Monday Update

April 30, 2012

Checking in from the lovely C Terminal of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas on the Rainiers travel day.

The team lost on Sunday afternoon to the Las Vegas 51s, 5-2. Las Vegas starter Scott Richmond pitched the best game he has ever thrown against Tacoma, carrying a one-hitter into the seventh inning. He was able to throw his breaking ball for strikes, and then get Rainiers hitters to chase it when he buried it in the dirt. He was sharp yesterday; didn’t look anything like the guy the Rainiers have knocked around in the past.

Tacoma scored its runs when Chih-Hsien Chiang pulled a two-run homer down the right field line in the seventh inning for his first Triple-A home run. The Rainiers managed to bring the tying run to the plate in both the eighth and the ninth innings, but couldn’t rally.

Here is the link to the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.

Today is an off-day, and the team is travelling to Tucson for a three-game series that starts on Tuesday at 7:05. Early schedules showed the Rainiers playing today, but it turned out that Tucson’s stadium is being used for something else today, so we are going to play a doubleheader in Tucson on July 29.

I’ll be back with a full blog post with all of the links and a brief preview of the Tucson Padres on Tuesday afternoon. There will be lots of time for blogging in Tucson!


What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas

April 29, 2012

You know the slogan.

And that’s why we can’t talk about last night’s game – it happened in Vegas, so it’s on the super down-low don’t even talk about it!

Well, that was my plan for this post, but that’s probably just not a good idea.

The Rainiers lost, 15-5, and it wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.

Las Vegas had 12 runs by the end of the third inning, and it was 15-2 in the sixth.

Mauricio Robles started and he struggled to throw strikes, and when he did they got hit hard. The latter part is the surprise – usually when he’s in the zone, he doesn’t get hit. Robles was “touched” for eight runs in two innings.

Brian Sweeney followed and he allowed his first runs of the season – six of them, to be exact, and it was all over.

Today is a new day, and we have a nice 12:05 first pitch for the series final at Cashman Field. The Rainiers can salvage a split of the series with a win. Tacoma starts RHP Forrest Snow (0-2, 7.23) against Vegas RHP Scott Richmond (1-2, 8.59). You can catch the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.

Links:

  • We lead off with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Read it if you dare.
  • The Rainiers are offering $5 tickets through the end of May – check out the video for… information? Laughs?
  • Here is my Minor League Notebook on longtime Rainiers Brian Sweeney and Cesar Jimenez, plus notes.
  • The Mariners four-game winning streak came to an end yesterday in Toronto.
  • John McGrath has a great column about fickle fans. Cliff’s Notes: it’s a long season, you guys.
  • Brendan Ryan is struggling at the plate.
  • Larry LaRue has two amusing anecdotes in the Mariners notebook.
  • Larry Stone’s Sunday Stuff includes a feature on Harvey Haddix, a notebook that includes stuff about a local kid, and power rankings.
  • The always interesting “21 Greatest Days” blog focused on friend-of-this-blog Pat Rice today. Rice is a former Mariner and Mariners minor league pitching coach who is now coaching for Fresno.
  • In the PCL, the Las Vegas paper has a story on 51s starting pitcher Jesse Chavez and his amazing April.
  • Reno outfielder Adam Eaton is playing well (good story here about misidentification and a bank error), and the Aces won their third in a row at Salt Lake.
  • The Bees are going to have to adjust to life without Mike Trout.
  • Starting pitcher Andrew Kown was dealing and Fresno dropped the Sky Sox, 3-1. The Grizzlies have won 7 of 9 despite a series of transactions involving the pitching staff.
  • Tucson defeated Sacramento as Vince Belnome had a good day at the plate.
  • Omaha blew out Memphis, 12-4, as leadoff man Derrick Robinson homered twice.
  • Albuquerque nipped New Orleans in the 12th inning, 4-3.
  • The transaction carousel goes round and round, and the Iowa Cubs lost again. This time, catcher Wellington Castillo got the call.
  • Look, it’s Haley’s Comet! The Nashville Sounds won! That ends their 10-game losing streak.

