May 2009

THE LONGEST GAME- COLLEGE STYLE

PawSox owner Ben Mondor had to smile when he heard about the longest baseball game in college history.  It took place Saturday and featured the Boston College Eagles and Texas Longhorns.  The Eagles fell in 25 innings, 3-2, as Travis Tucker singled in the winning run.  Ben wasn’t smiling because B.C. lost, but because it probably brought to mind the game that put Pawtucket R.I. on the map in 1981.  The PawSox topped Rochester 3-2 in an unbelievable, 33 inning marathon.  The I.L. game started in April and finished in June as Dave Koza singled home Marty Barrett in the bottom of the thirty third.    B.C. and Texas eclipsed the mark of 23 innings, which had stood since 1971.  The regional matchup lasted 7 hours and 3 minutes.  Texas head coach, Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in NCAA history was amazed, especially at reliever Austin Wood who tossed 13 innings, including 12 and a third innings of no-hit ball.  “In my 41 years of coaching, the effort of Austin Wood was the best pitching performance I have ever seen.”.  High praise from a man who once coached Roger Clemens in Austin.  B.C. reliever Mike Belfiore also turned in an iron man effort, giving up 3 hits with 11 strikeouts in 9 and 2 thirds innings.  Fortunately for the Eagles, they live to see another day.  The boys from Chestnut Hill are scheduled to play an elimination game against Army on Sunday.  Loser goes home and the winner faces Texas.

 

**********

Lefty Kris Johnson (2-6, 7.41) heading into Sunday’s start at Indianapolis, had extra motivation sitting in the stands at Victory Field for the 2:00 game.  The southpaw’s mother and father, brother Kevin and best friend C.K. made the trip from Missouri to watch the game.  C.K. was excited before the game- “I’ve been best friends with Kris since we were 12 years old.  I’ve never seen him pitch in a pro game and only a few times when he was at Wichita State.  Younger brother Kevin, a successful collegiate swimmer, just graduated from Truman State in Missouri with a degree in chemistry and is headed to the University of Missouri on a full scholarship to earn a PhD.

 

**********

 

I have been accused of being a simpleton at times, but that’s ok with me.  One thing that always makes me laugh at the ballpark is the “KissCam”.  They show shots of couples in the stands and they are encouraged to kiss on camera.  The good sports always play along.  Every once in a while they’ll show a couple of opposing players and the fans hoot and holler for a kiss.  Usually, the guys will mug for the camera or fake an embrace.  It ALWAYS makes me laugh.  I will draw the line, however, if they ever show Dan and me on the video board.  I like him, but not that way.

JUST ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY

Minor league baseball is a transient sport.  Guys trying to make a big league team for the first time or trying to hang on for one last try.  No matter what city we go to, there is some connection to the past for someone.  Indianapolis is no exception.  Both Manager Ron Johnson and pitching coach Rich Sauveur are former Indianapolis players.  There is a common bond.  Long time Indy radio announcer Howard Kellman was at the mike when both played in the city and fondly recalled their place in Indy lore. “Both played on championship teams.  RJ was on the 1984 club and even back then, he was a pleasure to be around.  He was important to the club, playing first base and hitting around .300 for the Indians.  Sauveur played in the late 1980’s with Randy Johnson.  He also came back in 1994 for a championship run.  He spanned a couple of eras.  Sauveur was a good competitor with a good curve ball,”  So you go from talking about a couple of guys who played a generation ago for Indy, to a man who played for the Indians last year, Carlos Maldonado.  Kellman was fond of the burly Venezuelan catcher, a big fan.  “Carlos was the Indians MVP in 2006.  He transformed his body, losing a ton of weight.  He worked very hard with our strength and conditioning coach, Mubarak Malik.  Carlos is a terrific catcher and he’s great with a pitching staff.  He will be very valuable to the PawSox.”  With the exception of the 1975 and 1980 seasons, Kellman has been the voice of the Indians since 1974.  Toledo’s Jim Webber has been at it in Ohio for 33 consecutive seasons.  Makes my 9 years in the International League(6 with the PawSox) seem small by comparison.    

 

**********

 

Spotted in the stands at Victory Field.  Fans wearing jerseys or t-shirts of no fewer than 3 men who at one time appeared at McCoy.  David Otiz, Curt Schilling and Freddy Sanchez.  The first two made rehab appearances for the PawSox in the last couple of years.  Sanchez, now of the Pirates has won a National League batting title.  He played for the PawSox in 2002 and 2003.  The Indianapolis Indians are the Triple A affiliate of the Pirates.

