There were two games to discuss from Tuesday night’s action:
First of all, Reno won the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game by crushing Pawtucket 10-3 last night in Durham, NC.
Reno scored three runs in the first inning and added three more in the second. Soon they were up 8-0 against a PawSox team that looked a little sloppy on the field.
Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer did his wild-but-unhittable thing again. He was unable to get through five innings and earn the win, due to walks: he walked seven batters over 4.2 innings, even though he was pitching with a huge lead.
The Aces were able to shake off the frustrating start by Bauer and coast to the victory behind their outstanding bullpen.
A.J. Pollock was named the game’s MVP, hitting a double and a triple. Pollock was simply staying hot – he was also the MVP of the PC Championship Series.
The Aces had home runs from Brent Clevlen and Keon Broxton, and Tyler Bortnick roped a pair of doubles.
With that final, the Triple-A baseball season has come to a close.
I got to watch the first two hours of the Triple-A game on television, and it was an excellent telecast. Kudos to Triple-A Baseball and the NBC Sports Channel for hiring long-time MLB broadcasters George Grande and Jim Kaat to call the game. They were highly prepared and ready for the early blowout; I enjoyed Kaat’s stories about minor league baseball in the 1950s.
Grande and Kaat talked long and respectfully about minor league baseball and the “baseball lifers” who work off the field in minor league towns and cities across the nation. Thanks, guys – we appreciate it!
Also, the Durham Athletic Park looked fantastic. I have not been there since I called the 1997 California – Carolina League All-Star Game and it looks like they have done a lot of upgrades to the facility. Back then it was one of the finest in Class-A, but they still had to expand it into a Triple-A ballpark.
So, I watched the first two hours of the Triple-A game, drove up to Seattle and went to a (fantastic) concert by a punk rock legend, got in the car to drive home – and the Mariners and Orioles were in the 12th inning.*
When I got back to Tacoma, it was the middle of the 15th. I kicked my feet up, enjoyed a cold beverage, and watched the final three innings – only to see the Mariners lose in the 18th, 4-2.
Tacoma’s most memorable game of the season was an 18-inning game at Cheney Stadium on July 18. Here is my recap of that one.
Because of roster shuffling, the following players played in two 18-inning games this season (one in Tacoma, and one in Seattle): Trayvon Robinson, Stephen Pryor, Alex Liddi, Carlos Triunfel, Mike Carp. Also, Luis Jimenez played in Tacoma’s 18-inning game and was on the Mariners bench but did not play last night.
Who logged the most innings in the 18-inning games? That would be Trayvon Robinson. He played all 18 in Tacoma, and then the final seven innings last night, for 25 total innings.
In an unusual bit of coincidence, Carlos Triunfel entered each 18-inning game in the 12th inning.
Alex Liddi watched the most innings in 18-inning games this year. In July, he came off the bench for Tacoma in the top of the 18th, when the Rainiers ran out of pitching and had to make defensive changes to put Scott Savastano on the mound. Liddi played one inning. Last night Liddi struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth – so he watched the first eight innings, and the last nine. Liddi watched 34 of a possible 36 innings from the bench in these two games!
And where was Tacoma 18-Inning Hero Scott Savastano during all of this? I have no idea, but I like to picture him sitting on his couch in Plymouth, MA, shaking his head and muttering to himself, “They should have called me up. I’m really good at 18-inning games.”
- Stories on the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game from: the Reno newspaper, the Durham newspaper, MiLB.com, and Baseball America.
- The Reno newspaper also has an entertaining column on the Aces win and the nature of Triple-A baseball.
- Subscription required, but Baseball Prospectus has a different look at the Triple-A title game.
- Larry LaRue stayed until the end of the Mariners 18-inning game and filed this blog report.
- Lost in the length of the game: Erasmo Ramirez pitched extremely well, and the win was absolutely huge for the Orioles.
- In the PCL, the El Paso city council narrowly passed a bill to continue progress on a new ballpark – but the mayor has 72 hours to veto it.
I’m going to the Mariners game tonight. Felix Hernandez is on the mound trying to prevent an Orioles sweep. Also, the Orioles called up super-prospect Dylan Bundy and he could make his MLB debut in relief tonight. Should be a good game!
* I briefly considered going straight to Safeco for the extra innings, but I was not properly attired for press box seating.