Noon Game Today: Rainiers Go For Series Win On Road

April 16, 2018

UPDATE: Monday’s game in Sacramento has been rained out. It will be made up on Mother’s Day, May 13th, when Tacoma is back in Sacramento. 1:05 pm start.

We’ve got an early start today: a 12:05 first pitch from Sacramento where the Rainiers are trying to get their first road series win of the year, and post a winning record on the first road trip of the season. Tacoma has won two of the first three games here, and is 3-3 on the seven-game road trip.

If you are listening on the radio, tune in early for the pregame show at 11:50. Dusty Baker is my interview subject and he talks a bit about Tacoma manager Pat Listach, whom he has known for decades. UPDATE: we will air this interview on Tuesday instead, due to Monday’s early postponement.

Yesterday the Rainiers took advantage of all of Sacramento’s mistakes in the early innings and led 14-0 in the fourth. River Cats make a first inning error? That’s a run. Cats walk four Tacoma batters in a row in the third inning? Oh boy, that’s gonna be a lot of runs. Everything went right for Tacoma.

After today’s game the team flies North and will open a seven-game homestand on Tuesday night.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma scored five runs in the third and seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 15-5 win at Sacramento on Sunday. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Andreoli each hit three-run homers, and Cameron Perkins had three hits.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel went 0-for-3 with three walks yesterday. Erasmo Ramirez is penciled in as Tacoma’s starter at home on Tuesday.

TODAY: Tacoma (5-6) at Sacramento (5-6), 12:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 4-4.

PITCHERS: RHP Josh Smith (0-2, 7.11) at LHP Andrew Suarez (0-0, 0.00)

Suarez is fresh off making his major league debut five days ago for the Giants.

HOT HITTERS: John Andreoli has gone 11-for-26 with 11 RBI during a six-game hitting streak… Cameron Perkins has gone 7-for-11 in his last two games… Matt Hague leads all of Minor League Baseball with 14 walks drawn. Nobody else has more than 11… Danny Muno has reached base safely in all ten games he has played in.

OPPONENT NEWS: Mac Williamson has a nine-game hitting streak, and it is filled with damage. His home run streak ended yesterday at four, but he went 3-for-3, and he is 15-for-23 with three homers against Tacoma… Chase d’Arnaud had a two-homer, six RBI game against Reno on Wednesday; he’s 8-for-19 over his last four games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage was Tacoma’s manager in 2006, and pitcher Chris Heston spent part of the 2017 season with the Rainiers.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 11:50 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:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

FRESNO 5, Reno 0 – one hit? That’s all we got? Three Fresno pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout, led by starter Kent Emanuel. Alejandro Garcia hit a three-run homer.

Salt Lake 7, ALBUQUERQUE 2 – the Bees scored six runs in the top of the first inning, with catcher Jose Briceno hitting a grand slam, and held on for the win. Story from Albuquerque, and we also have a feature on Isotopes outfielder Drew Weeks (fun story).

EL PASO 10, Las Vegas 0 – Padres pitching prospect Eric Lauer struck out ten batters over six shutout innings, allowing just three hits. Catcher Raffy Lopez went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI. Story from MiLB.com.

Round Rock and COLORADO SPRINGS – split a doubleheader. Brewers pitching prospect Freddy Peralta pitched well in the opening game and improved to 3-0, 1.13.

Omaha and NASHVILLE – finished a suspended game and played another, and Nashville recorded a sweep. The suspended game was 14-7, and the regular game was 1-0 as James Naile pitched a complete game shutout. Story from MiLB.com.

Iowa 9, MEMPHIS 4 – trailing 3-2 after seven, Iowa scored four runs in the top of the eighth and three more in the ninth to get the win. David Bote was 5-for-5 with a triple, a homer, and two RBI.

OKLAHOMA CITY 8, New Orleans 6 (10) – Henry Ramos hit his second grand slam of the season in regulation, and Alex Verdugo hit a walk-off three-run homer in the tenth for Oklahoma City. Story from Oklahoma.

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Izturis Jr. Lightens Mood

April 15, 2018

The Rainiers were getting knocked around on Saturday night in Sacramento, and nobody seemed to be having any fun. Leave it to an 18-year-old to save the day.

