Here’s your stat of the day: 7-27.
That’s what the PawSox need to go in their last 34 games to top last year’s final record of 66-78.
But that’s obviously not the goal. At the start of August, Pawtucket is in the thick of a great race. The PawSox are 2 games behind Lehigh Valley for first place in the IL North, and a half-game behind Gwinnett for the lead in the Wild Card race.
This year the phrase “dog days of August” doesn’t apply.
“I know that guys enjoy winning – it’s fun to win,” said manager Arnie Beyeler. “We still have a month to play and anything can still happen, but it’s nice to be this far along in the season and still have something to play for.”
It’s also nice for Arnie to make it past the July 31st trade deadline and still have his team.
Kyle Weiland’s name popped up in several trade rumors, and on Saturday, it looked like Lars Anderson was headed to Oakland for pitcher Rich Harden before the deal fell through. The 23-year-old first baseman had an excellent month of July, batting .288/.362/.548 with 9 2B, 6 HR, and 23 RBI in 29 games, and Beyeler is confident that Anderson will not be thrown for a loop by the trade that wasn’t.
(Photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
“You really don’t know whether he was going to Triple-A or the big leagues and we probably never will,” Beyeler said. “He went through an emotional roller coaster, but it’s not the first time for these guys to have things like that happen and it probably won’t be the last. They know how to handle things like that. He’s probably glad to put it behind him and move on, rather than sit around all day and wonder what’s going on.”
In addition to not losing Lars, it appears increasingly likely that the PawSox will have his buddy Ryan Kalish back in the near future. Kalish – who last played for Pawtucketon April 21st – took part in a vigorous on-field workout on Sunday morning under the watchful eye of trainer Jon Jochim.
“He’s doing well,” Beyeler said. “He’s going to hit on the field with us on Monday and we’ll go from there. He’s progressing a little bit every day and he’s getting out on the field now and starting to do some things, so it looks pretty positive right now.”
While they wait for Kalish to return, the PawSox lineup will be boosted by the addition of INF Jed Lowrie on a rehab assignment. Lowrie, who has been on Boston’s disabled list since June 17th with a left shoulder strain, is expected to bePawtucket’s starting shortstop on Monday night vs. Louisville.
Fans that make it to McCoy Stadium have a great pitching matchup to look forward to as Kyle Weiland (8-7, 3.15) battles former National League All-Star Edinson Volquez (2-0, 2.18) at 7:05. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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