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Monday, August 17, 2009

PawSox Interviews: Michael Bowden

Growing up in the Chicago area, Michael Bowden rooted for the Cubs, so one can only imagine the excitement he must have felt when he made his Major League debut last year for the Red Sox pitching against that other team from Chicago, the White Sox. In that game, he went 5 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 runs, earning him a victory in his first Major League start, as well as his first Major League appearance. In 2009 he made another appearance for the Red Sox, pitching 2 scoreless innings, striking out 2, and allowing no walks.

Bowden was drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Red Sox, and has been rising ever since. He started the 2008 season at AA Portland, made the AA All Star Team, moved up to AAA Pawtucket after that, and made it all the way up to the big leagues, pitching in that one game. He started the 2009 season in Pawtucket and has already made one appearance in Boston already this year, pitching 2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out 2, and allowing no walks.

His won-loss record at Pawtucket this year is a deceiving 3-4, but in 103.1 IP, he has only allowed 86 hits, 39 ER's for 3.40 ERA, walking 38, striking out 74, and limiting opposing batters to a paltry .226 average.

I expect we will see Michael Bowden in Boston again this year. I had an opportunity to speak with him at the Pawtucket-Columbus game on July 27th. In my few moments I had to speak with him, he was very polite and cooperative to speak with. I certainly hope we get to see him when the Red Sox come to Oakland next year!

Q~ You’ve been progressing quite nicely, starting at Portland AA last year, making it to the AA ASG last year, then up to AAA Pawtucket, and finally making an appearance in Boston, allowing only 2 runs in 7 innings against Chicago. That must feel pretty good.

A~ 2 runs in 5 innings. It was an awesome experience. I’m from the Chicago area and I grew up rooting for the Cubs, so going up there making my debut against the White Sox and actually getting the win was an unbelievable experience.

Q~ You have to look past your won-loss record to get the real picture of your season. You had a nice gem the other night, but lost 3-1. How do you feel about your season overall so far this year?

A~ I’ve had a little bit of a rollercoaster ride season. I’ve had about a month in there where things weren’t going my way and I was coming out of my mechanics, walking a lot of guys, just not pitching my game, but I took a little break around the All Star break, I skipped a start, got to watch some video tape. I just worked on some mechanics and tried to go to where I was earlier this season and I think I got there and I was excited to start the second half and start applying the adjustments.

Q~ There seems to be a logjam ahead of you in the Boston rotation and because of this; your name comes up often as a potential trading chip. Any thoughts that you would like to share on that situation?

A~ You know what, it’s something that me as a player I don’t control, it’s up to the front office. I understand that it’s a business so I know that it could happen but me personally I don’t worry about it since it’s out of my control, so until something happens I really don’t care. You know I just throw it over my shoulder and take care of what I need to.

Q~ Do you feel that there is more pressure in the Red Sox system than there is elsewhere?

A~ Sure, I mean, they’ve got a much bigger fan base, the media there is pretty overwhelming at times, but you know what, I thrive off of that stuff like that and it just motivates me to work harder and do the best that I can.

Q~ How do you like Pawtucket and RI and the east coast?

A~I liked them until this year, but it’s been raining 75% of the time. Our weather here has been tough to play in. It hasn’t been a normal summer; very rainy, humid. We’ve had a few nice days. It’s nice that our All Star break, our three days were perfect, so that was very nice. Overall I love playing in Pawtucket, the fans here are awesome, they sell out in the summer, good atmosphere here, good ball park, good team, the front office here is awesome, they treat us nicely, so it’s fun coming to the ball park every day.

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