A 21ST CENTURY FOX
There are tough decisions in life and there are easy ones. Those who choose the International League Player and Pitcher of the week must have had no problem selecting Matt Fox of the Pawtucket Red Sox. Fox was dominant, throwing a pair of masterpieces, going 2-0, leading the first place PawSox to a pair of wins. On Sunday, he threw the first complete game for Pawtucket since Clay Buchholz in 2009. A 2 hit shutout, complete with 7 strikeouts as the Sox hung on to the top spot in the North with a 5-0 victory in Gwinnett. That effort was on the heels of his 6 inning outing Tuesday in Charlotte. Fox surrendered one run on two hits with 8 strikeouts. A pretty great week. 15 innings, 4 hits, 1 run and 15 strikeouts. Understandably, the 28 year old is enjoying his run. “It’s fun. Whe you’re on the same page with your catcher, like I was with (Ryan) Lavarnway, it makes it easier. They (Gwinnett) are a good hitting team. I was able to get ahead of them early and when I was ahead of them, I was able to put them away with a curve ball or a cutter. When I got behind a hitter, I just tried to challenge them. We have a good offense and they gave me a lead to work with, so I wasn’t afraid to challenge them. It was fun.”
Fox has had stretches where he has been absolutely unhittable. He retired 14 straight to begin his outing on Tuesday and set down 15 of the last 16 he faced Sunday. Fox downplays his success. “It’s a long season. You’re going to have stretches when you pitch well and you’ll also go through stretches where you can’t get anybody out, which I’ve had this year.” Fox is also quick to credit others for his good fortune. “Ive been working with Rich (Sauveur, PawSox pitching coach) on my curveball more, and Randy Williams has helped me redefine my cutter. That’s working well for me. It’s a fun team to play on. You go out there and pitch in a great evironment.”
Fox threw the complete game on Sunday, his first as a professional. Besides giving the bullpen a day off, it was fun to watch. “I haven’t thrown a complete game since college. It was fun to do that.” It’s been a good year for Fox. He was named to the International League All Star team in July. He’s the hottest pitcher in the I.L. with about three weeks left in the regular season and he could be poised to be a post season hero as the PawSox continue their quest for their first Governors’ Cup since 1984. When Fox learned about his honor, he smiled. “Cool, pretty cool.” It is.