The Rainiers survived their first travel day of the season, arriving in Fresno for the start of an eight-game road trip.
The team bus left Cheney Stadium at 5:30 AM. Our 8:00 AM flight to Fresno was delayed slightly – they kept making ominous announcements about thunderstorms over the Fresno airport, saying that if we couldn’t land, the plane would be diverted to San Jose. I quickly checked my pocket schedule – San Jose is not a Pacific Coast League city.
The flight was also overbooked, and they made it clear that baggage wasn’t going to make it.
This last part I am used to – whenever we fly to Fresno, the plane isn’t big enough to take all of the baseball equipment and the personal bags. Those of us with the team know that our personal bags will get delivered to the hotel at night, when a later flight comes in. However, the dozen non-baseball people on the flight have no idea that they have zero chance of getting their bags. Sorry about that!
Moral of the story: if you are flying to Fresno and you want your luggage to arrive with you, make sure you aren’t on the same flight as the Rainiers.
The flight was bumpy the whole way, non-stop – it was a regular Knuckleball Express. This was strictly due to the weather, which got worse as we approached Fresno. The descent was shaky, but the pilots did a great job and got us on the ground safely.
When we landed, it was pouring rain in Fresno. However, the Fresno Grizzlies representative told us that it’s supposed to burn off in the afternoon, and we are going to try to play tonight.
Tonight’s game, if it goes off on time, is scheduled for a 7:25 start. We’ll start the pre-game show at about 7:10 on South Sound Sports 850 AM, and streaming online right here.
Tacoma is scheduled to start RHP Forrest Snow (0-1, 7.20) against Fresno RHP Andrew Kown (1-0, 1.80).
Mariners outfielder Mike Carp met the Rainiers at the airport and will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma tonight.
Carp suffered a sprained right shoulder on March 29 in Japan, diving for a ball in left field. He’s currently on the Mariners disabled list. I’m not yet sure how long his rehab assignment is supposed to last.
Carp is ranked third on the Tacoma all-time career home run list. He could move to second this week:
- The Rainiers lost a tough one to Colorado Springs last night, giving up six runs in the top of the ninth to lose 9-3. The Rainiers finished the opening homestand with a 4-4 record.
- The Mariners have their home opener tonight, after going 4-4 on the season-opening road trip.
- Former Mariners great Mike Cameron will throw out the first pitch tonight at Safeco.
- Minor League Baseball season is officially a week old: we have our first Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet of the year! Pleased to report that the Mariners organization placed a player on the Hot Sheet and managed to avoid the Not So Hot Sheet.
- In the PCL, Reno ended it’s five-game losing streak with a 13-inning victory over Salt Lake. Jason Lane was the winning pitcher and he had the game-winning hit.
- The Salt Lake Bees have their home opener tonight – weather permitting.
- For this series in Fresno, the Rainiers need to look out for Grizzlies slugger Roger Kieschnick. He’s a cousin of Brooks Kieschnick – Major League Baseball’s last true two-way player. The Grizzlies are ready for their home opener.
- Las Vegas shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has a reputation as a guy who can’t hit, but the stats say otherwise.
- Sacramento finally lost – shut out by Josh Geer and the Tucson Padres. Attendance was down in Tucson.
- New Orleans beat Memphis 3-2 for a sweep. The Zephyrs went 7-1 with a 0.91 team ERA on their opening homestand. Wow!
- Oklahoma City left-hander Dallas Kuechel worked seven shutout innings and beat Nashville last night. The RedHawks went 6-2 on their opening homestand.
Time for a cat-nap and then the walk to the ballpark to get set up and see if we’re playing… I’ll let you know if it’s postponed.