Instant Impact

July 23, 2016

Dan Vogelbach joined the Rainiers yesterday, and here’s how his first game went:

First at-bat: pulled 2-2 pitch from lefty Nate Smith over right field fence for solo home run.

Second at-bat: facing Smith again, drove 400-foot double to left-center, driving in another run.

Third at-bat: against Smith, line drive single over shortstop.

Fourth at-bat: facing righty reliever Geoff Broussard, draws a walk.

Then Pat Listach said “that’s enough for today” and pinch hit for him in the ninth inning with Tacoma leading, 8-1.

Pretty nice debut for the 23-year-old first baseman/designated hitter.

After the game, Listach said he pinch-hit because Vogelbach had spent the entire day flying from Des Moines, so why not give him a break. He was a triple away from a cycle, but Listach said, “Really, what are the odds he’s going to hit a triple?”

He makes a fair point, but Vogelbach does have two triples this season.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Stefen Romero homered twice, Dan Vogelbach went 3-for-3, and Zach Shank also had three hits as Tacoma herded the Bees, 8-3. Joe Wieland had a nice start, going six innings and allowing one run to earn his eighth win.

Roster Moves: The Mariners called up David Rollins again (he never stays anywhere for more than 48 hours). The Rainiers have an open spot on the roster.

Today: Tacoma (56-42-1) at Salt Lake (47-50), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 10-3.

The Rainiers went 7-1 against Salt Lake at home, and are 3-2 so far in Salt Lake City.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Zach Lee (0-2, 5.44) at LHP Chris Jones (3-8, 7.71).

Hot RainiersRob Brantly is 11-for-26 with two home runs in his last seven games… Guillermo Heredia had his 11-game hitting streak end last night; he has hit safely in 20 of 24 games since joining the Rainiers.

Look Out For: Sherman Johnson’s streak of reaching base in 22 straight games ended last night… Kaleb Cowart had three hits last night, and he has a six-game hitting streak… catcher Carlos Perez was sent down by the Angels and has hit safely in six of his first seven games… speedster Quintin Berry has been successful in his last 15 stolen base attempts.

Ex-Rainiers: Salt Lake has former Rainiers reliever Lucas Luetge, and former Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story does not appear online today.
  • James Paxton was dealing as the Mariners won in Toronto on Friday night, 2-1. Nori Aoki doubled and tripled.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook includes status reports on injured relievers Mayckol Guaipe, Jonathan Aro, Steve Johnson, and Ryan Cook. Not much good news here.
  • In his Notebook from Friday, Dutton reports that Danny Hultzen‘s pitching career is over. Sad news for the one-time top prospect.
  • More Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame coverage: I enjoyed this story on Junior’s relationship with Dave Niehaus. That link includes a sidebar with all kinds of Seattle Times coverage of Griffey.
  • John McGrath has a column on Hall of Fame speeches, and T.T. Cotterill caught up with Ken Griffey Sr.

PCL Game Reports:

  • The Las Vegas 51s had a travel nightmare, and then lost to Reno, 8-4. The Aces remain 2.5 games behind Tacoma in the standings. Reno has a seven-game win streak.
  • Max Stassi‘s walk-off home run gave Fresno a 4-3 win over Albuquerque. Tyler White played the entire game at shortstop. Fresno is 3.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • Sacramento scored six runs in the first inning, including a Miguel Olivo grand slam, and beat El Paso 7-3.
  • Nashville overcame a travel delay and beat Omaha on a walk-off wild pitch, 2-1. The fans played Pokemon during the delay.
  • Oklahoma City worked over New Orleans, 8-5.
  • The Memphis Redbirds were unable to travel home from El Paso due to flight cancellations, so their game against Iowa was postponed.
  • Eric Young Jr. homered to help Colorado Springs to a 10-2 win over Round Rock.

It’s a state holiday weekend here in Utah (Pioneer Day) and a huge crowd is expected for tonight’s game. Should be fun!


