No matter how long you work as a Triple-A broadcaster, and how much experience you have, you can still show up at the ballpark and be surprised.
That happened yesterday, when I arrived at the park three-and-a-half hours before the game and found out that James Paxton had been scratched as the starting pitcher.
Now, this happens a couple of times every year, the starter gets scratched because of major league needs, or it’s the trade deadline and he got swapped. But usually I have an inkling ahead of time – a feel that something might be up, or knowledge of a major league injury which might cause some moves, or the fact that it’s the trade deadline and anything can happen.
Yesterday’s move surprised me – and we still don’t know the exact move. The M’s said late last night that Paxton is being called up, and the team will be announcing the corresponding move today. Since Tacoma plays a day game and the M’s play at night, we may not learn the exact move until the late afternoon.
Anyway, the Rainiers were forced to have a ‘bullpen game’ last night.
Jonathan Aro was called in for the emergency start, and he was terrific allowing just one single over four scoreless innings. Aro has really impressed lately, pitching terrific ball for an entire month and no doubt moving up the M’s depth chart. His recent stats are below in the ‘Hot Rainiers’ section.
Ultimately, Salt Lake got to the Rainiers bullpen by hitting six doubles in a quick span during the seventh and eighth innings against David Rollins and Mayckol Guaipe. Rollins was in his third inning of work when he got hit, and Guaipe didn’t look as sharp as usual but was left in the game because these things happen when you are stuck with an unexpected ‘bullpen day.’
The revolving roster is part of the Triple-A experience, and the Rainiers got bit by it last night. But that’s OK – it happens to all of the teams, and these things tend to even-out in the end.
And congrats to Paxton on the call-up – hopefully he deals in the big leagues.
Tim Lincecum arrived with the Salt Lake Bees and is slated to start for them on Thursday night. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has two no-hitters under his belt and three World Series rings in his safe, and he will be making his first appearance since June 27 last year, when a hip injury did him in.
Lincecum is going to be the first Cy Young Award winner to take the mound at Cheney Stadium since Cliff Lee pitched for Tacoma on April 25, 2010.
Yesterday: Salt Lake hit six doubles during the 7th and 8th innings, resulting in five runs for a come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Rainiers on Tuesday night. It ended Tacoma’s six-game home winning streak – and Salt Lake’s six-game losing streak.
Roster Move: James Paxton is being called up today, and at publish time we do not know the corresponding Mariners move.
Today: Salt Lake (26-24) at Tacoma (30-21-1), 11:35 AM.
Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 4-1.
Starting Pitchers: LHP David Huff (0-0, 3.52) at LHP Brad Mills (0-1, 4.91).
Hot Rainiers: Jonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on two hits over his last 16 innings, spanning 11 appearances. They’re batting .043 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… We need a hot hitter. Maybe Daniel Robertson is getting there? He went 3-for-4 last night and had a triple the day before.
Look Out For: Ryan Jackson has a ten-game hitting streak, with 13 hits during the streak… Sherman Johnson has a cool name, and he hit two doubles yesterday and is 7-for-16 over a four-game spree.
Ex-Rainiers and Local Dudes: Salt Lake has former Rainiers players Lucas Luetge, Ji-Man Choi, and Erik Kratz, as well as Washington natives Tim Lincecum and Kyle Kendrick.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:20 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.
- Manager Pat Listach has an interesting quote about surviving the bullpen day in the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The paper has a story on Paxton getting scratched so he could “do something alternative.” I enjoyed that quote – maybe he was watching a bunch of Screaming Trees videos.
- The Mariners were not very respectful to their fathers in a 16-4 destruction of the Padres on Tuesday. They hit five homers at Safeco!
- M’s reliever Steve Johnson is seeing his role increase, we learn in Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook.
PCL Game Reports:
- Reno pulled within five games of first-place Tacoma by beating Las Vegas, 10-6. Peter O’Brien hit three doubles. Las Vegas had a bullpen problem and lost a reliever to injury.
- El Paso topped Sacramento, 8-3, and Alex Dickerson legged out an infield single in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 29 games.
- It was Harrison Musgrave vs. Joe Musgrove, and Musgrave got the victory in Albuquerque’s 5-3 win over Fresno.
- Nashville made it nine straight wins – and 16 out of 17 – with a wild 7-6 win over Round Rock in the 12th inning.
- Deck McGuire pitched Memphis to a 1-0 win over New Orleans.
- Iowa won big in Oklahoma City, 11-6, as Dan Vogelbach and Willson Contreras had productive games at the plate. Oklahoma City phenom Julio Urias has been recalled by the parent club, and Dodgers infielder Rob Segedin is done double-dipping – he just finished his finals.
- Omaha at Colorado Springs got rained out – they’ll play two tonight.
Time to head to the park; we’ve got an early start today!