By now you probably know that Cliff Lee had an outstanding rehab outing yesterday, pitching six innings of three-hit ball – not allowing anything to be hit hard. He didn’t walk anybody and he’ll be starting for the Mariners on Friday against Texas.
The standing-room-only crowd of 7822 was there to see Lee, but they also saw the Rainiers offense held to just one run by Salt Lake starter Trevor Bell. Rainiers reliever Mike Koplove had a rough outing, the Bees scored four runs in the seventh and won the game, 4-1.
The focus was on Lee. Here are some Cliff’s Links:
- The Seattle Times sent columnist Steve Kelly to Tacoma, and he filed this report which includes quotes from scouts. Geoff Baker added Kelly’s updates to his blog – I link to it because of the picture: that’s former Cheney Stadium groundskeeper Bob Christofferson in the background.
- The Mariners official site has video.
- The News Tribune’s game story includes a neat chart showing Cy Young Award winners who pitched for minor league teams in the state of Washington. Incidentally, we determined that Lee was first Cy Young Award winner to pitch at Cheney Stadium after winning the award since Fernando Valenzuela* came into town with Edmonton in 1991.
- Ryan Divish added in a blog item that Lee won’t be hanging around Tacoma – he’s flying to Kansas City to join the team, even though he is pitching at home on Friday.
- marc w at USS Mariner is a talented photographer and he has a couple of shots of Lee on the blog. The first comment made me LOL.
And from the Pacific Coast League, we had some wild finishes last night:
- It took a very RG-unfriendly 4 hours and 7 minutes, but it paid off in the end: Las Vegas infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir hit for the cycle, and slugger Brian Dopirak hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam. Vegas beat Sacramento, 14-11. There is a great shot of former Rainier Jeremy Reed at the top of this game story.
- Colorado Springs and Reno played one of the wildest extra-inning games you can imagine yesterday. Tied 5-5 at Reno, the Sky Sox scored five runs in the top of the tenth inning, only to allow six in the bottom of the tenth. Reno won it on Jeff Bailey’s walk-off two-run bomb – the ball went through the windshield of a parked car and came to rest on the front seat.
- The Sky Sox lost Eric Young Jr to the Rockies, and they added Paul LoDuca to the roster. Yes, Paul LoDuca. And they got bad news from Class-AA, where a top prospect hit the disabled list.
- Giants pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner tossed a gem and hit a homer as Fresno defeated Portland, 4-2.
- The Iowa Cubs had a “miserable day.”
- It doesn’t happen to me very often, but Oklahoma City ran a pitcher out there whom I have never heard of. He went eight shutout innings, allowing one hit, to beat Memphis, 8-0.
Tonight the Rainiers host Salt Lake for game three of the series. It’s at 7:00 and RHP David Pauley (0-2, 4.00) gets the nod for Tacoma, against Salt Lake LHP Daniel Davidson (2-0, 4.82). Here’s something you probably haven’t thought of that occurs to RG’s: the Salt Lake starter happens to have the exact same name as one of my closest friends, which makes broadcasting the game a very weird experience. I’ll be stumbling through the game on 850 AM, or streaming at www.tacomarainiers.com.
*long-time Tacoma Tigers/Rainiers employee Kevin Kalal was an intern in 1991. He said that he had never seen a human being drink a six-pack of Coors Light as fast as Fernando did after his start that day. And Kalal had just graduated from Washington State.