawSox clubhouse and pianist Marcus McBeth put on an impromptu concert for his teammates. Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Paul McAnulty clustered around McBeth and marveled at his musical ability and eventually several other players stopped what they were doing to listen.
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Let’s see if the PawSox can swing the bats better on Friday night in Game 2 of this 8-game homestand. They’ve been held to 3 hits in each of their last two games, and have only scored one run.
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.