 

**********

 

I know my broadcast partner and fellow blogger, Dan Hoard has taken to calling Mark Kotsay, on a rehab assignment from Boston, “The Fonz”.  That’s a tribute to the unabashed “cool” displayed by the 11 year M.L. veteran.  More than that, I compare him to Jimmy Stewarts’ character in the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey.  Kotsay, like Bailey probably has no idea of the impact he has on people.  I have watched him have kind words for everyone from the clubhouse attendant to David Ortiz.  He provides a “pick-me-up” for a buinch of tired minor leaguers, who toil in relative obscurity, far from the bright lights of Fenway Park.  I have felt his kindness as well and if there is any justice, he will have a tremendous season for the Red Sox.

 

**********

 

Day game on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.  We plan a staff field trip to a Brazilian Steak House  for dinner, postgame.  “Fogo de chao” has no idea what it’s in for.  I will have a full report.  And I do mean “full”. 

STUFF YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE UP

Things happen on the road and sometimes I wish someone else was there to corroborate my story.  Honestly, I speak only the truth.  These things make me laugh, and I hope they make you laugh, too.  On Thursday night in Louisville in the series finale between the PawSox and Bats, RJ killed the PawSox momentum twice early in the game.  He sent Paul McAnulty and Chris Carter home in consecutive innings, only to have them both gunned down at the plate.  In the next inning, he held Jonathan Van Every at third and he and JV high-fived to celebrate the “non-end” to the inning.  RJ said that the fans were mocking him and having a great time at his expense.  I understand his theory.  The PawSox have a difficult time scoring runs this season, so if you can manufacture a run or two, it makes a huge difference.  This time it just didn’t work out.  During a snack stop on the bus ride to Indianapolis, someone bought RJ a set of walkie talkies to use so people in the dugout can tell him NOT to send future dead ducks home.  Even after a loss, this made a lot of people laugh.

 

**********

 

We got another good chuckle on the bus while we watched the old comedy classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”  By the way, what two future Academy Award winners were in this flick? (answer at the end of the blog).  Early in the movie Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) meets a stereo salesman at the mall and eventually they “hook up”.  His name in the movie elicited a roar from the bus as he introduced himself…”Hi, I’m Ron Johnson.”  A little later in the movie he sends flowers to Stacy.  Her brother Brad (Judge Reinhold) asks a question that a lot of folks have…”Who the hell is Ron Johnson.”

 

 

**********

 

After our day game in Kentucky I was wandering around looking for something to do.   I love book stores, so I went into Borders and began to look around.  I got myself a cup of coffee and settled into one of the very comfortable easy chairs with something to read.  I was a little tired and apparently dozed off.  I dropped my coffee and awoke with a start as a guy in the chair next to mine began shouting “HE SPILLED HIS DRINK, HE DROPPED HIS COFFEE!!” This guy reminded me of the actor who played “Warren” in The Farrelly Brothers flick “There’s Something About Mary”.  The guy yelled it out about 5 or 6 times.  By then I was a little embarassed so I got another cup and sheepishly left.  At least he wasn’t yelling “FRANKS AND BEANS.”

 

**********

 

My old broadcast partner, Andy Freed is in his fifth year as the voice of the Tampa Bay Rays.  He does a really great job along with his partner Dave Wills.  Andy has a lovely wife and a beautiful little daughter.  He has a lot to be proud of.  But in my eyes, he has zoomed up the “respect-meter”.  Twice in the last year he has earned a mention on The Howard Stern show on Sirius Radio.  Andy and I bonded over our mutual admiration for “The King of All Media.”  His most recent mention came the other day when he used a term that Paris Hilton has been using to describe something momentous- “HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE”  Not especially insightful, but it caught Howard’s ear and he mentioned Freed and played a clip from a recent Rays broadcast.  BABABOOEY  !!!!

 

answer- Sean Penn (Milk) and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) both won Oscars and appeared in “FTARH”.