Despite the ugly results the last two days, the Rainiers can get a split down here with a win. Let’s get it done!


Broke In Vegas

April 28, 2012

It was the baseball equivalent of walking up to a roulette table, putting all of your money on black, and the ball stops on red.

The Rainiers were shut out in Las Vegas last night, 5-0.

Jesse Chavez did a number on the Rainiers, getting ground balls early and often will working seven scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit until Luis Rodriguez singled down the right field line with one out in the sixth.

After the game, we talked about great pitching performances at Cashman Field. They are rare – this place is a launching pad.

In 2006 when he was a starting pitcher, Cesar Jimenez carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Cashman. A left-handed batter sliced a line drive into the left field corner, and it barely stayed fair for a leadoff double. Jimenez finished with a 1-hit shutout.

The Rainiers were no-hit at Cashman Field in 2002 by a soft-tossing left-hander named Lindsey Gulin. That still boggles the mind – Russ Langer, the voice of the 51s, describes that no-hitter as “the PCL equivalent of Hideo Nomo‘s no-hitter at Coors Field before they put in the humidor.”

Tacoma finished with three hits on Friday night – all singles, and two were of the infield variety. The Rainiers drew one walk and had only one runner reach second base. The club has been shut out three times this season.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05 and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Mauricio Robles (0-2, 6.88) against Vegas RHP Joel Carreno (1-2, 7.07).

Links:

  • Leading off is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • The Las Vegas paper has a story on Mike Carp.
  • The Mariners are scorching hot right now, and Michael Saunders had his best game as a Major Leaguer.
  • Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez now has a heel problem which is slowing down his return.
  • Larry Stone is in Jackson, Tennessee and last night he saw Taijuan Walker pitch – he blogged about it.
  • The two top prospects in the minors were called up today: Bryce Harper from AAA-Syracuse to the Washington Nationals, and Mike Trout from Salt Lake to the Angels.
  • Not only did Salt Lake lose their star, they blew a 6-0 lead and lost to Reno yesterday, 12-7.
  • Colorado Springs shut out Fresno at Chukchansi.
  • The Nashville Sounds found a way to slow down their 10-game losing streak: rain. They’ll lose play today. 
  • Alex Sanabia is dealing for New Orleans. He’s 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA.
  • A rehabilitating Allen Craig (Cal Bear alert!) drove in two runs for Memphis last night.
  • In Oklahoma City a couple of brothers squared off for the first time in 12 years. It sounds like a fun sibling rivalry – talking trash about a strikeout in a high school scrimmage for 12 years?

Tonight is a mellow night in Vegas – night game, with a quick turnaround for the noon start on Sunday.


My Name Is Leury

April 27, 2012

The Mariners can have Larry Bernandez – the Rainiers have Leury Bonilla!

Pressed into starting duty due to an allergy attack that struck starting second baseman Luis Rodriguez, Leury (pronounced “Larry”) Bonilla had a big game at the plate and led Tacoma to a 6-4 win over Las Vegas on Thursday night in the opening game of an 11-game road trip.

Bonilla delivered a two-out, two-run single to cap a five-run first inning rally against former Mariners pitcher Aaron Laffey. Leury struck again in the fifth inning, crushing a two-out RBI triple to deep right-center, ending Laffey’s night.

Tacoma starter Jarrett Grube was knocked out in the fifth inning, extending the Rainiers string to six straight games in which the starting pitcher didn’t make it through five inning. However, the bullpen was lights out.

Sean Henn – facing his former team – tossed 2.1 scorless innings, including a nice bit of work escaping a jam he inherited in the fifth from Grube.

Shawn Kelly was next, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings for the save on his 28th birthday. Kelley had a 5-pitch inning in the eighth, enabling him to go back out there for the ninth to finish off the game.

