JULY 27th PAWTUCKET (59-48) at INDIANAPOLIS (66-41) 7:15 pm
Pawtucket Red Sox LHP Chris Hernandez (0-0, 3.00) vs.Indianapolis Indians RHP Daniel Cabrera (4-4, 4.31)
A Lot on the Line This Evening – The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Indianapolis Indians conclude this 4-game series, their season-series, and the PawSox roadtrip tonight with a 7:15 pm game at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The PawSox have quite a bid riding on the outcome tonight. They can gain a split of this 4-game set with a victory (down 2 games to 1) while a win will also give the PawSox their first season-series victory over Indy since 2006 (Sox are up 4 games to 3). Pawtucket can also secure a winning roadtrip (4-3 thus far) with a triumph tonight which would be their first on a trip to more than once city since their initial roadtrip of the season when they went 7-2 through Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse from April 11-19. And maybe most importantly, a PawSox victory tonight coupled with a Scranton/WB loss in Charlotte would mean the Sox would return home in 1st-place in the IL North (Sox are currently –½ GB of the Yankees). When Pawtucket left for this roadtrip one week ago they were also in 2nd-place and –½ GB.
This Series – Indianapolis grabbed the upper hand in this series with a 5-1 victory last night after the teams split the first two games of this 4-game set (Indy won, 3-1 on Tuesday night but Sox prevailed, 4-2 Wednesday afternoon). The PawSox lead the season-series by a 4-3 margin (1-2 here in Indy and 3-1 in Pawtucket) and with a win tonight will capture a season-series victory over Indianapolis for the first time since 2006. Indy won the season-series in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 while the clubs split the 2008 season-series. These two teams could meet again on September 11 in Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals which would be at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket if…both teams make the playoffs (Indy has a 9-game lead in the IL West while the Sox are the current IL wild card leader by 2-games) and both win their first round match-ups. Right now Indy would play Charlotte while the PawSox would take on Scranton/WB.
The Road Home – As mentioned, the PawSox are 4-3 on their 8-game roadtrip with the finale tonight in Indianapolis. Pawtucket returns to McCoy Stadium for a brief but big 2-game series (and homestand) vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this weekend (tomorrow at 6:05 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm vs. the Yankees) that will be a battle between the top two teams in the IL North. It will actually be the start of a 4-game home and home series with the Yankees as Pawtucket will play Scranton/WB for two more games this coming Monday & Tuesday nights at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY to conclude the month of July. August will begin with another critical stretch as the PawSox play two games in LehighValley on August 1 & 2 and then come back to McCoy for four more games vs. the IronPigs from August 3-6.
Back and Forth We Go – For the past week and a half or so the PawSox have been either a ½-game ahead in 1st-place in the IL North or a ½-game behind in 2nd-place in the division. They have been in 2nd (and a ½-game behind) on July 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, and 26 (now) while they were in 1st (and a ½-game ahead) on July 20, 23, and 25.
Battle for Supremacy – The PawSox and Indianapolis faced each other for a 4-game series in Pawtucket about a month and a half ago with the Sox taking 3 of 4 (although Indy averted the sweep with a victory in the finale). At the time (June 5-8) it was a meeting of the top two teams in the International League. The PawSox were atop the league at the time and won the first three games – on June 5 in convincing fashion, 13-2; rallied to pull out a 6-5 decision the next night and came back again for a 5-3 victory the following night. In the finale on June 8, however, the PawSox could not hold the lead and eventually fell to the Indians, 8-6 in 13-innings (and 4 hours & 41 minutes – Pawtucket’s longest game by time this season). Indy leads this current 4-game set at home, 2 games to 1 with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night and a 5-1 win last night sandwiched around a 4-2 Sox victory on Wednesday.
Stats vs. the Indians This Season – Pawtucket is hitting .258 in the 7 games vs. Indy thus far (65-for-252) with 9 HR (2 each by Gomez, Kalish, & Lavarnway and 1 by Spears). Sox pitchers are 4-3 with a 3.46 ERA vs. the Indians (25 ER in 65 IP). The PawSox have out-scored Indy, 36-28 in the 7 games.