HEE’S THE MAN
For the second time in a week, Arnie Beyeler had to use a position player to pitch in extra innings, and for the second time in a week, the PawSox emerged with a victory. Jon Hee came in to pitch the bottom of the twelfth on Sunday night and helped Pawtucket earn a 9-3 win in Louisville. Hee had already contributed with a two run double in the top half of the inning, part of a six run assault that opened the game up for Pawtucket. The 26 year old Hawaiian was pleased to hear his name called. “I’ve loosened in the bullpen once this year in Portland. In fact, it was the day before I got called up to Pawtucket. I was at a loss for words. I was excited, but a little antsy at the same time.”
Hee laughed when asked if he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to hold a six run lead..”Nah. I really didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to go in there and throw strikes.” Hee conceded that he drew a little inspiration from Andy LaRoche. The PawSox third baseman actually won a game for the club, pitching a scoreless fourteenth inning last week at McCoy. “They tell us to just go out and try to throw strikes. Andy got a win. I thought I might be able to get a save, but we had scored too many runs (6 in the top of the twelfth).”
Hee enjoyed the experience. “It was fun. I was a little nervous. Not nervous, but I just didn’t know what to expect.” After the outing, Hee said he hadn’t pitched in a game in 16 years, since he was a little leaguer in Honolulu. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway caught both of them and compared the two- LaRoche and Hee. “Rochie threw in the nineties with a little sink. but Hee threw about 78 with a lot of sink. As far as what guys are used to seeing…it’s not Hee. They both did very well. LaRoche pitched in a tie game, Hee had a six run lead. If one of them was to convert to pitching, Rochie might have a bigger upside.” Lavarnway also offered this insight. “As a hitter, you never want to face a position player. It takes you out of your game plan and out of your element. You try to do too much.”
Either way, manager Arnie Beyeler a has a couple of extra bullets that he can use, even if they don’t come directly out of the bullpen.