Tacoma lost the final game of the homestand to Colorado Springs on Friday night, 6-5. It ended a disappointing opening homestand in which Tacoma went just 1-7.
Nice crowd, though: 6,591 were on hand last night, and it wasn’t exactly balmy out there. I have a feeling that the ballpark is going to be full of people daily when the weather warms up. Once the casual fans get out for their first time and see how nice it is they will come back.
Manager Daren Brown says the team will improve, and I have to agree with him. Otherwise, its gonna be a heckuva season, isn’t it?
Three errors* last night lead to five early unearned runs, and Tacoma was down 6-1 in the third inning. The team did get excellent pitching and defense from that point onward, and the club made a heartful comeback attempt, but it just fell a run short.
Today we are in Salt Lake City for the opening game of a four-game series, and an eight-game road trip.
This is one of those sleep deprivation days that happen in the Pacific Coast League (A.K.A. The No-Sleep League): The guys, myself included, got about 2.5 hours of sleep in their own beds last night, then took a pre-dawn bus to the airport, took the first flight of the day to SLC and slept maybe one hour on the plane, then checked into the hotel and got another 1-2 hour nap in before heading out to the ballpark for batting practice. This is common on travel days in Triple-A.
Game time is 5:35 pm (Pacific time) and the pregame starts at 5:20 on 850 AM and streaming online. Tacoma starts RHP Blake Beavan (1-0, 4.02) and Salt Lake will start a place called Bear Bay (1-0, 5.06).
The coffee will be flowing in the press box – I hope. This is Salt Lake City, after all, and sometimes caffeine is hard to find.
A few links:
- Ryan Divish showed up at Cheney Stadium and wrote the Rainiers game story. Brown addresses the sloppy play. Also: Dustin Ackley went 3-for-4 with a walk, and Royce Ring had a great relief appearance striking out three straight lefties – two of whom were big league hitters stuck in Triple-A (Ian Stewart and Mike Jacobs).
- Michal Pineda is pretty freakin’ awesome. From The Times and the TNT. Better yet: video highlights from MLB. There seems to be growing sentiment to nickname him “El Nino” and I’m OK with that.
- In the PCL, there was an amazing comeback in Reno: down 5-2, the Aces scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth without making an out against Sacramento closer Joe Bateman. John Hester had the game-ending hit.
- Every year it seems that there is a player who rides the I-5 Shuttle, going back-and-forth between Tacoma and Seattle. Well, Mike McCoy has already worn out the lesser-known Las Vegas-to-Toronto Shuttle. Or is that more of a junket?
- PCL President Branch Rickey visited the facility in Tucson last night. I wonder if Branch will be here in SLC on Monday for Tree Giveaway Night? (that was a joke… get it? Branch? Tree? Ahahahahaha!)
- They got fogged out in the sixth inning in Iowa last night. This happened to us once in Colorado Springs and it was one of the most memorable afternoons of my career. I’ll do a whole post on it later this year.
- Emerging prospect alert: Amaury Rivas, a starting pitcher for Nashville. He’s off to an excellent start in his first Triple-A season.
- I love games like this: a 2-1 pitcher’s duel in which all three runs score on solo homers. Round Rock has won seven straight, all on the road.
- When I see “Chasers” in the headline, I do not think of Omaha baseball. Instead, I think of amusing TV commercials. Clint Robinson won the triple crown in the Texas League last year and he’s off to a roaring start in his first Triple-A season.
Could be a long one tonight: Salt Lake has already played five extra-inning games this year, and three have lasted over 4:15. The Bees routinely play three-hour games. They also score a lot of runs – the Rainiers bats are going to have to come alive, because nobody has slowed down Salt Lake’s offense yet. Be especially weary of Alexi Amarista, who has a 12-game hitting streak and is 22-for-46 on the season.
* it was originally four errors, but after the game the official scorer met with both managers and reviewed the replay and decided to change the ball Chris Nelson hit sharply off Alex Liddi’s knee in the third inning from an error to a single.