Strange Things Afoot In 13-Inning Win

The Rainiers beat New Orleans in 13 innings on Sunday, 3-2. Nick Franklin hit a game-winning home run, and the Rainiers bullpen delivered 6.2 shutout innings.

For more of the normal details on the game, read the game story linked down below. For the rest of this post I’m going to write about the weird stuff that happened, because that’s how we roll here.

  • The 13 innings was the longest game of the season in terms of innings, but it was completed in a rather speedy (for 13 innings) 3:48.
  • New Orleans had two golden opportunities to win the game. In the bottom of the ninth, they had a runner at second with one out and did not score. In the 11th, they loaded the bases with one out against Brian Moran, who then got back-to-back strikeouts.
  • New Orleans veteran Wilson Valdez was at the plate with one out and the winning runner at second base in the bottom of the ninth. He tried to bunt for a hit, bunting back to the pitcher for an easy out. Think about that strategic decision for a minute.
  • Tacoma did not draw a walk yesterday in 13 innings, a total of 50 at-bats. The day before, Tacoma drew 12 walks – the most by the team in a single game since 2008.
  • The Rainiers struck out 19 times in a game they won. The team has K’d 379 times in 38 games, for an average of 9.9 strikeouts per game. No other team in the PCL has reached 300 strikeouts yet.
  • Those strikeouts don’t seem to matter, seeing how the Rainiers have the second-best record in the league.
  • Tacoma used two pinch-hitters yesterday. In the first 37 games of the season, Tacoma used exactly one pinch-hitter.
  • Along that same vein, new manager John Stearns has called upon a pinch-hitter three times in 11 games. Original manager Daren Brown did not use a single pinch-hitter in the 27 games he managed this year.
  • Remember back in the off-season, when I wondered who would play center field for the Rainiers this year? There weren’t many candidates. Yesterday, three different players were used in center in the same game (Denny Almonte, Nate Tenbrink, and Corey Patterson).
  • Tenbrink was supposed to have the day off, but a late scratch of Carlos Peguero (ankle) sent him into the lineup instead. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts.
  • Tenbrink had struck out just once in his previous 16 plate appearances.
  • It was only the second time that Tenbrink started a game and did not reach base with either a hit or a walk (32 starts).
  • Stefen Romero, who had a grand slam and 5 RBI on Saturday, went 0-for-6.
  • Franklin’s game-winning home run came off former Reno closer Jonathan Albaladejo. The Rainiers had never beaten Albaladejo before.

It doesn’t qualify as weird, but let’s give a shout-out to former Mariners and Rainiers reliever David Aardsma, who looked like a big-leaguer yesterday for New Orleans. He worked 2.1 perfect innings in relief, striking out four of the seven batters he faced.

We have a roster move, as the Rainiers have swapped switch-hitting Almontes.

Denny Almonte has been placed on the disabled list. I’m not sure what his injury is; I’ll ask when I get to the park in a few hours.

Replacing Denny is Abraham Almonte, up from Double-A Jackson. Abe hit .255 with four homers and 18 RBI. He hit right-handers hard and struggled against lefties.

Tonight’s game is at 5:00 (Pacific). Tacoma starts LHP James Paxton (2-2, 4.35) against New Orleans RHP Jacob Turner (2-3, 5.20). The broadcast is on 850 AM, streaming right here, or via TuneIn for the iPad people.


  • The Rainiers game story in The News Tribune has quotes from John Stearns and the amazing Brian Moran.
  • The Mariners coasted to a 6-1 victory behind Joe Saunders.
  • John McGrath writes that Michael Saunders makes the Mariners fun to watch.
  • Rick Randall has a good piece on Taijuan Walker and expectations.
  • In the PCL, Adam Moore‘s homer was one of Omaha’s 20 hits, as the Storm Chasers whacked Colorado Springs, 14-4. Tacoma now leads the Pac-North by a half-game.
  • Kila Ka’aihue had a walk-off homer as Reno stunned Iowa, 9-8.
  • Salt Lake pulled away late for a 9-3 win in Oklahoma City.
  • Tucson scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Round Rock, 7-6. Rocky Gale had the winning hit.
  • Sacramento held on for a 6-5 win at Nashville. Michael Choice knocked his 8th homer for the River Cats.
  • Fresno topped Memphis in the 11th inning, 7-4. Memphis phenom Oscar Taveras injured his ankle – I really want to see this kid play when the Redbirds come to Tacoma on Thursday.
  • The Howard Hughes Corporation purchased the Las Vegas 51s and plans to move them to the suburb of Summerlin. This has been in the works for a while, but it was finalized yesterday. The 51s celebrated by beating the Isotopes.

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