The Season That Won’t Start

For the second day in a row, rain didn’t let the Rainiers get their opening game played in Sacramento. Once again, we’ll try again today.

Friday night saw the game actually begin: after rain off-and-on all afternoon, we were able to start ten minutes late at Raley Field.

Tacoma didn’t score in the top of the first, although Ben Gamel connected for Tacoma’s first hit of the season when he dumped a single into left field with two outs.

Tony Zych took the mound in the bottom of the first and allowed a leadoff single, struck out the next guy, and then allowed another single putting runners at the corners.

The runner from first stole second, and Zych had a 2-2 count on cleanup hitter Justin Ruggiano when it started to rain hard. Home plate umpire Travis Eggers called for the tarp, and we were in a rain delay.

It only rained for two or three minutes, but we waited another hour and a half without rain while they did not re-start the game. Apparently there was a threat of more rain, and we could see lightning in the distance.

At 8:45 they announced the game would re-start at nine o’clock. At 8:50 it started raining again and Eggers banged it.

It’s officially a suspended game and will be picked up where we left off on July 8, when the Rainiers return to Sacramento.

On tap for tonight: a single game, weather permitting. It’s not supposed to clear up here until Sunday.

The Rainiers have a rotation change: while Zych was doing his rehabilitation inning last night, scheduled starter Sam Gaviglio warmed up and was ready to go into the game. That effectively removed him from being able to start today, so Chris Heston makes today’s start. Not sure yet when the Rainiers are going to slot Gaviglio back into the rotation – everything is in flux now due to the weather.

Zych ended up throwing 16 pitches, ten strikes. No velocity readings were available – the scoreboard radar gun was not working. He told me after the game that he felt fine physically.


Yesterday: Friday’s game was suspended due to rain in the bottom of the first inning with the score 0-0. It will be continued on July 8.

Today: Tacoma (81-62 last year) at Sacramento (69-75 last year), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.

Season Series: Last year the teams split the season series, 8-8.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Chris Heston (–) at RHP Clayton Blackburn (–).

Hot Rainiers: Ben Gamel recorded the Rainiers first and only hit of the season last night. He’s on a tear!

Look Out For: The rain.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: First-year Sacramento manager Dave Brundage managed Tacoma in 2006. He’s spent the last ten years managing in the International League… River Cats pitching coach Dwight Bernard is an old friend, having served in the same role for Tacoma for seven years… lefty reliever Kraig Sitton is expected to be on Sacramento’s roster tonight; he pitched very well for Tacoma last year before leaving as a free agent… one-time Rainiers outfielder Justin Ruggiano is playing for Sacramento… finally, ex-Rainiers and Mariners SS/3B/2B/1B/OF Michael Morse is on Sacramento’s disabled list.

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. Note that our online stream did not work last night – I’m told the experts are trying to fix it, so maybe it will work tonight. If not, try Sacramento’s feed.

PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.


Around the PCL:

  • Reigning PCL Pitcher of the Year Brady Rodgers delivered six strong innings in Fresno’s 6-1 win over visiting Reno. Fresno outfielder Derek Fisher has homered in both games this year.
  • Las Vegas won in El Paso, 4-2, when Josh Rodriguez connected for a pinch-hit two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Ex-Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash was called up to San Diego after one game with El Paso.
  • Albuquerque’s bullpen had trouble throwing strikes in a 5-2 loss to Salt Lake.
  • Iowa third baseman Jeimer Candelario hit a grand slam to help the Cubs to a 7-5 win at Oklahoma City. Looks like the Dodgers are already losing starter Julio Urias to a call-up.
  • Colorado Springs won a wild, back-and-forth game against Omaha, 8-7. After giving up two runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Sky Sox scored three in the bottom to win it. Brett Phillips tied it with a two-run homer shortly before Kyle Wren had the game-winning hit.
  • Round Rock and Nashville played 11 innings for the second day in a row, and this time the Sounds won, 8-6.
  • Memphis won in New Orleans, 5-1, dropping the Baby Cakes all-time record to 0-2. Just sayin’.

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