FOR SEPTEMBER 7th GOVERNORS’ CUP SEMI-FINALS GAME 1 7:05 pm
PAWTUCKET (81-61) at LEHIGH VALLEY (80-64) Series Tied 0-0
Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Matt Fox (10-4, 3.96) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs RHP Dave Bush (1-2, 3.91)
PawSox Playoff Baseball – The International League’s 79th Annual Governors’ Cup Playoffs begin Wednesday night when the 2011 IL North Champion Pawtucket Red Sox play Game 1 of this best 3 out of 5 semi-final series vs. the wild card-winning Lehigh Valley IronPigs at 7:05 pm at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA. The PawSox (80-61) finished 2-games ahead of Lehigh Valley (79-64) in the IL North division, but in the league’s predetermined playoff format the wild card winner always plays the IL North winner in the first round of the playoffs – thus the PawSox and IronPigs meet for the right to play for the coveted Governors’ Cup. The division rivals play Wednesday & Thursday nights in Lehigh Valley (both at 7:05 pm) before the series shifts to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket on Friday night for Game 3 at 7:05 pm. Games 4 and 5 (if necessary) would also be played in Pawtucket on Saturday at 6:05 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm.
Post-Season Return – Wednesday night marks Pawtucket’s first playoff game in exactly three years since September 7 of 2008 when Shelley Duncan of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre drilled a walk-off 2-run HR off PawSox reliever Edgar Martinez in the bottom of the 10th-inning to end a terrific pitching duel between Phil Hughes of the Yanks and Bartolo Colon of the Sox and give the Yankees a 2-0 series-clinching victory to eliminate the PawSox, 3 games to 1 in the IL semi-finals.
A Long Wait – The PawSox have gone 26 years since winning their last Governors’ Cup Championship in 1984 when they rallied to beat the Maine Guides, 3 games to 2. Since then, the Sox have won just one playoff series when they beat the Ottawa Lynx in the 2003 semi-finals, 3 games to 2 (for their first playoff series win in 19 years). Pawtucket was then swept in 3 straight in the 2003 Governors’ Cup Finals by Durham. Prior to defeating Ottawa in ’03, the Sox had lost their previous seven consecutive post-season series (from 1986 – 1997). Coupled with their series loss to Scranton/WB in 2008, the PawSox have dropped 9 of their last 10 playoff series since winning the Cup in 1984. Since 1977, Pawtucket is 27-43 in the playoffs while going 5-11 in their 16 post-season series.
Nice to See You Again – The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have met 64 times since Lehigh Valley entered the International League in 2008 (the PawSox hold a 37-27 advantage including a 10-6 season-series win this year) but this marks the first playoff meeting between the clubs (and the first post-season appearance in the young history of the IronPigs). Pawtucket did face the Philadelphia Triple-A affiliate in the playoffs one other time in 1992 when the Scranton/WB Red Barons (then the Phillies’ affiliate) knocked off the PawSox, 3 games to 1 in the IL East Championship (IL semi-finals).
The Playoff Schedule – Best 3 out of 5 series for the right to advance to the Governors’ Cup Finals (from Sept. 13-17):
PawSox Lehigh Valley
Game 1 Wed. 7:05 pm in Allentown RHP Matt Fox (10-4, 3.96) vs. RHP Dave Bush (1-2, 3.91)
Game 2 Thur. 7:05 pm in Allentown RHP Tony Pena, Jr. (9-6, 3.56) vs. LHP Ryan Edell (5-5, 3.27)
Game 3 Fri. 7:05 pm in Pawtucket RHP Alex Wilson (1-0, 3.43) vs. RHP Brian Bass (8-10, 3.81)
Game 4* Sat. 6:05 pm in Pawtucket LHP Greg Smith (5-4, 4.52) vs. RHP Scott Mathieson (2-2, 3.28)
Game 5* Sun. 1:05 pm in Pawtucket TBA vs. RHP Nate Bump (5-9, 4.97)
* if necessary
Post-Season Pairings – The other IL Playoff series has IL West Champion Columbus at IL South Champ Durham on Wednesday night. The Governors’ Cup Champion (the finals will be held from Sept. 13-17 with the PawSox/Lehigh Valley winner hosting Games 3, 4, and 5 as necessary from September 15-17) will face the PCL Champion in the 2011 Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game in a one-game winner-take-all on September 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico (live on VERSUS at 8:05 pm eastern time). The PCL playoff match-ups are also set as Omaha will play Round Rock will Reno will face Sacramento (those series also start tonight).
