Tacoma starter Mauricio Robles tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just three singles and a walk, and then nervously watched as the Rainiers barely hung on for a 6-5 win in Tucson on Monday night.
Robles is rehabilitating from elbow surgery in March. The 22-year-old lefty struck out four, and he retired the last 14 batters he faced in order. He threw 85 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Robles left with a 5-0 lead, but things got dicey in the late innings due to defensive problems. Yet the Rainiers hung on and won, and the team has gone 4-1 since the All-Star break.
For more on Robles and last night’s game, click on the first link below.
Now, let’s talk about wishy-washy official scorers.
We had a no-hitter in the PCL last night – but Luis Mendoza of Omaha might feel like the Memphis official scorer stole the limelight.
Mendoza had the no-hitter in the ninth inning, and he allowed a drive to left field. Omaha left fielder David Lough made the wrong initial break on the ball, recovered, gave a little leap, and had the ball go off his glove.
The official scorer ruled it an error, and Mendoza went on to complete the no-hitter.
Or so he thought.
After the game, the indecisive official scorer changed the play to a hit – yes, AFTER THE GAME. He erased the no-hitter!
Then, after a discussion with acting Omaha manager Tommy Gregg, the official scorer changed it back to an error – and the no-hitter was back.
Official scorers have one job: make a decision, and stick with it. It can be a thankless job, and that’s why the league pays people to do it. But they’ve got to stick with their call.
It’s too bad this post-game circus took away from the moment for Mendoza. He’s been here before: Mendoza pitched the last no-hitter in the PCL, in 2009 when he was with Oklahoma City. He joins a small club of pitchers to throw two no-hitters in the PCL, a group which includes Tacoma Giants legend Dick “Double No-Hit” Estelle.
As for the official scoring, I’m sure there will be some fallout from this. Stay tuned…
Last night in Tucson, we had four umpires working the game, including two Major League umpires who were rehabilitating injuries. Yes, umpires get injured, too.
We had 13-year MLB veteran Paul Schrieber behind the plate, and 7-year MLB umpire Lance Barksdale at first base.
I’ve been told we’ll see more MLB umpiring in this series. This is a good thing.
Tonight’s game is at 7:00, and Tacoma starts LHP Chris Seddon (6-5, 5.64) against Tucson RHP Jeremy Hefner (6-5, 5.34). You can catch the broadcast on 850 AM or streaming online right here.
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Hey, I wrote it!
- Here are all of the stories on the no-hit controversy, with quotes from everybody except the official scorer: from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, from the Omaha World-Herald, and from MiLB.com. There is some good objectivity on the matter at the end of this Baseball America notebook.
- The Mariners were off, so The News Tribune ran a Ryan Divish feature on Kyle Seager.
- In the PCL, the Reno Aces won their 7th in a row, and the league’s best team maintained an 11-game lead over second-place Tacoma.
- Salt Lake got destroyed by Sacramento, and the Bees have lost nine of ten. At least Freddy Sandoval is back for the Bees after three surgeries.
- Tough day for Las Vegas, in which the 51s had a nightmare travel experience trying to get from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Colorado Springs, and then got their behinds kicked by the Sky Sox.
- Fresno’s Brandon Belt is trying to get back to the big leagues. My hunch is he’s going to make it… gee, maybe we should check with some scouts first? Naaah.
- Ex-Rainiers slugger Brad Nelson homered twice for Round Rock, including the walk-off shot in the tenth inning against New Orleans.
- The heat index reached 114 in Iowa yesterday, and the I-Cubs lost an odd game to Nashville in the tenth inning. Nashville’s Mat Gamel has made an adjustment and increased his power.
- The Tucson paper has a feature on yesterday’s starter John Van Benschoten, who was just signed out of an independent league.
- Speaking of the wild, wild west of independent baseball, did you hear about the radio guy who quit on the air because he wasn’t getting paid?
- Congratulations to former Rainiers manager Dave Brundage, who won his 1,000th career game last night.
That’s more than enough for today. Let’s see if the Rainiers continue their winning ways.