Rainiers Toss Another Shutout

April 16, 2017

The sun is shining – let’s play some daytime baseball!

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Three Tacoma pitchers combined to pitch a five-hit shutout in the Rainiers 2-0 win over Albuquerque on Saturday evening. Ryan Weber went the first five innings, Dillon Overton covered the next three, and Jean Machi finished it up.

Today: Albuquerque (6-4) at Tacoma (5-4), 1:35.

Opponent Affiliation: Colorado Rockies.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Jeff Hoffman (0-0, 4.50) at RHP Chase De Jong (1-0, 1.69).

Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach has reached base via hit or walk in eight straight games, Ben Gamel in seven games, and D.J. Peterson has a six-game on-base streak… reliever Nick Hagadone has retired all seven batters he has faced, striking out six of them.

Look Out For: Outfielder Noel Cuevas is off to a fast start, having already notched three 3-hit games. Catcher Ryan Hanigan has a five-game hitting streak.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: The Isotopes don’t have any ex-Rainiers, but they are carrying former Mariners outfielder Chris Denorfia.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. Pacific Northwest broadcast legend Bob Robertson will join me in the booth today. 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 Reports:

 


Not Your Ordinary Walk-Off

April 15, 2017

The Rainiers walked off El Paso in a new fashion on Friday night, claiming a 2-1 win.

The finish of the game was so unusual that Rainiers manager Pat Listach – a baseball lifer – said he has never seen a game end in this way.

It was tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the ninth, and it had been a long, cold, wet night. An hour-long rain delay in the third inning extended the proceedings, and it was after 11:00 pm when the Rainiers drew three walks to load the bases with two outs.

Tyler O’Neill was the batter, and he quickly fell behind in the count 0-2. We were a strike away from going to extra innings.

Then O’Neill swung and hit a high pop-up in front of home plate. We were definitely going to extra innings.

Except… El Paso catcher Rocky Gale moved out in front of the plate looking for the pop-up, and he started to stagger. He did not look confident that he was going to catch it.

The third baseman Cory Spangenberg is supposed to take over in this situation, but he was playing pretty deep with O’Neill up and he had a long run in.

Ultimately the pitcher Keith Hessler was the one who tried to catch it – which is not the pitcher’s job on a pop-up. Pitchers are instructed to not catch pop-ups; let the infielders handle them.

Hessler didn’t catch it. The ball plopped to the ground right next to his extended glove, Tuffy Gosewisch had already crossed home plate, and the Rainiers had themselves an unexpected 2-1 victory.

We’ll take that one. Tacoma won the series against the Chihuahuas, three games to one.

Now the Albuquerque Isotopes come to town for a three-game series.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma got away with one last night, beating El Paso 2-1 on a bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth inning dropped pop fly. The Rainiers had terrific bullpen work, as five relievers combined to pitch six innings of two-hit, shutout relief.

Roster Moves: The Mariners optioned pitcher Dillon Overton to Tacoma, and he is expected to pitch in today’s game in a relief role. Pitcher Michael Rivera was sent back to extended spring training. Left-handed reliever Paul Fry, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, was apparently claimed by multiple teams. The Mariners worked out a deal to send Fry to the Orioles in exchange for $198,000 of international signing bonus slot money.

Today: Albuquerque (6-3) at Tacoma (4-4), 5:05.

Albuquerque opened at home and won four of five against Salt Lake, then traveled to Reno and split a four-game series.

Opponent Affiliation: Colorado Rockies.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP German Marquez (0-0, 4.91) at RHP Ryan Weber (0-0, 0.00).

Hot Rainiers: Ben Gamel has reached base via hit or walk in six straight games, and D.J. Peterson has a five-game on-base streak… reliever Nick Hagadone has retired all seven batters he has faced, striking out six of them.

