JULY 9th PAWTUCKET (38-50) at LEHIGH VALLEY (38-50) 7:05 pm
Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Keith Couch (3-8, 5.66) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs RHP Aaron Nola (3-0, 2.28)
Not So Magnificent 11 – The Pawtucket Red Sox – losers of 11 games in a row for the first time in 30 years – look to avoid getting swept in a series for the fourth consecutive time when they play the finale of their 3-game series in Allentown, PA against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs tonight at 7:05 pm at Coca-Cola Park. The PawSox have lost 11 straight since June 29th and thus have suffered their second longest losing streak in team history. Pawtucket’s club-record longest losing streak is 13 games back in 1985 (July 26 – August 6, 1985).
Swept Away – Pawtucket started this downfall by getting swept in a 4-game series in Rochester (June 29 – July 1) and followed that by getting swept in a 2-game set at home vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (July 2 & 3) and then a 3-game series in Syracuse (July 4-6). They have dropped the first two games here in Lehigh Valley the past two nights (9-6 and 9-8 in 11-innings) and need a win tonight to avoid getting swept in this 3-game set. The PawSox have not been swept in four straight series since that aforementioned 13-game losing streak in1985 when they lost three in a row in Richmond (July 26-28), two in Tidewater (doubleheader on July 30), two to Maine at McCoy (another doubleheader on August 1), and three to Richmond at home (August 2-4). They then lost three more in a row at home to Tidewater before stopping their losing streak at 13-games with a victory on August 7, 1985.
During This Losing Streak – Pawtucket has been out-scored, 73-27 during their current 11-game losing streak. They are hitting .185 (74-for-354) with only 4 homeruns (3 by Carlos Peguero and 1 by Jackie Bradley, Jr.) as their Team Batting Average has dropped from .238 on June 28 to .234. PawSox pitchers are 0-11 with a 6.75 ERA (64 ER in 90.1 IP) as their Team ERA has risen from 3.43 on June 28 to a season-high 3.77.
Battle for Fourth – The PawSox and IronPigs come into tonight tied for 4th-place in the IL North. It’s been an unexpected journey to this tie as the PawSox – as late as June 28th – had an 8½-game advantage over the IronPigs. Pawtucket has not been alone in 5th-place since they spent one day in 5th-place on June 22nd of last season.
Home and Home – Even with their losses to the IronPigs the last two nights (and 3 in a row overall going back to April), the PawSox have still beaten Lehigh Valley in 16 of their last 24 meetings dating back to the 2013 season. The Sox won the final two meetings in 2013, went 11-5 vs. Lehigh Valley in 2014, and are 3-3 vs. the IronPigs thus far this season. After tonight the teams head north to Pawtucket, RI for a 3-game weekend series at McCoy Stadium beginning tomorrow (Friday) night at 7:05 pm and continuing over the weekend on Saturday at 6:05 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm.