The Rainiers offense was at it again last night, ripping 16 hits in a 9-4 series-opening win at Sacramento.
There are threats all up and down the Tacoma lineup. Three* players are still batting .500 or better, and each had a big game yesterday.
Leadoff man Endy Chavez reached base six times yesterday. He was 3-for-4 with three singles, two walks, and he even reached first while striking out on a wild pitch. Endy has played in four games, and he is hitting .526 (10-for-19).
Mike Zunino had another big game. The catcher hit a sac fly in his first plate appearance. In the second inning, he grounded a single through the drawn-in infield to plate two more runs. He lifted a towering home run in the fourth inning, and doubled later on. For the game he was 3-for-4 with four runs batted in. Zunino is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with seven extra-base hits and 12 RBI in four games.
Eric Thames is batting down in the order – Daren Brown has him hitting behind Triple-A rookies Zunino and Rich Poythress, to try to get those guys some better pitches to hit. Thames doesn’t care where he hits, he just hits: 4-for-5 yesterday, and he’s now 11-for-20 for a robust .550 average after five games. Thames has also drawn three walks and has a .609 on-base percentage.
Early season stats are fun when the team is hot! For the other side of that spectrum, check out these guys. They’re worse at hitting than the Astros right now.
Game two in Sacramento is tonight at 7:05, catch the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Danny Hultzen (1-0, 1.50) against Sacramento LHP Andrew Werner (0-1, 16.62).
- For more on last night’s Rainiers game, here is the story.
- The Mariners won their home opener last night, 3-0. The new fences were not a factor, Larry Stone writes. The Houston Astros were a factor, John McGrath writes. Phillip Humber did not throw a perfect game. Jamie Moyer threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and said he is not retired.
- Here we go: Larry Stone writes that Mike Zunino‘s fast start could cause some complications soon – the good kind of complications.
- The Nationals may have made a mistake in trading Michael Morse.
- Jay at USS Mariner tries to answer some questions about the Mariners minor league system.
- In the PCL last night, weather was a factor. Reno and Salt Lake were rained out in Utah.
- Colorado Springs was blown out – quite literally – by Tucson, 14-3. The game was called after five innings due to wind. Great story here – make sure you read it. All of the weird stuff happens in the Springs – that’s where we got fogged out a few years ago.
- Las Vegas beat Fresno with a run in the ninth inning. The 51s are 4-1 so far – all on the road.
- Nashville starter Frankie De La Cruz was dealing last night in a 1-0 win over Oklahoma City.
- Scott Van Slyke is on a season-opening tear for Albuquerque. He’s batting .600 after five games and added a tape-measure homer in a loss to Omaha last night.
- Former Rainiers slugger Brad Nelson has slimmed down, Bobby Jones says. Nelson’s Iowa Cubs are winless.
- Top prospect Oscar Taveras returned from personal business in the Dominican to make his Triple-A debut for Memphis last night (1-for-2 as a pinch hitter). Taveras was shown up by teammate Jamie Romak, who launched three home runs.
- If the Rainiers don’t make the playoffs this year, we can all drown our sorrows at Cheney Stadium – host of the state’s largest beer festival on September 7.
* a fourth, catcher Jesus Sucre, is 2-for-4 but has played in only one game.