Yesterday did indeed turn out to be Clinching Day in the Pacific Coast League, and today will be Bob Robertson Day in Tacoma.
Three PCL teams clinched their divisions last night, and all in dramatic fashion.
In the American Conference, Memphis walked off Nashville with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the South. The defending champions celebrated at home, and will play either Oklahoma City or Colorado Springs in the playoffs.
Here in Tacoma, El Paso was trying to win the Pac-South by beating the Rainiers – but our Rainiers had a nice game offensively and won, 8-5. The Chihuahuas headed into their locker room after the final out and learned the Fresno scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to stun Salt Lake, 7-6, which made the Chihuahuas division champions. They celebrated indoors, goggles and all.
The Fresno comeback clinched the Pac-North for the Grizzlies in about as exciting fashion as you can imagine. They will play El Paso in the first round of playoffs.
Today is going to be a special one at Cheney Stadium: we will be honoring Bob Robertson during the game, and christening the radio booth as the Bob Robertson Broadcast Booth from here on.
There will be an in-game presentation, and Bob will join me on the air and we’ll talk about his career. He’s going to be quite busy with a lot of visitors, but I’ll try to get him to do an inning of play-by-play.
He’s had an amazing career and it has been a joy to work Sunday games with him the last eight years.
You’ve probably heard by now, but just in case we need to let you know that the Rainiers will not have Dan Vogelbach for the final week of the season.
The team leader in just about every offensive category, Vogelbach suffered a hamstring injury running the bases on Friday night and was placed on the seven-day disabled list.
The severity of the injury is not yet known. Here’s hoping it is not too bad and he is able to be activated by the Mariners in September.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers won a back-and-forth game against El Paso, 8-5. After an early 4-0 lead disappeared in the top of the seventh inning, David Freitas homered in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 5-5. Adam Law‘s three-run triple in the eighth was the game-winning hit. Bryan Evans had another strong start, while Tyler Higgins and Shawn Armstrong pitched well out of the bullpen.
ROSTER MOVE: Yesterday first baseman Dan Vogelbach was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Pitcher Ross Detwiler will be activated today to make his start, and reliever Anthony McIver was transferred to Class-A Modesto.
TODAY: El Paso (77-53) at Tacoma (64-66), 1:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 5-5.
PITCHERS: RHP Walker Lockett (5-9, 4.73) at LHP Ross Detwiler (2-5, 5.15).
HOT HITTERS: Cameron Rupp has an eight-game hitting streak… David Freitas has reached base safely in 13 straight games… Zach Vincej is 15-for-38 over his last 11 games… Shawn Armstrong has allowed just two earned runs over his last 26 games, covering 27.1 innings pitched.
OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso’s ten-game winning streak ended last night. They are 23-5 over the last 28 games… Luis Urias has hit safely in 14 straight games, with eight multiple hit games during the streak… Shane Peterson has gone 13-for-24 during a six-game hitting streak… Francisco Mejia is considered a top prospect; the Padres acquired him at the trade deadline when they traded all-star reliever Brad Hand to Cleveland.
FAMILIAR FACES: Recent former Rainiers pitchers Dillon Overton and Jonathan Aro are on the El Paso staff, although Aro is currently on the disabled list.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 1:20 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.
- The Rainiers game story in The News Tribune has reaction from manager Pat Listach.
- The Mariners had one of their super-dramatic wins on Saturday night in Arizona. Kyle Seager and Denard Span starred, and Edwin Diaz notched his 50th save.
- Ryan Divish did one of his Mariners Q&As.
- Hisashi Iwakuma is making a rehabilitation start for Everett today. He’s been out all season with a shoulder injury.
Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):
FRESNO 7, Salt Lake 6 – the Grizzlies scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun Salt Lake and clinch both Pacific division titles (the North for Fresno, and the South for El Paso). Kyle Tucker hit the walk-off three run homer – his ninth homer in the last eight games. Story from MiLB.com.
Reno 5, ALBUQUERQUE 3 – Ildemaro Vargas hit two doubles and scored two runs to support a strong start by Matt Koch. Story from Albuquerque.
Las Vegas 6, SACRAMENTO 0 – starter Kevin McGowan tossed seven shutout innings and his catcher Jose Lobaton homered and drove in four runs.
MEMPHIS 4, Nashville 3 – down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Memphis scored twice on Wilfredo Tovar‘s single to win the game and clinch the American-South division title. Team report.
OKLAHOMA CITY 4, Colorado Springs 2 – the Dodgers moved back into first place by a half-game, with Tim Locastro‘s double scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning. These teams have six games left head-to-head to hash out the American-North title. The newspaper has a story on Stetson Allie and his 100-mph fastball.
OMAHA 3, Iowa 2 – Kansas City Royals infield prospect Nicky Lopez hit a two-run homer to lead the Storm Chasers. Story from Omaha.
New Orleans 8, ROUND ROCK 7 (10) – Cristhian Adames had two hits, scored two runs, and drove in three for the Cakes.