Maria Delgado wanted to spend more time with her kids, anyway.

Finally over.

I don't have any strong feelings about that last game. Could be because I was essentially sucking beer out of the McCoy Stadium taps by the third inning.

Charlie Haeger is not a strong starter so I wasn't expecting Pawtucket to win. At least Bryce Brentz wasn't in the lineup. Did anyone see him at all? Hopefully he was exsanguinated, preserved, locked away so future scientists can study him and learn how to not suck at baseball fundamentals.

How nice for the Durham Bulls.

So... What do you guys want to talk about now?


There's just so much I need to warn you about. And yet, tragically, I cannot.

9.13.13 If you're gonna sleep like that, then you might as well be dead. BRYCE.

I don't know if I can ever forgive Bryce Brentz for his shit performance last night. And because I'm feeling kinda dirty, feeling kind of mean, here's a picture of a MILF. Hey, isn't that Bryce Brentz' MOM?

Durham Bulls win 2-0 in 14 innings. Brock Holt might get some blame but not from me. That is because I have eyes. And I don't care how hard Brentz slammed his bat down after the game, he played like an asshole. Just like in the Championship Game last year!

Starting pitcher for Pawtucket was Matt Barnes. Barnes was fine, pitched 5 1/3 and struck out seven. And then the rest of the bullpen came in and worked. Everyone did superlative work. Anthony Carter pitched the  ninth and then came in for the tenth, which is unusual but Carter responded by being a total badass.

Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowed no hits and struck out four. I had to single out his exemplary leftiness.

Starter for the Durham Bulls was Matt Buschmann. Buschmann was terrific.

You know what, you can read a box score and if that's not enough you can read the newspaper. I'm not going to break down every hit (not many), every bunt (many), every strikeout, every reliever. This is a gestalt thing, and as a citizen of Rhode Island and as a Fan of Baseball I think I can say that this is the greatest baseball game I have ever attended. Some people said it was not that exciting. But those people probably have much more interesting lives than I do. To some people, it was some baseball game they were at that lasted a long time and  no one hit a home run.

Thursday night I went to sleep around midnight. I knew my alarm was going off at 4:30 in the morning but I can't do much about that, Thursday nights are sacred to me and I'm not one to turn in early. Of course, just like high school Sunday nights, I lay awake with non-stop music in my head (HOW DO YOU DO, MM HMM, I THOUGHT WHY NOT NA NA NA NA) and watched moths smashing themselves against my screen while I tugged the sheets back into place, over and over. So maybe 75 minutes of sleep?

Went to work for six because evidently I am an oil rigger. It was fine, I wrote on my take-out coffee "IF YOU THROW THIS AWAY I MIGHT DIE", did officey things and split. Went home and tried to nap but just as I was slipping through the narrowest passage of the hourglass I snapped awake. Debated between game t-shirts (Ottawa Lynx or Mike Lowell Marlins?) and I was out the door.

I expected minimal attendance but instead there were crowds, kids, bicycle messengers, punks and high school dropouts. Like a regular Friday night at McCoy, but different because people cared about more than cotton candy and foam claws. Perfect, right?

I wanted a good game. I knew a good game was likely. But I am wrong about so many things and I have seen so many flat, dawdling PawSox games that I couldn't hope for too much. All I wanted was not to be anesthetized.

I got my good game. The pitching was sexual chocolate, erotic bullpens on both ends. Christian Vazquez, an Annalee doll in catcher's gear, squeezed my guts out. But I wanted Jonathan Diaz and Brock Holt to delight me. I wanted to see a Julyish Mark Hamilton and I wanted Bryce Brentz to crawl down the avenue and I wanted Little Baby Heiker to be make his mother proud.

Oh, well. Durham got the win. They earned it. Walking back to my car I ran into an older couple who were very zen about the whole thing and asked me if I was coming to the Saturday game. "Charlie Haeger", the gentleman said. Yes. I have seen the mongoose with the golden eyes.

 some people are saying this isn't the first time you've had sex with a married councilman:
1. Slept until noon today. Feeling melancholy, like a Bryan Ferry cover song. I thought I would make a million new friends last night but no. Whatever, I have my books and my poetry to protect me.

2. I did quite like it when Hazelbaker got into it with Bulls shortstop Tim Beckham. Beckham would fucking crush Jeremy and I'm a pacifist but I would have thrilled at that spectacle. Hazelbaker is like the opposite human of me. And then I feel bad because maybe Hazelbaker got bullied for being a pale farmer.

3. "Where the ball stayed on the ground, sparks did fly late in the contest. [Groan.] Bulls shortstop and former Rays top prospect Tim Beckham jawed with both DiSarcina – both during a pitching change and in between innings – and Jeremy Hazelbaker after tagging him out trying to steal second base in the 10th inning.
The latter confrontation, in which Hazelbaker turned around to face Beckham, caused dugouts to partially empty before umpires cut them off near the foul line and sent them back." - David Carty, maybe.

