Michael Pineda is turning into the “no run support” guy. For the second start in a row, Pineda allowed one run, only to see the Rainiers eventually lose the game, 2-1.
Pineda got in trouble right away on Wednesday night, drilling the leadoff batter with a pitch. Emmanuel Burris then stole second and went to third on an error, so he was at third base with nobody out. Pineda worked through that jam, escaping the first with no runs scoring although it took him 25 pitches.
Pineda was great after that, only allowing a solo homer to veteran slugger Joe Borchard in the fourth. It was a high change-up that Borchard lifted over the fence in left for an opposite-field homer.
Pineda made it through six innings on 86 pitches. The Mariners continue to keep him between 85 and 95 pitches per start; as they do not want to tax his 21-year-old arm. Keep in mind that Pineda was injured for most of 2009 with elbow problems that did not require surgery – the Mariners are being very, very careful with him.
When Pineda left the game it was 1-1. The Rainiers just can’t hit Fresno lefty Matt Yourkin. Yourkin has made three starts against the Rainiers, allowing exactly one run in each outing.
Fresno finally won the game in the tenth against reliever Levale Speigner. Ben Copeland led off with a single to center field, and he took second on a passed ball. Steve Holm bunted up the third base line, and Speigner tried to get the out at third but Copeland was safe. Burris followed with a grounder inside the third base bag to drive in the winning run.
Mike Carp went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at 17 games. Matt Mangini, however, had his hitting streak extend to 17 games under unusual circumstances. Mangini hit a grounder between short and third in the sixth inning, and shortstop Burris made a running backhand attempt, only to have the ball bounce off his glove. The play was originally ruled an error on Burris, but after the game it was changed to a hit – which I believe was the right decision, and both managers agreed. So Mangini’s hitting streak is alive.
Salt Lake trimmed Tacoma’s lead down to six games by beating Portland, 8-3. The Bees have seven more games against last-place Portland, right in a row (there is a makeup doubleheader in there that I just learned about). The Rainiers lead looks good with 39 games to play, but Salt Lake has an easy schedule right now. The Bees have won nine of their last 11 games.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and Tacoma starts RHP Andy Baldwin (7-4, 5.00) against rehabilitating San Francisco Giants RHP Todd Wellemeyer (0-0, 0.96). Wellemeyer was the Giants fifth starter; he’s been out since June 10 with a quadriceps strain – and in the meantime, Madison Bumgarner took his job. Baseball can be a cruel business. You can catch the broadcast on 850 AM or streaming via www.tacomarainiers.com.
Some links for you:
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Here’s the notebook from the Fresno Bee, and a story about Fresno’s starting pitching woes – which were clearly not evident last night.
- The Mariners lost in Chicago when Jason Vargas had a rare problem with home runs.
- In today’s Long Geoff Baker Post, Geoff Baker writes that the Mariners could trade David Aardsma. Larry LaRue says you won’t be overwhelmed by any Mariners trades.
- The renovated Cheney Stadium will host the state 3A and 4A high school baseball championships next year.
- In the PCL, Salt Lake leadoff man Peter Bourjos is hotter than a pistol right now. But really, the whole Bees team is heating up.
- The Reno Aces got to experience a bullpen day gone right. Veteran infielder Ed Rogers is the glue that holds the Reno Aces together.
- Las Vegas lefty Brad Mills got called up to Toronto, shut out the Orioles, and was shipped right back to Vegas.
- When your leadoff man bats twice in the first inning, it’s a good sign. When he hits a grand slam in his second at-bat, it’s a great sign. Cameron Maybin did that yesterday for New Orleans. Same game, different paper: headline reads “Nine-run first trips Redbirds.” Trips? Really? Isn’t a nine-run first more like a punch in the mouth?
- Derek Holland had an excellent rehab start for Oklahoma City. The only hit he allowed was a home run to Chris Shelton. Sleeper prospect Mitch Moreland homered and then got called up to Texas.
- Portland owner Merritt Paulson publically stated that he is selling the Beavers so they can move out of town.
- Former Rainiers outfielder Scott Podsednik was traded from Kansas City to the Dodgers, taking his .310 batting average and 30 stolen bases with him.
- Another former Rainier – Wladimir Balentien - is on a home run binge for Louisville. Balentien has six homers in his last nine games, and 20 on the year.
I leave you now with a nice picture of my lunch – with special thanks to Doug Greenwald, who was kind enough to pick me up and take me there.