You *Can* Tie In Baseball

May 31, 2016

One of the cool things about baseball is that there are no ties. Teams can play forever, theoretically. Just ask members of the 1981 Pawtucket and Rochester teams, who played the longest game in minor league history: 33 innings.

Well, yesterday I saw my first tie.

I knew it was possible – there is a tiny loophole which can cause it to happen in the PCL, and Tacoma had three ties listed previously: one each in 1985, 1965, and 1961. It takes a perfect combination of events to occur.

Here’s what happened yesterday in New Orleans:

  • It was the final game of the season between the two teams, meaning there was no opportunity to suspend the game and continue it on a future date.
  • The game had to be past the five inning mark, making it an official game per league rules.
  • The score had to be tied, of course.
  • Something had to happen to make further play impossible – in this case, a massive thunder and lightning storm, turning Zephyr Field into a swamp.

The ferocious storm hit in the top of the sixth inning, with Mike Baxter at the plate and the score tied 2-2.

The grounds crew was ready for it and had the tarp on the infield in seconds (it was impressive how quick they were), but the tarp had no chance against this amount of rain. It was an incredible Southern storm, seemingly dumping reservoirs of water on the area in a matter of thirty minutes.

We were done immediately. It was obvious that there was no chance to fix the field and resume play. The umpires contacted the PCL office and quickly made the right call.

So we have a tie. All stats from the game count – Baxter hit a homer earlier, and we got one of the all-time baseball rarities: a complete game no decision.

New Orleans starter Paul Clemens pitched the whole game, so he gets a CG. And there was no win or loss, so he has the complete game with no decision.

Which, believe it or not, has happened before. In the majors!

The Yankees Mike Mussina and Baltimore’s Pat Hentgen each got credited with a complete game no decision on September 18, 2003 when a game was washed away with the score tied 1-1 after five innings. That boxscore is right here. Hat tip to Twitter user James Smyth for sending me the date.

So the tie was over, everyone was kind of mystified by it, the team was going to the airport to fly out of town, and then we heard that Fresno and Colorado Springs also played to a tie yesterday – but that one was under very different circumstances, a ten-inning game halted by team travel restrictions. More on that in the links.

Two ties in one day! This better not become a regular thing.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: We played a tie. Hahahahahaha! No seriously, it was a tie. Rather unsatisfying, in retrospect.

Roster Move: Patrick Kivlehan reports today, and we also anticipate Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte starting a rehabilitation assignment today. Marte is on the Mariners disabled list with a sprained left thumb; he’s eligible to come off the DL on June 6.

Today: Salt Lake (25-24) at Tacoma (30-20-1), 6:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 4-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.45) at LHP James Paxton (4-3, 3.97).

Hot RainiersJonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 12 innings, spanning ten appearances. They’re batting .029 against him during that time… in his last six appearances, Blake Parker has allowed just one hit and no runs over 6.1 innings. He’s also 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season.

Look Out For: Quentin Berry and Ryan Jackson each bring a nine-game hitting streak into tonight’s series opener. Berry has 17 hits during his streak,  while Jackson has 12.

Ex-Rainiers and Local Dudes: Salt Lake has former Rainiers players Lucas Luetge and Ji-Man Choi, and Washington natives Tim Lincecum and Kyle Kendrick.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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:

  • In the Rainiers game story, we learn that manager Pat Listach thought it should have been a Rainiers win – not a tie. He’s right, there were some serious scoring opportunities that went awry.
  • The Mariners ended their three-game losing streak by blasting homers against the Padres on Monday.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook indicates that the team is about to get healthy.
  • The M’s fortunes turned when Nori Aoki reached base on a Catcher’s Interference, John McGrath writes.
  • Ex-Mariners Fernando Rodney and Ichiro are highlighted in Jonah Keri’s weekly issue of The 30.
  • Ryan Divish caught up with Rodney yesterday.
  • Dustin Ackley is hurting in New York.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Salt Lake lost to Nashville yesterday, 8-3, and got swept at home in the four-game series. Nashville has won eight in a row and 15 of 16, and they passed Tacoma for best record in the PCL.
  • Apparently managers don’t like ties. Fresno skipper Tony DeFrancesco was not pleased after the 6-6 deadlock with Colorado Springs. It was the first tie in Fresno’s 19-year PCL history.
  • Round Rock starter Nick Martinez struck out 11 Aces in a 4-1 win over Reno.
  • Sacramento’s Mitch Delfino singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth to beat Oklahoma City, 4-3.
  • Albuquerque and Iowa were cruising along in Des Moines, 0-0 game in the sixth, and then Iowa scored ten runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win, 11-0. Willson Contreras hit two homers – one a grand slam – and the paper had a feature on him.
  • El Paso’s Alex Dickerson extended his hitting streak to 28 games in a 12-0 win at Omaha.
  • Memphis starter Arturo Reyes shut down Las Vegas on Monday afternoon.
Advertisements

