Rainiers Killed By Deadline

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that headline might be a little extreme but Tacoma took a loss last night which may have been directly a result of the trade deadline.

The Rainiers went into last night’s game on a five-game win streak, and they were facing left-hander Robbie Erlin who they had pounded twice previously this season. Things looked good.

But prior to the game, due to Mariners trade deadline moves and injuries on the big league club, both Jesus Montero and Ketel Marte were ordered out of the lineup by Seattle.

Additionally, slugger Jabari Blash – a guy who really wanted to face Erlin, who leads the PCL in home runs allowed – was on a mandated rest day after leaving Wednesday’s game with a head injury.

So Tacoma went into the game without three of its best hitters, and no available players on the bench.

Then it got worse. Scheduled starting pitcher Forrest Snow was scratched due to back spasms. It was going to be a bullpen day, with reliever Edgar Olmos getting the start.

The bullpen ended up pitching quite well – especially Olmos, who exceeded all expectations by pitching four shutout innings in his first start since 2012. But the offense managed just five hits and Tacoma took the loss, 5-1.

All throughout, I couldn’t help but wonder what may have been different if Montero, Marte, and Blash got to face Erlin.

But, that’s life in Triple-A. Sometimes your team’s lineup is amazing for a week, and one or two major league moves later you are struggling to get hits. It changes quickly, and the peaks and valleys take some time to get used to.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Missing three of its best hitters, Tacoma managed just five hits in a 5-1 loss to El Paso. The five-game win streak came to an end.

Roster Moves: The Mariners optioned Chris Taylor to Tacoma, and I’ve heard that newly acquired outfielder Ramon Flores is showing some hustle and is going to report to the Rainiers today. The Mariners have at least two major league roster spots to fill, pending trade activity – I expect them to announce all of the moves after the trade deadline expires at 1:00 (Pacific).

Today: Tacoma (51-55) at El Paso (55-50), 6:05 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: El Paso leads, 8-7.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jordan Pries (5-3, 5.48) at RHP Bryan Rodriguez (1-1, 9.39).

Hot Rainiers: John Hicks is heating up. He’s hit safely in six straight games, going 11-for-20 during that time. Also, reliever Mayckol Guaipe has not allowed a run in his last six appearances, covering ten innings pitched.

Look Out For: Outfielder Travis Jankowski is 15-for-28 since being promoted from Double-A San Antonio – he hit .316 there in 73 games. Jason Hagerty has a nine-game hitting streak, and Tommy Medica is batting .325 in July after a rough first three months of the season, but neither has appeared in this series yet.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Two hours to the trade deadline – I hope I don’t get moved!

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