Tacoma had a stunning come-from-behind, walk-off 7-6 win over Albuquerque in Saturday night.
You could write a college term paper on this game, but no time for that with the day game today. So, some quick hits:
- Tacoma’s scheduled starter Cody Martin got called up, so the Rainiers had a “bullpen game.”
- The Rainiers played a doubleheader on Thursday, and the pitching staff wasn’t in good shape for a bullpen day.
- The Mariners sent two very inexperienced pitchers from Everett to help out.
- Pat Listach knew that he could only cover nine innings with his regular guys if everything went perfectly. Odds were, at least one of the young kids was going to pitch.
- Kraig Sitton was selected to make his first professional start, after nearly 300 career relief appearances. He was the most rested reliever.
- Sitton made it through three innings, and left with the score 1-1. So far, so good.
- Then two of Tacoma’s regular relievers (Kevin Munson and Paul Fry) struggled in the 4th and 5th innings, and now the Rainiers were down 6-2.
- Time to bring in one of the kids. Robert Dugger was brought in for the sixth inning – he was an 18th round draft pick in June out of Texas Tech, and he had exactly four career professional appearances – all in the Arizona Rookie League. But, he pitched in the College World Series this year. The big crowd wouldn’t spook him.
- Dugger pitched two shutout innings.
- Tacoma rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh. They were gifts from the Albuquerque bullpen: four walks and one hit, a two-run single by Stefen Romero to make it 6-5.
- With the game close, Listach went to David Rollins in the eighth. He pitched two scoreless innings.
- We get to the ninth, and Albuquerque brings in veteran Brian Schlitter to close it out.
- Dario Pizzano leads off with a pinch-hit single, and Daniel Robertson walks. Zach Shank sacrifices the runners to second and third.
- Albuquerque elected to pitch to Romero, but when Schlitter fell behind in the count 3-1 they put him on to load the bases.
- The brought up Dan Vogelbach, who was 1-for-18 on the homestand. He lined a two-run single to right field, ending the game.
It was Tacoma’s seventh walk-off win of the season, and the Rainiers moved to a season-best 19 games over .500. The team hadn’t been 19 games over .500 since 2004.
The Rainiers have won three straight games, and each has been a one-run game. On to Sunday!
Yesterday: Tacoma scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to beat Albuquerque, 7-6. It was the opener of a four-game series.
Today: Albuquerque (46-60) at Tacoma (63-44-1), 1:35 (Pacific).
Opponent Affiliation: Colorado Rockies.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 8-5.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Christian Bergman (1-3, 5.20) at RHP Jarrett Grube (1-2, 4.46)
Hot Rainiers: Daniel Robertson has a ten-game hitting streak, going 15-for-41 during the run… Rob Brantly has hit safely in five straight games… Dario Pizzano is 6-for-10 over his last four games.
Look Out For: Stephen Cardullo has a nine-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in six of the games… Tom Murphy is batting a torrid .569 in July (33-for-58), with eight home runs… catcher Dustin Garneau has hit safely in nine of his last ten games, with three homers.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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 Bob Robertson joins me in the booth and he’ll call the middle innings.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- The Rainiers game story has some good notes in it. Here’s the video of Vogelbach’s game-winning hit.
- My weekly Minor League Notebook for the paper is on the unexpected transformation of Andrew Kittredge into a major league prospect.
- The Mariners had one of their best wins of the season on Saturday, beating Jake Arrietta and the Cubs.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook covers the recall Cody Martin while recalling the Mariners last appearance on Sunday Night Baseball.
- Buster Olney’s advance for Sunday Night Baseball is on Felix Hernandez‘s change-up.
- The trade deadline is Monday at 1:00. Ryan Divish has an article on six Mariners who could be traded.
- John McGrath has graced us with his weekly MLB Power Rankings.
PCL Game Reports:
- The two teams chasing the Rainiers – Reno and Fresno – are playing each other now. Reno took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning last night, only to see Fresno score *eight* runs in the top of the ninth and win the game, 10-4. Tacoma leads Reno by four games, and Fresno by 4.5 games.
- Las Vegas lost the opening game of a key series against El Paso, 6-5, and is now 7.5 games out of first place. These teams have seven head-to-head games remaining.
- Salt Lake’s Troy Scribner pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout at Sacramento in his Triple-A debut. Yowza.
- Jose De Leon gave Oklahoma City a strong start in an 8-4 win at Colorado Springs.
- Round Rock had a six-run third inning in a 13-7 shellacking of Memphis.
- Lefty Ross Detwiler pitched Nashville to a 2-0 win at New Orleans.
- Omaha starter Christian Binford has had a rough season, but everything came up aces for him in a 6-4 win over Iowa last night.
I’m excited about this double-dip: the Rainiers day game, followed by Felix and the Mariners on Sunday Night Baseball.