 

MEMORIES OF NOMAR

As we continue the series in Louisville, it reminded me of my brush with Nomar Garciaparra during the 2004 season.  Nomar was on a rehab assignment with the PawSox in Kentucky.  One afternoon, we were sitting in the dugout.  I was sandwiched in between Garciaparra and Earl Snyder.  Snyder went on to have one of the best offensive seasons in PawSox history.  He was, at the time my daughter Eva’s favorite player.  Perhaps because he was always so nice to my girls, maybe because Snyder and Eva shared a birthday on May 6.  Eva was 11 at the time and she made her after school call to me so we could chat.  I told her about her two heroes flanking me and she immediately asked me if Mia Hamm, Nomar’s famous soccer-playing wife was there.  I assured her that Hamm was not there.  Persistent as ever, she demanded that I ask Nomar how she was.  I laughed, told her I loved her and we hung up.  A few minutes later, Nomar asked about the phone call.  I told him it was my 11 year old, soccer playing daughter.  He smiled and asked- “Did she ask about Mia?”  I nodded and he replied “I get that a lot.”  Nomar added- “Tell her that Nomar says hi and if Mia were here, she’d say hi, also.”  Garciaparra asked how many kids I had.  When I told him about my two daughters, he later produced a pair of autographed baseballs, each personalized.  A day or so later as we again were in the dugout, a tornado started to sweep through Louisville.  We watched in amazement as a funnel came barrelling towards the ballpark.  Incredibly, several PawSox players climbed to the top of the metal bleachers in right field to “get a better look.”  After manager Buddy Bailey had a near- heart attack trying to get the troops inside, we lingered in the dugout as long as we could to watch.  As it got really close, we retreated to Bailey’s office in the bowels of Louisville Slugger Field.  In a matter of minutes, we got word that it had passed and the coast was clear.  The field had been drenched by a torrential downpour  and was already beginning to dry as the sun was shining brightly.  There was no delay and the game went on as scheduled.  As the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, the only regret I had, was that Nomar was not around to enjoy it.

 

**********

 

Charlie Zink seems to have turned the corner for the PawSox.  After taking a shutout into the ninth 5 days ago against powerful Scranton, Zink followed it up with seven and a third shutout innings Wednesday in Louisville.  ZInk improved to 4-4 as he lowered his ERA from 4.36 to 3.73 for the season.  The reigning Pitcher of the Year in the I.L. is back to his 2008 form.  Zink gave up one hit.  Jose Vaquedano and Fernando Cabrera combined to finish off Pawtucket’s league-leading ninth shutout.  It was the second time in three days the Bats were held scoreless on one hit.   

RIGHT UP MY ALLEY

It’s always fun and somewhat special when a Major Leaguer spends some time with your club.  This year alone, the PawSox have rehabbed Julio Lugo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay.  They leave an indelible mark for the fans, teammates and even the broadcasters.  Although I have known Kotsay for a very short time, I come away incredibly impressed with the type of person he is.  Kots scheduled an outing at a Louisville bowling alley for Monday night, after the day game against the Bats.  The 11 year big leaguer made sure I felt welcome, including me in the festivities.  When you’re the broadcaster, you’re an auxiliary part of the team, an insider, but not really.  RJ does an exceptional job making sure for the last 5 seasons that my job is as easy to do as possible.  The guys pick up on that and in turn, treat me very respectfully.  I think they learn who they can trust through word of mouth and their own experience.  Kotsay was a genial host, making sure everyone had fun.  I think everyone did.  Almost the entire team turned out and even if they didn’t bowl, they socialized and added exspert analysis of everyone’s bowling form, etc.  I was teamed up with Javier Lopez, Jonathan Van Every, Hunter Jones and Trainer Greg Barajas.  The three leftys- Javy, JV and Jonesey all bowl differently, Jones bowls righthanded while Lopez and Van Every roll it lefty.  Clay Buchholz was there, relaxing after his dominant effort earlier in the day against Louisville.  The alley itself, was in the heart of Fourth Street, a booming, bustling area filled with restaurants and clubs.  The alley featured giant tv screens, some right at the bottom of the lanes (a little distracting, but very cool), fluorescent lighting, music food and a bar.  It was a tremendous way for the guys to blow off some steam and enjoy some team-building camaraderie.  Mark Kotsay is a class act in every sense of the word.

 

**********

 

We are staying at an enormous hotel called the Galt House.  The other day I saw it promoted on  “The Price is Right”.  (Yes I do like Drew Carey)  They were giving away a trip to the Kentucky Derby and billed the hotel as the “luxurious Galt House”.  They lied.  It probably was a showplace when Billy Shoemaker was riding in the derby, but today it is OK by International League standards.  Not bad, but if I ever get on “TPIR” I hope Rich Fields tells me I won a new caaaaaaaaar.