4. "After taking the first game of the International League Governors' Cup series in Durham against the Bulls, the Pawtucket Red Sox find themselves with a chance to even their best-of-five series with a win at McCoy Stadium Saturday. Or, they can call it a season." - Ugh, seriously GoLocalProv? This is the best you can come up with? I get more of an emotional response by looking at beige carpeting.

5. "When a game goes on and on and on the way this one did for almost six hours, all sorts of statistical oddities start showing up. We’ll get to some of those, but first a tip of the hat to the eight Durham Bulls pitchers who, even if they provided too many thrills (that would be you, Kirby Yates), did not allow a run over 14 innings that saw 57 Pawtucket batters come to the plate." Chris Wise, you really should have figured out a way to get to RI.

6. Stacy Long wrote about the game a little, but she's more of a Double-A Montgomery expert. BOOM, female sports writer. Although Stacy's also a boy's name?

7. "The Bulls were limited to just seven hits, and none of them were actually in the 14th. Kevin Kiermaier reached third base on a three base error by Bryce Brentz, and he came home to score on a Brock Holt throwing error after a Cole Figueroa intentional walk. A walk to Vince Belnome advanced Tim Beckham to second base, and Jason Bourgeois beat out a potential double play ball while Figueroa crossed the plate with the second run. In the bottom half of the inning, a hit batter and back to back walks with two outs loaded the bases, but Yates struck out Brentz to end the game." - D Rays Bay

Slow computer, I'm out. Gotta shave my legs and head to the park and run up to Brentz and hand him a chocolate gun. Paz afuera.

As a woman I was taught to always be hungry.

Could not help but notice last night that the Pawtucket press box was a total bro-fest.Well, that's not exactly what I mean. "Bro-fest" does not express a complete absence of ladies.

I should have said that the McCoy Stadium press box is an exclusionary crate of dicks.

Is there no Peggy Olson in all the land that can warp a box score into a boring sports recap? I do it all the time.

All the IL radio guys are just that: Guys.

I'm sure there are a limited amount of female candidates, and that's just the way it goes and I understand that. It's just that I look up there and it's like 1954.

Do you know that I thought about going up there and banging on the door?

When I was at the ballpark in Allentown, my new friends told me to get a press pass the next time I came. I said there was no way they would give me one and they couldn't believe it. They told me, yes, I could absolutely get one and to just let them know.

This knocked me out. I felt more welcome as a Visitor than I've ever felt at Home.

DLIPB, I suppose.


9.11.2013 This is the fucking playoffs.

Durham wins 2-1, which is good not bad because this is super cereal. Did you know that I do not know how to type?

Starter for Pawtucket Red Sox was Steven Wright, and damn it, Wright did a fantastic job. He surpassed my expectations completely. Wright pitched into the seventh inning with the game tied 1-1, got Mike Fontenot out, faced localish catcher Craig Albernez, who hit a ground ball that Heiker Meneses could not handle (drawn conclusion, I was not there). Albernaz to second.

Next batter was teen heartthrob and center fielder and leadoff batter Kevin Kiermaier. Kiermaier and his dazzling smile doubled to left, scoring Alby (he said I could call him that). Kiermaier tried for third, but he's just a baby. Hassan to Meneses to Diaz at third to get him out. Montoyo perhaps scowled. Again, I wasn't there.

Chris Martin entered the game to finish off the seventh, which he did, and then also pitched the eighth inning. Sick bullpen, brah. Martin didn't give up any runs, but the Red Sox bats could not help him and it was like burning inside. Like running upstairs.

JD Martin Bulls Starter pitched six, gave up a run on four hits. Catcher Dan Butler and CF Justin Henry led the third inning off with back-to-back singles (Meet attractive singles in YOUR area right now on backtobacksingles.com!) Heiker Meneses, the PawSox infielder Jorge Jimenez always wanted to be, bunted the boys over for Jonathan Diaz. People helping people. Diaz did not get a hit. Diaz grounded out to the pitcher, 1-6-3, Butler scores.

The next batter was Hazelbaker, who struck out on three pitches but not before bending over to pick up his burrito and splitting his pants open.

No, next batter was Brock Holt. Holt worked his way up to a 2-2 count but ultimately flied out to left.

Durham relievers CJ Riefenhauser and Kirby Yates stymied the PawSox for the rest of the game. Tony Thomas jumped in for Hazelbaker and it would have been nifty for him to do... Something. But.

This game had the same score as the first one, but it took a half hour less time to play.

deux choses:
1. No hits from Hamilton, Brentz, and Hazelbaker. But unexpected contributions again from the non-sluggers. Perhaps the he-men will fall in line back home.

2. Three passed balls on Butler. Wright K'd six and walked three. I expected more runs from the Bulls, didn't you?

3. "[JD] Martin said despite a lack of run support, he felt comfortable on the mound. 'It is what it is. If they don’t hit, we just have to pitch. You look at the guy they had tonight, a knuckleball pitcher. That’s hard to hit. ... I don’t know how the hitters approached it, but I was looking at it like, ‘I hope he’s not on tonight.’ And he was.'" - R Cory Smith

4. "Durham Bulls center fielder Kevin Kiermaier stopped thinking about the dancing knuckleball thrown by Steven Wright. That approach might have helped him drill a game-winning double off the wall in left-center field in Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory against the Pawtucket Red Sox in Game 2 of the International League finals at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

'My previous three at-bats I think I was thinking too much. That last at-bat I’m not sure what I was thinking. That’s probably why I hit it so well. I just swung and I didn’t know what was going to happen.'” - Bob Sutton, whose game story is tight. He could not help himself, however, with "Bulls don't knuckle under."