Road Trip Ends Today

May 30, 2016

We’ve got the Memorial Day game in New Orleans today, and then the Rainiers fly home to open a four-game series against Salt Lake on Tuesday night.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: It was a game of missed opportunities on offense as the Rainiers lost to New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, 2-1. Donn Roach started and pitched very well, going seven innings and allowing four hits and two runs (one earned).

Roster Move: Patrick Kivlehan is coming back. Recently designated for assignment by the Rangers, the Mariners claimed him off waivers and promised “cash considerations or a player to be named later” to Texas. Kivlehan struggled with Round Rock, hitting .184 with one home run in 36 games, but last year he batted .256 with 22 homers for Tacoma. Kivlehan is expected to report on Tuesday, and the Rainiers have an open roster spot for him.

Today: Tacoma (30-20) at New Orleans (21-28), 11:00 AM (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Miami Marlins.

Season Series: New Orleans leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Cody Martin (5-3, 5.65) at RHP Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.05).

Martin is spot-starting for Joe Wieland, who is skipping a turn for precautionary reasons after having some tricep soreness during his last start.

Hot RainiersJonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 12 innings, spanning ten appearances. They’re batting .029 against him during that time… Chris Taylor has a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-24 during the streak.

Look Out For: The hitting streaks of Tomas Telis (eight games) and Robert Andino (nine games) both ended yesterday.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:45 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:

PCL Game Reports:

Rainiers need a win today to come home with a .500 record on this road trip.

 


Bats Bounce Back To Support Sampson

May 29, 2016

After a two-day slumber, the Rainiers bats came alive in a 7-3 win at New Orleans on Saturday night.

Tacoma whacked 11 hits, drew four walks, and reached twice on hit-by-pitches to make 17 baserunners in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the PCL.

It was actually more than the team needed.

Adrian Sampson pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just five hits and two walks. He left the game with a 6-0 lead.

Tacoma had several hitting stars, but let’s talk about Mike Zunino for a moment.

Last night Zunino was hit by a pitch and drew two walks in his first three plate appearances. His fourth time up, the bases were loaded with nobody out, so he was thinking RBI – he grounded out to bring in a run. In his final at-bat, he got ahead in the count 3-0 and blasted the pitch out of the park for his 12th homer of the year.

That’s a great night at the plate.

Since May 15th, Zunino has had 40 at-bats and has drawn six walks, and struck out five times. The hits aren’t falling in during this span – he has eight, for a .200 average – but he’s hit three homers. It’s interesting to me that he’s walked more than he has K’d over a 12-game span. Small sample size, arbitrary start date, yeah I know. Still, it looks like progress.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma ended a two-game slide with a 7-3 win at New Orleans. Tyler Smith and Dario Pizzano each had three hits, to support Adrian Sampson who delivered seven shutout innings.

Today: Tacoma (30-19) at New Orleans (20-28), 11:00 AM (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Miami Marlins.

Season Series: Tied, 1-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Donn Roach (4-2, 5.51) at RHP Jarred Cosart (1-3, 4.60).

Hot RainiersJonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 11 innings, spanning nine appearances. They’re batting .032 against him during that time… Dario Pizzano had three hits last night and is 7-for-20 over his last five games… Tyler Smith has gone 8-for-22 on this road trip.

Look Out For: Tomas Telis – the switch-hitting catcher – has 17 hits during an eight-game hitting streak… former Rainiers infielder Robert Andino has a nine-game hitting streak, going 16-for-35… Matt Juengel has hit safely in nine of his last ten games, going 14-for-37.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:45 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:

PCL Game Reports:

Day baseball today and tomorrow to wrap up the road trip!