No, Cesar Izturis Jr. didn’t lead the Rainiers to an amazing comeback. But his pure joy upon appearing in his first game on U.S. soil, and then collecting his first hit, was enough to remind everyone that the game is fun.

The son of longtime major league infielder Cesar Izturis has been sitting on the Rainiers bench since opening day, hoping for a chance to play in a game. When Taylor Motter was called up by Seattle right before Tacoma’s opening day, the organization brought Izturis Jr. up from extended spring training to serve as an emergency infielder and gain some in-the-dugout experience being around a Triple-A team.

Izturis Jr. was signed out of Venezuela last year, and played in the Dominican Summer League. He showed enough for the Mariners to acquire a visa for him this year, and bring him to the states. He was set to begin the season with one of the short-season teams this summer – most likely the Peoria entry in the Arizona Rookie League – before Motter’s injury.

Instead, for the first two weeks of the season this comparatively older Tacoma Rainiers team has been travelling around with an 18-year-old kid.

With Tacoma trailing 12-4 in the top of the eighth inning on Saturday night at Raley Field, Rainiers manager Pat Listach decided it was the time. He sent Izturis Jr. to the plate, pinch-hitting for Danny Muno.

Facing submarine-style right-hander Tyler Rogers, the switch-hitting Izturis Jr. lifted a fly ball over the head of the drawn-in left fielder. It took a bounce and hit the outfield wall, resulting in an RBI double.

The hit knocked Rogers out of the game. During the ensuing pitching change, Izturis ran over to third base and hugged Listach in the coach’s box, base runner John Andreoli who had stopped at third, and anyone else who was in the area. He may have hugged the umpire; I don’t know.

The glee on the face of Izturis Jr. caused the veteran Tacoma players to remember when they were just starting out in the game, and how fun it is.

In the locker room after the game, the 12-7 loss to Sacramento didn’t sting quite as bad.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma pitchers issued 12 walks in a 12-7 loss to Sacramento. Cameron Perkins hit four singles, and Chris Herrmann did something odd: he reached base three times on errors, all infield grounders that were misplayed.

ROSTER MOVE: The Mariners activated Nelson Cruz from the disabled list on Saturday, and optioned pitcher Casey Lawrence to Tacoma.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel was off last night; look for him to be back in the lineup today.

TODAY: Tacoma (4-6) at Sacramento (5-5), 1:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 4-3.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (1-0, 0.00) at RHP Jose Flores (0-0, 1.80)

With these teams playing each other so often to start the season, Flores is the only player on Sacramento’s roster that Tacoma hasn’t seen yet.

HOT HITTERS: John Andreoli has gone 9-for-21 with eight RBI during a five-game hitting streak… Matt Hague leads all of Minor League Baseball with 14 walks drawn. Nobody else has more than 11… Danny Muno has each reached base safely in all nine games he has played in.

OPPONENT NEWS: Mac Williamson has an eight-game hitting streak, and it is filled with damage. He has homered in four straight games, and he is 12-for-20 with three homers against Tacoma… Chase d’Arnaud had a two-homer, six RBI game against Reno on Wednesday; he’s 7-for-14 over his last three games.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage was Tacoma’s manager in 2006, and pitcher Chris Heston spent part of the 2017 season with the Rainiers.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 12:50 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:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS)

FRESNO 4, Reno 1 – this was a 1-1 game until the bottom of the eighth when Fresno scored three times. Kyle Tucker hit a go-ahead RBI double, and Tyler White followed with a two-run homer. Rogelio Armenteros had a strong start for Fresno.

EL PASO 11, Las Vegas 7 – Diego Goris led the charge of the Chihuahuas, going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Javy Guerra hit two triples. Story from El Paso.

Salt Lake 9, ALBUQUERQUE 4 – the Bees picked up a road win as Zach Hauchins doubled, homered, and drove in three runs out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

OKLAHOMA CITY 3, New Orleans 2 – the Dodgers pulled out the win with a good old-fashioned walk-off squeeze bunt, off the bat of Rocky Gale.

MEMPHIS 3, Iowa 1 – The Redbirds improved to 10-1 as Daniel Poncedeleon struck out 12 batters in just five innings of work. Story from MiLB.com.

Round Rock 8, COLORADO SPRINGS 6 – Destin Hood launched a pair of solo homers and Willie Calhoun had three hits as Round Rock finally won its second game of the season. Story from MiLB.com.

