Dust Bowl: Not Playable

I saw a first last night in Las Vegas, although the people here had experienced it once before.

Last night’s game between Tacoma and Las Vegas was suspended in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied 5-5 due to high winds.

It started out as a windy night, but nothing crazy. At some point around the bottom of the sixth inning, the wind began gusting to extreme levels.

By the top of the eighth there were long delays between pitches as players turned their backs to the wind and waited for clouds of dirt and dust to settle. Balls hit in the air could land anywhere in the county. Swirling winds sent mini-tornadoes of trash spinning around the ballpark. The fans – over 8,000 at one point – all went home.

It was hard to broadcast the game, because there is no booth in Vegas – you sit on an outdoors shelf on the press level, with no windows or protection. Clouds of dust were blowing into my eyes and mouth during play.

Thankfully, the umpires suspended the game with two outs in the top of the eighth. That’s where we will pick things up today, and then play the regularly scheduled nine-inning game.

Sunday’s action starts at 12:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 11:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. In the regularly scheduled game, Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (2-1, 2.08) against Las Vegas LHP Dana Eveland  (2-1, 5.25).

We’ll have at least one roster move today: the Mariners have signed veteran right-hander Mike MacDougal, and he is scheduled to join the team today. He’s a 37-year-old major league veteran reliever who even has big league closing experience. However, he has not pitched in the majors since 2012. The Mariners signed him away from the independent Camden River Sharks of the Atlantic League, where he allowed one run in four innings.

To make room for MacDougal, the team has released reliever Jonathan Arias. Arias was struggling this year, with the exception of one great outing in Reno earlier this week. Hopefully another team will sign Arias soon.


  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has details on the Rainiers scoring in the suspended game. Nick Franklin is having an excellent game so far.
  • The Las Vegas newspaper has a feature on slugging first baseman Brandon Allen, who has been on a hot streak. The story has the line “… as wind gusts turned Cashman Field into a veritable dust bowl…”
  • My Minor League Notebook for the newspaper catches up with Clinton comeback skipper Scott Steinmann.
  • Chris Young is looking like an excellent end-of-spring pickup by the Mariners. He delivered eight strong innings and the M’s beat the Royals last night, 3-1.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook has all of the tidbits you are looking for.
  • Pacific Coast League fans snicker at the opening question in Ryan Divish’s power rankings.
  • Reno’s Nick Evans drove in five more runs and the Aces beat Fresno, 8-6. Evans has 13 RBI in the last three games.
  • Sacramento beat Salt Lake on an error in the 11th inning.
  • Joc Pederson homered twice to help Albuquerque beat the Chihuahuas in front of a new-record crowd in El Paso.
  • New Orleans edged Omaha in the tenth inning on Matt Angle‘s game-winning hit.
  • Nashville ripped the Iowa Cubs, 10-1, as starter Mike Fiers punched out 13 batters over 6.2 shutout innings. The paper focused on Iowa infielder Chris Valaika.
  • Memphis battered Round Rock, 13-1. Redbirds outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty homered twice.
  • Colorado Springs coasted to an 8-2 win at Oklahoma City.

Happy Mothers Day!


One Response to Dust Bowl: Not Playable

  1. Brent Olsen says:

    Mike, have you ever had a season where there have been so many games delayed and/or postponed? It’s almost like someone has a Rainiers voodoo doll.

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