5. "The Bulls boarded a pair of charter buses after Wednesday night’s game for the 670-mile trip to Pawtucket and will take today off to rest for Game 3 on Friday at McCoy Stadium." Are you kidding me? BUS TRIP? Judas Priest! They couldn't spring for a $99 flight? Playoffs? At any rate, Jimmy DuPree's recap is decent in spite of the dreary architecture of his soul.

6. "But first the pitching. J.D. Martin might have been missing his regular catcher, Chris Gimenez, but he and Craig Albernaz made one heck of a team through the first six innings. The IL’s best pitcher only allowed four hits and one run, although he had to leave the game with a no-decision. Martin is a seriously crafty guy that the PawSox found themselves unable to hit well all night. And then there were the two foul pops that Albernaz grabbed in the 6th to end Martin’s 104 pitch outing. And Albie's hard running to first that might have encouraged the PawSox's throwing error in the 7th." - Chris Wise, WDBB

7. LOL Chris Wise: " Just what kind of strings did the PawSox management have to pull to set up Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday games in Pawtucket?" Yeah, no kidding.

8. Cliff Barnes: "Jason Bourgeois led off the sixth with a line single to center and advanced to third with two outs. That’s when the Bulls were visited by lady luck. A wayward knuckleball got away from catcher Dan Butler, his third passed ball of the night. Bourgeois scored to tie the game and kept IL Most Valuable Pitcher J.D. Martin from taking a hard-luck loss."

9. That's what I said! "Pawtucket’s offense continued to be quiet against Bulls pitching late in the game. The PawSox were able to get hits but weren’t able to string anything together, a trend that has become a theme in these playoffs. Another troubling theme for Pawtucket has been a lack of production from the middle of the order, as the combination of Alex Hassan, Mark Hamilton, and Bryce Brentz have combined to hit under .200 through 7 playoff games." (Eddie Pannone)

10. By the way, have I mention Bull City Summer? Yes? Dive into the story of Tuesday night's game aqui. Stand right up and let it shoot right through you.

Off night tonight, then Matt Barnes will face righty Matt Buschmann, who says crap like "Aaaand I have the whole theater to myself for a viewing of Pacific Rim. Awesome. Opening my candy bag as loud as possible." Wow, I can't even rip on that. Buschmann seems to have a handle on basic grammar and spelling. Astounding.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/12/3187090/pitching-propels-durham-bulls.html#storylink=cpy


9.10.2013 Pawtucket Red Sox v Durham Bulls - Brock Holt's Perceived Value

Pawtucket wins a squeaker, 2-1, in what was truly a defensive game. Good thing we've got Holt. It was pretty exciting, wish I could have been there.

Starter for the PawSox was Anthony Ranaudo. Ranaudo worked six innings, threw 92 pitches, gave up one run on four hits. Ranaudo gets a no-decision for this one. Not that anyone should care, since these are irrelevant playoff stats.

Young righty Jake Odorizzi started for Durham! Odorizzi was a total badass on the mound, pitching seven scoreless innings and striking out PawSox batters over and over and over. Seven times! Charlie Montoyo was all about it, letting Odorizzi throw 107 pitches. Gary DiSarcina must have been all amped up.

Unfortunately for Jake, his relief failed him. Jake Beliveau got a big Pawtucket mud-caked boot in his word hole and essentially ruined all of Odorizzi's hard work.

The Bulls led 1-0 for quite a while, starting in the second inning when catcher Jesus Flores hit a sac fly to score Mike Fontenot, who might be THE Mike Fontenot. The Cubs guy, right? Ask him how Joe Crede is.

The Red Sox got a couple of singles and a walk off Odorizzi, but could not make anything happen. That is until the eighth, when they were fortunate enough to face Beliveau. Justin Henry, who can handle more positions than the Kama Sutra, led off with a single to right. Henry scooted over to second base when Heiker Meneses was hit by a pitch, and this is where Bulls fans were like uh-oh.

Next batter was beloved infielder Jonathan Diaz, who was man enough to lay down a sac bunt and do it successfully on his first attempt. MENSCH. Everyone advanced, it was fricking genius. And then Brock Holt, who was everywhere in this game playing his little heart out, hit a ground ball to short that was deflected by Fontenot. Henry scores! Meneses scores! 2-1 Pawtucket! WAO!

So Beliveau got the gate and Steve Geltz came in to face Alex Hassan. Holt was caught stealing and Geltz got Hassan to fly out.

Bottom of the eighth, Ryan Rowland-Smith to face 1B Vince Belnome, RF Brandon Guyer, and slugging DH Leslie Anderson. Rowland-Smith walked Belnome, who's a first baseman so obviously he was replaced by a pinch runner. Rowland-Smith hit Guyer with a pitch and this is where PawSox fans that are on 95 South listening to the game on their car radio were like uh-oh.