NASHVILLE 6, Omaha 2 – *suspended* in the fourth inning due to rain; they’ll pick it up from there today. Details.


Pitching Rules As Rainiers Win Series Opener In Sacramento

April 14, 2018

Three Tacoma pitchers put together outstanding games as Tacoma won the first game of the four-game series at Sacramento on Friday night, 3-2.

Rob Whalen started and immediately looked like he was going to have a rough night. In the first inning he gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Mac Williamson, erasing a 2-0 lead the offense had given him in the top of the first. The next two batters followed with singles, and it looked like Whalen was in big trouble.

But he got the last out in the first, and then settled down in a big way. Getting stronger as the game wore on, Whalen ended up going six innings on just 90 pitches. He struck out six and walked only one, and allowed just two hits after the first inning.

Sacramento starter Tyler Herb also settled down, and the score was 2-2 when we went to the top of the seventh inning.

Facing reliever Jose Valdez, Tacoma’s Danny Muno ripped a double to right-center to open the seventh. A wild pitch advanced him to third, but the next batter struck out. Tacoma needed contact from Zach Vincej in order to give Muno a chance to score.

Vincej made contact… with a shallow fly ball to left. Muno tagged at third, left fielder Chris Shaw made the catch, Muno daringly took off, Shaw made his throw, and Muno just barely beat the ball to home plate to score the go-ahead run.

Tacoma’s bullpen had a chance to shine protecting a one-run lead in the late innings. Shawn Armstrong did two innings of work, retiring six of the seven batter he faced. Impressively, he struck out the side in the eighth inning facing Sacramento’s dangerous 3-4-5 hitters.

We reached the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rainiers still led, 3-2. For the first time this season we had a save situation – and the answer to the question: Who is the Rainiers closer?

Manager Pat Listach turned to right-hander Erik Goeddel, who did the job with ease: he set down the side in order, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

It was a great win to open the series, and one of the most exciting games the team has played this season.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma took the lead over Sacramento in the seventh inning and held on for a 3-2 victory on Friday night. Rob Whalen had a strong start, and Tacoma had terrific relief from Shawn Armstrong and Erik Goeddel.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel started in left field and went 2-for-4 with two hard hit balls to the opposite field, one of which went for a double.

TODAY: Tacoma (4-5) at Sacramento (4-5), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 3-3.

PITCHERS: RHP Max Povse (0-1 5.40) at RHP Dereck Rodriguez (0-0, 9.82)

HOT HITTERS: John Andreoli has gone 8-for-16 with seven RBI during a four-game hitting streak… Danny Muno has each reached base safely in all eight games he has played in.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento has lost three-of-four at home… Mac Williamson has a seven-game hitting streak, and it is filled with damage. He has homered in three straight games, and he is 10-for-17 against Tacoma… Chase d’Arnaud had a two-homer, six RBI game against Reno on Wednesday.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage was Tacoma’s manager in 2006, and pitcher Chris Heston spent part of the 2017 season with the Rainiers.

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:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS)

FRESNO 7, Reno 6 (12) – tied 4-4 after nine, nobody scored in the tenth or 11th and then it was two runs in the top of the 12th inning, three in the bottom. Kyle Tucker had the game-winning hit for Fresno.

Las Vegas 7, EL PASO 1 – Vegas starting pitcher Corey Oswalt tossed five shutout innings and struck out seven in a tough environment. Story from El Paso.

Salt Lake 8, ALBUQUERQUE 7 – Salt Lake took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth and allowed five runs before Ian Krol nailed down a difficult save. Story from Albuquerque.

Omaha 5, NASHVILLE 0 – Scott Barlow and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout, and Ryan O’Hearn drove in three runs. Story from Omaha.

MEMPHIS 9, Iowa 3 – leadoff man Randy Arozarena had three hits, including two doubles, and the defending PCL champions improved to… really? 8-1? Come on, guys, take a break! Story from Memphis.

OKLAHOMA CITY 10, New Orleans 3 – Henry Ramos launched a grand slam, but key outfielder Andrew Toles left the game with a sore hamstring after getting three hits. Story from Oklahoma.

