PCL Championship Series Opens Tonight

The best-of-five series for the PCL title starts tonight in Reno, where Omaha looks to win back-to-back championships.

No matter which team wins, these two teams have had the PCL trophy on lockdown for four years. Omaha (Kansas City Royals) won it all in 2011 and 2013, and Reno (Arizona Diamondbacks) took the title in 2012.

Here’s the schedule with the anticipated starting pitchers:

  • Game One tonight at Reno, 7:05 (all times Pacific). Omaha RHP Aaron Brooks (12-3, 3.88) vs. Reno LHP Clayton Richard (1-0, 4.26)
  • Game Two Wednesday at Reno, 7:05. Omaha LHP John Lamb (8-10, 3.97) vs. Reno RHP Bradin Hagens (1-1, 2.55)
  • Game Three Friday at Omaha, 5:05. Reno LHP Andrew Chafin (5-6, 5.34) vs. Omaha RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (5-4, 3.56)
  • Game Four (if necessary) Saturday at Omaha, 12:05. Reno RHP Charles Brewer (8-10, 4.99) vs. Omaha RHP Andy Ferguson (1-1, 6.00)
  • Game Five (if necessary) Sunday at Omaha, 12:05. Both starters TBD.

The series is a rematch of the 2012 series, which Reno won 3-1. According to research by the PCL office, four players appeared in that series and are likely to play in this one as well: Reno’s Mike Jacobs, Charles Brewer, and Joe Paterson, and Omaha’s Paulo Orlando.

Whoever wins the series will play the International League champion in the Triple-A National Championship Game next Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The IL is down to Durham (Tampa Bay) and Pawtucket (Boston), and their championship series also starts tonight.

My PCL pick:

First, I should definitely mention that I picked both of these teams to lose in the opening round. Obviously I’m not very good at this.

I’m changing my tune on Reno, and I am picking Reno to win the series.

The Aces were the hottest team down the stretch – including the playoffs, Reno has won 14 of its last 17 games. Reno was not hit hard by call-ups, due to the Diamondbacks lost season. Omaha’s roster was already hit by the contending Royals. Omaha has a better pitching staff, but Reno has the cagey veterans.

Reno takes the series in four games.

Links:

  • For the local angle, here are the PCL Championship Series previews from the Reno newspaper and the Omaha newspaper.
  • MiLB.com has an article up previewing both the PCL and the IL championships. Former Rainiers infielder Nick Franklin gets some love in this story.
  • Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award went to Kris Bryant of the Iowa Cubs. Bryant played four games at Cheney Stadium in August and went just 3-for-18, but he did hit a homer and a triple. The triple hit near the top of the giant wall in center field.
  • The Mariners won the opening game against the red-hot Houston Astros last night, 4-1. Houston had won seven of its last nine games prior to last night. I went to the game and it was nice to see Brad Miller contribute with some big hits.
  • As always, Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook is packed with all of the latest news and notes. The Mariners 2015 schedule was released, and the Mariners open at home while the Rainiers will open on the road. Hey, the team with the roof opened at home. That’s the way it is supposed to be!

Blog schedule for this week: we’ll have PCL recaps and links on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (unless there is a sweep in the finals – if that happens, I’m taking Sunday off).

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