Four Days In Salt Lake City

July 22, 2016

Travel day, so we’re going straight to the round-up. But tonight should be interesting, with Vogelbach reporting to the club.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers dropped a thrilling but ultimately disappointing game on Thursday to Oklahoma City, 6-4. There were five lead changes, but O’Koyea Dickson‘s three-run homer with two outs in the top of the eighth inning won the game. Tacoma closer Blake Parker blew his first save of the season – he was 15-for-15 on the year prior to last night. The Rainiers missed three straight scoring opportunities by hitting into double plays – and two of them were line drive double plays.

Roster Moves: The Rainiers have added Sam Gaviglio from Double-A Jackson to take the starting rotation spot created when Jordan Pries was traded to the Cubs on Wednesday. Dan Vogelbach is expected to report today. Infielder Luis Sardinas was recalled by Seattle, and reliever Guido Knudson has been sent to Double-A Jackson.

Today: Tacoma (55-42-1) at Salt Lake (47-49), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 9-3.

The Rainiers went 7-1 against Salt Lake at home, and are 2-2 so far in Salt Lake City.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Joe Wieland (7-5, 6.41) at LHP Nate Smith (6-3, 3.98).

Hot Rainiers: Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in 11 straight games, and 20 of 23 games since joining the Rainiers… Rob Brantly is 11-for-26 with two home runs in his last seven games… Jesus Sucre threw out two attempted basestealers last night, and he also picked a runner off first (Oklahoma City did not read the scouting report lol).

Look Out For: Sherman Johnson has reached base in 22 straight games, and he has drawn a walk in eight straight games… Nick Buss is healthy; the veteran outfielder has only played in three of the first 12 games Salt Lake has played against Tacoma… catcher Carlos Perez was sent down by the Angels and has hit safely in six of his first seven games… speedster Quintin Berry has been successful in his last 15 stolen base attempts – can’t wait to see him try to run against Sucre.

Ex-Rainiers: Salt Lake has former Rainiers reliever Lucas Luetge, and former Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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.

Links:

  • In the Rainiers game story, manager Pat Listach says that Blake Parker threw a good pitch that resulted in the three-run homer – Dickson was simply on it.
  • The News Tribune has a story on D.J. Peterson, who is welcoming the arrival of Dan Vogelbach. Both guys will be in the lineup every day.
  • The Mariners were off yesterday, so the Times has an off-day story on Leonys Martin.
  • The Seattle Times has started to roll out its Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame coverage. This link takes you to their main page, which includes a cool story from Larry Stone on the making of Griffey’s Hall of Fame plaque.
  • Oklahoma City’s Jose De Leon – the guy who ended Tacoma’s eight-game winning streak on Wednesday – ranks No. 1 in this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
  • John Sickels has some insight on recently-acquired pitcher Paul Blackburn in this post.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Reno picked up a game and is 2.5 games behind Tacoma. Matt Bushmann tossed a gem as the Aces took down Colorado Springs, 7-2.
  • Fresno is still 3.5 games back, thanks to Round Rock starter Michael Roth. The PCL’s earned run average leader, Roth worked the first seven innings of a two-hit shutout. Joey Gallo‘s three-run dinger gave the Express a 3-0 win.
  • Rehabilitating Hunter Pence doubled and homered, helping Sacramento to a 5-4 win at New Orleans. Let’s all assume he celebrated on Bourbon Street.
  • Salt Lake edged Iowa, 5-4, and took three of four in that series. The Des Moines paper focused on rehabilitating Jorge Soler.
  • Mets pitching prospect Robert Gsellman is finally healthy, and he stifled Omaha for seven innings to earn his first Triple-A win for Las Vegas.
  • El Paso took down Memphis, 7-2, for its PCL-leading 57th win.
  • Oh my. Albuquerque’s Eddie Butler carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and then Nashville put together a seven-run rally. Nashville won, 8-4.

Just four games here in Salt Lake City – we’re back home Tuesday, for a nine-game homestand which includes a Thursday night doubleheader.


Mariners Acquire Vogelbach

July 21, 2016

The Seattle Mariners made a trade yesterday afternoon, moving pitchers Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for first baseman Dan Vogelbach and starting pitcher Paul Blackburn.

Vogelbach can really hit. He’s been with Iowa all season, batting .318 with a PCL-leading .425 on-base percentage. He has power, too: he’s hit 18 doubles, two triples, and 16 home runs while compiling a .548 slugging percentage.

Listed as a first baseman, Vogelbach’s best position is the batter’s box. He was blocked in the Chicago Cubs organization (by Anthony Rizzo), and needed to be traded to an American League team with designated hitter availability.

Vogelbach joins the Rainiers tomorrow in Salt Lake City. He’ll make up for the power the Rainiers lost when Mike Zunino was recalled yesterday. Look for Vogelbach and D.J. Peterson to switch between the first base and DH spots for the rest of the season.

Tacoma loses starting pitcher Pries, who has had three straight strong outings since coming up from Double-A Jackson. Pries spent most of the 2014 and 2015 seasons in Tacoma’s starting rotation, and when healthy he has been solid. We wish him the best with his new organization.

Blackburn, the 22-year-old righty acquired in the deal, will report to Double-A Jackson.

The Rainiers will need a starter for Sunday, to take Pries’ spot in the rotation. There are several strong candidates in Double-A.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers eight-game win streak ended emphatically, as the team was shut out by Oklahoma City, 7-0. Dodgers top prospect Jose De Leon looked terrific, keeping Rainiers off-balance with his change-up for eight innings while striking out ten. It was the first time Tacoma has been shut out since April 26.

Roster Moves: Jordan Pries was traded to the Cubs and will report to Iowa, so Tacoma has a hole in the starting rotation which needs to be filled by Sunday. Dan Vogelbach will join the Rainiers tomorrow in Salt Lake City. Luis Sardinas is not with the Rainiers – he flew to Toronto with the Mariners as a precaution in case Ketel Marte is not recovered from his illness.

Today: Oklahoma City (54-42) at Tacoma (55-41-1), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Brock Stewart (3-0, 3.23) at RHP Jarrett Grube (1-1, 4.62).

Hot Rainiers: Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in ten straight games, and 19 of 22 games since joining the Rainiers… Rob Brantly is 9-for-22 with two home runs in his last six games.

Look Out For: Austin Barnes carries an eight-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… Rob Segedin is 5-for-9 in this series; he was Oklahoma City’s all-star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

Ex-Rainiers: Welcome back, Logan Bawcom. Bawcom pitched three seasons for Tacoma, 2013-2015, and was a big part of the Rainiers community outreach by participating in many volunteer events.

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.

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

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

After tonight, the Rainiers head to Salt Lake for the weekend. The team returns to Cheney Stadium for a nine-game homestand starting on Tuesday.


No. 8 Was A Thrill

July 20, 2016

The Rainiers won their eighth straight game last night, taking down Oklahoma City 5-4 in dramatic fashion.

Guillermo Heredia hit a walk-off two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Rainiers a stunning win. It was the second day in a row in which Tacoma scored two runs in its final at-bat to overcome a one-run deficit.

Heredia has been on a tear, hitting safely in nine straight games while going 17-for-38 in the process. The 25-year-old Cuban came up from Double-A Jackson when Boog Powell hit the suspended list, and he’s actually improved the Rainiers production from center field.

As hot as Heredia has been, the homer was a surprise. He’s not a power hitter, he slaps a lot of singles on the ground and sometimes lines one into the outfield. But this time, he got a pitch in his wheelhouse:

(If the highlight doesn’t play in this window, click on it and it should open in a new window)

The eight-game winning streak is Tacoma’s longest since the club won ten straight starting on April 23, 2013.

If the Rainiers are going to keep this streak going, they are going to do it with a new-look lineup. Mike Zunino and Nori Aoki are gone.

Today the Mariners called up Zunino and Aoki, and also activated Felix Hernandez from the disabled list. Optioned to Tacoma are Daniel Robertson, Jesus Sucre, and David Rollins.

Zunino is the big loss – and he probably isn’t coming back this time. He leads the Rainiers with 17 home runs, has been a force in the middle of the lineup, and has handled the pitching staff all season. Sucre will provide strong defense, but he doesn’t have the run-producing bat of Zunino.

Aoki played really well for the Rainiers, and earned his recall. But Robertson should slide right back into his prior role with Tacoma.

The Rainiers bullpen gets a lift with the addition of Rollins, who has been terrific when in Tacoma this year. He’ll start getting meaningful innings late in games, right away.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers made it eight straight wins when Guillermo Heredia hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rainiers a 5-4 victory over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

Roster Moves: The Mariners made wholesale changes after last night’s game: the activated Felix Hernandez from the disabled list, and called up both Mike Zunino and Nori Aoki. Three players were optioned to Tacoma: outfielder Daniel Robertson, catcher Jesus Sucre, and pitcher David Rollins.

Today: Oklahoma City (53-42) at Tacoma (55-40-1), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jose De Leon (2-0, 3.06) at RHP Cody Martin (8-5, 3.63).

De Leon is touted as a top prospect in the Dodgers organization. This will be his first time facing Tacoma.

 

Hot Rainiers: Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in nine straight games, and 18 of 21 games since joining the Rainiers… D.J. Peterson had his six-game hitting streak end last night… Nori Aoki went 10-for-18 in his last four games, but he’s gone now… Rob Brantly is 8-for-18 with two home runs in his last five games.

Look Out For: Austin Barnes carries a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… Rob Segedin went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer last night; he was Oklahoma City’s all-star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby… top prospect Julio Urias was announced as Thursday’s starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, so we’re not going to get to see him pitch.

Ex-Rainiers: Welcome back, Logan Bawcom. Bawcom pitched three seasons for Tacoma, 2013-2015, and was a big part of the Rainiers community outreach by participating in many volunteer events.

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.

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

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Fresno’s Joe Musgrove tossed a gem and beat Round Rock, 1-0. Fresno is still 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • Shelby Miller struck out ten and helped Reno beat Colorado Springs, 9-6. The Aces are also 4.5 games behind Tacoma.
  • Sacramento and New Orleans shut each other out in a split doubleheader, while Dee Gordon rehabbed with the Zephyrs.
  • Albuquerque swept a doubleheader from Nashville and has won nine straight games – tying the modern franchise record.
  • New addition Taylor Lindsey hit for the cycle in El Paso’s 9-2 win over Memphis.
  • Raul Mondesi came a single away from cycling in Omaha’s 13-6 wipeout of Las Vegas.
  • Salt Lake at Iowa got rained out – they are trying to play two today.

Last night the Rainiers got magic number eight. Now let’s go niners whoops that probably won’t go over very well here… how about nine minutes of No. 9?


Rainiers Win In Lucky 12th

July 19, 2016

The Rainiers won their seventh straight game on Monday night, beating Oklahoma City with two runs in the bottom of the 12th inning, 5-4. The way the runs scored was… unusual.

First off, the Dodgers scored in the top of the 12th to take a 4-3 lead – and they had runners at first and third with nobody out. They were threatening to score multiple runs, but after allowing three straight hits to open the inning reliever Guido Knudson worked out of the jam with no additional runs scoring.

In the bottom of the 12th, the baseball gods smiled upon Tacoma.

With one out, Nori Aoki reached on an infield single, and Guillermo Heredia singled to right-center – Aoki stopped at second base after rolling his ankle on the bag while taking the turn; he’s OK and is available for tonight’s game.

That’s when things got weird.

Rob Brantly worked a 2-2 count, and then we had a pitch clock violation. Oklahoma City reliever Layne Somsen was called for taking too long between pitches (over 20 seconds) and ball three was awarded to Brantly. This would be key, as Brantly drew a rare walk to load the bases.

It was the second pitch clock violation we have seen called this season, and both have been called in key situations with the game on the line – and both by the same umpire, Alex Ortiz. The first one came July 8th at Sacramento, a strike to Aoki for being slow getting into the batters box representing the tying run in with two outs in the ninth.

A brief rant:

I love the pitch clock like a son. It has worked incredibly well, shaving 15 minutes off the average time of Triple-A games and bringing a good pace back to PCL play. I wouldn’t trade the pitch clock for Mike Trout – you can keep your superstar outfielder, I’ll keep my clock and my fast-paced, entertaining baseball games.

That being said, pitch clock violations should not be called in tense situations with the game on the line. Call them in the first six or seven innings, to maintain and enforce a good pace, but let’s not make ticky-tack calls in the ninth (or 12th) with the game on the line.

This doesn’t require a rule book change. All it requires is common sense from the umpires to let it slide when the game is at a key moment.

End of rant. Sorry about that.

The bases were loaded with one out, Tacoma down by a run, and all-star Stefen Romero was at the plate. This was a great situation, right?

Well, Romero hit a double-play grounder to shortstop which should have ended the game – except shortstop Charlie Culberson didn’t glove the ball cleanly and was unable to get anybody out, and Aoki scored the tying run.

That brought up D.J. Peterson with the bases loaded, and he worked a full count before squibbing a ground ball between first and second. Second baseman Micah Johnson ranged into the hole but couldn’t field it cleanly (and would not have been able to throw anyone out if he had), and Heredia scampered home with the winning run.

It was a two-run rally with one hard-hit ball, Heredia’s single. There were two infield singles, a pitch clock violation walk, and an error.

In the 12th inning, Oklahoma City hit four balls hard and scored one run, while the Rainiers hit one ball hard and managed to score two runs.

That’s baseball, eh?

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma won in the 12th inning, 5-4, to extend the winning streak to seven games – a season-best. The Rainiers remained 4.5-games ahead of both Fresno and Reno.

Today: Oklahoma City (53-41) at Tacoma (54-40-1), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Brock Stewart Logan Bawcom (3-3, 2.36) at RHP Jordan Pries (2-1, 3.86).

EDIT: there was a late change, the ex-Rainier is going today, and Stewart will start on Thursday.

A 2014 draftee, Stewart opened the season at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and dominated in two starts, went to Double-A Tulsa and dominated in nine starts, and now he’s with Oklahoma City. In 30.2 innings he has 41 strikeouts and three walks.

Hot Rainiers: Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in eight straight games, and 17 of 20 games since joining the Rainiers… D.J. Peterson has a six-game hitting streak, going 11-for-26 with two homers… Nori Aoki is 7-for-10 in his last two games.

Look Out For: Austin Barnes is a catcher/infielder who has gone back-and-forth between Oklahoma City and LA this year; he brings a six-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… Joc Pederson had his rehabilitation assignment end and he is not here (thank goodness)… top prospect Julio Urias has been temporarily shifted to a bullpen role as the Dodgers monitor his innings count; no telling when he might pitch in this series.

Ex-Rainiers: Welcome back, Logan Bawcom. Bawcom pitched three seasons for Tacoma, 2013-2015, and was a big part of the Rainiers community outreach by participating in many volunteer events. He’s having a good year: 3-3, 2.36 in 42 innings for OKC.

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.

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

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

  • Fresno had a bullpen day and allowed ten hits and seven walks – and won, 8-1. Round Rock managed to leave 15 runners on base, which is something.
  • Kyle Jensen went bonkers, ripping two homers and driving in seven runs as Reno walloped Colorado Springs, 10-1.
  • Sacramento at New Orleans got rained out and they are trying for two tonight.
  • Salt Lake piled up a dozen runs in a 12-7 win at Iowa, but the I-Cubs are getting some big name rehabbers today.
  • Hector Sanchez hit two homers to help El Paso discolor the Redbirds, 11-5.
  • Omaha’s Christian Binford had a strong start in a 2-1 win over Las Vegas.
  • Nashville at Albuquerque got rained out – here’s a picture of the tarp. They’ll play two today.