Rain 1, Round Rock & COLORADO SPRINGS 0 – postponed. The 1-7 Round Rock Express should probably count this as a victory, and hopefully they took the night to regroup.


Erasmo Solid But Rainiers Lose Series At Fresno, Move On To Sacramento

April 13, 2018

Tacoma was shut down by Fresno’s starter Cy Sneed and did not score until the ninth inning in a 5-3 loss on Thursday night. The Grizzlies won the series, two games to one.

The pitcher with the old-time name brought us back to the dead ball era by delivering five scoreless innings. It appeared that the Rainiers might be shut out for the first time this season, but the club rallied for three runs in the ninth before the game ended.

Rehabilitating Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez pitched four innings, getting stronger as the game progressed. He had some control problems in the first inning, falling behind batters and allowing two hits and a run. He started to command the ball after that, and ended up going four innings giving up three hits and one run, with no walks and one strikeout. He threw 52 pitches, 34 for strikes.

Now we are in Sacramento, facing the River Cats again. Sacramento took three-of-five at Tacoma to start the season last weekend. Tacoma and Sacramento play each other 12 times in the first 19 games of the season.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Fresno built a 5-0 lead and held on to top Tacoma on Thursday night, 5-3. John Andreoli had three hits, including the two-run triple in the ninth that put Tacoma on the scoreboard.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel was the DH and went 0-for-4 on Thursday. Erasmo Ramirez started and threw 52 pitches, allowing one run in four innings.

TODAY: Tacoma (3-5) at Sacramento (4-4), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.

SEASONS SERIES: Sacramento leads, 3-2.

PITCHERS: RHP Rob Whalen (0-0, 7.71) at RHP Tyler Herb (0-0, 15.00)

HOT HITTERS: Gordon Beckham has hit safely in six straight games, and has reached base safely in all eight… John Andreoli has gone 7-for-12 during a three-game hitting streak… Danny Muno has each reached base safely in all seven games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento just lost two-of-three at home against Reno… Mac Williamson has a six-game hitting streak – after going 9-for-14 at Cheney Stadium in the opening series, he was just 2-for-8 against Reno, but both hits were homers… Chase d’Arnaud had a two-homer, six RBI game against Reno on Wednesday.

FAMILIAR FACES: Sacramento manager Dave Brundage was Tacoma’s manager in 2006, and pitcher Chris Heston spent part of the 2017 season with the Rainiers.

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:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Reno 5, SACRAMENTO 4 – Yasmany Tomas had two hits and drove in two runs as Reno won the series.

Salt Lake 9, EL PASO 5 – trailing 5-2 after seven innings, Salt Lake scored four in the eighth and three in the ninth. Jabari Blash hit a mammoth homer off Jonathan Aro in an ex-Rainier-on-ex-Rainier crime. Story from El Paso.

Las Vegas 10, ALBUQUERQUE 3 – Ty Kelly continued his tear by hitting two triples and a homer while driving in three runs. Story from Albuquerque.

Iowa 6, NASHVILLE 3 (11) – somewhat unrelated, but there was a 14 inning game in the IL last night which is now the longest game with the new extra-inning rules. With this win Iowa’s Marty Peavy reached 1,000 career wins as a minor league manager. Story on Peavy.

MEMPHIS 5, Omaha 4 – Austin Gomber pitched into the seventh inning and Memphis is now 7-1. Story on the series sweep.

OKLAHOMA CITY 3, Round Rock 1 – the Express were shut down on four hits by Manny Banuelos, sinking to 1-7 on the year. Story from Oklahoma City.

COLORADO SPRINGS 7, New Orleans 6 – The Sky Sox walked ’em off on Jacob Nottingham‘s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.


Rainiers Look To Win A Road Series Tonight

April 12, 2018

Wednesday was a rough one for the Rainiers, who blew a 9-3 sixth inning lead and lost in Fresno, 13-9.

Still there is a chance to win the three-game series with a victory tonight. Erasmo Ramirez will make a rehabilitation start, and they are hoping to get four innings from him.

After tonight’s game the team hops on a bus and drives three hours up Highway 99 to Sacramento, where a four-game weekend wrap-around series begins on Friday night.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma built a 9-3 lead going to the bottom of the sixth, only to allow five runs in both the sixth and the seventh to Fresno. Eight of the ten runs scored those two innings were unearned due to three Tacoma errors (the team made a total of just two errors over the first six games). Starter Ariel Miranda had spotty control, walking the leadoff hitter in his first two innings before settling down. Cameron Perkins had his first big game at the plate, launching a two-run homer and a long two-run ground rule double.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to the game yesterday RHP David McKay was transferred back to Class-A Modesto. The California League club was busing from San Bernardino home to Modesto; they pulled over in Fresno and picked up McKay.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel had a scheduled day off on Wednesday. Erasmo Ramirez is expected to start on today.

TODAY: Tacoma (3-4) at Fresno (4-3), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1. Fresno is a division rival and these teams will play 16 times this season.

PITCHERS: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (-) at RHP Cy Sneed (0-0, 9.82)

Erasmo Ramirez is coming back from a strained lat, which the Mariners announced as a two-week injury back on February 18. This will be his second rehabilitation start, and his first for Tacoma.

HOT HITTERS: Gordon Beckham has hit safely in five straight games, and has reached base safely in all seven… Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Danny Muno have each reached base safely in all seven games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Tony Kemp has a five-game hitting streak; he went 3-for-3 with two walks last night… Kyle Tucker is considered one of the top hitting prospects in all of the minors; PCL fans should keep an eye on him this year while you can.

FAMILIAR FACES: There are no former Rainiers on the Fresno roster at this time.

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:

  • Here’s a brief recap of the Rainiers game.
  • The Mariners beat Kansas City on Wednesday, 4-2, and won both the series and the road trip. Kyle Seager had the go-ahead homer and Edwin Diaz shut them down in the ninth.
  • Former Rainiers outfielder Cole Gillespie did a Q&A which sheds some insight on the life of a Triple-A veteran.

Around The PCL (home team in CAPS)

SACRAMENTO 18, Reno 4 – that’s a lot of runs for Raley Field. Sacramento had 19 hits, with Chris Shaw leading the way at 5-for-6 with a homer and three RBI. Chase d’Arnaud hit two homers and drove in six runs. Story from MiLB.com.

EL PASO 4, Salt Lake 3 – twenty-year-old top prospect Luis Urias went 3-for-5 with his first Triple-A home run for the Chihuahuas. Story from El Paso.

ALBUQUERQUE 17, Las Vegas 11 – Las Vegas scored in each of the first seven innings and still got smoked in Albuquerque. The Isotopes hit four home runs, including two by outfielder Drew Weeks. Ex-Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly went 4-for-5 with two homers for Vegas. Story from Albuquerque.

COLORADO SPRINGS 7, New Orleans 2 – just optioned to Triple-A, Brandon Woodruff had a strong start allowing one run and two hits over 5.2 innings to earn the win.

OKLAHOMA CITY 19, Round Rock 1 – what a blowout. Oklahoma city scored nine runs in the third inning, and seven in the fifth. Andrew Toles was 4-for-6 with five RBI. It’s beginning to look like Round Rock (1-6) isn’t very good right now. Story from Oklahoma City.

NASHVILLE 6, Iowa 0 – Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt handled the majority of the pitching in this five-hit shutout.

MEMPHIS 3, Omaha 2 – after being held hitless for a couple of games, Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run double to help Memphis to another win. He has 12 RBI on the season. Story from Memphis.

 


Pitcher’s Duel Marred By Ninth Inning Walk-A-Thon – But Rainiers Happy To Win

April 11, 2018

We are only six games into the 2018 season, and the Tacoma Rainiers have already tied an 87-year-old Pacific Coast League record: most walks drawn in an inning.

For the majority of the night, Tuesday’s road trip opener in Fresno was my kind of game. I love a good pitcher’s duel, and Tacoma’s Christian Bergman and Fresno’s Mike Hauschild were providing a great one.

Bergman was phenomenal, allowing just four hits over seven shutout innings. He issued zero walks, and struck out eight. He has not allowed a run in his two starts this season, covering 12.2 innings pitched.

For a while Hauschild was even better. Fresno’s starter was racking up the strikeouts and working on a one-hitter through five innings. He impressively escaped a huge jam in the sixth: after giving up consecutive hits to Ian Miller and Ben Gamel, runners were at second and third with no outs – and he worked himself out of it to keep the score 0-0.

