When you arrive at the ballpark after an off day in the middle of a homestand, you don’t expect Triple-A baseball’s version of mayhem. But that’s what happened yesterday at Cheney Stadium.
First, we had the smokey skies (which continue today, although the latest reports say that the smoke will start getting blown out of town tonight). The skies left an eerie feeling hanging over things.
I got to the park at 3:45 and sat in the press box, enjoying a fine lunch that I had brought with me, watching early batting practice when things started to be… not normal.
Pat Listach was throwing batting practice when a trainer came out of the dugout with a phone and handed it to Pat – on the mound. Batting practice was halted.
Fifteen minutes later Josh K. from The News Tribune showed up for work and asked, “why did I just see Ross Detwiler in the parking lot, getting into a car with his baseball bag?”
Good question, young reporter. I guess it’s time finish this sandwich and find out what’s going on.
Detwiler, who was scheduled to start for Tacoma, was going to Safeco Field instead. Just three hours before the game, Tacoma was without a starting pitcher.
A ‘bullpen day’ was enacted, with reliever Mike Morin tabbed to make the start. The pitchers did a great job, holding a good Reno lineup to two earned runs over ten innings, but Tacoma lost the game 3-2.
And about Reno… the Rainiers opponent didn’t even arrive at the ballpark until 5:15.
Flying from Reno to Tacoma, the Aces didn’t take the direct flight and instead flew to Las Vegas, changed planes, and then flew to SeaTac. The second leg of their journey was delayed several hours due to the smoke-related visibility problems at SeaTac Airport, and it was close to 4:00 when they finally landed.
We’re glad they made it here safely, and we were able to start the game on time. But it was an unusual feeling, sitting there at the ballpark at 5:00 with no starting pitcher, creepy smoke in the sky, and no one in the opposing clubhouse to play against.
YESTERDAY: Reno toppled Tacoma in ten innings, 3-2, in a frustrating loss for the Rainiers. Yasmany Tomas starred for Reno, homering in the eighth to snap a scoreless tie before singling home the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning. Tacoma pitched well despite having scheduled starter Ross Detwiler called up hours before the first pitch. For the first time this season, the Rainiers lost a game that they were leading after eight innings.
ROSTER MOVES: The wheel keeps spinning. Yesterday the Mariners called up Ross Detwiler, optioned Chasen Bradford to Tacoma, and designated Zach Vincej for assignment. Reliever Noah Zavolas was added to Tacoma’s roster from Everett (for depth). Today the Mariners designated Detwiler and called up Nick Rumbelow.
TODAY: Reno (66-61) at Tacoma (61-65), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Arizona Diamondbacks.
SEASONS SERIES: Reno leads, 8-6.
PITCHERS: RHP Neftali Feliz (5-4, 4.85) at RHP Christian Bergman (7-9, 5.44).
HOT HITTERS: David Freitas has hit safely in nine straight, and 13 of his last 14 games, collecting 24 hits during that time… Cameron Rupp has a five-game hitting streak… Shawn Armstrong has allowed just two earned runs over his last 25 games, covering 26.1 innings pitched.
OPPONENT NEWS: Ildemaro Vargas had his 35-game hitting streak end on August 12 in Las Vegas, and in the seven games since it ended he has gone 15-for-30… Christian Walker has hit three homers over his last eight games… catcher Alberto Rosario has five hits and five RBI over his last two games.
FAMILIAR FACES: There are no former Rainiers or local players on the Reno roster.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 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.
Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):
Fresno 9, SACRAMENTO 2 – it’s not just Tacoma pitching. J.D. Davis had three hits including a three-run homer as the Grizzlies maintained a seven-game lead in the Pac-North, with 13 to play.
EL PASO 6, Albuquerque 4 – outfielder Shane Peterson had two hits, scored two runs, and drove in another as the Chihuahuas opened up an 8.5-game lead in the Pac-South.
LAS VEGAS 13, Salt Lake 6 – five different players homered for the 51s, including former Rainier Patrick Kivlehan who also had two doubles. Story from Las Vegas.
Omaha 13, OKLAHOMA CITY 2 – Frank Schwindel collected three hits, including his 22nd home run, and drove in five as the Storm Chasers coasted to a win.
Iowa at COLORADO SPRINGS – rained out, and the Sky Sox are now one game behind Oklahoma City in the American-North.
NEW ORLEANS 5, Memphis 0 – Zac Gallen tossed six scoreless innings and Peter O’Brien ripped a three-run homer for the Cakes. Story from New Orleans.
ROUND ROCK 2, Nashville 0 – Chris Rowley and three relievers combined on a three-hit shutout for the Express.