THIS IS WHERE SHIT GETS REAL. The next batter was Leslie Anderson and I know you remember him. He was an IL All-Star last year. But Durham manager Charlie Montoyo took him out! And replaced him with the much-lighter hitting Evan Frey, so he could bunt. Frey was decidedly not up for the task and just struck out by missing the bunt. Montoyo must have had a quiet stroke over that boner.

Rowland-Smith collected himself enough to get the next couple of batters out. Then, top of the ninth, Hazelbaker doubled with two outs and reliever Adam Liberatore IBB'd Dan Butler. Henry reached on an error and things got exciting again, but Liberatore K'd Heiker Meneses to terminate the threat.

Last chance, Bulls: Anthony Carter in to close things out. Carter got the first out, but then gave up back-to-back singles, with the runners advancing on the throw from Henry. Next batter was IL Repeat Offender Jason Bourgeois. Carter intentionally walked him to get to Shelley "Wendall" Duncan. This kind of thing makes me very nervous, but I guess they know what they're doing. Duncan popped out, Guyer flied out, and Carter got the save. Incredible.

Win goes to Alex Wilson, who was in there somewhere.

plop, plop, fizz, fizz:
1.  Odorizzi is quite gracious: "(My outing) didn’t go to no avail. We had our chances, we had plenty of chances to tie it up, but things just didn’t go our way.” (R Cory Smith)

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/10/3184372/pawtucket-downs-durham-to-take.html#storylink=cpy

2. Holt, Hazelbaker, and Henry got two hits apiece. Alleged power hitters Hamilton and Brentz both struck out three times. Once again, production from the bottom half of the lineup. I LIKE IT.

3. Brandon Guyer was hit by pitches twice. He's got a fractured finger (unrelated). Poor kid.

4. "In the seventh, Pawtucket center fielder Justin Henry made a two-out diving catch of Jason Bourgeois’ drive with two Durham runners on board. This came after the first two Bulls batters of the inning were robbed of singles by Holt. In the eighth, the first two Pawtucket batters reached against Jeff Beliveau, with Justin Henry slapping a single and Heiker Meneses hit by a pitch — both on 1-2 counts. The runners moved up on Jonathan Diaz’s sacrifice bunt before Holt delivered on a 2-2 pitch.

“That guy was their hero,” Montoyo said." (Bob Sutton)

5. "Why don't people go to Durham Bulls playoffs games?" They don't go to PawSox playoff games, either. David Fellerath gets into it a little.

6. Jeff Beliveau is from Rhode Island? That explains so much: "The last time Rhode Island native Jeff Beliveau was on a pitcher’s mound was an inning back on September 4th. Before that, he hadn’t pitched for the Bulls since August 22. So when he came in after a very fine 7 innings by Jake Odorizzi, I was worried. A single, hit batsman, sac bunt, and two-run single later the Bulls were behind 2-1 and Steve Geltz was in to finish the inning. Too late." (Chris Wise, WDBB) As always, I love the charts and graphs.

7. "Both Pawtucket and Durham, the Tampa Bay Rays' top affiliate, sent former first round draft picks to the mound Tuesday. 6'7 righthander Anthony Ranaudo, pitching a day after his 24th birthday, delivered six solid innings for the PawSox, allowing just four hits and a run. In the second inning, Mike Fontenot doubled to left-center, and would later score on a sacrifice fly. That was the only blemish on Ranaudo's night, but Bulls starter Jake Odorizzi was even better, holding the visitors scoreless through seven innings, on just four hits." - Jay Miller never says hello to me, so I would like to point out that his article has a buttload of typos.

8. This site is for the fan of Australian baseball players, so the game recap is heavy on Ryan Rowland-Smith. I'd certainly like to get "heavy" on Ryan Rowland-Smith, knowwhatimsayin? Am I right, ladies?

9. Here's a complete background on Brock Holt, who I never cared about until last night and now he's all I can think about. BROCK HOLT!

10. Rick Medeiros knows what time it is!  " I have seen a lot of baseball and other sporting events in my young life, but I can not recall any as exciting as game one of the Governors’ Cup Championship series last night here in Durham, North Carolina! It was a perfect day for baseball. The Triangle Red Sox Nation were on hand to cheer the PawSox to victory. The sun was shining and it was hovering just around 80 degrees. " 

11. Eddie Pannone is going to put me out of a job! "Ranaudo, after a shaky outing against the Red Wings last time out, pitched brilliantly. Despite some early struggles he pitched more effectively as the game went on. He was very efficient and had some quick innings to keep his pitch count manageable. He too allowed 4 hits and a walk in his outing, striking out 4 Bulls."

Tonight is going to be very, very difficult for the Pawtuckets. It's Steven Wright vs oh, only the IL Pitcher of the Year, JD Martin. Good luck! My heart can't take it...


Playoff bound, playoff gagged.