Las Vegas outfielder Travis Snider – from Mill Creek, WA and Jackson High School – left the game after three innings. He attempted a diving catch in left field and landed on his glove hand, rolling over his right wrist. Hopefully it’s not a serious injury – it’s fine with us if he misses, say, three games.

Snider was 0-for-1 which ended his season-opening 18-game hitting streak. He’s batting .400 and leads the PCL with 23 RBI.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jeff Marquez (1-1, 7.11) against Las Vegas RHP Jessie Chavez (2-1, 3.32). Chavez has been the top starter for Las Vegas so far this year.

Links:

  • Here is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. A local writer is covering the series, he did a nice job getting quotes from Daren Brown and Leury Bonilla on a tight deadline.*
  • Holy Smokes, the Mariners swept the Tigers! They had 37 hits in the three-game sweep, temporarily shutting up all of the complainers who were so noisy three days ago. Young teams are going to be inconsistent.
  • Mariners Double-A pitcher Danny Hultzen won the MLB.com minor league pitcher of the week award.
  • However, this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet is completely Mariners-free.
  • In the PCL, Reno beat Salt Lake in a rain-shortened game, 4-1. The Angels are going to push players up the ladder more quickly with a new regime in place.
  • Chad Beck is the Las Vegas closer and it’s a lonely job. He has one save opportunity – the team is 6-15, and most of the wins have been blowouts.
  • Graham Godfrey came down from Oakland and tossed a gem for Sacramento in a 5-1 win over Tucson.
  • Fresno remains a game ahead of Sacramento as Travis Blackey and the Grizzlies shut out Colorado Springs, 3-0. Blackley is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA – one of several reasons why Fresno is 16-5 on the year. Lee Smith throwing batting practice? Yikes!
  • Fresno isn’t the only team that is 16-5. Omaha reached that mark yesterday in a 3-2 win at Memphis that featured two home runs by David Lough. One was inside-the-park.
  • New Orleans drubbed Albuquerque, 9-4. Drubbed is a good word, Times-Picayune guy.
  • C’mon, Nashville – don’t be afraid to win a game. That’s ten in a row.
  • Oklahoma City had a grand slam from Mike Hessman in a 11-5 win over Round Rock. It was Hessman’s 331st career minor league home run – he is the active leader.

Great start to the road trip – let’s see if this can develop into a winning streak.

* I don’t cover the games in Las Vegas because I have to tear down and pack up the broadcast equipment after every game here – it’s the only stadium in the PCL where you can’t lock your gear in the broadcast booth. Cashman Field doesn’t have broadcast booths, we sit outside on an elevated deck.


Vegas, Baby!

April 26, 2012

Slot machines are a janglin’ as the Rainiers have arrived in Las Vegas for the start of their 12-day, 11-game road trip – the longest road trip of the season.

It’s bookended by stops in the gambling meccas of Las Vegas and Reno, so this trip officially qualifies for “Road Trip To Bankruptcy” status. The Tucson leg in the middle should serve as a much-needed oasis of sleep and sublimity.

In Vegas we stay in the nicest hotel on the old strip downtown. This is close to the ballpark and also more affordable than the main strip.

Players treat the Vegas series as a business trip. The one great benefit is that it’s a 24-hour city, so the guys can always get something to eat after the game – this is not possible in many cities.

We do have the day game on Sunday, and the team is spending the night in Vegas and flying to Tucson on the off-day Monday. Sunday will be the night that the guys will have free to explore the city – I’d bet that most of the team explores the strip on Sunday evening.

Tacoma activated reliever Scott Patterson from the disabled list today, and he is available to pitch immediately.

Patterson suffered from shoulder discomfort during spring training, so he was placed on the Tacoma disabled list but did not report to the Rainiers. Instead, he was working with the training staff in Arizona building arm strength.

This time of year in Arizona there are extended spring training games daily. These are generally made up of young players who will play short-season ball when Everett, Pulaski, and the Arizona Rookie League starts up in June.

