JUNE 14th PAWTUCKET (40-25) at BUFFALO (37-29) 7:05 pm
Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Doug Mathis (4-3, 4.50) vs. Buffalo Bisons RHP Matt Harvey (5-2, 3.88)
TONY – The Pawtucket Red Sox make their third trip to New York already this season when they begin an 8-game roadtrip tonight with the opener of a 4-game series against the Buffalo Bisons at 7:05 pm at Coca-Cola Field. The 1st-place PawSox will play the 3rd-place Bisons (-4 GB) tonight, tomorrow night, and Saturday night all at 7:05 pm and then Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm. The roadtrip will continue next Monday – Thursday nights with a 4-game series in Syracuse. Pawtucket went 7-2 on their first trip to upstate New York from April 11-19 (2-1 in Rochester, 1-1 in Buffalo, and 4-0 in Syracuse) and then made a strange but true sojourn to New York on the weekend of May 5 and 6th when they swept a 2-game series vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – playing the first game in Batavia, NY and then the next day in Rochester, NY.
The Past is Behind Us and the Future is Ahead of Us –Pawtucket finished 5-3 on their most recent homestand (from June 5-12). They enjoyed their only off-day during the month of June yesterday – it was their last until the All-Star break (from July 9-11). Pawtucket returns to McCoy one week from this Friday for an 8-game homestand from June 22-29 (four withLouisville and four withCharlotte).
Salvaging the Split - The PawSox 4-1 victory over the Gwinnett Braves in the finale of their 4-game set on Tuesday night enabled the Sox to gain a split of that series and avoid their first series loss at home this season. Pawtucket has not dropped a series at McCoy since last August 20-24 when they lost 3 of 4 toSyracuse. The PawSox have won 9 series, lost only 2 (inColumbus and inToledo from April 27 – May 4), and split their other 8 series thus far.
Offensive Surge – Since May 26, the PawSox are batting .297 in their last 17 games (171-for-576) with 27 HR & 100 runs scored.Pawtucket leads the league with 603 hits, 340 runs scored (next closest team isColumbus with 297), and 72 HR, while their team batting average (.275) is the best in the IL by 13 points over Scranton/WB (.262). The Sox on-base pct. (.350) and slugging pct. (.442) are also tops in the IL by a wide margin. For good measure, PawSox batters also lead the IL with 25 sacrifice flies.
Close Shaves – Five of the 10 PawSox games this month have been decided by 1-run (Sox 3-2 in those) while two others have been 2-run games (1-1 in those), two others 3-run games (1-1 in those), and another a 5-run decision (Sox won 6-1 on June 10 vs. Gwinnett). Pawtucket’s 13-2 win overIndianapolis on June 5 is their largest margin of victory this season. From May 22 – June 3 all 12 PawSox games during that stretch had been decided by 3-runs or less. Since that point, 6 of their last 8 games have also been decided by 3-runs or less.
Climbed to New Heights – The PawSox (now 41-25) were a season-high 17-games over .500 on the year on June 7 for the first time since they finished last year a season-high 20-games over .500 at 81-61. They can return to that level with a victory tonight. The Sox have been below .500 just twice this season on April 9 and April 11 (at 3-4).
Turn the Beat Around – Despite losing 3 of their last 5 games,Pawtucket has still won 7 of 10 and 14 of 21. They have also won 15 of their last 22 home games dating back to May 9. Pawtucket is 25-12 overall since May 4. The Sox have maintained the best record in the International League at 41-25 (2½-games better thanIndianapolis andCharlotte) for the past three+ weeks. The Sox lead in the division is 3-games overLehighValley after reaching 4-games overBuffalo from June 5-7 – a season-high.
Home Sweet Home – After this current roadtrip, the PawSox will play 20 of their next 26 games at home at McCoy Stadium. The PawSox just completed a stretch that had them playing 16 home games in 20 days from May 24 – June 12 (going 12-8 in those). Pawtucket has the 3rd best home record in the league at 24-12 behindLehighValley (24-7) andIndianapolis (24-9) as all three clubs are tied for the most home wins of anyone in the IL.
Road Warriors - Pawtucket’s 17 road victories are 3rd behindCharlotte (19) andBuffalo (18) for the most in the IL. The Sox 17-13 away record is best in the league along with Scranton/WB (16-12). In fact, the PawSox are one of only four teams in the entire league playing better than .500 on the road (Scranton/WB at 16-12,Buffalo at 18-16, andCharlotte at 20-18 are the others).
Streaksville – The PawSox most recently had a 5-game winning streak from June 2-7. The Sox had a 9-game winning streak (to match a club-record) from April 16-24 which was immediately followed by a 4-game losing streak (April 25-29). The Sox won on April 30 and then had a 3-game losing skid (May 1-3) which was immediately followed by a 4-game winning streak (May 4-7). The Sox lost on May 8 but subsequently put together a 5-game winning streak (May 9-13). They endured a 4-game losing skid from May 17-20 and had a 3-game winning streak from May 21-24.