I went to the game on Saturday night, even though I had a couple of other much more fun things I wanted to do. In many ways, Pawtucket did me a favor by losing that night because I got to attend a private beer-tasting party in the burbs. Of course, I had to get up mad early on Sunday so I couldn't really party serious. But when it was 8-0 I was totally cool with splitting the ballpark. Then I sat by a bonfire, sampled beer and talked about Duran Duran for three hours.

By the way, guests were expected to bring a six-pack of some rare and beautiful beer. When it comes to obscure beers, I have that shizz in the bag! I KNOW WHERE TO GO TO GET BEER THAT NO ONE ELSE KNOWS, and that is Central Falls, RI (City motto: YOU WISH, DETROIT!). So yeah, poppin' that Bolivian brew, step aside.

My point is this: Jonathan Van Every no longer plays baseball. John Taylor can still get it. Rochester's sister is cursed, their father's old and damned. Durham's probably going to crush Pawtucket like an elephantine fat woman sitting on top of a sweater-wearing Rubert. Alex Hassan might smoke the same cigarettes as me.

Pawtucket defeats Rochester, 3-0. Win goes to Charlie Haeger and I am so jealous. Jealous that people get to do this for a living, jealous of everyone from Heiker Meneses to Allen Webster. JEALOUS! Why is their job so much fun and why is mine... Not that way? AND THOSE GUYS ARE STUPID AND INIQUITOUS. And they have horrible taste in music! Everything's so hard when you're not born a man.

Haeger, who probably has never heard of the Dave Clark Five, pitched 5 1/3 innings and had more K's than BB's, which is nice when your main pitch is so whimsical. Haeger did hit the little Australian guy with a pitch, but who cares, Shairon Martis hit Meneses. It's all kind of depressing.

Starting P for the Red Wings was Virgil Vasquez. Wasn't he Boston property at one point? Am I high? Answer: Sort of. I mean, Vasquez was sort of Boston property. I am not currently high.

Vasquez made it three innings, although it was essentially Game Over after the second inning. All the shit happened with two outs. First, Hazelbaker tripled, and even though I fucking hate Jeremy Hazelbaker in the most wild and irrational way that is in no sense fact-based or reasonable... I do love triples. Hat tip, JH. Here's a quarter, go buy some melanin.

Catcher Dan Butler and his magnificent quads followed the triple with a single, scoring Hazelbaker. Then Justin Henry doubled to make things pretty for Heiker Meneses. Meneses, a young man from Venezuela who should really check shit out on Smithfield Ave, singled, scoring both Butler and Henry. 3-0.

Relievers Chris Martin, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and de facto closer and former Fat Kid Anthony Carter closed the game out, slam bang. No hits at all, one walk. The Red Wings just could not. Rowland-Smith probably looked pretty good. He's kinda thick and I am into that, a little. I don't know. He's wicked cute, is all.

1. Top half of the lineup, from Diaz to Brentz, tallied zero point zero zero hits. Bottom four bros got all the hits, with Butler and Henry getting two apiece. Alex Hassan struck out three times.

2. "[Chris] Martin may have recorded the two most important outs in the contest. With a trip to the Governors’ Cup finals hanging in the balance, the right-handed Martin was the picture of professional composure. Inheriting a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, Martin faced Rochester pinch hitter and major-league veteran Chris Parmelee. Martin fanned him on a 91 mph fastball. Then facing yet another major-league hitter in Aaron Hicks, Martin induced a lazy fly ball to left field." - McGair

3. It sickens me a little to link to this, and I am not familiar with the author's work, but this headline reeled me in hard: "Learning to win: Why PawSox playoff run matters for player development".

4. Rick Medeiros points out that Goody, the Pawtucket clubhouse guy, is a helmet polisher. I doubt he uses any lip and tongue action. I met that guy once, super abrasive but I guess you'd have to be.

5. "The season stats imply a modest advantage for the Bulls across the board. Further, unlike the Indians, the PawSox seem to have had a relatively stable lineup." - Chris Wise, Durham Bulls analyst.

6. You can read John Gray's game story, but it hits the same points of mine and has way less zazz.

7. Enemy of the Pawtuckets Scott Diamond got called up, so I guess something good came from Saturday's game.

8. The legendary Mike Scandura talked to Red Wings manager Gene Glynn: "It was disappointing. But like I told the guys, don’t take this game home with you. Remember how good a season it was and what you accomplished. I know we came up a little bit short but it was a great group to be around.” Oh. This bums me out.

9. Sox & Dawgs doesn't link to me.

10. Who the fuck wrote this? It's so stupid. "In the 2nd inning Sunday, Jeremy Hazelbaker started a rally with a two out triple. Dan Butler followed with an RBI single with two strikes to score Hazelbaker and take a 1-0 lead. Justin Henry then doubled before Heiker Meneses singled to center field scoring Butler and Henry to give Pawtucket a 3-0 advantage." Blah, blah, blah, this is supposed to be "local"?

11. "Jake Odorizzi will start Tuesday for Durham in the opening game of the International League championship series." - Long

Yeah! Everyone's down in North Carolina. I was there last September, right? Small town in the pines called Aberdeen. Drove to Durham in spite of tornado warnings. Got rained on, Bryce Brentz made outfield errors, sat behind the Reno Aces in the bullpen, Nelson Figueroa pitched poorly, Randy Mobley was there, my brother called and said he saw us on television, met a man from Pawtucket behind me in the beer line, wanted so much more but came up empty again. And again.