Rainiers Bats Go Quiet

May 28, 2016

Tacoma has had some trouble on offense the last two days, managing a total of just nine hits and two runs in back-to-back losses.

The Rainiers have lost back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month – it last happened April 29-30 at Las Vegas.

Still, the Rainiers have the best record in the PCL at 29-19. We’ll see if they get back on the winning track this evening in game two of the New Orleans series.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma had just four hits in a 3-1 loss at New Orleans in the series opener on Friday night. Efren Navarro homered for the second straight game, but that was the extent of the Rainiers offense.

Roster Move: The Mariners called up Stefen Romero prior to last night’s game, leaving the Rainiers a man down for now.

Today: Tacoma (29-19) at New Orleans (20-27), 4:00 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Miami Marlins.

Season Series: New Orleans leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Adrian Sampson (4-3, 3.32) at LHP Chris Reed (0-1, 4.80).

Hot RainiersJonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 11 innings, spanning nine appearances. They’re batting .032 against him during that time… Efren Navarro has homered in back-to-back games.

Look Out For: Tomas Telis – the switch-hitting catcher – has 15 hits during a seven-game hitting streak… former Rainiers infielder Robert Andino has an eight-game hitting streak, going 16-for-35… Matt Juengel has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, going 13-for-33.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 3:45 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:

PCL Game Reports:


Rainiers Settle For Split In Texas

May 27, 2016

The Rainiers dropped the final game in Round Rock on Thursday night, 4-1, and settled for a split of the four game series.

Tacoma is 11-13 in road games this year – a dramatic difference from the team’s amazing 18-5 home record.

The team has played six four-game series, and lost one: they dropped three of four at Vegas. The other five series have all been 2-2 splits.

Here’s the kicker, though: in all five of the splits, Tacoma held a 2-1 advantage going into the final game of the series… and lost the last game, for the split.

I don’t know what to make of that. Randomness? Bad luck? Something else?

We’ll see if it continues as the road trip moves on to New Orleans today.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings pitched reached 27 before Round Rock scored two unearned runs with two outs in the sixth inning, leading to a 4-1 Express victory. Tacoma’s only run scored on an Efren Navarro homer in the second inning – other than that, there wasn’t much in the way of offense.

Today: Tacoma (29-18) at New Orleans (19-27), 5:00 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Miami Marlins.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Brad Mills (0-0, 3.68) at LHP Clint Narveson (0-1, 5.63).

Narveson made the Marlins opening day roster as a relief pitcher, and now he’s starting in Triple-A.

Hot Rainiers: The offense got shut down yesterday by Nick Tepesch, effectively ending all of the streaks… Daniel Robertson has reached base in nine straight games; that’s about all we’ve got right now… How about a hot reliever? Jonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 11 innings, spanning nine appearances. They’re batting .032 against him during that time.

Look Out For: Tomas Telis – the switch-hitting catcher – has 14 hits during a six-game hitting streak… former Rainiers infielder Robert Andino has an eight-game hitting streak, going 16-for-35… Zephyr Field heavily favors pitchers so don’t be surprised if we see low-scoring games here.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:45 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:

  • The Rainiers shutout innings streak ended – read about it in the game story from The News Tribune.
  • Seattle was off last night. The Times has a story on Leonys Martin, and the TNT has an article on the evolution of Felix Hernandez. <<< the Felix story is quite interesting.
  • Former Mariners star Brett Boone has a book out, and Larry Stone talked to him about it.
  • The Orioles got swept in Houston while setting a major league record for most times striking out in a three-game series, and ex-Rainiers outfielder Adam Jones told it like it is.
  • The online voting for the Triple-A All-Star Game has gone live. Fan balloting is part of the equation to choose the game’s starters, so please vote early and vote often!

PCL Game Reports:

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


Stan Naccarato, 1928-2016

May 26, 2016

We lost a local legend yesterday, when Stan Naccarato passed away at age 88.

Tacoma might not have Triple-A baseball today if it weren’t for the 25th hour efforts of Stan in 1971, when he hurriedly put together a local ownership group to purchase the team from the Chicago Cubs, who intended to move it to Wichita.

Naccarato then became the team’s General Manager and promotions guru, winning national acclaim for his work on the business side of the game.