Look Out For: The Isotopes are averaging nearly six runs per game, although they have only played games at high elevation. Outfielder Noel Cuevas is off to a fast start, having already notched three 3-hit games. Catcher Ryan Hanigan has a five-game hitting streak.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: The Isotopes don’t have any ex-Rainiers, but they are carrying former Mariners outfielder Chris Denorfia.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 4:50 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 Reports:

  • There was a no-hitter in the PCL last night! Three New Orleans pitchers combined to no-hit the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park in Des Moines, with the Baby Cakes winning the game 11-1. Yes, they pitched a no-hitter and allowed a run. Scott Copeland went the first seven innings. Hunter Cervenka allowed the run in the eighth inning, on two errors and two walks. Brandon Cunniff pitched the ninth and finished it off. It was the first no-hitter in the PCL since 2014.
  • Round Rock avoided a sweep by picking up a 4-2 win at Omaha.
  • Colorado Springs starter Brandon Woodruff pitched well in a 3-1 win at Memphis. That four-game series was a split.
  • A dropped fly ball allowed Oklahoma City to score a 3-2 win at Nashville.
  • Albuquerque and Reno split a doubleheader yesterday. The ‘Topes won the first game, 5-2, as Jordan Patterson drove in three runs. Reno took the second game in extra innings, 4-3, on a walk-off hit by ex-Rainiers third baseman Carlos Rivero.
  • Sacramento scored four runs in the top of the ninth and won in Salt Lake City, 12-10. The game featured six lead changes.
  • Las Vegas won a bullpen game against Fresno, 4-2. The 51s scheduled starter Sean Gilmartin was called up by the Mets the day he was supposed to pitch.

Terrific Pitching Highlights Doubleheader Split

April 14, 2017

Tacoma and El Paso split Thursday’s doubleheader, exchanging shutouts. El Paso took the opener, 1-0, while Tacoma won the second game, 5-0.

The Rainiers starting pitching was magnificent in the twinbill, tossing a complete game in each of the seven-inning contests.

Sam Gaviglio started the first game. He allowed a two-out RBI single to Jamie Romak in the top of the first inning, and then nothing else. He retired the final 17 batters he faced and needed just 85 pitches to get through seven frames.

In the second game Chris Heston tossed a four-hit shutout. He was only in trouble in the first inning, when he escaped a first & third, one-out jam. Heston needed just 83 pitches while tossing his first shutout since June 9, 2015 when he no-hit the Mets at Citi Field.

Offensively the Rainiers had a couple of missed scoring opportunities in the first game, and more over the first few innings of game two, before putting together a four-run rally in the fifth inning of the nightcap.

The four-game series wraps up tonight, and the Rainiers have an opportunity to win the series.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma split a doubleheader with El Paso despite allowing just one run total. El Paso’s Matt Magill pitched six innings of two-hit ball in the Chihuahuas 1-0 game one victory, and Tacoma’s Chris Heston delivered a complete game shutout in the second game.

Roster Moves: Tacoma is expecting to add reliever Casey Fien to the active roster prior to tonight’s game. There is room for him on the roster.

Today: El Paso (4-4) at Tacoma (3-4), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 0.00) at RHP Dylan Unsworth (0-1, 3.18).

It still bothers me that Dinelson Lamet doesn’t pitch for the Mets. His name is The Met!

Hot Rainiers: Gordon Beckham is 5-for-10 over the first three games of this homestand, with a double, a homer, and two walks… Dan Vogelbach‘s three-hit performance in the second game last night was encouraging, as he struggled to hit for average at Cheney Stadium last year.

Look Out For: El Paso had just eight hits and scored one run in the entire doubleheader, so I guess we could be concerned about a bounce-back tonight.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: Former Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom is now a Chihuahua. He signed with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason… El Paso pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers for two years, 1993-1994.

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:

  • The News Tribune has a story on Rainiers outfielder Ben Gamel, and a recap (with reaction from manager Pat Listach) of last night’s doubleheader.
  • The Mariners were off yesterday. They filled the void by unveiling their new statue of Ken Griffey Jr. It looks pretty cool!
  • John McGrath has ten observations from the Mariners first ten games.
  • Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet is back. Several PCL players appear, and so does a Mariners Double-A pitcher.
  • Today is the ten-year anniversary of one of the greatest moments in baseball broadcasting history: the Boston pizza incident. This is especially poignant for Rainiers fans, since we have a player named PizzaNo! I still laugh throughout this video, but the underrated gem is “He’s the Pepsi Fan of the Game until he gets kicked out.”

PCL Reports:


Let’s Play Two!

April 13, 2017

Wednesday’s game was rained out, and we’re making it up with a doubleheader tonight. It will be two seven-inning games, starting at 6:05.

