Emergencey Fill-In Shuts Down Rainiers

It would be a feel-good story if, you know, it didn’t happen to us.

Reno starting pitcher Kevin Mulvey was called up the big leagues, leaving the Aces without a starter for Saturday night in Tacoma. So they promote a kid from Class-A Visalia to make the fill-in start. No guarantees for the kid – he’s probably making one start, and then going right back to Visalia.

Then the kid goes out and dominates a Triple-A team loaded with major league veterans.

Josh Collmenter was the kid in question, and he cruised through seven shutout innings last night, earning the win in Reno’s 7-2 victory. Collmenter struck out 8, and he allowed just three hits. The kid retired 16 straight Tacoma batters at one point.

He did it by spotting a fastball in the 86-88 mph range, and using his terrific change. He also featured a rarely seen straight-over-the-top pitching motion – in the old days they would have said he looks like an “Iron Mike” out there.

Hopefully Collmenter earned another Triple-A start – because he deserves it. That was an impressive performance last night.

Garrett Olson started for Tacoma and had a weird outing. He was perfect through three innings, and then he got knocked around for five runs over the next two innings. On the bright side, he threw strikes and did not walk a batter.

The Rainiers offense had an off-day, scoring just two runs on six hits. Josh Wilson had his daily hit – he has hit safely in 14 of the last 15 games, batting .377 during the stretch (23-for-61).

Today the Rainiers will send LHP Luke French (2-0, 1.44) to the mound against Reno RHP Bryan Augenstein (0-3, 7.48). Game time is 7:00, pre-game show starts at 6:45 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online at www.tacomarainiers.com. Plenty of tickets are available at the gate tonight. The homestand ends with a 1:30 afternoon game on Sunday.

Some links:

  • Grant Clark wrote the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune.
  • Cliff Lee made his Mariners debut last night, and he cruised through 7 scoreless innings. Unfortunately, the Mariners didn’t score and lost a heartbreaker in the 12th, 2-0. Steve Kelly of the Seattle Times wrote about Lee here, his son Mason inked the gamer. Ryan Divish – a man with no love of extra innings – was also on the scene. Div dives into the botched suicide squeeze on his blog.
  • Dave Cameron saw the ball sitting on the tee, so he took a short, easy stroke and knocked it out of the park.
  • Here is The News Tribune’s rundown on the Mariners transactions that effect the Rainiers.
  • Jason Churchill ran down the options for the Mariners to improve their offense. Cliff’s Notes: there aren’t many. The weight-loss ad on Chruch’s site features one of the funniest before-after photoshops I’ve ever seen.
  • The Mariners low-A Clinton affiliate was no-hit by Peoria Chiefs RHP Nick Struck last night. The no-hitter was a rain-shortened five inning affair. Struck is a 20-year-old from Clackamas, Oregon.
  • A couple of Mariners prospects appeared in the latest Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet. And the Rainiers avoided the Not So Hot Sheet!
  • In the PCL, Las Vegas lefty Brad Mills faltered a bit against Colorado Springs last night, but that didn’t stop manager Dan Rohn from calling him a “harder-throwing Barry Zito.”
  • After four days without a game, the Sale Lake Bees looked a little rusty in a 3-2 loss to Portland. That’s not surprising. Kevin Frandsen is now with Salt Lake.
  • Nashville is the hottest team in the league. They have won seven straight, and have the best record in the PCL at 16-6. The Rainiers go there on May 11.
  • Iowa Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg tells a funny anecdote about growing up in Spokane.
  • Tampa Bay Rays RG Andy Freed looks back on his time in the minor leagues.

That’s it for this morning. Hopefully Felix and French will both pitch well today!

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2 Responses to Emergencey Fill-In Shuts Down Rainiers

  1. Marc w. says:

    Here’s a shot of Collmenter and his over-the-top motion. Side view doesn’t do it justice. He’s Francisco Cruceta without the velocity. Or the steroids.
    http://bit.ly/d8FDJA

  2. Mike Curto says:

    Marc the link didn’t work for me. None the less, I appreciate your contribution to the ongoing experiment that is this blog. Thanks!

    PS – nice name drop of the last Rainiers pitcher to lead the league in strikeouts.

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