Rainiers Look For Series Win Tonight

August 10, 2017

Tacoma has a chance to win the series against Nashville, and a victory tonight will do the trick. Tacoma has won two of the first three games against the Sounds.

The Rainiers have won the home series against the Sounds the last four times Nashville has visited Tacoma.

Nashville comes to town in the odd-numbered years, for one four-game series. The last four times Nashville has visited Cheney Stadium the Rainiers have won the series 3-1.

  • 2009: Tacoma 3, Nashville 1
  • 2011: Tacoma 3, Nashville 1
  • 2013: Tacoma 3, Nashville 1
  • 2015: Tacoma 3, Nashville 1

Kind of eerie, isn’t it? Leading the series two games to one, the Rainiers appear destined to win tonight.

Nashville was the Brewers affiliate in 2009, 2011, and 2013. They switched to Oakland in 2015 and still lost three of four.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Early two-run homers by Dan Vogelbach and Mike Marjama gave Tacoma a 4-1 lead, and then Tacoma scored five runs in the fifth inning and coasted to a 9-2 win over Nashville on Wednesday night. Ernesto Frieri earned the win in relief, pitching 2.1 perfect innings.

Today: Nashville (55-61) at Tacoma (58-59), 7:05

Opponent Affiliation: Oakland A’s.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Ben Bracewell (1-2, 6.89) at RHP Max Povse (1-0, 8.74).

It’s another ‘bullpen day’ for the Rainiers, who will be doing a lot of this in the final weeks of the season. Povse has been pitching from the bullpen lately and is unlike to go more than three innings.

Hot RainiersIan Miller has reached safely in 17 of his 18 Triple-A games… Taylor Motter has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 outings.

Look Out For: PCL All-Star MVP Renato Nunez still leads all of minor league baseball in home runs, with 30… Joey Wendle has a seven-game hitting streak, and so does Yairo Munoz… shortstop Franklin Barreto is a highly regarded prospect.

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:

  • Zach Borenstein and Ildemaro Vargas each hit two homers for Reno in an 11-2 win at Las Vegas. The Aces opened up a two-game lead over second place Fresno in the Pac-North. The Review-Journal has a story on 51s broadcaster Russ Langer.
  • El Paso won in Fresno, 5-3, behind the pitching of Dillon Overton.
  • After a rain delay and extra innings, top prospect Alex Verdugo launched a three-run homer in the top of the 11th to give Oklahoma City a 6-3 win at Salt Lake.
  • Albuquerque picked up a game on the first-place Bees in the Pac-South by scoring four runs in the ninth and beating New Orleans, 5-2.
  • Victor Caratini doubled twice in Iowa’s 7-3 win over Sacramento.
  • Memphis took down Omaha, 3-2, on Harrison Bader‘s RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning. Memphis is 37 games over .500.
  • Round Rock at Colorado Springs got rained out for the second day in a row. I heard they are actually playing today.

The Time Chris Carter Went Crazy In The Playoffs

August 9, 2017

Nashville’s Chris Carter is currently visiting Cheney Stadium, where he once put on one of the most impressive displays of power I’ve ever seen

Back in 2009, Carter was an Oakland A’s prospect. The first baseman was promoted late in the season from Double-A Midland to Triple-A Sacramento.

Sacramento was playoff bound (as they always were back then), and in 2009 they were not in the same division as Tacoma. Tacoma snuck into the playoffs by winning the Pac-North on the final day of the regular season, and prepared to play Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs.

Carter had hit 24 home runs for Midland, and another four in just 13 games after his mid-August promotion to Sacramento. Just 22 years old, he was an exciting prospect to watch in the playoff series.

He homered in the first game of the series, at Cheney. Then he homered in Game Two.

The series moved to Raley Field in Sacramento, and Carter homered in Game Three. And in Game Four – a Sacramento win which eliminated the Rainiers – Carter homered again.

He went deep in four straight playoff games against the Rainiers. A one-man wrecking crew. If you’re going to lose a playoff series, it might as well be like this.

Now 30 years old, Carter recently re-signed a minor league deal with Oakland after being released out of the big leagues by the Yankees. The A’s are affiliated with Nashville now, and I’m sure the trip to Cheney Stadium has brought back memories for him.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Nashville scored three runs in the top of the tenth inning and beat Tacoma on Tuesday afternoon, 6-3. Taylor Motter homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot in the eighth which briefly gave the Rainiers a 3-2 lead.

Roster Moves: Yesterday Tacoma added pitcher Chris Castellanos from the Arizona Rookie League, and he took the loss in his Triple-A debut. The Mariners announced they have acquired veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri from the Texas Rangers, and assigned him to Tacoma.