By the way, have you seen Bull City Summer? It achieves pinnacles of excellence over and over again, like a simple plate of spaghetti at dinnertime. It's only spaghetti, right? THEN WHY DOES IT ALWAYS MAKE MY STOMACH SIT UP AND APPLAUD? Keep an eye on it during the playoffs because conventional media's so disappointing anymore.

God, I hate eating dinner alone. It's like being dead.


9.6.2013 Pawtucket Red Sox v Rochester Red Wings - Maximum Big Surprise

Red Sox defeat Red Wings in Pawtucket, 5-1. Steven Wright gets the win for the RI Sox.

Wright pitched 6 1/3 innings. The Red Wings got six hits off Wright, but could not translate them into runs. Wright walked four and struck out five.

Starting pitcher for Rochester was lefty Pat Dean. The PawSox assaulted Dean with eight hits, including a double and a two-run homer by designated hitter Mark Hamilton. Dean took the loss for the Red Wings, giving up four runs through five innings. Reliever Trevor May pitched the balance of the game and allowed the fifth run in the eighth inning when shortstop Heiker Meneses hit an RBI single.

Pedro Beato was responsible for the sole Rochester run. Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith had yet another solid relief appearance, nailing the last five outs of the game without giving up a hit.

flim flam and judy:
1. In the post-season, Heiker Meneses has certainly been more productive than you would expect.

2. Bryce Brentz was the only home team player to go hitless.

3. "Pat Dean, 24, has been the pride of Naugatuck since he graduated from Naugatuck High School in 2007 and went on to play for Div. 1 Boston College on a scholarship. The left-handed pitcher soared to success with the B.C. Eagles and was drafted in the spring of 2010 into the Twins organization in the third round. At the end of the 2011 season, he was called up to double-A ball and pitched one game for the New Britain Rock Cats in front of a large Naugatuck fan base." - Paul Singley

4. Steven Wright threw 117 pitches.

5. Listened to the end of the game on the radio and I was impressed by both teams' managers' commitment to winning, displayed by the moves made during key innings.

Tonight at McCoy Stadium the PawSox will once more face Rochester. Righty Matt Barnes will get the start v Red Wings lefty Scott Diamond. game starts at six and I will be there!

The Durham Bulls are finished already after having swept the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) and chilling down south, maybe hoping they get to play Rochester. Who knows, maybe the Red Wings will shock us all.

Superlative work, Bulls. Good luck to everybody.


9.5.2013 Pawtucket defeats Rochester, 7-2.

And the Durham Bulls are 2-0. Feisty, feisty Rochester is not going to lie down for the Pawtuckets, nohow.

Starting P for the Red Sox was Clay Buchholz, who pitched like one inning and then hit the hottest discotheques in 'Chester. Five relievers really pitched this game and did not allow any Red Wings runs, unlike Clay.

Righty PJ Walters was the losing pitcher for this game, going 3 2/3 innings (just like Buchholz!) and coughing up five runs. Only two were earned, so Walters was probably all, no, that's cool guys, it happens, then went home and ripped the door off his refrigerator. Walters struck out two and walked three... See what had happened was...


Third inning, Heiker Meneses and Jackie Bradley Jr hit back-to-back singles and then Brock Holt singled to load the bases, no outs. Walters then faced Alex Hassan, who drew a walk that brought Meneses in for the first Pawtucket run. Mark Hamilton then grounded into a double play, bringing Bradley Jr home to make it 2-0.

Fourth inning, Hazelbaker led off and made it to first on a SS error (Eduardo Escobar). Whoops, made it to second base, meaning his hands were up Escobar's blouse. And then third base when Justin Henry grounded out. Then Hazelbaker scored on a sac fly by minty catcher Christian Vazquez. And then Meneses and Bradley again, hittin' and makin' all the plays happen, singled and doubled respectfully. Brock Holt, god bless, singled to score both boys and changed the run total to 3-0. That is where Walters got the hook and Logan Darnell, who says crap like "Just found out the mexico passed the u.s. as the fatest country! wonder why? Mayb cause they invented the chips and salsa?" came in.

Darnell got Hassan out to end the inning, then Rochester scored a pair of runs at the bottom of the fourth. 

Fifth inning, let me quote, "Mark Hamilton reaches on a missed catch error by pitcher Logan Darnell, assist to first baseman Chris Parmelee. Mark Hamilton to 2nd". So whatever that looked like. But Bryce Brentz was the next batter and he hit a big double to right, scoring Hamilton. Brentz later scored on a single by Vazquez. 7-2. 

Bullpen bros Brayan Villarreal, Alex Wilson, Chris Martin, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Anthony Carter banded together and did a rather nice job tamping down the Red Wings. Win went to Smith, who pitched two innings and got three strikeouts. He made an error, but no one cared. Those bullpen guys love each other. Fuck Buchholz, really. I never liked his face.

two things:
1. I don't know about Bryce Brentz. I suspect he's close to his plateau.

