PAWTUCKET â If Daisuke Matsuzaka made what he dubbed a âsmall mechanical adjustmentâ prior to taking the mound for the fifth inning Wednesday night, itâs news to both PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur and catcher Dan Butler.
âWhatever tweak he made, he made on his own,â stated Sauveur on Thursday, one day after Matsuzaka delivered what could be coined a mixed bag of an outing.
There was good Matsuzaka â four scoreless innings in which he retired 12 of 13 Scranton batters â following by bad Matsuzaka, the damage pertaining to the five runs (four earned) he yielded in the fifth.
WOONSOCKET â Barbara Dixon will never forget the first-ever Blackstone River Valley Greenway Challenge, held in late September of 2001.
In fact, she and other organizers questioned whether they'd be able to take care of the logistics in time.
âThis is how bizarre it was that first year,â noted Dixon, who works closely with the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, located at the old train station near Main Street.
PAWTUCKET â The Elizabeth Beisel Welcome Home Tour made a stop at McCoy Stadium Wednesday evening, as the North Kingstown native and Olympic medalist threw out the first pitch and signed autographs at the ballparkâs Cox Fan Center.
Standing on the field in her Team USA jacket and a PawSox cap, Beisel was presented a Pawtucket team jacket by General Manager Lou Schweichheimer and infielder Tony Thomas, who took the occasion to tweet the following after catching the ceremonial toss: âNot a bad arm for a swimmer; thanks for keeping it close so I could catch it!â
PAWTUCKET â Stop if youâve heard this before, but PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur feels that embattled reliever Daniel Bard is closer than the numbers suggest.
Sauveur provided words of reassurance on Wednesday afternoon, one day after Bard had a devil of a time locating the strike zone. You probably know the grizzly numbers by now, but here they are again: On his way to recording one out Tuesday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Bard walked four and allowed two runs. Just 10 of the 27 pitches he recorded were strikes.
ATTLEBORO â There are plenty of recent high school graduates out there who don't have a clue as to what their immediate future may hold.
Connor Harrington, who in mid-June received his diploma from St. Raphael Academy, definitely isn't one of them.
On Tuesday morning, the unassuming, modest 18-year-old loaded his belongings into his car and trekked by his lonesome to New Jersey. His wants: Not only to begin his odyssey at Bergen Community College (he plans on becoming a veterinary technician), but also follow his dream of playing junior hockey for the New Jersey Renegades.
PAWTUCKET â Pawtucket Red Sox Team President Mike Tamburro will never forget the phone call he received from then-Red Sox General Manager Lou Gorman in June 1990.
âHow would you like Johnny Pesky to be your new manager?â was the message Gorman relayed to Tamburro. âI said, âWe would love to have Johnny (pilot the PawSox).ââ
Donât tell area high school football coaches that these truly are the dog days of summer. They donât want to hear about such talk.
Monday marks the commencement of preseason training camps across the state and to suggest that teams are seeking to hit the ground running would be a gross understatement. The importance of the coming week cannot be underscored â albeit for a myriad of reasons.
PAWTUCKET â Andrew Bailey doesnât know when he may return to the Boston Red Sox, but heâs more than anxious to do so.
In Pawtucketâs 6-3 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs at McCoy Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Bailey relieved starter Billy Buckner in the sixth inning and allowed just one hit (without a walk and fanned a pair in his one-frame stint.
That, coupled with a solid outing the night before when he hurled one inning of flawless ball (with a strikeout), the 28-year-old from Cherry Hills, N.J. likes how heâs feeling.
PAWTUCKET â Despite a 6-3 matinee loss to the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday afternoon, Pawtucket Red Sox skipper Arnie Beyeler sat in his McCoy Stadium clubhouse office afterward explaining his pleasure with three relieversâ respective outings.
In a rehab assignment with Pawtucket, righty Andrew Bailey allowed just one hit and fanned two in a single-inning stint (20 pitches, 14 strikes), while Daniel Bard took over in the seventh and yielded a hit, run and two walks while whiffing one. (In the process, he hit 97 mph on the radar gun, and threw 22 pitches, 12 for strikes).
PAWTUCKET â On his first official day as a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Danny Valencia found himself out of Wednesdayâs starting lineup. His placement under the âextra hittersâ portion of the lineup card only furthers the argument that itâs going to be tough for the 27-year-old to carve out regular playing time.
Valencia is a third baseman by trade, a position where heâs logged 2,281 innings in 262 big-league games. Coming over from the Minnesota Twins via trade on Sunday, Valencia joins a PawSox ballclub that's pretty well stocked at the hot corner.