Tacoma lost to Salt Lake yesterday, 9-6. Here are the ugly numbers:
- Tacoma has lost four of the last five games.
- Tacoma lost the series to last-place Salt Lake at home, 3-1.
- Tacoma now has a home record of 12-20, compared to an excellent road mark of 21-19.
Now, that last point should have an asterisk: much of the damage at home was done during that opening homestand in April, when the team lost its entire starting outfield and went 1-7. Since then, the team is 11-13 at home – not good, certainly, but at least not terrible.
What the team is going through now is a period of transition.
The Rainiers played great on that long road trip, going 8-4. Four games into the trip, Mike Carp was called up – but Mike Wilson came back, and he immediately started hitting, so it was a seemless transition.
But the loss of Dustin Ackley is a different matter altogether. The Rainiers received Luis Rodriguez back from the Mariners, but he has played in only one game due to a minor yet nagging injury that affects his throwing.
I’m not sure anyone can replace Ackley’s grind-it-out plate approach, and the simple fact that he was always a threat in the lineup.
Add in the loss of Michael Saunders, who is away from the team on personal/family-related leave, and the offense has been down.
Since Ackley was called up, Tacoma has lost four of the five games, scoring 21 runs (4.2 runs per game) and batting .266 (45-for-169) while averaging nine hits per game. Saunders was here for just one of the five games.
Those numbers just won’t cut it in the high-octane Pacific Coast League.
We’ll see if the bats come to life tonight at Cheney Stadium. Colorado Springs is in town for a four-game series starting this evening at 7:05, and you can catch the broadcast on 850 AM or streaming online. Tacoma starts knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (1-2, 10.27) against Sky Sox RHP Greg Reynolds (4-2, 6.45).
To preview the Sky Sox, let’s just look at their home-road splits, which are comical:
- Sky Sox team batting at HOME (40 games): .341/.400/.566, 8.4 runs per game.
- Sky Sox team batting on ROAD (33 games): .270/.337/.439, 5.5 runs per game.
They are 32-40 on the year: 21-19 at home, 11-21 on the road.
To the links:
- Here is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, from Ryan Divish.
- Since the Mariners were off yesterday, we have some features: Larry LaRue wrote one on Brandon League, and Geoff Baker profiled Brendan Ryan.
- In advance of the Mariners – Nationals series, here is a Washington Post feature on ex-Rainier Mike Morse, who has become one of the better hitters in the National League over the course of the last year or so. I really like Mike, but he’s always had some bat-crazy superstitions, and apparently he still does. Daren Brown is quoted in this story.
- Geoff Baker wonders if the Mariners should make a mid-season trade of one of their starting pitchers for a hitter. My opinion: not a good idea, unless one of the Tacoma starters takes a big step forward leading up to the deadline, and the M’s are 100% comfortable with that pitcher in the major league rotation.
- From Mariners Farm Review, we have a Q&A with Double-A second baseman (and soon-to-be Rainier?) Kyle Seager.
- Great news from Reno: Wily Mo Pena has been called up to Arizona. This is fantastic for two reasons: 1) Wily Mo has been crushing it, and by losing him, the first place Aces figure to suffer, and 2) Wily Mo is a great dude, as evidenced in this story, so I’m happy for him
- Ex-Rainiers pitcher Gaby Hernandez had a strong outing and Reno beat Las Vegas yesterday, earning a split of the series.
- The Sky Sox have lost six of eight heading into tonight’s game at Tacoma. They lost three of four at home against Tucson.
- Tucson outfielder and Port Orchard native Aaron Cunningham is a car buff, and he once sold one to the rapper Ice-T.
- Sacramento beat Fresno in the bottom of the ninth inning, with Matt Carson getting the game-winning hit. Rich Harden and Travis Banwart combined to strike out 17 Grizzlies.
- In the notes at the bottom of this feature on Ryan Shealy, we learn that Las Vegas placed Mill Creek native Travis Snider on the disabled list with a concussion.
- I’ve written it before, but here is more talk about how hot the Memphis Redbirds are right now. They are 13-3 over their last 16 games.
- Is Chris Davis the next Phil Hiatt or Scott McClain or Tom Quinlan or Andy Tracy or… you get my point. It’s beginning to look that way. That’s not a knock on Davis - I admire all of those players, and a good living can be made that way.
- Ivan DeJesus Jr. led Albuquerque to a win over Iowa.
- Oklahoma City avoided being swept at home by New Orleans thanks to Andy Van Hekken’s gem.
- We have a big feature on Round Rock reliever Beau Jones, who is returning home to… you guessed it… New Orleans.
Off to the park – let’s see if this beautiful weather will help the Rainiers bats come to life.