Once healthy, Patterson was able to pitch an inning or two in these extended spring training games. Now he’s ready for Tacoma – and we’ll take him, he’s been outstanding here for two years.

Matt Fox, who missed a start with his own shoulder discomfort, was placed on the 7-day disabled list to make room for Patterson. The Rainiers are still hopeful that Fox won’t miss much time.

The Rainiers lost on Tuesday to Fresno, 11-5, and the Grizzlies won the series, three game to one.

Tacoma had trouble shutting down the Grizzlies offense. Fresno scored 38 runs on 56 hits over the four-game series. The Rainiers were fortunate to get that comeback win in the third game.

On the plus side, shortstop Carlos Triunfel drove the ball with authority on Tuesday. He launched a two-run homer over the bullpens in left field, and he smashed a triple to the gap in right-center. Triunfel has been working extensively with hitting coach Jeff Pentland on his hand positioning, and it’s good to see some results.

Tonight’s game in Las Vegas is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jarrett Grube (0-1, 10.80) against LHP Aaron Laffey (0-2, 6.75). Laffey is a former Mariner.

Links:

Last night, on the off-day, a few of the Rainiers staffers gathered to watch Felix Hernandez and the 7th game if the Boston-Washington hockey series. Much to my surprise, one of my co-workers revealed that his goal in life was to have his name appear on this blog.

So congratulations, Thomas Knowlton, you have made the blog!


Comeback Win

April 24, 2012

Tacoma topped Fresno on Monday night, 6-5. Carlos Triunfel had the game-winning RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The full game story from The News Tribune is right here.

Today the Rainiers finish off the brief homestand with a 7:05 game at Cheney Stadium. Tacoma starts LHP Anthony Vasquez (3-0, 0.87) against Fresno RHP Yusmeiro Petit (0-0, 5.65).

Sorry for the lack of a proper blog post today – no time to write, the team has me working on other projects. We’re off on Wednesday; I’ll be back with a full post from Las Vegas on Thursday.


Bye Bye Brownie

April 23, 2012

The Rainiers lost to Fresno on Sunday afternoon, 10-3.

It was a beautiful day, we had a great crowd, and the game was… not good for the hometown nine.

Manager Daren Brown left early, getting tossed in the second inning when Conor Gillaspie’s foul ball down the right field line was mistaken for a home run by the home plate umpire. Photos by Rainiers team photographer Dick Trask.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05 and the Rainiers will try to slow down a red-hot Fresno team. Fresno is 14-4, they have won 7 of the last 8, and they are an amazing 8-2 on the road. Tonight Tacoma starts RHP Forrest Snow (0-2, 6.43) agains Fresno RHP Andrew Kown (2-0, 2.20). You can hear the broadcast on 850 AM in Tacoma and streaming online right hereBob Robertson joins me in the booth and will call the middle innings tonight.

Links:

