The Tacoma Rainiers enjoyed their last off-day of the season yesterday, and now the team begins the run to the finish line: 26 games in 26 days, starting tonight against Fresno at Cheney Stadium.
The team is ready for a playoff push. Tacoma trails first place Sacramento by six games, and second place Reno by four games.
The key to a possible playoff run is the fact that Sacramento and Reno play each other ten times in the final 26 days, including a five-game series in Reno starting tonight. Tacoma wants the results of their ten games to be close: a 5-5 split, or maybe 6-4 to Reno’s favor. That would give the Rainiers the chance to gain games on both teams if they can stay hot.
And hot they are. The Rainiers won the series at Albuquerque and finished the road trip with a 5-3 record. Tacoma is 34-19 over the last 53 games, including an 11-5 stretch over the past 16. Tacoma has also won 10 of the last 14 home games, going into tonight.
Now Tacoma faces a Fresno club that has played steady .500 ball since the all-star break, going 10-10. They’ve had a lot of roster changes in the last week, and there are several new faces on the club. Tacoma has gone 4-2 against Fresno so far this season.
Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Erasmo Ramirez (3-4, 3.74) against Fresno RHP Jason Berken (8-8, 4.40).
- The Rainiers won in Albuquerque on Tuesday as James Jones tripled twice and had some adventures on the hill in center field. The game story is right here.
- Michael Saunders should be in the Rainiers lineup tonight, according to Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
- The Mariners polished off the Atlanta Braves for a little two-game sweep yesterday afternoon.
- Mariners players are enjoying a meaningful August, Larry Stone writes.
- Baseball America’s round-up includes a note on Mariners prospect Jordy Lara.
- Baseball America released the results of their “Best Tools” survey – here’s the list of PCL winners.
It’s Thirsty Thursday tonight!