It started pouring rain at 7:00 and it lasted well past 10:00 last night. Hopefully we’re in good shape to play tonight.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: … and sometimes, it rains.

Roster Moves: Tacoma has temporarily added 19-year-old Michael Rivera from extended spring training to provide additional pitching depth.

Today: El Paso (3-3) at Tacoma (2-3), doubleheader, 6:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers:

  • G1: RHP Matt Magill (0-0, 1.50) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (–).
  • G2: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (1-0, 0.00) at RHP Chris Heston (0-0, 5.40).

Sam Gaviglio has been scheduled to pitch three times this season. All three times the game has been rained out. Hopefully that streak ends today.

Hot Rainiers: Tyler O’Neill has had a flair for making grand entrances. He hit a long three-run homer in his second at-bat at Sacramento on Saturday, and then homered in his first Cheney Stadium plate appearance Tuesday.

Look Out For: Triple-A veteran Jamie Romak has already hit three home runs… outfielder Jose Pirela is 3-for-3 stealing bases.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: Former Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom is now a Chihuahua. He signed with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason… El Paso pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers for two years, 1993-1994.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 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 Reports:


Rainiers Put On Show In Opener

April 12, 2017

That was a fun one last night!

Tacoma scored seven runs on 11 hits over the first five innings in the home opener on Tuesday night, eventually claiming a 7-2 win over El Paso.

Starter Christian Bergman struck out the side in the top of the first inning, and we were off.

Tyler O’Neill launched a homer into the R-Yard in his first Cheney Stadium at-bat, and Gordon Beckham lined one onto the deck later in the game.

And Zach Shank did Zach Shank things, spraying three singles, driving in a run, aggressively taking a base on a pitch in the dirt, and making a diving stop.

We had a spirited crowd of 4,659 brave the cold on a Tuesday night to welcome the team to town. Thanks for coming! Let’s do it again tonight.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma banged out 11 hits over the first five innings to support starter Christian Bergman and the Rainiers won their home opener, 7-2. Tyler O’Neill and Gordon Beckham hit solo homers and Zach Shank was 3-for-4 in the win.

Roster Moves: Prior to yesterday’s game, the Mariners called up infielder Mike Freeman to replace the injured Jean Segura. They had to designate Paul Fry for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster, and he is currently on waivers and is not available to pitch for Tacoma at the moment. Today the Mariners activated Boog Powell from the suspended list and optioned him to Tacoma, called up reliever Evan Marshall, and outrighted reliever Casey Fien to Tacoma.

Today: El Paso (3-3) at Tacoma (2-3), 7:05.

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Matt Magill (0-0, 1.50) at RHP Sam Gaviglio (–).

Originally named Tacoma’s opening day starter by manager Pat Listach, Gaviglio will finally make his season debut in the season’s sixth game. Opening day in Sacramento was rained out; day two we began the game but Tony Zych pitched the first inning on rehab. Gaviglio was completely warmed up and ready to enter the game when the rain came, washing it away before he got into the game.

Hot Rainiers: Tyler O’Neill has had a flair for making grand entrances. He hit a long three-run homer in his second at-bat at Sacramento on Saturday, and then homered in his first Cheney Stadium plate appearance yesterday.

Look Out For: Triple-A veteran Jamie Romak has already hit three home runs… outfielder Jose Pirela is already 3-for-3 stealing bases.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: Former Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom is now a Chihuahua. He signed with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason… El Paso pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers for two years, 1993-1994.

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 Reports:

  • The Las Vegas 51s fans got the best home opener: they saw their team beat Fresno 21-6. They had 19 hits and drew nine walks, and Vegas scored in every inning except for the second.
  • Reno scored in the eighth inning to beat Albuquerque, 4-3, in the Aces home opener.
  • Sacramento scored in the 11th inning to win at Salt Lake, 8-7. Carlos Moncrief had the game-winning hit.
  • New Orleans spoiled the Iowa Cubs home opener by winning in the tenth inning, 2-1. The local paper has a feature on top prospect Ian Happ.
  • Nashville’s home opener was a soggy affair. The Sounds beat Oklahoma City in a rain-shortened game.
  • Jorge Bonifacio drove in four runs and Omaha hammered Round Rock, 9-1.
  • Two home runs by Casey Kelly helped Memphis top Colorado Springs, 5-1. Memphis has a record of 5-1 which is the franchises’ best start since 2001.

