There’s no doubt that if Chris Carter and the rest of the PawSox offense can keep it rolling, they’ll be a very formidable foe for the second half of the season. Entering Fridays’ game in Norfolk the PawSox (39-33) had the worst team batting average in the 14 team league (.235) They are tied for twelfth in home runs with just 46. These are not “your fathers’ PawSox.” We are used to seeing RJ’s “Wrecking Crew”- a gang that wins with the home run and the bases loaded double. Despite the offensive woes, the PawSox are in the thick of the playoff chase, 2 and a half games out of first in the North and just a half game out of the wild card. Carter has really started to heat up, hitting a couple of homers in Norfolk, batting .421 during his current 5 game hitting streak. Carter is excited about the 5-2 road trip so far. “It’s fun baseball right now. I’m loving it. It’s really fun to be a part of the team right now. I’m having fun.” Carter is well aware that the pitching has carried the Sox so far in 2009, bit is quick to add that the offense is on the verge of some big things. “Our pitching has been tremendous but I also think that our hitting is going ot come around. We’ve got some guys who can swing the bat and we’re going to get hot and put up some runs.” Carter, an I.L. All Star in 2008 is also aware that his production is down this year. After opening the season in Boston and wasting away on the bench, he’s eager to shine. “I’m a guy who always put up good numbers. I got off to a slow start, but in the end, I know where I want to be.” Carter or “CC” as he’s called by teammates, can look back on his Major League experience with Boston to help him succeed with the PawSox. “It gave me a lot of confidence and now I know that I can play with those guys. If I just keep doing well and believing in myself, I know there’s going to be an opportunity somewhere some time.” Carter adds that he’s not afraid to compare himself to other I.L. stars. “I see guys like Shelley Duncan and Oscar Salazar and I know who they are and I know I have put up numbers just like theirs’. It helps me to see other guys doing well and I know I can do better than I’m doing right now. I’m determined. It’ll come eventually.” Carter is also confident in his squad- “once our hitting comes around we are going to win a lot more games. I think this team can be a dominant team. Not just a good team, but a dominant team. A team that can put other teams away. All we need is the hitting. We have every other component in place and the hitting is showing signs of being there.” He believes in the adage that “hitting is contagious.” “When there are runners on base, it opens holes. You get sacrifice fly opportunities, you put pressure on the other teams’ defense. It definitely is contagious.”
Congratulations to Red Sox farm hands Casey Kelly and Junichi Tazawa. Both pitchers have been selected for the XM Futures Game to be played on July 12 in St. Louis. Kelly will pitch for the U.S team while Tazawa will compete for the World team. Tazawa is 7-4, 2.92 for the AA Portland Sea Dogs, while Kelly, last years’ number one pick has split time between Greenville and Salem. At Greenville, Kelly went 6-1, 1.12 and is1-2, 2.51 so far at Salem. In 2008, Red Sox minor leaguer Che Hsuan Lin was named the MVP of the Futures Game.
If you haven’t seen the Todd Phillips movie “The Hangover”, run, don’t walk to your nearest theater. Absolutely, riotously funny.