 

***********

 

I realize in this day and age, that every dollar counts, but the Louisville Bats, might have gone a little far.  Before the game, they were promoting a physician named Dr. Bradley Wolf on their giant video scoreboard.  Dr. Wolf is “the official hair transplant surgeon of the Bats.”

 

**********

 

Pitching Coach Rich Sauveur had better start sleeping with one eye open.  Monday, he thought it would be a good idea to hide my briefcase and the radio equipment while I was in RJ’s office.  You do not want to awaken a sleeping giant.  Revenge is a dish best served cold.  Richie-BEWARE !!!

NOBODY’S PERFECT

If Bo Derek was a perfect 10, on Monday night Clay Buchholz had to register at 9.9 on the perfection scale.  The 24 year old Texan pitched a complete game, 1 hit shutout on Memorial Day in Louisville Kentucky.  Buchholz faced 28 batters, just one over the minimum.  After setting down the first 24 hitters he saw, Buchholz gave up a single to Danny Richar, leading off the ninth.  Buchholz then retired the final three batters.  His control was impeccable.  So good, in fact, that he reached a 3ball count just once all night.  It was to Michael Griffin in the third.  Buchholz admitted having a case of the nerves late in the game, saying that he felt “The last 2 innings took longer than the first seven.”  Buchholz topped out at 97 miles per hour, according to the in-stadium radar gun.  Clay, who threw a no-hitter for Boston on September 1, 2007 against the Orioles, said he had never been involved in a perfect game.  The nerves trickled all the way down to the radio booth, as I called the action, hoping desparately to witness history.  Bronson Arroyo threw the last PawSox no-no, a perfecto in August of 2003.  It didn’t turn out to be a Vin Scully/Billy Chapel moment like in the vastly under rated baseball movie classice, “For Love of the Game”.  It was ultimately not historic, but man, it was special.

 

**********

 

Dusty Brown and Paul McAnulty hit back to back homers in the sixth inning, the first time the PawSox have turned that  trick in 2009.  Brownie also caught Clay’s masterpiece.  I was really digging Dusty’s sunglasses that he wore during our long travel day to Kentucky.  They reminded me of vintage Elvis Presley.  (the older one).

 

**********

 

Spotted the Syracuse Chiefs in the Louisville airport Monday.  They were still there six hours after their flight was grounded due to mechanical problems.  They were forced to charter a flight to get home in time for their 6:00 p.m. game with Scranton.  Better them than us.  Every dog has his day.

 

**********

 

Also spotted Richard Pitino, a Providence College grad and son of Louisville coach  Rick Pitino at the airport.  The younger Pitino recently accepted a job as assistant coach at Florida under former Friar, and Pitino disciple, Billy Donovan.

NINE INNINGS WITH NAT

We recently ran a contest to come up with a name for a pre-game interview segment we do with PawSox infielder Jeff Natale.  Each week Nat interviews one of his teammates for our broadcast.  So far, his subjects have had rousing success.  On the day he interviewed Sean Danielson, “Spike” went 5-6.  The day he spoke with Billy Traber, the lefty earned a win.  Guys aren’t exactly clamoring to speak to Jeff, but it is starting to catch on.  “At Bat with Nat” took a major step forward on Saturday.  My partner Dan Hoard was taken ill and unable to work the game between Pawtucket and Scranton.  After getting the OK from Manager Ron Johnson and President Mike Tambutrro, I invited Natale , who is on the disabled list with an oblique strain to sit in with me and provide color and analysis for the game.  He jumped at the chance.  The reaction in the clubhouse was mixed as teammates ribbed him, encouraged him and basically begged him to say nice things about them.  Danielson immediately preyed upon his fears telling him- “You are SO nervous right now, you can’t stand it.”  Mark Kotsay, on a M.L. rehab assignment asked if he could come in on Wednesday ( a scheduled day off for him).  Catcher Dusty Brown just looked at Natale with disgust and told him “You are going to suck.”  Brownie was wrong- dead wrong.  Natale was spot-on fabulous.  With zero experience, he stepped in and provided terrific commentary and insightful analysis.  His sense of humor was evident and his knowledge of teammates and the opponent really added a new dimension to the broadcast.  To me, the funniest part of the day took place right after I asked him to join me in the booth.  He started rejoicing and high-fiving teammates around his locker as if he’d just won the World Series.  “Yay”  he shouted  “Hoard’s sick, Hoard’s sick!!!”  I’m sure he meant it in a positive way.

