The Colorado Springs Sky Sox made big news in the PCL this past off-season, when the Rockies announced that they would install a baseball humidor at Security Service Field – identical to the one at Coors Field.
So far, it appears to be working. Colorado Springs needed it more than the Rockies – we’re over 6,500 feet above sea level here. Scoring has been down in the Springs – although part of that is definitely due to an improved Sky Sox pitching staff.
The scores of the first three games in this series have been normal baseball scores: 8-4, 5-1, and 5-4. Tacoma has not homered yet in this series, while the Sky Sox have hit two.
On Sunday, I was hanging out in the press box 30 minutes before the game when Sky Sox Assistant GM Mike Hobson said something about it being time to “get the baseballs out of the humidor.” I tagged along.
Here is the humidor – it just looks like a walk-in fridge.
Hobson grabbed one of the umpires to watch him remove the balls from the humidor. Apparently, MLB teams have wanted an impartial eye on the process in Colorado, to make sure that humid baseballs were being used by both teams. The PCL is following the same guidelines.
Inside are shelves full of boxed baseballs.
The controls are set at 70 degrees, and 60% humidity. A date is marked on each box, signifying when it was placed in the humidor.
Baseballs are removed from the humidor and rubbed with mud, then placed back in the humidor for at least another 48 hours prior to being used in a game.
The humidor is not only used for baseballs.
We’ll check in on the stats in Colorado Springs when the Rainiers next come here – late July – and then again at the end of the season. Right now its a small sample size, but the humidor seems to be working: there have been an average of 10.7 runs per game in Colorado Springs this year, compared to 15.8 runs per game last year.
Lots of people are asking when Danny Hultzen pitches in Tacoma. He is still set for Thursday night against Las Vegas.
If the Rainiers stay in rotation after Thursday, Hultzen’s next start will be July 3rd, the same night as the Rainiers annual Fireworks Extravaganza. This game always sells out – but it is not sold out yet! I advise you to get your tickets soon if you want to come out to this one.
Tonight’s game is at 6:05 pm (Pacific), and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Blake Beavan (1-0, 3.00) against Sky Sox RHP Rob Scahill (5-8, 5.96). Despite those ugly stats, Scahill leads all PCL starters in strikeouts per nine innings (84 K’s in 74 innings).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Rainiers skipper Daren Brown is hoping some momentum from the late inning yesterday carries into today’s game.
- The Rainiers are having a very tough time getting Chad Tracy out.
- Erasmo Ramirez pitched a beautiful game, but the Mariners lost to Oakland, 1-0.
- From Larry LaRue’s notebook: Charlie Furbush is on a roll, and Mike Carp could be back in action soon.
- Geoff Baker reports that the Mariners are about to sign #1 draft pick Mike Zunino.
- Mariners fans will enjoy SB Nation’s eBay Item Of The Day.
- Dave Cameron wrote about giving up on Justin Smoak.
- Congratulations to the University of Arizona Wildcats, champions of the College World Series.
- In the PCL, Salt Lake downed Reno, 9-3. Reno’s Jake Elmore went 0-for-4, ending his 31-game hitting streak. He was on deck when the game ended. Joe DiMaggio‘s PCL record 61-game hitting streak is safe!
- Josh Donaldson went bananas and Sacramento won in Las Vegas, 9-8. Yan Gomes is riding the Toronto-to-Vegas shuttle.
- Fresno ace Eric Hacker has been getting hit hard recently – and it happened again last night against Tucson.
- Las Vegas comes to Tacoma tomorrow, and they just signed Jamie Moyer. The former Mariners lefty will be in Tacoma, and it looks like he may get the start on Thursday at Cheney Stadium, against Danny Hultzen.
- Omaha won their second in a row at Oklahoma City, as Anthony Seratelli homered twice. RedHawks first baseman Brett Wallace played well in a recent call-up to Houston.
- The Chicago Cubs called up PCL home run leader Anthony Rizzo, and Iowa hung on for a 2-1 win over Round Rock.
- Albuquerque’s Will Savage tied Hacker for the PCL wins lead by earning his 10th last night – no link because the Albuquerque Journal’s website has gone kaput.
- New Orleans crushed Memphis as Gil Velazquez drove in a career-high six runs. He’s only been playing since 1998!
- El Paso, TX is seriously considering a new ballpark to lure the Tucson Padres. Your move, Boise!
OK, let’s try to get out of here with a win. Avoid the sweep and return home tomorrow.