Today: Nashville (55-60) at Tacoma (57-59), 7:05

Opponent Affiliation: Oakland A’s.

Season Series: Tied, 1-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 4.62) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-5, 3.79).

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach had his streak of reaching base in 24 straight games end yesterday… Ian Miller has reached safely in 16 of his 17 Triple-A games… Taylor Motter has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 outings.

Look Out For: PCL All-Star MVP Renato Nunez still leads all of minor league baseball in home runs, with 30. He has a six-game hitting streak, hitting three homers during it… Joey Wendle has a six-game hitting streak… shortstop Franklin Barreto is a highly regarded prospect.

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:

  • We have a new leader in the Pac-North, as Reno regained sole possession of first place by beating Las Vegas, 5-3. Christian Walker hit his 29th home run.
  • Fresno fell one game behind Reno when it lost to El Paso, 7-5.
  • Oklahoma City’s Edwin Rios hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of a 3-2 win at Salt Lake. The Salt Lake Tribune has a feature on Bees general manager Marc Amicone.
  • William Cuevas pitched six innings of the New Orleans Baby Cakes 9-0 shutout of Albuquerque.
  • Iowa knocked off Sacramento in the 11th inning, 6-5, as John Andreoli drove in the winning run.
  • Memphis swept a doubleheader from Omaha, 3-1 and 4-2.
  • Round Rock at Colorado Springs was rained out – they’ll try to play two today.

Rainiers Win Longest Game Of Season

August 8, 2017

We were due for one of these.

The Rainiers finally had a true marathon of a baseball game on Monday night, their first of the 2017 season.

It wasn’t that long in terms of innings. Tacoma won in the bottom of the 12th frame, 8-7, on Zach Shank‘s RBI double down the first base line. When you think of a super-long baseball game, you think about more innings. Fifteen, sixteen or more.

This was a long one based on time of game.

After burning through the first three innings in just 45 minutes, the game slowed to a snail’s pace in the fourth and fifth innings. Pitchers couldn’t through strikes, batters fouled off a ton of pitches, umpires did not enforce pace-of-play rules, and we had several mid-inning pitcher changes.

Two innings – the fourth and fifth – took just under two hours to complete!

When we finished the ninth inning the score was 7-7, and it had taken 4 hours, 7 minutes to get that far.

So why not play another hour?

Tacoma had not played a four-hour game in 2017 until yesterday. The Rainiers won it in a final time of 5 hours, 8 minutes.

I signed off on the postgame show at 12:35 AM – exactly eleven hours before the start of today’s game.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma won in 12 innings, 8-7, as Zach Shank doubled home the winning run. Taylor Motter‘s home run in the bottom of the ninth inning tied the game, 7-7. Tacoma scored three runs on bases loaded walks.

Today: Nashville (54-60) at Tacoma (57-58), 11:35 AM.

Opponent Affiliation: Oakland A’s.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Michael Brady (3-1, 3.35) at RHP Christian Bergman (8-3, 5.10).

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach has reached base in 24 straight games… Ian Miller has reached safely in 15 of his 16 Triple-A games… Taylor Motter has hit safely in ten of his last 11 outings.

Look Out For: PCL All-Star MVP Renato Nunez still leads all of minor league baseball in home runs, with 30. He has a five-game hitting streak, hitting three homers during it… Joey Wendle has a five-game hitting streak… shortstop Franklin Barreto is a highly regarded prospect.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:20 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:

PCL Game Reports:


Rainiers Roster Revamped

August 7, 2017

The Rainiers roster is having major turnover, with just 28 games left in the season. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has made some trades and additional moves. Here’s the rundown:

Outfielder Boog Powell was traded to Oakland for major league first baseman Yonder Alonso. Powell joins Triple-A Nashville, who happens to open a four-game series at Cheney Stadium tonight.

Catcher Mike Marjama and relief pitcher Ryan Garton were acquired from Triple-A Durham (Tampa Bay), with the Mariners giving up Double-A pitcher Luke Misiewicz and Low-A infielder Luis Rengifo.

Marjama was the starting catcher for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game, and he was hitting .274 with nine homers and 51 RBI for Durham. He also threw out 37.2% of opposing base stealers.

Garton joins the Rainiers bullpen. He has split time between Durham and Tampa Bay the past two seasons. This year for Durham, Garton posted a 1.64 ERA in 24 games.

Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch was designated for assignment. The Mariners needed his spot on the 40-man roster to add Garton. We’ll have to wait and see if Gosewisch gets picked up by another team.

Infielder D.J. Peterson was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox, and they are sending him to Triple-A Charlotte.