Home Opener Tonight!

April 11, 2017

The Rainiers get to Cheney Stadium tonight for their first home game of the season, a 7:05 contest against the defending PCL Champion El Paso Chihuahuas.

The home opener is always a special night. It’s the door to a summer of fun at Cheney Stadium, and it all begins this evening.

Tacoma comes in with a 1-3 record. The team is just getting into a rhythm, after suffering back-to-back rain outs on the first two nights of the season, then playing four games in three days. They did get the first win in the books on Monday afternoon.

A seven-game homestand will be played. The Chihuahuas are here for the first four games, and then Albuquerque arrives for three.

We hope you can make it out to the park. Bundle up!

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Tacoma and Sacramento split a doubleheader. The Rainiers earned their first win of the season in the opening game, 3-1, as Chase De Jong pitched into the sixth inning. Sacramento shut out Tacoma on three hits in the second game, 4-0.

Today: El Paso (3-2) at Tacoma (1-3), 7:25.

Opponent Affiliation: San Diego Padres.

Season Series: 0-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Walker Lockett (1-0, 1.50) at RHP Christian Bergman (–).

Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach has been the Rainiers top hitter so far, reaching base six times with four hits and two walks. However, the team is batting just .214 after four games.

Look Out For: Triple-A veteran Jamie Romak has already hit three homer runs… ex-Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash opened the season with El Paso, but he has been called up by the Padres.

Ex-Rainiers and Locals: Former Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom is now a Chihuahua. He signed with the Padres as a free agent during the offseason… El Paso pitching coach Bronswell Patrick pitched for the Tacoma Tigers for two years, 1993-1994.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 7:10 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 Reports:

  • El Paso got shut out by Las Vegas in a day game before flying to Tacoma.
  • Reno had 12 hits (11 singles) in a 5-2 win at Fresno.
  • Raimel Tapia and Albuquerque walked off Salt Lake in the tenth inning, 3-2.
  • Oklahoma City’s Julio Urias made his first start of the season in a 5-2 win over Iowa.
  • Will Middlebrooks hit another homer in Round Rock’s 5-4 win over Nashville.
  • Memphis’s Luke Voit ate the Baby Cakes with a two-run homer in the ninth inning, giving the Redbirds a 7-6 win over New Orleans.

Rainiers Look For First Win In DH

April 10, 2017

Tacoma fell to 0-2 on the season by losing in Sacramento on Sunday afternoon, 5-1.

Good pitching by Sacramento was the problem. Top prospect Tyler Beede was strong for six innings, and the River Cats bullpen protected a 2-1 lead until Kyle Blanks lined a three-run homer in the eighth inning to ice the game.

Tacoma’s Dylan Unsworth was solid in his Triple-A debut, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings. He commanded his pitches well and threw strikes repeatedly – 57 of his 76 pitches were strikes. He works at a good pace, too.

The Rainiers will have two chances to acquire that first win today, playing a doubleheader starting at 4:05. Then we fly home in the morning to play the Cheney Stadium opener on Tuesday night.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Sacramento starter Tyler Beede and three relievers limited Tacoma to seven singles in a 5-1 River Cats victory.

Roster Move: Tacoma added pitcher Chase De Jong to the active roster prior to yesterday’s game. To make room, outfielder James Ramsey was released. Tacoma will go with just 11 position players until Boog Powell is eligible to play on Tuesday (or Wednesday – not sure how the suspended game fits into this).

Today: Tacoma (0-2) at Sacramento (2-0), doubleheader, 4:05.

We’re making up the opening night rain out. It will be two seven-inning games, with about a half-hour between games.

Opponent Affiliation: San Francisco Giants.

Season Series: Sacramento leads, 2-0.

Starting Pitchers:

  • G1: RHP Chase De Jong (–) at RHP Joan Gregorio (–).
  • G2: RHP Ryan Weber (-) at LHP Ricky Romero (-).

Hot Rainiers: Dan Vogelbach reached base three times yesterday, with two singles and a walk. Sacramento was playing a big shift on him, and he beat it going to the opposite field once.

Look Out For: Kelby Tomlinson has four hits and has scored four runs after two games.

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 3:50 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 Reports: