THE FACTS FROM FOX

     The PawSox are playing good baseball.  They are at the top of the I.L. North Division, in a dogfight with Lehigh Valley.  On Tuesday, the PawSox won a pair of games against Charlotte.  Game one was the resumption of the rain out of the night before.  Game 2 was started by I.L. All Star, Matt Fox.  Fox, 28 was acquired about a year ago from the Twins.  He has spent the entire 2011 season with the PawSox.\

     Fox worked 6 innings and dominated the Knights, striking out 8 hitters while allowing a single run on two hits.  Matt retired the first 14 batters he faced.  “It was a good outing, a good team win. Expo (catcher Luis Exposito) and I were on the same page all game.”  Fox says he felt the same Tuesday as he always does.  Nothing special.  “No. you just take it an at bat at a time, the same as any other outing.  Like I said, me and Expo were on the same page.  I was just throwing what he was calling.  It was a lot of fun.”  Fox says it is essential to be on the same page as your catcher if you want success.  “Very important.  It’s a large aspect, the pitcher, catcher relationship.  I’ve felt comfortable with Expo all year.  Same thing with (Ryan) Lavarnway.  He’s a good catcher.  Expo and I have been on the same page for the last several outings.  I feel real confident with what he puts down.  I just have to try to execute the pitch.”  Fox elaborated.  “It’s not only the pitches he calls,  but also the way he interacts with you.  We have a good relationship.  For instance, in the sixth inning I walked the #9 hole  hitter.  I was pretty upset about it.  I slammed down the rosin bag.  He saw that and came out to me and said ‘get over it, get a ground ball or a double play’. There are little things like that where he comes out and knows the right thing to say.  Pitch selection is important too.” 

     Fox admits to thinking about a no-hitter or perfect game as he set down the first 14 Charlotte hitters.  “You think about it, but I know how rare those things are.  I really tried not to think about it, because I still had a few innings to go.  I just tried to keep the lead.  I didn’t try to worry about it.  As a pitcher, you try to execute each pitch and not think too far ahead.”

     Fox was the lone Pawtucket representative at the Triple A All Star game in Utah last month.  He didn’t get into the game, but he wasn’t disappointed.  “I had pitched the day before the All Star break.  I told Arnie (Beyeler) that my priority is to pitch for the PawSox.  It was an honor to go.  It’d be cool to pitch in that game but if it meant me not being ready to make my next start for the PawSox, it wouldn’t have been worth it.”  Fox made the most of his trip west.  “I just enjoyed the scenery and the time off.”

     Fox seems to be enjoying the pennant race and taking it one day at a time.  “This is one of the funnest teams I’ve ever been on.  We’ve got a lot of good guys on and off the field.  We’ve got a lot of talent and we know we’ve got a really good team.  Nobody’s stressed out about it.  We know if we play up to our abilities, we’ll probnably make the playoffs.”

     Fox was born in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University.  He is an avid Buckeyes fan. Despite the turmoil of the offseson, Fox is cautiously optimistic.  “I’d like to say they’ll be very good.  They have all the talent in the world, it’s just inexperienced.  There will be a new quarterback, either (Joe) Bauserman or (Braxton) Miller.  They have a couple of cupcakes at the beginning of the season, so maybe they can get a little experience before their game with Miami.  I’m hoping for the best.”

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