Outfielder Kyle Waldrop is being promoted to Tacoma from Double-A Arkansas, where he hit .303 with ten homers and 68 RBI in 109 games. Waldrop posted a .367 on-base percentage and is known to be a good defensive outfielder.

In the biggest surprise of all of this, pitcher Chase De Jong was sent to Double-A Arkansas. De Jong is 3-6 with a 6.00 ERA for Tacoma, but he’s had two straight quality starts and the Rainiers were short on starting pitchers to begin with.

The Rainiers now have a starting rotation of Christian Bergman, Sam Gaviglio, Andrew Moore, and two bullpen days per revolution.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers missed out on a chance to split the series against Memphis, getting shut out in the final game 6-0 on Sunday. Tacoma had just three hits and did not advance a runner past first base.

Roster Moves: See above.

Today: Nashville (54-59) at Tacoma (56-58), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Oakland A’s.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Daniel Gossett (3-3, 3.41) at RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 5.50).

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach has reached base in 23 straight games… Ian Miller has reached safely in 14 of his 15 Triple-A games… Taylor Motter had his nine-game hitting streak end yesterday.

Look Out For: PCL All-Star MVP Renato Nunez still leads all of minor league baseball in home runs. He’s hit 30 this year, including homers in each of his last three games… Joey Wendle and Matt McBride each have four-game hitting streaks… shortstop Franklin Barreto is a highly regarded prospect.

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:

  • True story: The News Tribune has a writer cover every Rainiers home game, but the stories never get posted online. Today was an exception – we have a Rainiers game story!
  • Tyler O’Neill reflected on his trade to the Cardinals organization.
  • Lookout Landing has a story on Chase De Jong.
  • The Mariners split the doubleheader in Kansas City, and remain 1.5 games out of the last wild card spot. Three takeaways from the games.
  • Here’s the story on the Boog Powell for Yonder Alonso trade.
  • Baseball America has a report on new Rainiers Ryan Garton and Mike Marjama.

PCL Game Reports:


Speed Game Leads Tacoma To Victory

August 6, 2017

When Ian Miller joined the Rainiers two weeks ago from Double-A Arkansas, we knew he was fast. The stolen base totals alone told that story: 79-for-86 over the last one-and-a-half seasons at the Double-A level.

Last night Miller’s speed was a huge factor in Tacoma’s ninth inning victory.

Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Miller was set to lead off against Memphis closer Josh Lucas. He reached base right away, on a drag bunt up the first base line for a single.

Miller then immediately stole second base, putting the tying run in scoring position.

Zach Shank attempted to bunt him to third, and he laid one down. It wasn’t his best bunt; the ball went right back to the pitcher. but Lucas made a big mistake, attempting to throw Miller out at third base. Miller was too quick for that, beating the throw while Shank was safe at first.

Suddenly the Rainiers had runners at the corners with nobody out, and every opportunity to win the game.

It was over three batters later. Boog Powell singled Miller home to tie the game, Shawn O’Malley moved Shank up to third base by grounding out to the right side, and Taylor Motter singled past the drawn-in infield to score Shank and give the Rainiers the 5-4 win.

Tacoma can earn a split of the four-game series with a victory today.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: The Rainiers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to notch a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Memphis on Saturday night. Taylor Motter singled through the drawn-in infield to bring home Zach Shank with the winning run.

Roster Moves: The Mariners called up Cody Martin to be the 26th man for today’s doubleheader in Kansas City.

Today: Memphis (73-39) at Tacoma (56-57), 1:35.

Opponent Affiliation: St. Louis Cardinals.

Season Series: Memphis leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jack Flaherty (3-1, 3.21) at RHP Andrew Moore (3-2, 3.16).

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach has reached base in 22 straight games… Ian Miller has reached safely in 14 straight games, and has hits in 13 of the 14… Taylor Motter has a nine-game hitting streak, and he has reached base in all 12 games he has played in since joining the Rainiers.

Look Out For: Outfielder Harrison Bader is back from a week-long big league call-up which included his first MLB hits… Aledmys Diaz has a seven-game hitting streak, and Adolis Garcia has a six-game hitting streak… Breyvic Valera is 13-for-28 with two home runs over his last six games.

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.

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

Links:

PCL Game Reports:


There Goes That Storyline

August 5, 2017

Scratched!

Today was supposed to be the showdown between Marco Gonzales and Tyler O’Neill, who were just traded for one another 15 days ago.

But fate intervened.

Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez was placed on the ten-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis, and Seattle called up Gonzales to take his place. Gonzales flew to Kansas City on Friday and is ready to go for tonight’s start.

