The Pacific Coast League playoffs started last night. Here’s what happened:
Las Vegas 5, Reno 4. Las Vegas leads the best-of-five series, 1-0.
This game was a managerial chess match between Wally Backman and Phil Nevin. Each team cleared its bench with pinch-hitters and double-switches, trying to create advantageous match-ups. Reno used 15 players and Las Vegas used 18.
New Las Vegas infielder L.J.Mazzilli (Lee‘s kid) snapped a 4-4 tie with a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mazzilli didn’t even play until the seventh inning, when he entered the game in a double-switch, and he ended up with the game-winning hit. Mazzilli was just promoted from Advanced-A to fill the roster spot of Josh Satin, who was called up by the Mets.
Game Two tonight: Reno LHP Andrew Chafin (5-6, 5.34) at Las Vegas RHP Matthew Bowman (3-2, 3.47), 7:05.
Omaha 7, Memphis 0. Omaha leads the series, 1-0.
Omaha starter Aaron Brooks struck out a career-high ten batters over eight shutout innings to earn the win. This continued a strong stretch of pitching for Brooks, which includes a complete-game six-hitter at Cheney Stadium on August 23rd.
Omaha hit three home runs. Whit Merrifield, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Matt Fields each went deep.
Memphis starter Tim Cooney led the PCL with 14 wins, but he got knocked around last night. Cooney allowed four runs on six hits in 4.1 innings.
Game Two tonight: Memphis RHP Zach Petrick (7-6, 4.62) at Omaha LHP John Lamb (8-10, 3.97), 5:05.
The Mariners picked up a crucial win at Oakland last night and won that series two games to one. Now the road trip moves on to Texas for a four-game series.
Despite have by far the worst record in the American League, the Rangers have been a problem for the Mariners. Seattle is just 6-9 against Texas this season.
This is the Mariners last chance to load up on wins against a truly bad team. It’s important for them to turn the tide against the Rangers and win the series.
The Mariners are a half-game behind Detroit in the race for the final wild card spot in the AL.
- For more on the Las Vegas win over Reno, we have a thorough game story from Vegas. The paper also has a column on how winning affects the team both on and off the field.
- The Omaha paper comes through with a multiple-source report on the Storm Chasers shutout of Memphis.
- MiLB.com has a recap of the first day of the PCL playoffs which includes reaction from Omaha starter Aaron Brooks.
- Felix Hernandez tossed a gem while Kyle Seager and Corey Hart homered for a 2-1 win at Oakland yesterday.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook has lots of good stuff in it.
- John Sickels is trying to crowd-source what happened to Brad Miller.
- The San Diego Padres extended their affiliation agreement with El Paso for two more years, through 2016.
- Big shakeup in Round Rock, where team president Dave Fendrick retired and the esteemed Jay Miller returns from the big leagues to take his place.
- A Mariners prospect you have probably never heard of appears on Baseball America’s list of the ten best single-game pitching performances in the minors this year.