Rest! We finally got some rest.
After a two-game stint of zombie baseball, everyone on the Rainiers road trip finally got some sleep last night and is refreshed and ready to go tonight. Two games left on this trip, and then we finally head home for the Saturday game against Omaha.
Tacoma is pleased to be 1-1 after the first two games of the series, each of which was played on minimal sleep due to the rigors of PCL travel. There was a 4:15 AM bus to the airport on Tuesday, a four-hour layover at SFO, and a late arrival in Fresno. The Rainiers played sloppy, but beat Fresno 7-6.
Then of course we have a noon kid’s day game the very next day, so the guys had just a few hours of sleep in the Fresno motel before going back to the ballpark. The Rainiers dropped yesterday’s game by the same score of 7-6 – although they were down 7-0 after five innings and nearly pulled off an amazing comeback.
So the team survived that stint and now everyone is ready for two straight much-needed 7:05 games, and then a trip home.
There is some news on the Fresno side which has an impact on the final two games of this series.
Fresno first baseman A.J. Reed was placed on the 7-day disabled list prior to yesterday’s game. He’s regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in all of minor league baseball, but he left Tuesday’s game in the seventh inning with a hamstring strain. So the Rainiers won’t have to deal with the massive left-handed hitter again until later in the season.
On the other hand, the Astros bumped pitching prospect Joe Musgrave up to Fresno and announced that he will start Friday’s game against Tacoma. Musgrave, a right-hander, is 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA at Double-A Corpus Christi. That’s right, 0.34: he allowed one earned run in 26.1 innings pitched, with three walks and 30 strikeouts.
Yesterday: Tacoma fell behind 7-0 after five innings, as a Mariners-ordered short start for James Paxton pressured the Tacoma bullpen. Tacoma nearly came back, as both Stefen Romero and Daniel Robertson homered, but the Rainiers lost 7-6.
Today: Tacoma (19-14) at Fresno (14-18), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tied, 1-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Adrian Sampson (3-2, 3.47) at LHP Tommy Shirley (3-1, 2.79).
Hot Rainiers: Dario Pizzano has hit safely in five straight games, going 8-for-16… Tyler Smith is 6-for-12 over his last three games… Daniel Robertson has homered twice on this road trip, and he’s hitting .333 (12-for-36) over his last ten games… Chris Taylor has reached base via hit or walk in 28 of the 31 games he has played in.
Look Out For: Veteran shortstop Danny Worth has been on a tear since opening day for Fresno – but he’s missed the first two games of this series with a banged-up shoulder. Worth is hitting .366-5-19, he’s hit safely in 24 of 28 games played, and he’s been the crux of the Fresno offense… Tony Kemp is on a nine-game hitting streak… 2015 PCL MVP Matt Duffy is warming up; he’s 7-for-15 over his last four games.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 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.
- In the Rainiers game story, manager Pat Listach explains the short outing for James Paxton, and says he was proud his team fought until the end after falling behind 7-0.
- A.J. Reed talked about his hamstring injury. It sounds minor.
- Chris Iannetta launched a homer in the 11th inning to give the Mariners a 6-5 win over Tampa, and Seattle swept the series. The first-place Mariners are off today and host the Angels on Friday.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook explains the reasoning behind the organization’s decision to make top pitching prospect Edwin Diaz a reliever. It also has relief pitcher injury updates and more.
- The Mariners believe in themselves, columnist Matt Calkins writes.
- Taijuan Walker is inching toward greatness, Dave Boling writes.
- The numbers look good for the Mariners to win the AL West, according to Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs.
PCL Game Reports:
- Jeremy Guthrie pitched like the major league veteran that he is in El Paso’s 4-1 win at Las Vegas. James Loney returned to Chasman Field ten years after batting .380 for the 51s << good story alert!
- Reno won at Sacramento, 4-3, as Peter O’Brien launched his PCL-leading tenth home run.
- Salt Lake is hot. The Bees made it five straight wins with a 4-2 takedown of Albuquerque. Al Alburquerque had the save for Salt Lake against Albuquerque.
- Omaha – which visits Tacoma on Saturday – picked up an 8-4 win over Memphis. Dusty Coleman hit a key homer for the Storm Chasers.
- Oklahoma City overcame a swarm of bees – real bees, not Salt Lake Bees – in a 9-5 win at Round Rock. Those bees better be gone by the time we get down there in two weeks. I can handle the bats flying around the roof of the press box, but no bees, please.
- Iowa hit several key doubles in a 4-2 win over Nashville.
- Colorado Springs relief pitcher Tim Dillard homered in a 9-5 win at New Orleans.
Tacoma is 3-3 so far on this eight-game road trip. A win tonight would be pretty nice…