Heat Wave Coming Tonight

The Rainiers have the best record in the PCL, the weather is good, and it’s Friday Night Fireworks at Cheney Stadium.

That mix means we’ll probably have an excellent crowd for tonight’s 7:05 game.

Folk on hand will get to see something extra: some serious heat. As in, cheese. Gasoline.

Big league fastballs will be on display when Tacoma’s James Paxton squares off against Zack Wheeler of Las Vegas.

Paxton you’ve probably seen before; the big lefty works 90-95 with his fastball – that’s above-average velocity for a southpaw.

Wheeler is really going to bring it. He has topped out at 99 mph this year, and regularly works 96-98. It’s amazing to watch: his delivery looks effortless, and the ball just explodes out of his hand.

Last night the Rainiers ended the 51s seven-game win streak, dispatching Las Vegas with relative ease, 9-1.

Scheduled Tacoma starter Blake Beavan was called up to Seattle (they sent Hector Noesi down to Tacoma), so Brian Sweeney made the spot start.

Sweeney, Jonathan Arias, and Jhonny Nunez combined to limit Las Vegas to one run on seven hits. It should have been a shutout – a mental lapse in the infield allowed the lone run to score in the first inning.

Tacoma hit three homers and pounded out 12 hits. Tacoma leads all PCL teams in runs scored and homers.

Before the game, the Rainiers released veteran outfielder Corey Patterson. There just weren’t enough at-bats to go around for all of the outfielders on the roster, so somebody had to go. Hopefully Corey will latch on with another team quickly.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can listen on South Sound Sports 850 AM or stream the broadcast online right here. Tacoma starts LHP James Paxton (2-4, 4.97) against Las Vegas RHP Zack Wheeler (4-1, 3.86).

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has a report on Dustin Ackley‘s progress.
  • Rob Neyer wrote about Corey Patterson, draft picks, prospects, and expectations.
  • Zack Wheeler is such a big part of the Mets future that PR wizard (and Twitter star) Jay Horwitz flew to Fresno for a 30-minute meeting with him – and turned around and flew straight back.
  • Blake Beavan was terrific in Seattle, but the Mariners lost.
  • Mariners draft picks: in the first round they took slugger DJ Peterson out of the University of New Mexico, and in the second round they took Stanfurd outfielder Austin Wilson.
  • John McGrath weighed in on the Mariners first round selection.
  • The local kid – Kentwood High School catcher Reese McGuire – was selected No. 14 overall by Pittsburgh. Todd Milles has the story.
  • Larry Stone talked to Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara about the draft picks.
  • In the PCL, Salt Lake blew leads of 11-0 and 12-5 by allowing Fresno to score ten runs in the top of the 7th inning. It took four pitchers to get three outs. Yikes!
  • Colorado Springs creamed Reno, 12-5. The Sky Sox remain 2.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • The Tucson Padres reminisced about the draft and lost to Sonny Gray and Sacramento.
  • Holy smokes. Former Tacoma catcher Adam Moore says Royals top pitching prospect Yordano Ventura reminds him of Felix Hernandez. Long after the prospect’s Triple-A debut was over, Omaha won the game on a good ol’ fashioned walk-off balk.
  • The Iowa Cubs added infield prospect Junior Lake, but lost to Round Rock 6-0.
  • Bryan “Petey Pipes” Petersen drove in all three runs in a New Orleans 3-2 win over Albuquerque.
  • Nashville starter Johnny Hellweg was dealing in a 2-1 win at Memphis.

This should be a real fun game tonight!

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