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Pawtucket week in review

Pawtucket Red Sox - 39-37, 2nd place, 8.5 GB - (PAW 9/DUR 4, DUR 9/PAW 4, PAW 4/DUR 3, PAW 13/DUR 2, PAW 5/RIC 1, PAW 5/RIC 2, RIC 2/PAW 1)

Pawtucket had a very good week going 5-2, jumping up 3 spots in the standings, but they actually lost a game in the standings to the first place Buffalo Bisons and are now 8.5 games behind the leader. There were three bits of news outside of the games in Pawtucket. Dustin Pedroia's promotion, Chip Ambres being named as a starter for the AAA All-Star team, and Tim Hummel was traded to the Cardinals for a player to be named later. Pedroia has, so far, made a seamless transition to the next level. He's 5 for his first 15 AB's with 2 doubles, a triple, 3 walks, and still hasn't struck out. He's scored 5 times and knocked in 1. Four games and 15 AB's is obviously way too small of a sample size to judge the guy, but so far his .333/.474/.600 line is very impressive. He's also playing some shortstop in Pawtucket. It's possible that he's preparing to take on a middle infield utility role. His quick rise through the system has made him the poster boy for the Red Sox improved farm system. He is making Boston fans everywhere care about the guys down on the farm. The other bit of newsworthy information from the week is the sole Pawtucket representative on the International League All-Star team, Chip Ambres. Ambres is definitely a guy that deserves to be there. He had a bit of a slow week going 3-15 with 5 K's, but he did walk 4 times and stole a base. Ambres is one of only two guys in the International League to have a double digit total in both HR's and SB's with 10 homers and 17 steals. His teammate, George Lombard, is the other with 11 homers and 10 steals. The Hummel trade is very insignificant, even at the AAA level. The 26 year old Hummel had a .250/.341/.393 line in 224 AB's for the Paw Sox and very likely never would have seen time at the major league level. We have to wait to see what the Red Sox get in the deal before we can see who got the better of it, but the Red Sox did not give up much of anything.

The Paw Sox started the week off with a win thanks, in large part, to a dominant start by Jeremi Gonzalez. Gonzalez went 7 innings allowing only 1 run on 1 walk and 5 hits. He struck out 10 and earned the win. He was nearly as impressive in his next start going 7 strong, striking out 5 while walking only 1 and allowing 2 runs to get the win and lower his ERA to 2.43. Gonzalez finished his stint in Boston about a month ago with a 6.65 ERA in 21.2 IP. His overall stats were not major league quality, but he did have a couple of solid outings. With the way he's performing at the AAA level and the way John Halama is performing at the major league level, I think Gonzalez deserves another chance.

On the other side of the coin, Chris Naverson had another stinker in his first start of the week. He was knocked up for 8 runs on 2 walks and 9 hits, 4 of them homers. He lasted only 5.1 IP in his third loss of the year. He much better in his second game going 6 innings with only 5 hits and 2 walks, letting up 2 runs. The only problem is that he also managed to lose that game, making him the losing pitcher in the only 2 games that the Paw Sox lost all week. His ERA on the year is up to 5.28 and he is looking less and less like someone who will ever help out the major league club.

The other three starters, Abe Alvarez, Lenny Dinardo, and Tim Kester, all put forth a good effort last week to help their team get the win. Alvarez went 6 innings and let up 6 hits and 1 walk for 3 runs. He struck out 7. Kester went 7, striking out 7, and allowed one unearned run without walking a guy. Dinardo allowed 8 hits and only struck out 2 in 6 innings, but he walked only 1 batter and allowed only 1 run. Cla Meredith pitched in three games out of the bullpen and got 2 saves in 3 scoreless innings. He struck out 5. He may have been rushed to the big leagues, but so far Meredith is handling AAA hitters fine and I'm sure he'll do much better when he gets his second shot at Boston.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Paw Sox did have a pretty decent week scoring 41 runs over the 7 games the played, largely in part to a 13 run game and a 9 run game. The sluggers, Roberto Petaine and Kelly Shoppach, helped to keep the team going. Petagine could be with another organization come July if he doesn't get a shot in Boston in the next week, but last week he still played for Pawtucket and went 8-16. He scored 4 times and knocked in 4 with 2 doubles and 1 home run. He walked 5 times and struck out 3 to bring his season totals to 26 K's and 28 BB's in 148 AB's. Shoppach actually had a pretty bad week and continues to struggle with a 2-19 performance, but both of his hits were for extra bases with a double and his 14th homer of the year. His average continues to plummet, however, and while most of the rest of his numbers are pretty good, his average is down to .249. Did his time up in Boston scramble his brain or have those 56 K's in 181 AB's finally catch up to him?

Alejandro Machado had a good week going 12-23 to bring his line back up to .301/.366/.354. He will never hit for power, but his lack of walks this year is hurting him a little bit. He scored 5 times, knocked in 2, and struck out only once, but he also had only 1 extra base hit with a double and 1 walk. He also stole his 13th base of the year.