I can’t believe we’re here, but we are indeed here: the Rainiers final homestand of the 2015 season opens this afternoon/evening, and the eight-gamer will run Sunday-through-Sunday.
We have a rare start time tonight, due to team travel for both clubs. Our usual 1:35 Sunday day game has been pushed back to 5:05 because the Rainiers are coming in from Colorado Springs, and Memphis – the poor guys – are flying in from their home city.
It will be a “show-and-go” for both teams: straight from the airport to the ballpark, and hope you have enough time for a sandwich before the game starts.
At least the Rainiers will be a happy bunch, after Saturday night’s win in Colorado Springs. Memphis, however, has lost nine of the last 11 games so they could be… grumpy.
Yesterday: Tacoma banged out 15 hits, Jabari Blash hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth inning, and the Rainiers beat Colorado Springs 7-4 to salvage a split of both the series and the road trip.
Roster Moves: The Mariners optioned Danny Farquhar to Tacoma, and called up Roenis Elias and Logan Kensing. Fernando Rodney was designated for assignment and could theoretically join the Rainiers if he clears waivers (if he does clear he should show up in Tacoma for the final days of the PCL season to collect on his contract (well, any normal player would, but this is Rodney so who knows)).
Today: Memphis (64-64) at Tacoma (60-68), 5:05.
Opponent Affiliation: St. Louis Cardinals.
Season Series: First game tonight.
Starting Pitchers: LHP John Gast (6-9, 5.00) at LHP James Paxton (–).
Paxton is on his first rehab assignment, coming back from a strained tendon in his left middle finger suffered on May 28. It’s going to be a brief outing for Paxton – Elias was going to follow him, but now he’s been called up so this will turn into a bullpen game.
Hot Rainiers: Leury Bonilla has gone 7-for-18 during a five-game hitting streak… Jabari Blash homered in five of the eight games on the road trip, and his go-ahead dinger last night atoned nicely for the five straight strikeouts which proceeded it (see game story below)… Tony
Zilch Zych has pitched a scoreless outing in 19 of his last 20 relief appearances (including his brief stint at Double-A).
Look Out For: Dan “The Great Pumpkin” Johnson has hit safely in five straight games… Dean Anna is batting .358 with a .451 OBP since the all-star break… however, Memphis has gone 2-9 over the last 11 games, failing to capitalize on a long losing streak by first place Round Rock in the American-South.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here. It’s a Sunday home game so the legendary Bob Robertson joins me on the air.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- The Rainiers game story covers the big swings of Jabari Blash.
- My weekly Minor League Notebook for The News Tribune covers the ridiculous streaks going on in the PCL right now, and the ridiculously bad team the M’s have in Clinton.
- Memphis is here tonight and they have The Great Pumpkin on their club – read here for the goods. He’s been called up this season, by the way – but too early for a dramatic home run. The Pumpkin’s time comes in late September.
- The Mariners lost in extra innings to the White Sox, and then shook up the pitching staff.
- Ryan Divish made his Mariners minor league award selections.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook prepares us for James Paxton‘s rehab start tonight.
- Congrats to Mariners Class-A Bakersfield prospect Tyler O’Neill on becoming the second minor league player this season to reach 30 home runs.
- In the PCL, Las Vegas held onto its slim lead in the Pac-South by topping Omaha, 9-5.
- El Paso remained a half-game behind Vegas by trouncing Memphis, 9-3.
- Holy mackerel, Fresno lost a baseball game. Round Rock ended its nine-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Fresno – and the Grizzlies are now 19-2 in August. Fresno’s bullpen has been stellar (so has everything else, really). Really fun stuff from columnist Marek W. as he recalls Fresno’s many terrible seasons. <<< read that one.
- It’s now 13 straight wins for Sacramento and 14 straight losses for New Orleans. Franchise records, both.
- Nashville – who we’ll see for the first time later on this homestand – edged Albuquerque 3-2. Apparently second baseman Joey Wendle is a pretty nice player.
- Oklahoma City took down Reno, 5-2, as Eric Surkamp had a good start.
- Dallas Beeler pitched well as Iowa topped Salt Lake, 3-1.
One of my favorite local events of the off-season is the state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome. T.J. Cotterill does a nice job explaining the economics of why they went from 16 to eight teams at the Dome. Still, I say eat the finances and let’s have 16. It’s for the kids!