2. I have to admit, these PawSox guys' sarcasm flew completely over my head! "Had 2 rent the whole place out just 2 get away from the ."

" Rochester: Scenes outside hotel hit feverpitch over

"this city is electric right now" "Walking around Rochester with U can definitely feel the buzz in the air for the playoffs!"

" it's like nothing I've ever seen or felt. "

Sorry, that's way too many hashtags and @ and 4Lyf's. 

TONIGHT. Your special boys are back in Rhode Island. I can't go, so why don't you go instead of me and then write everything down and keep an eye on the bullpen and let me know who's charting pitches and what Wright looked like and who made all the smooth defensive plays? That would be terrific.


9.4.13 Post-season's Greetings From Rochester!

New York is beautiful this time of year! Pawtucket got crushed, 7-1, mostly thanks to Ranaudo having an off night. He only pitched two innings on account of sucking. In fact, after the game he found a note on his hotel door that read, "You guys SUCK! You can never pull together as one and revenge us. That is why you SUCK!"

Rochester scored four runs off Ranaudo. Meanwhile, blindingly white righty Cole De Vries (from Minnesota, of course) pitched six terrific innings, only giving up a solo home run to Bryce Brentz. Oh, Bryce. You try so hard.

Red Wings relievers Aaron Thompson and AJ Achter wrapped up the remainder of the game.

Rochester second baseman James Beresford, who is probably not British, went 4-5 with a double. DAMN SON.

A bunch of relievers finished the game for Ranaudo: Zinger, DLT, Carpy, and Webby.

two things:
1. Nicholas RW Henning talks about Beresford and his older brother, who did some pitching in the Brewers system.

2. "The Wings played as if the weight of the baseball world was off their shoulders. They had scratched and clawed just to make the postseason, clinching on Monday only after polishing off Scranton while wild-card leader Norfolk fell to Durham." (Mandelaro) I'm impressed by the Red Wings appearance in the post-season. The team has not been good for a few seasons, so it's great to see them. I always dug Rochester. Great park, too.

3. "PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo struggled, and was chased without recording an out in the third inning, and reliever Brock Huntzinger didn't fare much better, as the duo combined to allow six Red Wings runs over the first 3.2 innings, while throwing the rather incredible total of 105 pitches over that span." - Jay Miller! Where the hell's he been all season?!

4. Brendan McGair is not a fan of the IL playoff format: "Common sense suggests that this is a flawed system, not mention that it flies in the face of conventional playoff wisdom. Cutting to the chase: McCoy Stadium should be open for business Wednesday night." It's kind of a ranty article and all I see is McGair feeling stuck at his job.

TONIGHT. Clay Buchholz pitching for Pawtucket, still in New York. PJ Walters will do his thing for Rochester.

Pawtucket has no fear of the underdog. That's why they will not survive!


9.2.2013 Ending of everything, the ending is everything.

PawSox win, 4-0 over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs over there in Allentown, where there's corn and airports and affordable housing and the star of Bethlehem and lager. And Lager. This country was promised to me from the start.

Charlie Zink started for the PawSox, went four innings and gave up only one hit, striking out two. Comfortably adequate relievers Alex Wilson, Edgar Gonzalez, Craig Breslow, and Fernando Cabrera pitched the remainder of the game, held the Red Barons scoreless, saved their generation.

Starter for the Phillies was lefty RJ Swindle, who gave up ten hits through seven innings. There is plenty to criticize. Like the picket fence of runs in the core innings. But not the relievers, who Pawtucket could not score on.

The Red Sox scored their first run in the fourth inning, when Jonathan Van Every and Travis Denker hit back-to-back singles to lead the inning off. A sac bunt by third baseman Gil Velazquez advanced the runners for Bubba Bell, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Van Every. One nothing, I want to call you and tell you that I'm a fan.

Fifth inning, Jeff Bailey led off with a single and advanced to second on a balk by Swindle (a near miss or a close call?). And then hopped over to third when Chip Ambres grounded out. Josh Wilson walked, Van Every singled to get the run across.

Sixth inning, third run for Pawtucket. Sean Danielson singled to right with one out. Catcher Carlos Maldonado doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Aaron Bates singled to center, scored Danielson, but the torpid feet of Maldonado could not quite get over the dish and he was thrown out at home, shot down like a juggernaut. 3-0.

And run for cover, there's a big one coming: The Fourth Run. Seventh inning. Alejandro Machado led off with a single. Swindle got the next two batters out, but then Jim Pankovits singled. Rodney Nye also got a base hit, but his led to the fourth RBI. 4-0.

How can I do this better? Are you out there? Do you hear me? Can I call you? Do you still hate me?

drank a beer, felt the chill of fall:

2. Kris Johnson, I hope you fucking die.

3. Bostucket. Sheldon. Gil Geronimo. Man, is he tall! Hessmania. Handsomery.

4. "Have you ever been to a game, and some guy on the visiting team just annihilates your team? Like gets on base 3 times, or hits a crucial home run off your reliever, whatever. And you think, wow, that guy's awesome!

Then like a few months later you meet someone who's a fan of that visiting team and you're like, hey, what about what's-his-name? He's a killer!

And the fan is all, what are you talking about? That guy sucks! And sure enough, you look it up and the player is terrible. It just so happened that he had a good night v. your team."

5.  "Matt Mantei has also retired. Again. He's excited about going home for good:

"I'm cool with it, though. I'm going home to be a dad again. My son doesn't know I'm coming home yet, so he'll be pleased. Plus he's only 5, can't read yet, so he won't read what I'm saying now. It's going to be a surprise. That will be fun."

He's only five. It's going to be a surprise because he's not reading the sports page over coffee and eggs in the morning.

He can't read yet!"

No game tonight, but then I guess tomorrow is the first playoff game v Rochester. No way, that can't be right. Wait... Yes, the lowly Red Wings are the Wild card winners. Chris Basak must be so excited!



9.1.13 Pawtucket Red Sox @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs - Alex Hassan Will Never Die

Pawtucket wins, 5-0, in a game that got rained all over so they only played six innings. Or five and a half. The IronPigs essentially said, you know what, it's shitty rain out and who cares and we're not even going to finish the rest of the inning. Good night.

Starter for Pawtucket was Steven Wright, who pitched five scoreless innings. Wright got the win, since no one else pitched and, well, you know how baseball works.

Righty David Buchanan, who says crap like "This cab driver said he used to pitch fast pitch softball at 85mph...... Ummm no you didn't", started for the IronPhils. Buchanan only gave up one run until the sixth inning, when everything started to fall apart.

Sixth inning! Alex Hassan, like go to bed already Hassan, led off with a single. Buchanan walked Mark Hamilton, struck out Brentz. Dan Butler hit a sharp line drive double to left, scoring Hassan.

Next up was Hazelbaker, who got the IBB to load the bases. But then Buchanan hit Heiker Meneses with a pitch, bringing Hamilton in for another run. And then Diaz grounded out, but that scored Butler.

                   >>>>>>PITCHING CHANGE<<<<<<<

Jay Johnson! Johnson faced Jackie Bradley Jr and guess what happened? HBP is what. And then Johnson walked Brock Holt, forcing another run in. Happily, Johnson struck Hassan out to end the game. That was painful.

two things:
1. Buchanan went to Georgia State U, and someone kind of interviewed him? It's paraphrased.

2. "The 24-year-old Buchanan was on his way to his sixth straight solid start Sunday night when he allowed two hits, four runs, walked two and hit a batter in his final inning of the season as Pawtucket claimed a 5-0 decision in a game cut short by a heavy thunderstorm after 51/2 innings.

"I didn't like the way the season ended today, obviously, but that's just the way the game goes sometimes," said Buchanan (4-2), whose final Triple-A ERA shot up from 2.11 to 3.00 in that last inning. "But overall, I'm happy with it. But I got a lot of work to do and a lot of things to get better at." (Schuler)

In a related story, I should take like five minutes to thank all the Noise Nation people for being so great and welcoming when I was in Allentown. I had such a great time hanging out and meeting everyone (EVERYONE) and not only does their ballpark smell like warm cinnamon, but it's fun and friendly and just terrific. I want to go every year. STROGANOFF STRONG!!!

TONIGHT. Today? Charlie Haeger v Greg Smith. And that's it for regular season baseball. In the minors. On the plus side:

"When the dust settled from the draft, Spicy Monster Mash were left on top. Their starters project out to score more points than any other team this year. Coach Jen S. made some savvy pickups in BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Greg Olsen, and DeMarco Murray. Green-Ellis was Spicy Monster Mash's best pick in the draft, adding the expected value of a pick taken 40 spots earlier."

Master Drafter! That's me! SPICY MONSTER MASH!!

Me and you, BenJarvus. Me and you.


8.31.13 Pawtucket v Syracuse - It's just a shame that's all.

The Syracuse Chiefs take it, 2-1. Sorry, Syracuties, you missed it by 12.5 games. It's all Cole Kimball's fault.

Starter for Pawtucket was Allen Webster, who threw 67 pitches and split. That has nothing to do with September call-ups, right? Webster gave up a solo home run to first baseman Chris Marrero.

Caleb Clay started for Syracuse, only gave up one run through six innings. Bryce Brentz scored on a wild pitch, so... It was an earned run, I guess, but nobody got an RBI. Kind of a weird baseball black hole. Bryce Brentz, who says crap like "Yup it's official and I are addicted to Game of Thrones. Crushing season one in the hotel.", had hit a line drive ground-rule double to right and advanced to third when Justin Henry singled.

Brock Huntzinger, Brayan Villarreal, and Pedro Beato finished pitching the game but whatever, the PawSox already clinched the division so it's purely academic. Although none of the other games really matter, either, and I guess they only have minor-league playoffs for the fans.

So Pawtucket's playing its last pair of games on the road in Allentown and I'm dying inside because I would love to be there, for that and for the Championship game. But I have to work, firstly, and in terms of money I have no money.

That's all I have for you today. I would say congratulations to the PawSox but what have they done for me lately?