 

**********

 

Michael Bowden is not Superman.  The 22 year old righthander suffered through his first bad outing of 2009, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in the second inning of  Saturday’s loss.  Bow’s ERA soared from a league-best 0.86 to a still, very impressive 1.64 for the season.  Manager Ron Johnson was effusive in his praise for Bowden before the start.  “Bowden has done everything you could possibly want, so far.”  RJ added  “That being said, he is still working on development of location, control quality and consistency.  Is that picky?  Yes, but that usually means the other stuff is money in the bank”.  The Red Sox are working with a fine-tooth comb to help the 22 year old in his development.  Talking about Bowden and Clay Buchholz, RJ  said-” If something happens up there (Boston) with their pitching depth, I guarantee, we’re ready.”   

 

**********

 

Had a nice conversation recently with David Howard, special assistant to Theo Epstein.  The former Royals infielder was at McCoy to inspect the troops this homestand.  Howard is an avid golfer and a good friend with Brad Faxon, PGA tour professional from Rhode Island.  The two met while Howard played for Kansas City.  Howard has been a participant in the CVS Charity Classic run by Faxon and fellow R.I. native, Billy Andrade.  “I couldn’t believe I was there.  I’ talking to guys like (actor) Joe Pesci and Glen Frey (of the iconic rock band, Eagles)  It was unreal”.  Howard is a good enough golfer that he has caddied for Faxon in  PGA events on several occasions.  “Once in 1996, Brad was in the same group as Tiger Woods, soon after he turned pro-  Tiger found out that I was a former ballplayer and had been married for just over a week.  He walked over to my wife who was on the other side of the ropes, kissed her on the cheek and offered her his condolences on how we were spending our honeymoon.” 

ON A SCALES FROM ONE TO TEN

I had the chance to speak to former PawSox player Bobby Scales on Friday.  Bobby, was in San Diego with the Chicago Cubs, getting ready for a Memorial Day weekend series.  Scales, 31, played for the PawSox in 2007, establishing himself as one of the nicest men to wear the Pawtucket colors.  Unfortunately, Scales did not get a call up to Boston in September.  Although he was no doubt disappointed, Scales was probably used to it.  His promotion on May 5, 2009 was the first of his 11 year career.  Scales immediately made up for lost time, getting his first big league hit against reigning Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.  The switch-hitting “jack of all trades” strung together a six game hitting streak, validating Lou Piniella’s confidence in him.  “It’s a blessing, everything happens for a reason.”  Scales added “I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance with Boston, but playing at Pawtucket was a great experience.  Make sure you say hello to everyone there.”  One of my best Bobby Scales memories was our trip to his alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Scales, who attended Michigan with Tom Brady was a proud man as he toured us around the campus.  His wife, Monica, also a former Wolverine has been in attendance as Bobby made his M.L. debut.  Sometimes good things happen to great people.

 

**********

 

One of the pleasures of the job is becoming friendly with the roving instructors that come through Pawtucket.  These men work for the Red Sox and keep tabs on the prospects in the farm system.  Rob Leary is the field coordinator, he oversees the entire minor league system.  This is a daunting task, especially when you consider the caliber of prospects throughout the chain.  The other day “Lear” recounted his skydiving excursion he took during spring training.  “I didn’t tell my wife until I was done.”  It was a tandem jump, meaning he was strapped to the instructor as he made the leap.  Leary said that the descent took about 6 minutes “1 minute of free-fall and 5 minutes of floating”.  It brought to mind a prank Manager Ron Johnson played on John Baker of the Pawtucket Times a few seasons ago.  After a day off, we gathered in RJ’s office for his daily press briefing.  He winked at me and casually mentioned.  “Had a great day off yesterday- Hydes and I went nude skydiving.”  All the guys chuckled except Baker.  He began writing furiously in his notebook.  After a few minutes of stringing him along, RJ let Baker in on the joke.  The mental image of us skydiving “au naturel” is disturbing, to say the least.

 

**********

 

Mark Kotsay is in Pawtucket for his M.L. rehab.  While recovering from back surgery Kotsay tweaked a calf muscle.  Kotsay is expected to join the PawSox on their road trip to Louisville and Indianapolis.  According to RJ, he’ll play outfield Friday and Saturday getting 3 at bats each night.  He’ll have Sunday off and tentatively is set to play first base on Monday and Tuesday.

