Home Sweet Home

After 12 days on the road (and 20 of the last 24 days away from home), the Tacoma Rainiers are back home.

The team was able to fly home after Monday’s day game in Reno.

Sleeping in my own bed was a joy. It was great not being awakened at 8 AM by the chatter of maids in the hallway – although I must admit, I’ll miss the maid service later this afternoon. I need to see about getting a “Housekeeping” button installed on my home phone.

The road trip ended with a splat. After the first two series, Tacoma was 3-4 heading into Reno with a chance to finish the trip on a strong note. Instead, the Rainiers were swept by the Aces in four straight slugfests.

Tacoma scored 32 runs in the four-game series and did not win a game. Reno scored at least nine runs in each game, reaching double-figures in three of the four, and scoring a total of 44 for the series.

Quite simply, the Rainiers could not stop Reno from scoring.

The Rainiers pitching staff is in transition right now. In the bullpen, Shawn Kelley is gone and Stephen Pryor is up from AA. The rotation is in flux – Erasmo Ramirez is here and in it, Jarrett Grube went to the bullpen, Brian Sweeney was moved into the rotation but he hurt his neck and his status is unknown. All I can tell you for sure is that Jeff Marquez goes today, and Ramirez will pitch Saturday.

Hopefully some home cooking will help this team get things turned around.

Tonight, Tacoma welcomes the Albuquerque Isotopes to Cheney Stadium. The ‘Topes are hot – they’ve won eight of the last ten games, moving from a pedestrian 11-11 record up to 19-13 and first place in their division.

The Dodgers Triple-A club is led by infielder Elian Herrera (.363 average, .971 OPS) and outfielder Scott Van Slyke (.331-8-24). They also have highly regarded infield prospect Alex Castellanos, but he’s on the disabled list right now. Also be on the lookout for slugging outfielder Jerry Sands, who is off to a slow start but he can cause problems for opposing pitchers.

There is one former Rainiers player on the ‘Topes: catcher Josh Bard, who is backing up Tim Federowicz.

Tonight’s game against Albuquerque is at 7:05, and the Rainiers are selling General Admission tickets for just $5. If you can’t make it, we’ll have the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jeff Marquez (2-2, 5.87) against Albuquerque RHP Will Savage (5-0, 3.34).


  • Tacoma manager Daren Brown was not real pleased with the road trip, as you can tell in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • Albuquerque’s Scott Van Slyke is Jon Sickels’ Prospect Of The Day.
  • The Mariners took advantage of an opponent’s mistakes and beat them in the ninth inning – hey, that’s what good teams do!
  • In this notebook from the Times, we get an update on Miguel Olivo, and a Canadian spelling* of Stephen Pryor.
  • Mariners pitchers took batting practice, and it wasn’t pretty.
  • Jerry Brewer has a column on Mariners infielder Kyle Seager.
  • From this Larry Stone blog post, both pitchers the Mariners traded to the Yankees are now injured.
  • Baseball America guru Ben Badler has a primer for teams looking for loopholes in the new CBA regarding signing international teenagers. 
  • In the PCL, Las Vegas completed a four-game sweep of Salt Lake as Anthony Gose went deep in front of nearly 12,000 fans – most of whom were children << Great column alert!
  • Josh Donaldson has been red-hot for Sacramento.
  • The Sky Sox and Fresno got rained out, and Colorado Springs won’t be getting Jhoulys Chacin.
  • David Lough hit a grand slam, helping Omaha win its 14th straight home game. Omaha’s next home game is against… Tacoma.
  • At the Austin American-Statesman, the nation’s Most Boring Headline Writer took it to a new level of ennui, leaving out the score. Martin Perez tossed a gem and Round Rock downed Memphis, 7-1.
  • Iowa beat New Orleans, 1-0, in a game in which each team had only two hits, and the sole run was scored on a balk. Baseball!

Off to the ballpark. Might take me a while to find my booth, we’ve been away so long…

* upon further consideration, that could be a result of auto-correct.


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