In his Triple-A debut, Andrew Carraway acted as the stopper for Tacoma.
Carraway pitched brilliantly, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning and earning the win as Tacoma ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over Albuquerque on Friday night.
Carraway retired the first 18 batters he faced in order. There was only one ball that came close to being a hit – a deep drive to the left field corner that Carlos Peguero hauled in early in the game.
The no-hit bid – and the perfect game – ended when Albuquerque’s Elian Herrera singled cleanly through the right side of the infield to lead off the seventh inning.
He pitched into the eighth inning before being removed with one out when he reached 100 pitches. All told, Carraway tossed 7.1 innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out four.
The 25-year-old from the University of Virginia has some deception in his motion, and he was able to move the ball around the strike zone. He used a four-pitch mix, and his fastball was in the 88-90 mph range.
Oliver Perez recorded the final five outs and earned his first save since 2000, when he was a teenager pitching in the Mexican League.
Offensively, Tacoma took the lead when Guillermo Quiroz homered in the fourth inning. It was the third straight game for Quiroz in which he has homered, and he now has six on the year.
Tacoma tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Albuquerque’s Shawn Tolleson had a very different kind of Triple-A debut – he was all over the place, uncorking a pair of wild pitches to bring in two runners from third base.
As the game went on, I started to prepare for the possibility of a no-hitter. After the fifth inning, I set up my equipment to record the rest of the broadcast. I started thinking about John Halama‘s perfect game at Cheney Stadium on July 7, 2001. I remembered that the Rainiers have not thrown a no-hitter since then, although they have been no-hit two or three times since then.
I didn’t talk about any of this stuff on the air – I follow my own version of the no-hit jinx, in which I won’t say the words “no-hitter” or “perfect game.” I just talk around them, making it clear what is going on without saying those words.
I’m not dumb enough to think that what I say influences the game on the field – I just don’t want to hear about it from the guys on the team if I say “he’s throwing a no-hitter” and the next pitch gets whacked into the alley for a double. I don’t need that!
Anyway, it was fun. Carraway pitched a great game, the losing streak ended, and there was a large crowd on hand: 7,225, our biggest of the season so far.
Now the Round Rock Express come to town for a four-game series. They are the Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliate, and they are 17-19 on the year. Round Rock was just in Salt Lake City, where they won the first game of the series but then lost the next three. Former Rainiers Brad Nelson and Sean Green are on the Express.
Tonight it is Salute To Armed Forces Night at Cheney Stadium, and another large crowd is expected. It is also Premium Pitching Prospects Night: we get a showdown between Tacoma RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, 6.00) and Round Rock LHP Martin Perez (3-2, 3.98). Ramirez you know about – he opened the season in the Mariners bullpen, and was just sent to Tacoma to transition to starting. Perez is the Texas Rangers top pitching prospect, a ground-ball machine throwing 94 from the left side.
You can catch the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.
- Doug Pacey has the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, with quotes from Andrew Carraway.
- More from Carraway in this special on the game from MiLB.com.
- Former Rainiers slugger Raul Ibanez ruined Felix Hernandez’s night in New York.
- In Larry LaRue’s notebook, we learn that Miguel Olivo might show up in Tacoma to catch some bullpens, and test his injured groin.
- Larry Stone blogs a little bit about Baseball America’s mock draft.
- Funny story from Milwaukee, where closer John Axford blew the save – his first in a long time – and then left a note for the media.
- In the PCL, Sacramento failed in its bid to sweep Omaha in a re-match of last year’s PCL Championship Series. Omaha won the final game, 7-1, behind the pitching of Will Smith.
- Fresno lost to Iowa in front of the largest crowd in Chukchansi Park history. Apparently Reading Night brought ‘em in – what, they don’t have video games in Fresno?
- Matt Clark hit a three-run double and Tucson beat the Zephyrs in The Big Easy.
- Colorado Springs salvaged a split at Nashville by winning the final game yesterday, 6-2. Brandon Wood went deep.
- Reno rallied late to beat Memphis, 7-6. Josh Bell hit another homer and had three RBI.
- Salt Lake won its third in a row yesterday, but the game was overshadowed by the appearance of Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell.
- In honor of Round Rock’s arrival at Cheney Stadium, we once again link to the World’s Most Boring Headline Writer.
- In the has-nothing-to-do-with-baseball department, check out this picture of a super-rare Calico lobster. Mmmm, I wonder what that tastes like?
Should be another great night at the ballpark – this weather is amazing!
* The title of today’s post is just a nod to one of the greatest records ever - I know it doesn’t really make any sense.