It was pretty close to a perfect opener on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium.
We had the great weather, leading to a large walk-up, and an excellent crowd of 6,053. It was so nice at the park you would never guess it was April.
There was some offense early, as the teams traded runs and went back-and-forth for the first five innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, new guy Boog Powell hit a two-out, two-run single to give the Rainiers a 6-5 lead and the fans got to yell “Booooog!”
The we saw some terrific relief pitching from both teams. On Tacoma’s side, Steve Johnson pitched two good innings and then Mayckol Guaipe put on a show.
Entering the game to start the eighth inning, protecting a one-run lead, Guaipe set down the side in order in both the eighth and the ninth to earn the save. He was extremely agressive on the mound and pitched with an intensity that we didn’t see last year. And how about this: he threw 21 pitches, and 20 were strikes!
It was a fun way to close out the night. After the offense early in the game, a dominant relief appearance finished it off. So we all celebrated with fireworks. Yay!
Let’s do it again tonight.
Yesterday: Tacoma beat Albuquerque 6-5, getting big offensive games from Powell, Stefen Romero, and Shawn O’Malley. There was also a key two-out RBI double by Mike Baxter early in the game – all of that stuff adds up when the final score is decided by one run.
Today: Albuquerque (0-1) at Tacoma (1-0), 7:05 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Colorado Rockies.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP David Hale (-) at RHP Cody Martin (–).
There was some talk that Jon Gray might make a rehab start for Albuquerque, but the Rockies shipped him to their Modesto affiliate instead. Poor Jon.
Martin makes his Mariners organization debut. Martin – who is from Dos Palos, California which is near Fresno – pitched four seasons for Gonzaga University, 2008-2011, before starting his professional career. The Mariners acquired him via an offseason waiver claim. He pitched in 21 major league games as a reliever for Atlanta last season.
Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero went 3-for-5 with two RBI yesterday, Shawn O’Malley reached base three times and scored twice, and Boog Powell was 2-for-4 with a walk, a steal, and two RBI.
Look Out For: Albuquerque’s No. 3 and 4 hitters were Mike Tauchman and Jordan Patterson, and each was making his Triple-A debut last night. They combined to go 3-for-9 while looking like they’ll be tough outs this season.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 (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.
- Now that the season has started, the first link is always the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. Game details and manager/player reaction can be found here. And today we even have photos, with several from the grand opening of the new Mary Bridge Family Pavilion Wiffle Ball Park.
- John McGrath has a good column on the Rainiers new hitting coach Scott Brosius, who brings a lot to the table.
- Albuquerque manager (and former Mariner) Glenallen Hill is something of a zen master.
- Wait a second, Felix Hernandez turns 30 today? Where has all of the time gone? We remember when Felix was a teenager pitching for Tacoma. Nice Felix piece from the Seattle Times.
- The spotlight is on Taijuan Walker in the Mariners home opener tonight.
- Larry Stone wonders if this year’s Mariners club can make baseball fun in Seattle again.
- Jerry Dipoto has total control over the Mariners baseball decisions, Bob Dutton writes.
- Baseball America posted a list of where each of their Top 100 Prospects is starting the season. Four of the top 11 are in the PCL.
- BA also has a list of the top ten minor league rosters for prospect watching, and whoa… Colorado Springs?
- USS Mariner’s marc w posted a PCL preview with looks at many of the Rainiers opponents.
- We have three new members of the PCL Hall of Fame: Willie Davis, Tim Salmon, and Bob Joyce.
- The thriller was in Las Vegas, where the 51s walked off defending league champion Fresno on Marc Krauss‘s two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
- Reno is loaded with pitching, and they showed it with an 8-0 whitewashing of El Paso. Archie Bradley tossed six scoreless innings, and former Mariners minor leaguer Jack Reinheimer had three hits and four RBI.
- Nate Smith had a strong start and picked up the win as Salt Lake topped Sacramento, 5-2.
- Jared Hoying‘s grand slam helped Round Rock to a 7-3 road win over the Iowa Cubs.
- Nashville got shut out by Zach Lee and Oklahoma City, 5-0. From the story we learn that Reba McEntire beat out Johnny Cash and George Jones in the first ever running of the Country Music Legends race. Middle of the fifth inning.
- Colorado Springs scored the winning run in the top of the ninth to beat Memphis, 4-3. Garin Cecchini‘s triple was the big hit. New Redbirds majority owner Peter Freund is committed to Memphis.
- Omaha’s home opener began with a thud: giving up a grand slam in the top of the first inning is no way to start a season. Destin Hood‘s salami led New Orleans to a 6-3 win.
Rainiers are going for a 2-0 start tonight and we have more great weather. Plus, we’ll have postgame fireworks once again. See you at the park!