Stan was a civic leader in many ways, but he was a baseball man first and foremost.

One of my favorite Naccarto notes is that he somehow became friends with Billy Martin, which lead to Tacoma being affiliated with the New York Yankees in 1978 in what I think we can all agree was a geographically ridiculous union. The Tacoma Yankees won the PCL championship.

Billy Martin Mickey Mantle Stan Naccarato

Naccarato, Mickey Mantle, Clay Huntington, Billy Martin, Jim Carbone. Photo courtesy Washington Sports Hall of Fame

Stan was a fixture at Cheney Stadium since 1960, and we are sad to see him go. Stan will be honored at Cheney next week when the Rainiers return from the current road trip.

Here’s the official statement from the team:

Stan Naccarato, the former President and General Manager of the Tacoma Twins, Yankees, Tugs, and Tigers, passed away at Tacoma General Hospital this morning. He was 88 years old.

“Stan was a wonderful friend and mentor, a leader of not only this organization for decades, but for the entire city,” Tacoma Rainiers team president Aaron Artman said. “He loved Tacoma maybe even more than he loved the Rainiers. We will honor him for the remainder of the 2016 season and remember the impact that he had on this city and this franchise forever.”

Naccarato was honored with the 1975 Minor League Baseball General Manager of the Year Award, the Larry McPhail Promotional Award, and the Sporting News General Manager of the Year Award.

The Rainiers will wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys and place a sign on the outfield wall in remembrance of Naccarato’s impact on the club and the community.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma pitched its second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 win at Round Rock. Joe Wieland worked the first 5.1 innings before leaving with tricep tightness – it’s a minor injury, but he’s questionable for his next start. Paul Fry, Jonathan Aro, David Rollins, and Mayckol Guaipe finished a five-pitcher, six-hit shutout. Rob Brantly‘s three-run homer was the big hit in the game.

Roster Move: Prior to last night’s game, the Mariners recalled infielder Luis Sardinas and optioned Chris Taylor back to Tacoma.

Today: Tacoma (29-17) at Round Rock (24-21), 5:05 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Texas Rangers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: LHP James Paxton (4-2, 4.54) at RHP Nick Tepesch (3-2, 3.72).

Hot Rainiers: Mike Baxter has reached base via hit or walk in 18 straight games, and Stefen Romero has reached in 16 straight games…Boog Powell has hit safely in six straight games, going 10-for-26.

Look Out For: Jurickson Profar has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, but he’s just 2-for-11 in the series. He seems to be the likely candidate to replace Rangers second baseman Roughned Odor during his upcoming suspension.

Ex-Rainiers: Round Rock is loaded with ’em. James Jones and Tom Wilhelmsen are on the active roster while Justin Ruggiano is on the disabled list. Patrick Kivlehan is currently on waivers, but if he clears he’ll rejoin Round Rock.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 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:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Fresno smacked Oklahoma City last night, 8-1, but the big news is that Julio Urias was scratched from his start today… because the 19-year-old is going to the big leagues. He’ll start for the Dodgers tomorrow, becoming the first 19-year-old to start a major league game since Felix Hernandez in 2005. Before getting the news, Urias met with the Fresno (and L.A.) media yesterday.
  • Reno remains 6.5 games behind Tacoma, as the Aces used a six-run inning to win in New Orleans, 7-5. Ed Lucas hit his first homer as a member of the Aces.
  • Clayton Blackburn and Sacramento shut out the Sky Sox, 6-0.
  • Salt Lake’s nine-game home winning streak ended with a 9-7 loss to Memphis. The Bees trailed 9-3 going to the bottom of the ninth and nearly came back.
  • Albuquerque’s Tim Smalling had a big game in a 12-4 romp at Omaha.
  • Carlos Pimentel – the 2015 PCL Pitcher of the Year – had his best outing of a rough 2016 campaign in El Paso’s 9-1 win at Iowa.
  • Nashville scored twice in the 12th inning to beat Las Vegas, 5-3, for the Sounds 10th win in the last 11 games. The game had a strange ending.

Tacoma has a chance to win a road series tonight, and the pitching staff has delivered 22 straight scoreless innings. Let’s see if they can finish the job.


