The defending Governors’ Cup Champion Pawtucket Red Sox will play their 2015 home-opener at McCoy Stadium on Thursday, April 16th against the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 pm. The PawSox 2015 season will actually start one week earlier on April 9th when they play in Allentown, PA against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
The April 9th opener will equal the latest the PawSox have begun a season since 2009 (also April 9th that year in a 6-4 win at Buffalo). Other than 2009, the 2015 season-opener will be the latest for the PawSox in 17 years since they began the 1998 season on April 10 at Syracuse (4-1 loss). Furthermore, the April 16th home-opener at McCoy in 2015 will be Pawtucket‘s latest home debut since the PawSox fell to LehighValley, 4-3 on April 17, 2009. Besides that date in 2009, however, the 2015 home-opener on April 16 will mark the latest McCoy Stadium opener since all the way back in 1991 when the PawSox beat Rochester, 2-0 on April 18 to begin their 1991 home schedule.
The 2015 International League schedule will be substantially different from years past although the PawSox will once again play 144-games with the usual 72 games at home and 72 on the road. Pawtucket will play 81 of their 144 games against their five IL North division rivals and only 63 games against the other eight IL clubs from the West and South divisions. Furthermore, the PawSox have always played 16 games against each of their North opponents but now that number is unbalanced as the Sox will face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 19 times (8 home & 11 away), Syracuse 19 times (11 home & 8 away), Lehigh Valley for 18 games (8 home & 10 away), Rochester for 18 (10 home & 8 away), and Buffalo for 17 games (9 home & 8 away).
Because of the unbalanced nature of the schedule, the majority of series played during the season will be 3-game sets as the PawSox will have 28 3-game series (14 home & 14 away) compared to 12 4-game series (6 home & away) and just 6 2-game sets (3 home & away). Pawtucket‘s longest homestand of the season is 9-games from August 17-26, but the bulk of their homestands are 7-gamers (six total including each of their first three homestands of the year). Their longest roadtrip is 8-games from July 16-23.
The PawSox will begin 2015 with a 7-game roadtrip from April 9-15 featuring a 4-game series at LehighValley followed by a 3-game set in Buffalo. Pawtucket‘s home-opener on April 16 will begin with a celebration of the 2014 Governors’ Cup team as returning PawSox players will receive their championship rings as part of special pre-game ceremonies. The initial 7-game homestand at McCoy includes a 4-game series vs. Rochester from April 16-19 followed by a 3-game set vs. Buffalo from April 20-22.
Pawtucket‘s home schedule consists of 53 night games and 19 day games with the following breakdown by month: April (11), May (16), June (14), July (11), August (13), and September (7).
PawSox home night games through May 1 will begin at 6:15 pm with the exception of Opening Night on April 16 at 7:05 pm. Pawtucket will begin regular 7:05 pm weeknight starts on May 11 and play virtually all of their weeknight home games at 7:05 pm for the remainder of the season. The PawSox will play each of their Saturday night home games one hour earlier than weeknights beginning at 6:05 pm. Sunday games will remain at 1:05 pm with the exception of September 6 at 6:05 pm. Games on May 25, June 13, July 2, July 3, August 8, and September 6 will all feature post-game firework displays at McCoy with additional firework games possibly added at a later date.
Pawtucket will conclude the regular-season on Labor Day (September 7) vs. Buffalo at 1:05 pm at McCoy. The PawSox will be bidding to make the International League Playoffs for the 5th year in a row. Four teams will again qualify for the playoffs that begin on September 9 – the three division winners and one wild card (the second-place team with the best record). The PawSox will be looking to repeat as Governors’ Cup Champs when the 2015 Governors’ Cup Finals are played from September 15-19. The Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game between the IL Champ and the PCL Champ will be staged on September 22 in El Paso. The PawSox have played in that game twice in the last three years.
All 14 International League teams are back in the same divisional set-up as last year with the same Major League affiliations. The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Boston Red Sox own the longest affiliate relationship in all of the IL (since 1973).