Eight? Can we make it eight?


Springs Swept, Dodgers Arrive

July 18, 2016

The Rainiers finished a four-game sweep of Colorado Springs with a 7-3 win on Sunday afternoon, and now the homestand continues as the Oklahoma City Dodgers arrive in town.

Tacoma has won six straight games, and leads the Pac-North division by 4.5 games over both Reno and Fresno.

Oklahoma City comes to us from Reno, where they lost three-of-four. But prior to the all-star break, the Dodgers went on a 10-1 stretch to open up a huge lead in the American-North. They currently have an eight-game cushion.

The Dodgers boast top pitching prospects Julio Urias (currently working out of the bullpen) and Jose De Leon (starts Wednesday). Their lineup is mostly veteran players such as Will Venable, Corey Brown, all-star Rob Segedin, and Charlie Culberson.

We had a little dust-up in the series finale against Colorado Springs.

Immediately after D.J. Peterson homered to give Tacoma a 7-3 lead in the fifth inning, Sky Sox pitcher Jorge Lopez drilled Dario Pizzano on the leg with a pitch.

Home plate umpire Sean Ryan instantly tossed Lopez, which really angered Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet – no warning had been issued, and he thought his pitcher shouldn’t have been ejected. Sweet himself ended up earning a rather entertaining ejection.

Fast forward to the eighth inning, and Rainiers reliever Emilio Pagan came far inside with a pitch to Josmil Pinto – missing him, but angering the Sky Sox cleanup hitter.

By this time both teams had been warned, so Pagan and Pat Listach were automatically ejected.

After the second instance, the dugouts cleared in an attempt to keep the peace. Sky Sox players ran towards home plate to make sure Pinto didn’t charge the mound, and Rainiers players made sure Pagan didn’t get into any sort of fracas.

It turned out to be a total non-brawl. The headline would have to be “Dugouts Empty On Peacekeeping Mission” or something like that.

We haven’t had a brawl in years. Where are Charles Gipson and Benji Molina when we need them? Has anyone heard from Carney Lansford or Shane Monahan?

 

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma scored five runs in the first inning and cruised to a 7-3 win over Colorado Springs, completing a four-game series sweep. Patrick Kivlehan homered twice, and Joe Wieland went 6.2 innings for the win in his longest start of the season.

Today: Oklahoma City (53-40) at Tacoma (53-40-1), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Season Series: 0-0.

This is another American Conference opponent. Tacoma and OKC will play just this one four-game series in 2016.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Trevor Oaks (2-0, 4.05) at RHP Zach Lee (0-2, 7.58).

Interesting game for Lee, who pitched for the Dodgers Triple-A club for two-and-a-half seasons before being acquired by the Mariners a few weeks ago. He’ll know pretty much everybody in the Oklahoma City lineup.

Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero had his 12-game hitting streak snapped yesterday… Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in seven straight games, and 16 of 19 games since joining the Rainiers… D.J. Peterson has homered in back-to-back games, and he has a five-game hitting streak.

Look Out For: Austin Barnes is a catcher/infielder who has gone back-and-forth between Oklahoma city and LA this year; he brings a five-game hitting streak into tonight’s game… Joc Pederson has been on a rehabilitation assignment; at publishing time I am unsure if he is coming with them to Tacoma… top prospect Julio Urias has been temporarily shifted to a bullpen role as the Dodgers monitor his innings count; no telling when he might pitch in this series.

Ex-Rainiers: Welcome back, Logan Bawcom. Bawcom pitched three seasons for Tacoma, 2013-2015, and was a big part of the Rainiers community outreach by participating in many volunteer events. He’s having a good year: 3-3, 2.36 in 42 innings for OKC.

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.

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

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

Four more games on this homestand – we have a 7:05 game every night through Thursday.


Is Today Sweeping Sunday?

