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PawSox primer for Sunday's Game 5 vs. Rochester

Posted by Craig Forde  September 8, 2013 11:38 AM

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Governors' Cup Semifinals
1:05 p.m.
Rochester Red Wings (2-2)
at Pawtucket Red Sox (2-2)

PREGAME NOTES: It all comes down to this. Win and advance. Lose and go home for a long winter’s rest (with a stop off at instructs for most). Rochester has outscored the PawSox, 19-14, through four games and have out hit Pawtucket 46-35. The Red Wings pitching staff has a 2.31 ERA in their four games in comparison to the PawSox 4.63. The PawSox do hold an edge in striking out their opponent, having whiffed 35 Rochester batters through 35 innings, but thus far it seems as if Rochester holds the edge in most every other category. Regardless, this series is even and it some timely hitting in Pawtucket's favor will wipe that Red Wings edge right off the board. ... The winning team in each game has scored first and has done so within the first three innings, so an early lead could be the key to victory once more. … Charlie Haeger looks to do with his knuckleball what Steven Wright did on Friday night. He did not face the Red Wings in any of his 11 starts for the PawSox this season, but is familiar with some of their lineup having faced many of their batters while they were with the New Britain Rock Cats and Haeger was pitching for Portland earlier in the year. … Gary DiSarcina has shaken up the lineup once more as they ready to square up against Virgil Vasquez who picked up a loss in his only start against the PawSox way back on April 13th. Jonathan Diaz moves to the leadoff spot while Brad Holt bumps back down to the second slot. Diaz had batted near the bottom of the order in his prior three games this postseason while Holt has been everywhere from the leadoff spot to seventh in the lineup. It’s an obvious reach in an effort to replace Jackie Bradley Jr., their ideal leadoff hitter who looks to now be with the big club for the long haul, but DiSarcina will be looking to utilize that speed at the top of the order to set the table. … Of course with no Bradley once more, the outfield has been shifted around as well. Alex Hassan moves from left field to the DH slot, opening up a spot for Jeremy Hazelbaker to return to the outfield after DHing in the first two games. Justin Henry takes over in center after Shannon Wilkerson made his Triple-A debut their last night. Bryce Brentz remains in right. … Dan Butler will be back behind the dish for Haeger and Mark Hamilton takes over for Drew Sutton at first base. ... It was also just recently announced that Allen Webster has followed Bradley to the big club, leaving the PawSox without his services out of the bullpen. It is expected that Terry Doyle will take his spot on the roster and he will be needed after Pawtucket needed to use four relievers last night. … I think that Pawtucket will need the likes of Brentz and Hassan to really step up at the plate today as it should require quite a few runs to pull out a win today, especially with that PawSox bullpen on the depleted side. ... Unfortunately there will be no live blog today, but you can follow all the action via Gameday at MiLB or watch on MiLB.TV. You can also listen to the live call of the game from Jeff Levering on the PawSox radio broadcast, check here for your local station.

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STARTING LINEUPS (with postseason batting average)

Rochester Red Wings
LF Antoan Richardson (.231)
2B James Beresford (.389)
SS Eduardo Escobar (.294)
1B Jeff Clement (.333)
DH Deibinson Romero (.444)
CF Aaron Hicks (.385)
RF Eric Farris (.357)
3B Ray Olmedo (.412)
C Eric Fryer (.231)

RHP Virgil Vasquez

Pawtucket Red Sox
3B Jonathan Diaz (.182)
2B Brad Holt (.235)
DH Alex Hassan (.133)
1B Mark Hamilton (.333)
RF Bryce Brentz (.250)
LF Jeremy Hazelbaker (.125)
C Dan Butler (.250)
CF Justin Henry (.250)
SS Heiker Meneses (.308)

RHP Charlie Haeger

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About the author

Craig Forde covers baseball talent as it develops into the next big thing. He has covered high school and college sports for the Boston Globe, and the minor league teams More »

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