Against Lehigh Valley This Season – The PawSox won the season-series over Lehigh Valley by a 10-6 margin (finishing 6-2 at home at McCoy Stadium and 4-4 in Lehigh Valley). The Sox and IronPigs split a 4-game series in Allentown, PA at the end of April. The clubs swapped decisive victories during the first two games of the set (Sox won 7-2 on April 26 before Pigs evened matters with an 8-2 win the next night). Pawtucket grabbed the upper hand with an 11-8 win in game three but Lehigh Valley blanked the PawSox in the finale on April 29, 3-0. The Sox took 3 of 4 from the IronPigs one month ago (June 16-19). Pawtucket won the first three games of that series – 6-5 in 10-innings, 8-3, and 8-1 but they could not complete the 4-game sweep as Lehigh Valley blanked the PawSox, 2-0 in the finale on June 19. The Sox took 3 of 4 from the Pigs at McCoy from July 18-21 winning the first three games by 4-1, 7-2, and 2-1 scores before losing the finale, 5-4. In their final series of the regular-season the clubs split a 4-game set in Allentown from July 26-29. Lehigh Valley won the first two games with an 8-7 victory in 10-innings and a 4-1 win but the Sox battled back to get the split with a 2-1 win and a 4-3 victory in the finale on July 29.
Stats vs. Lehigh Valley This Season – Pawtucket batters hit .261 in the 16 games vs. Lehigh Valley this season (144-for-551) with 17 HR while PawSox pitchers were 10-6 with a 3.10 ERA vs. the IronPigs (49 ER in 142.1 IP). Pawtucket out-scored Lehigh Valley, 73-57 in the season-series.
Against Lehigh Valley All-Time - Lehigh Valley had gone 10-6 vs. the PawSox each of the last two years – winning 10 times as many games against the PawSox in both 2009 and 2010 (10) as they did in all of 2008 (1-15) – their first year in the International League. The PawSox have beaten Lehigh Valley (the fourth-year affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) 37 times in 64 meetings all-time (going 15-1 during the 2008 season in the inaugural year of the IronPigs, 6-10 in 2009, 6-10 last season as well, and 10-6 in 2011). The PawSox won the first nine games (ever) vs. Lehigh Valley in 2008 before losing on July 5, 2008 at McCoy, 5-2. That was their only loss that year vs. the IronPigs as the Sox finished 15-1 vs. Lehigh Valley – their most victories in a single-season against any single IL club ever.
Records are Made to be Broken – The PawSox set several new franchise-records this season – all team records. The 2011 PawSox were the Best Fielding team in club-history with a team record .984 fielding pct. while establishing a new mark for Fewest Errors made in a single-season (84). The team also turned the Most Double Plays in club-history (151) to lead the league. PawSox pitchers set a new team record for Most Strikeouts (1118). And Sox pitchers did tie the Pawtucket record for Fewest Complete Games (1) also set in 2005.
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENT AT McCOY STADIUM
FRIDAY PLAYOFF POSTER 7:05 pm vs. TBA
The first 3,000 fans entering McCoy for Pawtucket’s first home playoff game scheduled for Friday at 7:05 pm will receive a PawSox Playoff Poster featuring several stars of the 2011 PawSox. The poster Is compliments of Cox and Barrington Printing.
PAWSOX PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE – Tickets for all possible 2011 PawSox playoff games at McCoy Stadium are on sale at the Box Office at McCoy. Fans can also charge tickets with any major credit card by calling the PawSox at (401) 724-7300 or visiting the PawSox website at http://www.pawsox.com.
Tickets for the 2011 Governors’ Cup Semi-Finals and Governors’ Cup Finals are priced the same as regular-season tickets. Box Seats are $11.00 apiece while General Admission are $7.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Children (aged 12 & under) & Senior Citizens. Fans who purchase a PawSox Playoff Pack (a strip of box seats for all six potential PawSox home playoff games) will receive a discounted price of $60 for all 6 tickets.
The 2011 International League Playoffs (all series are best 3 out of 5) will begin on September 7th. The PawSox will host Games 3, 4, and 5 of the first round of the playoffs at McCoy on Friday, September 9 at 7:05 pm; Saturday, September 10 at 6:05 pm; and Sunday, September 11 at 1:05 pm (the final two games if necessary).
If Pawtucket were to win that series, they would then be home at McCoy for Games 3, 4, and 5 of the Governors’ Cup Finals on Thursday, September 15 at 7:05 pm; Friday, September 16 at 7:05 pm; and Saturday, September 17 at 6:05 pm (the final two games if necessary). And if the PawSox win the Governors’ Cup they would take on the Pacific Coast League champion in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game to be held on September 20 in Albuquerque, NM.