  • Here is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, written by Doug Pacey. Daren Brown wasn’t too concerned about the call that led to his ejection – probably because in the end, it didn’t really effect the outcome.
  • Our video page has the highlight of Brandon Bantz going deep for his first Triple-A hit.
  • Larry LaRue got a lot of player reaction to the perfect game – good stuff in here.
  • The Mariners were swept by the White Sox and had a disappointing homestand.
  • John McGrath writes that the Mariners veterans need to step up. As always, McGrath closes out his column with a stinger.
  • Geoff Baker is concerned that the Mariners might lose the fanbase early in the season.
  • Steve Kelley writes that it is time for the Mariners to grow up.
  • The weekly Minor League Wrap from USS Mariner is thorough, as usual.
  • Former Rainiers pitcher Derek Lowe had his World Series ring stolen. That’s cold-blooded.
  • A fantastic story from Jim Caple about interrupting his bike ride to cover the perfect game at Safeco on Saturday. Anyone in the newspaper business will enjoy this one.
  • Health issues are forcing former Tacoma Tigers manager Ed Nottle to spend the summer away from baseball. Get well, Singing Ed!
  • It looks like the Oakland A’s are giving up on the two Sacramento River Cats that they were trying out at third base. They also shipped out Graham Godfrey in favor of Jarrod Parker in the starting rotation.
  • In the PCL, Salt Lake blasted Tucson, 16-1. Super-prospect Mike Trout tripled and then was hit by a pitch, and he left the game – but I heard his morning that it was precautionary and he may be able to play today.
  • Reno starting pitcher Charles Brewer woke up in Mobile, AL, flew to Reno, and got pounded by Sacramento in his Triple-A debut. Chris Carter blasted three home runs for the Cats.
  • Jesse Chavez pitched well and earned the win as Las Vegas took down Colorado Springs on Sunday, 9-2.
  • Iowa edged Memphis 2-1 as Chris Rusin tossed a gem.
  • Jarrod Dyson is really making things happen for Omaha. He’s one of the most fun players to watch in the PCL – speed is his entire game, so he needs to do things to take advantage of it, and he’s been on a roll this year.
  • It took 14 innings, but Albuquerque topped Oklahoma City, 11-10. Former Rainiers catcher Josh Bard went 4-for-8 with a homer and four RBI for Albuquerque.
  • So much for the vaunted New Orleans pitching staff – they got beat by Round Rock yesterday, 10-0.

Another sunny day in April in Tacoma? We’ll take it! Berm tickets are just $5 tonight and tomorrow – bring your blanket to sit on.


On Hits – Or The Lack Thereof

April 22, 2012

The Rainiers had one hit in a 12-0 loss to Fresno on Saturday night.

And that was one more than the Mariners had earlier in the day, when Phillip Humber of the White Sox threw baseball’s 21st perfect game against them.

The Mariners and their Triple-A affiliate combined to go 1-for-56 on the day, for a miniscule .018 batting average.

The man with the hit was Luis Jimenez, who singled with two outs in the fourth inning at Cheney Stadium.

Facing Fresno starter Brian Burres, Jimenez hit a low line drive over second base and cleanly into the outfield for the day’s Big Knock.

It was a thing of beauty, because it was the only thing we saw like it all day. (Unless you count Fresno’s 19 hits).

It’s weird how the top two clubs in the Mariners organization could get shut down so emphatically on the same day.

I posed the question on Twitter, which would you rather do, lose 4-0 in a perfect game, or lose 12-0 and get one hit? More people though the second option was worse, because you don’t get the history of the perfect game. At least a perfect game is something to remember and talk about for years to come.

Personally, I’ll never forget John Halama‘s perfect game against Calgary at Cheney Stadium on July 7, 2001. I can still vividly picture the final out, a hot grounder to first base that Todd Betts speared, and tossed to Halama covering first to complete the first nine-inning perfect game in PCL history.

Mariners fans had something to remember yesterday. Rainiers fans are going to forget about yesterday’s game as quickly as possible.

Today’s game is at 1:35, and you can hear it on 850 AM in Tacoma and streaming online right here. Tacoma sends LHP Mauricio Robles (0-1, 3.95) to the mound against Fresno RHP Eric Hacker (3-0, 2.00).

It’s looking like it’s going to be a beautiful day in Tacoma. After the game today, kids can run the bases and get a free t-shirt from Olympians supporting Walk To London 2012.

