JULY 2nd ROCHESTER (38-45) at PAWTUCKET (47-38) 6:15 pm
Rochester Red Wings RHP Samuel Deduno (1-1, 2.57) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Zach Stewart (1-0, 1.59)
Home for the Holidays (Almost) – The Pawtucket Red Sox return to McCoy Stadium (after a quick weekend in Lehigh Valley that featured a sensational Saturday but a sobering Sunday) to play the Rochester Red Wings in a pair of pre-holiday games tonight and tomorrow night both at 6:15 pm with fireworks to follow each game. These two nights represent the start of a 5-game home and home series between the PawSox and Red Wings as the clubs will head toRochester,NY for three more games this Wednesday (July 4) through Friday nights at Frontier Field. The PawSox will be right back at McCoy after that for a 2-game weekend series against the Syracuse Chiefs on Saturday (6:05 pm) and Sunday (1:05 pm) leading to the Triple-A All-Star break (July 9-11).
Headed in the Wrong Direction – The PawSox – losers of 13 of their last 15 games since June 18 – have gone from 1st-place and 5-games up in the IL North on June 17 (equaling their largest lead of the season) to 2nd-place and 2-games behind 1st-place Lehigh Valley as a result of this tailspin. It represents the furthest they have been out since April 17 when they were also –2 GB. Pawtucket’s largest 1st-place deficit of the season was 3-games on April 15 & 16. They have also been in 1st-place or 2nd-place every day since April 13 and were tied for 3rd on April 12. The Sox only have a ½-game lead on 3rd-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The good news is the PawSox still own the IL wild card. Pawtucket had been alone atop the division from May 5 – June 25.
Don’t Leave Home Without It –Pawtucket is coming off a busy weekend inAllentown,PA as they dropped 2 of 3 games againstLehighValley in just over 24 hours. When last they left McCoy (on Friday night), the PawSox were reeling following a difficult 8-game homestand that saw them get swept in a 4-game series by Louisville and then drop 3 of 4 against Charlotte. The Sox went 1-7 on the homestand – their worst since July 9-19 of 2009 when they also went 1-7 during an 8-game stand. Beginning tonight, the PawSox will be home for 12 of their next 15 games through July 19.
North Bound –Pawtucket has the best record within their division of any team in the International League. The PawSox are 23-14 vs. their IL North rivals. The next 15 PawSox games are all vs. IL North rivals through July 19 as the Sox playRochester (5),Syracuse (2),Buffalo (4), andSyracuse again (4) before traveling toLouisville on July 20.
Season Series vs. Red Wings Thus Far –Pawtucket leads the season-series over the Red Wings by a 5-2 margin. These two teams met for a 3-game series inRochester from April 11-13 with the PawSox taking 2 of 3 (losing the opener 2-1 but winning 10-1 and 4-3). One month later the clubs played a 4-game set at McCoy Stadium from May 7-10 withPawtucket winning 3 of 4 at home (4-0, 5-2, and 7-6 with a 3-1 loss in game two mixed in). The teams will play five straight games against each other this week.
Stats vs. the Wings – Pawtucket is hitting .262 in the 7 games vs. Rochester this season (60-for-229) with 3 HR (Lin, Middlebrooks, and Nava – the latter two now in Boston). PawSox pitchers are 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA vs. the Wings (16 ER in 62 IP). Pawtucket has outscored Rochester, 32-17 thus far.
When the Going Gets Tough – The PawSox had a 9-game losing streak (the third longest in club-history) from June 18-26 which was preceded by a 5-game winning streak (from June 18-26). They have now lost 13 of their last 15 overall – including 6 of 7 on the road and 7 of their last 8 home games.