Yeah, I know, it’s still June – but this is a big series.
The Rainiers host perennial division contender Salt Lake in a six-game, four-day series that begins with a doubleheader tonight at 6:00. The series begins with Tacoma in first place in the division, and Salt Lake is one game back.
It’s a big series because this is the final series at home for Tacoma against Salt Lake. In fact, the two teams will be done with each other early this year: The Rainiers visit Salt Lake from July 4th to 7th, and that’s it. So it would be nice if the Rainiers could create some separation in the standings by winning a bunch of head-to-head games this week.
Tacoma starts RHP Ian Snell (first appearance) in game one, and RHP Andy Baldwin (4-2, 4.42) in game two. Salt Lake counters with LHP Trevor Reckling (4-6, 7.99) in game one, and RHP Marco Albano (2-6, 7.38) in game two. Each game will be seven innings, per minor league baseball rules.
As always, the broadcast will be live on 850 AM in the South Sound, and streaming worldwide via www.tacomarainiers.com.
Last night the Rainiers got shut out by Portland’s Josh Geer, who was having a rough season up until Monday. Geer went the distance, allowing just four hits and one walk. He only struck out three batters, but he got 19 outs on ground balls, which included three double-play grounders. It was his day. Still, the Rainiers took three of four in Portland, and the club went 6-3 on the road trip to pull into first place.
David Pauley took the loss for Tacoma. Pauley is now 1-6 despite a solid 3.68 ERA; the Rainiers have been shut out in four of his six losses. Dude needs some run support.
BREAKING NEWS: I just got word from the Mariners Baseball Information guru (and former Rainiers intern) Jeff Evans that Tommy Everidge has been traded to the Houston Astros for “future considerations.” He will probably report to Triple-A Round Rock or Class-AA Corpus Christi. Everidge really struggled with the Rainiers – he went 4-for-35 on the road trip that concluded yesterday, and he’s hitting .229 with 7 home runs and 36 RBIs as the clean-up batting DH. I believe Everidge is a better hitter than that, but everybody in the league was pitching him the same way and he wasn’t adjusting (first pitch breaking ball strike one; steady diet of low-and-away fastballs). Hopefully he’ll get back on track with Houston.
A few links for you:
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Nice headline, desk guys. Ryan Divish is excited about seeing Michael Pineda pitch tomorrow.
- Tacoma Rainiers co-owner Nick Lachey will be attending parts of both the Rainiers doubleheader and the Mariners-Cubs game tonight. Rumor has it that he is bringing his better half.
- John McGrath previews the M’s-Cubs series while lamenting his fate as a fan of two bad baseball teams.
- Larry Stone checks in on Carlos Silva. Brace yourselves before reading this one, M’s fans. Also from Stone, Ron Santo is not making the trip.
- Hey – I agree with Geoff Baker! This is a good piece, but I’m going to nit-pick: Wladimir Balentien isn’t out of baseball; he’s playing for the Reds Triple-A team in Louisville. In fact, he went 0-for-4 yesterday and is mired in a 1-for-23 slump. But he’s playing!
- Ex-Rainiers third baseman and Team of the Decade member Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment by Philadelphia today.
- The Rainiers are in first place by a game thanks to Kyle Middleton’s eight shutout innings for Sacramento.
- I’m not quite ready to yell Call Him Up Already! but Sky Sox outfielder Dexter Fowler is raking. Also, Ubaldo Jimenez caused a commotion by showing up at the Sky Sox game last night. Nooooo Ubaldo stay in your own league we don’t want to face you!!! Seriously, though, if you read the story it sounds like Ubaldo was really cool to the fans.
- Alex Gordon’s 39-game on-base streak ended. Still, Call Him Up Already!
- The ball was jumping out of the state of Iowa last night – Albuquerque hit two grand slams and a three-run shot in a 16-12 win in Des Moines.
I was a teenage metalhead, and if we had the night off tonight I would certainly be at this show with my pal Kevin Kalal.