Vegas Brings In The Cooler

Las Vegas starter Jacob deGrom tossed seven stellar innings and shut down Tacoma on Saturday night, 4-1.

After allowing a run in the second inning, deGrom led 2-1. He gave up a leadoff double to Abraham Almonte in the third inning – and then stranded him, setting off a run of 15 straight batters retired. Only the iron-clad 100-pitch barrier stopped him – he’d probably still be retiring hitters now, well on into the night, if Vegas manager Wally Backman had left him in.

The Rainiers have lost two straight games, scoring a total of one run.

This is a new Tacoma team: gone is the club that routinely scored 6 or 7 or 8 runs per game, and led the PCL in scoring. Yes, Tacoma still leads the league in runs, but the lineup has changed – and that ranking is going to change. Now Tacoma must win with pitching.

Erasmo Ramirez started, and he didn’t have his best command. He wasn’t walking batters, but he was hittable in the strike zone, allowing 10 hits and four runs over six innings. Right now, allowing four runs in six innings at home is not going to win many games (it would’ve been fine a few days ago).

I’m curious to see what the Mariners are going to do with the Tacoma lineup. I don’t get the sense that they are going to prematurely move up hitters from Double-A who might not be ready. Will they sign some free agents? For example, Omaha just released veteran Xavier Nady, who would be a perfect fit for Tacoma right now. Will the Mariners sign a guy like that just to help the Triple-A club? I don’t know; I guess we’ll find out.

In the meantime, let’s get some good pitching.

Today’s game is at 1:35, and you can hear the broadcast on South Sound Sports 850 AM, streaming online right here, or on your iPad or smart phone via the TuneIn app. Tacoma starts RHP Brandon Maurer (2-1, 3.33) against Las Vegas RHP Matt Fox (2-2, 5.32).

Links:

  • We start as always with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • My minor league notebook for the paper looks at some of the prospect-packed Tacoma starting rotations from the past. This was a fun one to research.
  • So much for hoping Eric Thames clears waivers. Baltimore claimed him, and the Mariners will get infielder Ty Kelly from the Orioles. Kelly hit .283 with lots of singles, doubles, and walks in the Double-A Eastern League, and he is getting promoted: he’ll join the Rainiers.
  • The Mariners lost in 11 innings to the Cubs, 5-3.
  • Larry Stone’s Sunday baseball package is online now at the Seattle Times: a column on the status of the Mariners youth movement, a notebook following up on the Oakland A’s sewage disaster, power rankings, and thumbs up-and-down.
  • Sad news from Florida: former major league pitcher Justin Miller has passed away. Miller spent about two weeks with the Rainiers in April of 2011.
  • Nice piece from Meg Wochnick on Jared Sandberg, the Olympia resident who is managing the Tampa Bay Rays Class-A team.
  • How do you win 6,500 feet above sea level? Get 23 ground outs in a nine-inning game, like the Colorado Springs Sky Sox did last night against Tucson.
  • Salt Lake rolled to a 7-1 win at Fresno, as former Rainiers pitcher Jarrett Grube tossed seven shutout innings. Meanwhile, Fresno catchers try to figure out how to beat the heat.
  • Reno topped Sacramento, 1-0, as Aces starter Tyler Skaggs struck out 13 River Cats. He also struck out five ushers, a group of fans sitting near the third base dugout, the River Cats trainer, and Sacramento mascot Dinger (twice).
  • Brad Peacock tossed a gem and Oklahoma City held on for a 6-4 win at Nashville.
  • Albuquerque edged Memphis, 3-2.
  • Omaha, we feel your pain. The Storm Chasers lost their two best hitters when Johnny Giavotella was called up, and Xavier Nady opted out of his contract. Then they lost the game to Iowa – at least the scored five runs.
  • Round Rock picked up a 6-2 win over New Orleans amid some attendance figures funny business.
  • Good story from Reno on PCL ballparks, elevation, and their hitting environments.
  • This has nothing to do with anything Rainiers-related, but I enjoyed the story of how Cardinals reliever Edward Mujica got his nickname.

Should be a beautiful day, come out to the ballpark!

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