 

**********

 

Hunter Jones is back with the PawSox after making 8 appearances with Boston in his Major League debut.  Jones admitted “keeping a vigil” as Daisuke Matsuzaka made his way back to the Red Sox rotation.  “If I had been pitching better, I would have felt worse.” Jones admitted.  “I needed to get back to Pawtucket and work on some things.”

 

**********

 

 

NOTHING LIKE AGOOD DAY OFF

The old adage in baseball is that you hope “that a day off isn’t followed by an off day.”  The PawSox enjoyed their only scheduled day off in the month of May on Wednesday.  The schedule dictates that each team in the league averages a day off per month.  It is always interewsting to find out how the guys spend their “down time”.  Here is a random sampling of how the guys spent their day off.

 

Kris Johnson- went sightseeing in Newport, ate at O’Brien’s Pub

 

Mike Jones (strength coach) -went to Fenway (his first trip)

 

Chris George-  Took his 3 children to Roger Williams Zoo

 

Chris Carter- rested

 

Sean Danielson-  went to the Wolverine movie (loved it)

 

Iggy Suarez- saw movie Angels and Demons (2 thumbs up)

 

Jeff Natale- watched American Idol finale

 

Carlos Maldonado- ate at Cheesecake Factory

 

Paul McAnulty- put together a feast that a bunch of the PawSox attended.  “Rib tips, macaroni and cheese,beans, home-baked cookies”.  McAnulty said it was good to get together in a non-baseball context.  ” we ate a lot of food that was good, but not good for you.  We had a great time.”  Among those in attendance- John Otness and Billy Traber.

 

**********

Slugger Chris Carter revealed another side of himself around the batting cage.  When he heard that I saw “Star Trek”, he confided that he is a “trekkie”.  Carter added- “I’ve never dressed up, but I appreciate people who do.”  Live Long and Prosper.

 

**********

 

Next on my summer reading list is a suspense book by James Grippando, best-selling author of Born to Run.  Grippando’s latest book is called “Intent to Kill”.  The book is a  gift from PawSox owner Ben Mondor.  Grippando apparently spent some time watching PawSox games as a boy and McCoy Stadium is featured prominently in the thriller.

 

**********

Kason Gabbard is still at extended Spring Training in Fort Myers.  Gabby is working on arm strength and according to field coordinator, Rob Leary, the lefthander could be in pawtucket some time in June.

 

**********

 

A couple of Big Leaguers are slated to appear at McCoy this weekend.  Chien Ming Wang is scheduled to pitch for Scranton.  He could be facing Mark Kotsay.  Kotsay has been nursing a calf injury he sustained while coming back from back surgery.             

NOT A LOT OF BANG FROM THE BUCH

As well as Clay Buchholz pitched 5 days ago in Toledo (8 IP,4H, 0R, 0BB, 11K), he was, at least as far as he goes, a bit subpar against Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon.  The righthander lasted just 4 and a third innings, giving up 7 hits, three runs, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.  Buchholz had a streak of 24 consecutive shutout innings snapped in the third inning as Fernando Martinez hit a laser beam into the visitors bullpen for his first home run of the day.  Two innings later Martinez was awarded another homer after manager Ken Oberkfell got the umpires to reverse their origninal call (a double) on a ball that hit the centerfield fence.  Buchholz had to throw 30 pitches in the first inning alone as his ERA went from 1.03 to 1.60 for the season.  He is still third in the I.L. behind leader Michael Bowden (0.86) and Kris Medlen of Gwinnett (1.19)  For the second straight outing and the third time this season, Buchholz threw 93 pitches.  The last time he threw that number, it was over 8 innings.  His strike total was lower, as well.  In Toledo, he threw 71 fo strikes, at McCoy on Tuesday just 58 of his pitches were in the zone. 

 

**********

 

The PawSox are off on Wednesday.  It is their only scheduled day off in May.  The next scheduled off day is June 10th.  In the I.L., you average about 1 day off a month.  They are cherished.

 

**********

 

Kevin Youkilis is apparently done with his rehab after the oblique injury.  He dh’ed on Tuesday.  Youkilis went 0-6 with a walk in 2 games.  More importantly, it didn’t look like he had any setbacks and seems to be ready to rejoin Boston.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.