The PawSox dropped the opening game of a 4-game series in Charlotte on Thursday night 6-3, but one of the hottest players on the team had another outstanding performance – relief pitcher Dustin Richardson.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
The 26-year-old lefty retired all four batters he faced, striking out two, to reduce his ERA to 2.40. In his last six outings, Richardson has allowed 1 ER in 9.2 IP (0.93 ERA) with 15 K’s.
“The stuff is there, he has performed pretty well,” Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen told the Boston Globe. “There is room for improvement with overall command. But we’ll be relying on this guy [in the majors] at some point this season.”
While Richardson has been on a roll, Fernando Cabrera continues to struggle.
On Thursday, Cabrera allowed doubles to two of the first three batters he faced, and allowed 1 ER in 1 IP to keep his ERA at 9.00. He’s already allowed 10 ER in 11 outings this season, equaling his total in 43 appearances for the PawSox last season. Fernando has allowed at least 1 run in 5 of his last 6 outings, going 0-2 with a 15.19 ERA (5.1 IP, 13 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 3 BB, 5 K).
Robert Manuel was used in Pawtucket’s last save situation and it appears that the PawSox are going with a “closer by committee” approach for now.
* * * * *
Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron could be joining the PawSox as soon as this weekend.
Cameron, who has not played since April 18th since passing a kidney stone and then being diagnosed with a sports hernia, is expected to be examined by doctors in Boston on Friday.
The 37-year-old outfielder told reporters that he has no problem returning to the minor leagues for a few games.
“You can’t sit out for three weeks and come back to play major league baseball,” Cameron told Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. “The only guy I ever saw who did that was Barry Bonds.”
* * * * *
The adventures of “The Chicken Man” continue.
Before Thursday’s game, Joe Nelson bolted out of the dugout wearing his chicken mask and terrified a group of Little Leaguers who had gathered to get autographs. After their screams turned to laughs, Joe signed for all of the kids.
Wearing the mask, of course.
* * * * *
Since the PawSox played at the same time as the Red Sox on Thursday, I didn’t see Daisuke Matsuzaka’s 39-pitch first inning, but I’m guessing that at some point pitching coach John Farrell went to the mound for a visit.
I’m also guessing that he didn’t speak to Daisuke in Japanese.
PawSox manager Torey Lovullo did.
On April 21st in Matsuzaka’s last rehab start for the PawSox, he ran into trouble in the 6th inning so Lovullo ran out to the mound. Since Torey played in Japan in 2000, he decided to take advantage of his limited Japanese language skills.
What did he say and what did it mean?
“Dy-zhobe day-ska . . . I know that’s just a quick phrase, but I was asking him, ‘Are you OK?’ Lovullo told me. “That’s the translation and he laughed. I know I caught him by surprise and we laughed about it afterwards.”
Unfortunately, the next batter hit a 2-run single.
* * * * *
Boof Bonser returns to the mound for the first time since April 13th when the PawSox face Charlotte on Friday night at 7:15.
I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 7:00 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard