SEPTEMBER 12th GOVERNORS’ CUP FINALS GAME 2 7:05 pm
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS at PAWTUCKET RED SOX PawSox Lead Series 1-0
Charlotte RHP Charlie Shirek (0-0, 15.43)/(11-5, 3.65)
Pawtucket RHP Zach Stewart (1-0, 7.20)/(3-5, 3.94)
Governors’ Cup Championship – The 2012 IL Wild Card Champion Pawtucket Red Sox play Game 2 of the 80th Annual Governors’ Cup Finals championship series vs. the IL South Champion Charlotte Knights tonight at 7:05 pm at McCoy Stadium. The PawSox won Game 1 of this best 3 out of 5 series last night, 7-2 behind starter and winner Steven Wright (7 IP, 2 R) along with homeruns from Danny Valencia (2-run), Tony Thomas (2-run), and J.C. Linares (solo). Both teams will fly to Charlotte, NC tomorrow morning as the series will continue (and eventually conclude) at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC with Game 3 tomorrow night at 7:15 pm and then Games 4 and 5 as necessary on Friday and Saturday nights (both at 7:15 pm). The winner of the Governors’ Cup will then head to Durham, NC where they will play the Pacific Coast League Champion (Reno leads Omaha, 1 game to 0) in the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game next Tuesday at 7:00 pm at DurhamBullsAthleticPark.
See You Next Year – After tonight, the PawSox will not play again at McCoy Stadium until next April 11 (7 months from yesterday) when they host the Rochester Red Wings in their 2013 home-opener on Thursday, April 11 at 7:05 pm.
Good Time to Get Hot – Pawtucket is 4-1 in the post-season thus far – taking 3 of 4 to win their semi-final series vs. Scranton/WB and winning the opener of the Governors’ Cup series last night vs. Charlotte. Dating back to the regular-season when the PawSox won 8 of their final 10 games (August 25 – September 3), the Sox are 12-3 in their last 15 games overall. They are undefeated at home in the playoffs (3-0) and have a 4-game home winning streak including their final regular-season game on Labor Day. Pawtucket has also won 7 of their last 8 road games going back to a key victory in Charlotte on August 25.
Post-Season Stats – In their 5 playoff games thus far, the PawSox have out-scored the opposition by a 27-13 margin. Pawtucket pitchers have been sharp going 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA (13 ER in 44.2 IP) with an impressive line – 44.2 IP, 29 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 9 BB, 40 SO – holding opponents to a .181 batting average (29-for-160). PawSox batters have been productive hitting .252 (41-for-163) but with 7 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR to average 5.4 runs/game. Furthermore, the Sox defense has been solid making only 2 errors in the post-season thus far.
PawSox Playoff Baseball – Pawtucket is appearing in their first finals series since 2003 (lost 3 games to 0 to Durham) and looking to win their first Governors’ Cup since 1984 (won 3 games to 2 over Maine). Charlotte won the 1999 Governors’ Cup which was their last appearance in the championship round. They also won the Cup in their only other finals appearance in 1993. The ’99 champs were affiliated with the White Sox while the ’93 title came as an Indians affiliate. Both the Knights and the PawSox are in search of their third Governors’ Cup as Pawtucket won in 1973 and 1984. The PawSox lost in the finals in 1977, 1978, 1991, and 2003.
History Made – Last night Pawtucket won a game in the Governors’ Cup Finals for the first time in nearly 28 years since they won the decisive Game 5 of the 1984 Governors’ Cup on September 13, 1984 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine defeating the Maine Guides, 3-0. Pawtucket was swept 3 games to none in each of their last two Governors’ Cup appearances in 1991 by Columbus and 2003 by Durham. In addition, prior to last night, the PawSox had not won a Governors’ Cup Finals game here at home since September 10, 1978 (34 years ago) when they beat Richmond, 7-3 in Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup Finals. The Sox went on to lose to the Braves in 7-games that year as the championship series was a best of 7 back then until switching to a best of 5 in 1980.