Links:

  • We’ll start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, which features one lonely quote from Daren Brown, who was one lonely man coaching third base last night.
  • Here is my Sunday Minor League Notebook from the TNT. I lead off with an item on Fresno’s Todd Linden, who is a local guy.
  • Here is Larry LaRue’s story on the perfect game, and John McGrath was there to write about it, too – it was the first no-hitter or perfect game he had ever seen in person.
  • The Mariners wanted to go down swinging.
  • John Sickels wrote a career profile on Phillip Humber.
  • The Sunday baseball package from Larry Stone is here: a column declaring the best team in baseball, his notebook wonders if Bryan LaHair is trade bait, and we have power rankings, and thumbs.
  • Things are not looking good for former Rainiers pitcher Michael Pineda. We hope he gets healthy soon.
  • In the PCL, Reno was shut out by Sacramento, 6-0. It appears that Sacramento starter Jarrod Parker is going to the big leagues – he was pulled after 2.2 shutout innings.
  • Las Vegas topped Colorado Springs in 10 innings, 9-8. It was a wild scoring sequence.
  • Las Vegas catcher Yan Gomes is from Brazil.
  • Pitching led the way for New Orleans once again – this time it was from the bullpen.
  • The Iowa Cubs have had so many transactions early they can’t keep the roster straight.
  • Alex Castellanos homered twice and Albuquerque won in Oklahoma City.
  • Omaha beat Nashville in the 13th inning when Jarrod Dyson singled in the winning run off a position player through a five-man infield – or was it a six-man infield? Just read the story.
  • More good stuff from that game: Dyson was caught stealing by a catcher for the first time in two years and 55 stolen bases. “I got hosed,” he said.

That’s all I have time to get to this morning – come out to the ballpark, it’s a great day!


Back Home After Split In Sacto

April 21, 2012

The Rainiers are back home at Cheney Stadium on Saturday night, hosting the Fresno Grizzlies in the opening game of a super-quick four-game homestand.

This home series is the “island” in the middle of the Rainiers biggest road stretch of the year: 19 of 23 games away from Cheney Stadium.

Tacoma ended up going 3-5 on the first leg of this road stretch. The Rainiers dropped three of four in Fresno, but were able to get a split in Sacramento due to some incredible pitching in the middle games of the series.

The Rainiers had a chance to win the series in Sacramento and get a split on the trip – but they lost the final game on Friday night, 7-4.

Sacramento scored six runs over the first three innings, building a 6-2 lead. Tacoma chipped away, notching a pair of one-run innings (including a long home run from Trayvon Robinson), but they couldn’t come all the way back.

Tonight’s series opener is at 7:05 at Cheney Stadium, and the weather is supposed to be nice. If you can’t make it to the park, tune in on 850 AM in and around Tacoma, or listen via the online stream. Tacoma starts RHP Jeff Marquez (1-0, 6.00) against Fresno LHP Brian Burres (0-1, 4.76).

Saturday before the game we – and by we, I mean our community – are formally dedicating the street that goes into Cheney Stadium as Clay Huntington Way. There will be a ceremony at Heidelberg Park starting at 5:30, with various speakers talking about Clay and the impact he had on athletics and life in Pierce County. It’s open to the public, so swing by if you would like to.

This is a totally awesome thing, and I’d like to point out that the Tacoma Athletic Commission – which was founded by Clay – led the charge to get the street name changed.

Because I am flying home with the team in the morning, and I’m in the lineup at the Clay Way event, I didn’t have time to get to all of the links. Here’s what I could get late on Friday night:

  • The Rainiers game story is up early on The News Tribune’s site.
  • The Mariners and Rainiers are sort of following the same pattern of games these days – they fell behind early and lost, too.
  • My compliments to whoever wrote the headline of the Mariners game story at The News Tribune.
  • Earlier Friday I enjoyed reading this humorous piece ranking the 30 Major League managers based upon their likelihood of knowing anything about Coachella. Too bad Daren Brown doesn’t qualify for a ranking – he would place about 15th, because I think he knows it exists, but he would tell all of the attendees to “just grow up.”*

Sorry for the short blog – I should be up early on Sunday to get to all of the Sunday links.

* While his last concert was probably Poison in 1988, Brown is knowledgeable about technology – if he was forced to attend Coachella and saw the Tupac Hologram, he would immediately arrange to get a 1995 Tacoma Rainiers Alex Rodriguez Hologram to play shortstop.