Rainiers Pitch First Shutout

May 25, 2016

Tacoma tossed its first shutout of the season last night in Round Rock, as Donn Roach, Mayckol Guaipe, and Blake Parker combined on a five-hitter. Tacoma won, 3-0.

Roach went the first seven innings, needing only 87 pitches to do so. He allowed just four hits – and half of them came to the first two batters in the first inning.

In Roach’s last three starts, he has given up three runs in 19.2 innings. He’s been on a nice roll lately.

Parker ended up getting his ninth save of the season, which was his 100th career minor league save.

The shutout lowered Tacoma’s team ERA to 4.01, which is tied with Omaha for second-best in the PCL. Nashville is way out in front of the pack with a 3.07 mark (note: Nashville’s new ballpark which opened last year is supposed to be a graveyard for hitters. We’ll find out in August).

Tacoma evened-up the series in Round Rock, and the team has won seven of its last eight games overall.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma pitched its first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win at Round Rock. Most of the offense came from the bottom three hitters in the lineup: Tyler Smith, Dario Pizzano, and Zach Shank combined to go 8-for-11 while generating two of Tacoma’s three runs.

Today: Tacoma (28-17) at Round Rock (24-20), 5:05 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Texas Rangers.

Season Series: Tied, 1-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Joe Wieland (3-3, 8.83) at RHP Nick Martinez (4-2, 5.26).

Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has reached base via hit or walk in 15 straight games…Luis Sardinas has a five-game hitting streak, going 10-for-19, but he may be on his way to Seattle (see below)… Boog Powell has hit safely in five straight games, going 9-for-22.

Look Out For: The shutout pretty much ended all Round Rock hitting streaks. The Express had tallied 70 hits in their previous four games… Patrick Cantwell has hit safely in eight straight – he did not play last night.

Ex-Rainiers: Round Rock is loaded with ’em. James Jones and Tom Wilhelmsen are on the active roster while Justin Ruggiano is on the disabled list. Patrick Kivlehan is currently on waivers, but if he clears he’ll rejoin Round Rock.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 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:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • The Mariners stunned the A’s with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, winning 6-5 on a walk-off two-run homer by Leonys Martin.
  • In Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook, we learn that a Luis SardinasChris Taylor roster swap may be occurring today. Sardinas did not play for Tacoma last night.
  • John McGrath has a column on the Mariners home struggle.
  • Huge congratulations to former Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly, who got his first major league call-up yesterday. The Mets started him at third base and he went 0-for-4 in his debut – against Stephen Strasburg. Welcome to the big leagues, Meat.
  • You can have fuzzy Fresno Grizzlies mascot Parker officiate your wedding – which seems difficult, since Parker doesn’t talk. This strikes me as… a really bad idea.
  • St. Louis claimed reigning PCL batting champion Jose Martinez on waivers from the Kansas City Royals. At this point I’m not sure if he’s going to St. Louis or Memphis. Martinez set the modern era record by batting .384 last year, but he’s never reached the big leagues.
  • Joe Mikulik – the active master of the managerial tirade – was at it again when his Double-A Frisco Roughriders got hosed by an umpire’s call. Enjoy the video.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Todd Glaesmann ripped a second-inning grand slam, and that was all she wrote as Reno won in New Orleans, 4-1.
  • Reigning PCL MVP Matt Duffy homered twice during Fresno’s 14-3 sandblasting of Oklahoma City. The series is in Fresno, just three hours from Los Angeles – and the OKC Dodgers are starting rehabilitating Hyun-Jin Ryu tonight and the phenom Julio Urias tomorrow. Lots of media attention coming.
  • Colorado Springs scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to beat Sacramento, 9-6. A two-run pinch-hit double by Garin Cecchini was the key hit.
  • Salt Lake scored five runs in the second inning and rolled to a 7-5 win over visiting Memphis. The Bees have won their last nine home games.
  • John Lannan turned around a frustrating season by tossing eight strong innings for Omaha in a 6-1 win over Albuquerque.
  • Two recent jaunts to New York have knocked Sean Gilmartin out of his routine, and it showed in Las Vegas’s 10-4 loss to visiting Nashville. Matt Olson had four hits for the Sounds.
  • Iowa punted the Chihuahuas, 8-3, with Willson Contreras homering for his second straight game. The article is on talented but oft-injured I-Cubs pitcher Pierce Johnson.