July 17, 2016

The Rainiers beat Colorado Springs on Saturday night, 7-2, holding the Sky Sox to just three hits in the process.

Tacoma has won five games in a row, including the first three games of the four-game series against Colorado Springs. Tacoma has matched its high-water mark of 12 games over .500, with a record of 52-40.

It’s been a while since we saw a sweep: the Rainiers last sweep was a four-gamer against the Iowa Cubs, May 19-22. Tacoma hasn’t swept the Sky Sox since a three-gamer in 2013.

The team is in this position because the pitching has been dominant. Over the first three games of the series, the Sky Sox have scored a total of four runs on 13 hits. That’s an average of 1.3 runs on 4.3 hits per game.

Colorado Springs has a pretty good offense, although it’s top two power hitters Andy Wilkins and Will Middlebrooks are currently in the majors. But the rest of the team have been effective scorers in the PCL this year, and the Rainiers staff has shut them down for three days.

Let’s see if Tacoma can keep ’em down for one more day.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma scored in each of the first four innings and coasted to a 7-2 win over Colorado Springs on Saturday night. Nori Aoki went 4-for-4 in the leadoff spot, Rob Brantly had three hits including a homer, and D.J. Peterson hit a two-run dinger.

Today: Colorado Springs (44-46-1) at Tacoma (52-40-1), 1:35.

Opponent Affiliation: Milwaukee Brewers.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 3-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jorge Lopez (1-6, 6.33) at RHP Joe Wieland (6-5, 6.63).

Hot Rainiers: Stefen Romero has a 12-game hitting streak, and he has gone 25-for-67 over his last 16 games… Guillermo Heredia has hit safely in six straight games, and 15 of 18 games since joining the Rainiers… D.J. Peterson has six RBI in his last four games, hitting safely in all four.

Look Out For: Orlando Arcia is a 21-year-old shortstop who is considered a top prospect in the Brewers organization. He’s known for his defense, but he had two hits off Felix.

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, and that means that Bob Robertson will join me in the booth and call the middle innings.

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

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story notes that pitcher Donn Roach has been moved to the bullpen, due to major league needs.
  • My weekly Minor League Notebook for the paper looks at the improvement of Double-A Jackson lefty Ryan Yarbrough, who may be next in line for a promotion to Tacoma when the time comes. Looks like you’re going to have to buy a print copy of the paper, as this story does not appear online. Newspaper sales are going to skyrocket!
  • Hisashi Iwakuma was in top form as the Mariners beat Houston on Saturday afternoon, 1-0.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook informs us that Taijuan Walker may have offseason surgery to solve his foot problem.
  • Larry Stone has a column on yesterday’s Mariners game and the upcoming trade deadline.
  • John McGrath has a column on Steve Cishek‘s difficult save, and of course we also have McGrath’s weekly MLB Power Rankings.

PCL Game Reports:

  • New Orleans had a strong start by Justin Nicolino and beat Fresno, 5-1, giving Tacoma a 4.5-game lead over the Grizzlies in the Pac-North standings. I enjoyed the crusty quote from Fresno manager Tony D in this story.
  • Peter O’Brien woke up from a slumber and hit two of Reno’s five home runs in an 8-3 win over Oklahoma City. Reno tied Fresno for second place in the Pac-North.
  • Sacramento’s Chris Stratton struck out 12 in a 3-2 win at Round Rock.
  • Las Vegas hammered Iowa, 11-5, getting home runs from Johnny Monell and Travis Taijeron. Las Vegas continues to try to build a new stadium.
  • Luke Farrell was dealing for Omaha in a 3-0 shutout of Salt Lake.
  • A battle between pitching prospects Alex Reyes and Kyle Freeland turned into a slugfest as Albuquerque topped Memphis, 9-8.
  • Nashville spayed the Chihuahuas, 19-5. Bruce Maxwell went 5-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. The El Paso Times has a feature on Chihuahuas reliever Derek Eitel, who has a different background from most.

Hope to see you at the park – bring your broom!


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