Rainiers Shut Out Sacramento

April 20, 2012

We’ve got a lot of things to cover, and I’m short on time, so we’re going bullet points today.

  • Tacoma shut out Sacramento on Thursday night, 1-0.
  • Anthony Vasquez went 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits.
  • Nobody reached second base against Vasquez until the seventh inning.
  • With the win, Vasquez is now 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA. He has ten straight Quality Starts in the PCL going back to last year.
  • After a walk and an error put runners at 2nd and 3rd for SAC in the eighth, Oliver Perez came in from the bullpen and got a strikeout to escape the jam.
  • Shawn Kelley pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save
  • The shutout was made possible by Scott Savastano, who was playing left field. Savastano made a running, leaping catch at the wall to take a two-run home run away from Collin Cowgill in the third inning.
  • The Rainiers only run scored on a homer by Guillermo Quiroz in the top of the third. Quiroz has three homers in just 27 at-bats this season.
  • Sacramento’s tough-luck loser was Fabio Castro, who pitched for Tacoma last year. He allowed one run in six innings, striking out 7.
  • Luis Jimenez left the game with a sprained left ankle. We should learn more about his condition later today.
  • Adam Moore had knee surgery yesterday, to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. It’s the same surgery Carlos Peguero had a week ago – he’s out for 4-6 weeks.
  • Matt Fox is missing his start today due to shoulder soreness. The team is hoping he only misses one or two turns.

Tonight’s game at Raley Field is the last game of the road trip, and the Rainiers can win the series and get a split of the road trip with a victory. Tacoma starts RHP Jarrett Grube (0-0, 0.00) against Sacramento RHP Travis Banwart (1-0, 7.04). First pitch is at 7:05 and you can catch the broadcast on 850 AM and streaming online right here.

Links:

  • Here is the Rainiers game story with a complete blow-by-blow of the dramatic 1-0 win.
  • The Sacramento paper has a feature on their hometown boy, Vinnie Catricala.
  • While the Rainiers hung on for a 1-0 win, the Mariners were trying to do the same – but their effort crumbled in the ninth.
  • It was the 38th time Felix Hernandez has gone seven or more innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs, and not won.
  • At Double-A Jackson, Danny Hultzen picked up his first professional win.
  • Hultzen ranks #2 on this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet, and… oh, no! A Mariner made the Not-So-Hot Sheet!
  • An off-the-radar kid named Steve Proscia hit three home runs for the Mariners High Desert affiliate last night.
  • Jason Churchill has his fingers and toes crossed while throwing salt over his shoulder, knocking on wood, and trying to get an overhead bird to target him as he hopes that high school outfielder Byron Buxton falls to the Mariners as the #3 pick in the draft. 
  • The Honus Wagner card sold for $1.2 million.
  • Some of my fellow RGs use different colored highlighters while keeping score. I think they’re crazy. I’m a one-ballpoint man, that’s the only way to go. Why make it so confusing?
  • In the PCL, Salt Lake’s four-game win streak came to a halt as Las Vegas topped the Bees, 8-4. Moises (Alou Ruben) Sierra hit his fourth homer for Vegas.
  • Tucson ended the five-game win streak that Colorado Springs had going. The Sky Sox made a bunch of errors.
  • Fresno withstood a two-homer, seven-RBI performance by Reno’s Randy Ruiz and the Grizzlies beat the Aces, 10-8. The Culbersons are the first father-son combination to play professionally in Fresno.
  • Nashville was swept in a doubleheader by visiting Oklahoma City. Brooks Conrad is with Nashville, trying to play his way back to the big leagues.
  • There is an excellent photo of Anthony Rizzo in this brief feature from Des Moines.
  • Skip Schumaker has been rehabbing with Memphis.

It’s 88 degrees here in Sacramento. Let’s see if the Rainiers can get some more great pitching and win this series. We’ll be home at Cheney Stadium tomorrow!


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