After three unexpected days off, the Rainiers returned to the field last night and beat the Reno Aces in the series opener, 8-6.
The game took 14 innings and lasted 4 hours and 10 minutes. I guess those three days off were needed, in order to build up the energy necessary for this one.
It was the Rainiers longest game since the 2003, when they lost a 7-5 decision to New Orleans in 15 innings. (Coincidentally, on that day it was Zephyrs catcher John Buck who doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 15th – and last night he hit three home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays).
The Rainiers had several heros last night, but it was Tommy Everidge who ended the game with a tape-measure home run to left field with one out in the bottom of the 14th to give Tacoma the win. It was Everidge’s first home run of the season, and his first truly big hit as a member of the Tacoma Rainiers.
Other positives from last night’s game: Brian Sweeney pitched 4.1 shutout innings, striking out 7, to earn the win; Eliezor Alfonzo had three hits including a pair of doubles; centerfielder Ezequiel Carrera made a diving catch to save a run, and starting pitcher David Pauley allowed only one run and three hits in six innings.
It’s great for Tacoma to win the first game of the year against Reno – last year Reno won 13 of the 16 meetings between the two teams.
On the radio broadcast, we had a technical problem that could only be described as humorous. South Sound Sports 850 AM regularly airs national programming late at night and in the mornings, and during these times a computer program operates the on-air broadcast. Little did we know that at exactly 11:00 pm, the computer is programmed to switch to national radio programming. So there we were, top of the 14th inning, the clock struck 11:00 – and the computer automatically switched to Recovery Coast To Coast Radio, over-riding our game broadcast. Seeing how we’re never on the air at 11:00 pm, this was a new problem. It took my man Gregory Burrell about two minutes to figure out how to turn off radio’s version of HAL 9000 and get us back on the air.
Game two of the series is tonight at 7:00, with the pre-game show staring at 6:45 on 850 AM and streaming at www.tacomarainiers.com. Tacoma will start LHP Garrett Olson (1-1, 3.14), while Reno is in a bind: scheduled starter Kevin Mulvey was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks, so they are going to start RHP Josh Collmenter, who was promoted from Class-A Visalia to fill-in. Collmenter is 2-0, 2.40 with 21 strikeouts in 15 innings in the California League.
It’s Friday Night Fireworks Night at Cheney Stadium and there will be tickets available at the gate.
Now for some links:
- The News Tribune’s game story made it into the paper despite the after-deadline finish – nice work, guys. And in his posting of the Mariners Minor League Report, Ryan Divish (deservedly) went out of his way to take a shot at the Rainiers in-game entertainment.
- Tonight the Mariners are going to have to make a roster move to activate Cliff Lee. Lots of speculation from Larry LaRue. Here’s another idea: with two off-days in the next 11 days, the M’s could move one starter to long relief and option another to Tacoma, therefore temporarily not risking loss of a reliever who is out of options. The new long man makes one “spot” start before the May 10th off-day, and then you recall the optioned starter when you need him on May 15. It buys two more weeks before you have to make a decision on Colome or Teixeira.
- Our state has a high school kid named Josh Sale who might be a top-15 pick in the first round of the June draft. I hear some scouts believe he is the best high school hitting prospect in the nation.
- Rainiers pitcher Brian Sweeney and hitting coach Alonzo Powell had good experiences in the Japanese League. Las Vegas outfielder Chris Aguila did not.
- As always, the big picture remains an issue in Vegas. And as always, Ed Graney is an entertaining read. He’s always willing to slip a dig at the Mob Lawyer-turned-Celebrity Mayor.
- Disaster has hit the Sky Sox: they lost their top three starting pitchers all at once. Jhoulys Chacin and Esmil Rogers were called up by the Rockies, and even worse Samuel Deduno hit the disabled list with the dreaded “elbow soreness.” Triple-A baseball – survive it!
- Portland and Salt Lake were rained out last night in Salt Lake City. The Bee’s haven’t played since Sunday.
- The Hawaiian guy who’s name I can neither pronounce nor spell hit his sixth homer and drove in four runs in Omaha’s 11-7 rain-shortened win over Iowa last night. Iowa’s Bryan LaHair had two hits and is batting .328.
- SF Giants uberprospect Madison Bumgarner tried to make the Fresno-to-Yosemite trip on Wednesday’s off-day. He didn’t make it. Fresno is hot – they’re 13-7 after last night’s win.
- There was a rare pitcher’s duel in Albuquerque last night. Topes starter James McDonald pitched five no-hit innings in a 3-1 win over Round Rock.
- I’ve told you twice Oklahoma City’s Derek Holland is a pitcher to watch. He dropped his ERA down to 0.53 last night. Brandon Boggs had four hits while the RedHawks made room for catcher Taylor Teagarden.
- Popular ex-Rainiers and Mariners (among many other teams) pitcher R.A. Dickey allowed a leadoff single last night - and then he retired 27 straight batters as Buffalo beat Durham in the International League, 4-0. Knuckleballers represent!
- Will Ferrell in the booth? It actually makes me jealous of fellow RG Mike Capps.
- Here is an awesome baseball t-shirt, I’d buy it if it wasn’t so ridiculously expensive (and so ridiculously red).
That’s all for today – see you at the park this weekend!