Because the Rainiers had an off day earlier this week, Tacoma is able to bump up the next two scheduled starters and won’t need a fifth man until Monday. Chase De Jong gets the nod tonight, and Andrew Moore was bumped up to Sunday.

The Tacoma coaching staff will be monitoring the weather in Kansas City today, as rain is expected. If the Mariners get rained out they’ll play a doubleheader on Sunday, which means they would add a 26th man (almost certainly a Tacoma pitcher).

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Memphis made it two straight wins to start the series, beating the Rainiers 5-4 on Friday night. Tyler O’Neill homered in the second inning, and drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth with a ground out. Tacoma had excellent relief with Cody Martin, Shae Simmons, Ryne Harper, and Thyago Vieira each pitching a scoreless inning.

Roster Moves: The Mariners had to place Felix Hernandez on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis, so they called up Marco Gonzales from Tacoma.

Today: Memphis (73-38) at Tacoma (55-57), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: St. Louis Cardinals.

Season Series: Memphis leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Dakota Hudson (0-0, 5.14) at RHP Chase De Jong (3-6, 6.12).

This is the second Triple-A start for Hudson, who was the St. Louis Cardinals supplemental first round draft pick last year out of Mississippi State.

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach has reached base in 21 straight games… Ian Miller had his 12-game hitting streak end last night, but he did draw a walk… Taylor Motter has an eight-game hitting streak, and he has reached base in all 11 games he has played in since joining the Rainiers.

Look Out For: Outfielder Harrison Bader is back from a week-long big league call-up which included his first MLB hits… Nick Martini has a seven-game hitting streak, and Alex Mejia has a six-game hitting streak… Breyvic Valera is 11-for-24 with two home runs over his last five games… Tyler O’Neill has three homers and 12 RBI over his last six games.

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:


Memphis Opens Series With Win

August 4, 2017

Memphis won the opening game of the series on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium, using a series of soft hits to score four runs in the top of the first inning and coasting to a 10-4 victory.

We’re seeing a team on a historic run right now, and the Rainiers are going to have to try to stop it – or at least slow it down a bit – over the next three games.

Memphis has the best record in Triple-A Baseball, with a mark of 72-38. That’s 34 games over .500.

The Redbirds have been in the Pacific Coast League since 1998, and this is the first time they have ever had a twenty-game lead (!) in the standings.

Their franchise record for wins in a season is 83, and with 32 games left they appear to be a lock to surpass that mark.

Really, a 90-win season isn’t out of line. If they go 18-14 down the stretch they’ll be the first PCL team to win 90 games in a season since Tucson went 91-53 in 2006.

Memphis is 26-7 in the last 33 games, and has gone 16-5 since the All-Star break.

Let’s see if the Rainiers can cool them down a bit tonight.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Memphis struck for 17 hits in a 10-4 series-opening win at Cheney Stadium. Shawn O’Malley started a rehabilitation assignment with the Rainiers and went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. The Rainiers kept Tyler O’Neill (1-for-5) in check.

Today: Memphis (72-38) at Tacoma (55-56), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: St. Louis Cardinals.

Season Series: Memphis leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP John Gant (3-5, 4.19) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-4, 3.44).

Hot RainiersDan Vogelbach has reached base in 20 straight games… Ian Miller has hit safely in 12 straight games since coming up from Double-A Arkansas… Taylor Motter has a seven-game hitting streak.

Look Out For: Outfielder Harrison Bader is back from a week-long big league call-up which included his first MLB hits… Nick Martini has a six-game hitting streak, and Alex Mejia and Adonis Garcia both have five-game hitting streaks… Breyvic Valera is 10-for-19 with two home runs over his last four games.

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 banged out 12 hits – including three by Tony Kemp – and won at Iowa, 8-1. The Grizzlies remain in first place in the Pac-North.
  • Reno edged Nashville, 4-3, and remains one game behind Fresno in the standings.
  • Salt Lake lost its series opener at home to Colorado Springs, 10-6, but the Bees still lead the Pac-South by one game over Albuquerque.
  • The ‘Topes got smoked in Round Rock, 6-1, as Willie Calhoun hit his first homer as a member of the Rangers organization. Calhoun likes to imitate major leaguer’s swings – while in the game.
  • Mitch Atkins and Las Vegas shut out Oklahoma City, 4-0.
  • Omaha welcomed PCL All-Star Raul Mondesi back to the lineup and took down Sacramento, 7-1. The story explains why Mondesi did not make it to the All-Star Game, which left Omaha as the only unrepresented team in Tacoma.
  • When you leave a cake out in the rain, it gets so gross even a chihuahua won’t eat it. El Paso and New Orleans were rained out.