Tacoma struck for two runs against the Fresno bullpen in the top of the seventh – Matt Hague broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single – and we went to the ninth inning with the Rainiers leading, 2-0.

This was my kind of game. 2-0 heading to the ninth. Great pitching and solid defense on both sides. The game was flowing along at a crisp pace. Rob Manfred would have been pleased.

The Rainiers went to work in the top of the ninth inning, looking to add insurance runs. And that they did.

The inning opened with four straight hits off Fresno reliever Jacob Dorris, resulting in two runs scoring and runners at second and third.

With Tacoma leading 4-0 and on the verge of breaking it open, first-year Fresno manager Rodney Linares brought in left-hander Chris Nunn to face Gamel for a left-on-left match-up.

Little did we know what was about to happen.

Gamel swatted Nunn’s first pitch into left-center for a two-run single, making it 6-0 and icing the game for Tacoma.

Here’s what happened to the next nine batters:

  • walk
  • walk
  • sacrifice fly
  • walk
  • walk
  • walk
  • walk
  • walk
  • walk

Eight walks in nine batters.

Five consecutive bases loaded walks.

After Nunn issued the fourth walk, Fresno was out of pitching and brought in utility infielder Antonio Nunez to pitch – and he walked three straight batters. Veteran catcher Tim Federowicz took the mound for the first time in his lengthy career, and he walked the first man he faced, allowed another run to cross with a wild pitch, and then got two hitters out to end the inning.

All told, Tacoma scored 11 runs in the top of the ninth inning – with only five hits. They sent 16 batters to the plate, and eight of them walked.

It was Tacoma’s first double-digit inning since scoring ten at Las Vegas in June of 2006 – and it wasn’t as fun as you would think because of all of the walks.

I actually felt bad for Linares, managing just his sixth Triple-A game after years toiling in the lower levels of the Astros farm system, in his home opener in front of a great crowd of over 10,000 fans, being forced to watch position players walk the world in the ninth inning.

Scoring ten-plus runs in an inning is a lot of fun when the team is whacking extra-base hits all over the ballpark. It’s not nearly as enjoyable when the opposing team ties an 87-year-old league record by issuing eight walks in one inning.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma scored 11 runs in a wild ninth inning, Christian Bergman and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout, and the Rainiers won in Fresno 13-0.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to the game yesterday the Rainiers placed RHP Lindsey Caughel on the 7-day disabled list with a left ankle contusion, and transferred C Rainis Silva to extended spring training. The team added LHP Ariel Miranda and RHP David McKay from Class-A Modesto, and RHP Tyler Jackson from extended. Major League rehabilitation assignments began for OF Ben Gamel and RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

REHABILITATION ROW: Ben Gamel went 2-for-4 with a walk and four RBI in the 13-0 win on Tuesday. Erasmo Ramirez is expected to start on Thursday.

TODAY: Tacoma (3-3) at Fresno (3-3), 6:35.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0. Fresno is a division rival and these teams will play 16 times this season.

PITCHERS: LHP Ariel Miranda (-) at RHP Trent Thornton (0-1, 0.00)

Miranda is the Mariners No. 5 starter and they still haven’t needed him yet. That will change five days from today unless they have another postponement.

HOT HITTERS: Gordon Beckham has hit safely in four straight games, and has reached base safely in all six… Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Danny Muno have each reached base safely in all six games.

OPPONENT NEWS: The four-hit shutout cooled off all of Fresno’s hot hitters… Tony Kemp has a four-game hitting streak… Kyle Tucker is considered one of the top hitting prospects in all of the minors; PCL fans should keep an eye on him this year while you can.

FAMILIAR FACES: There are no former Rainiers on the Fresno roster at this time.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:20 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:

Around The PCL (home team in CAPS):

Reno 7, SACRAMENTO 2: Braden Shipley put together his second solid start of the year for Reno, going six innings and allowing two runs. Story from Sacramento.

Salt Lake 14, EL PASO 1 – a rough home opener for Chihuahuas fans, who got to see Salt Lake blast five homers including dingers by established bashers Chris Carter and Jabari Blash. Story from El Paso.

ALBUQUERQUE 7, Las Vegas 3 – a satisfying home opener for the Isotopes, as Derrik Gibson hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Story from Albuquerque.

COLORADO SPRINGS 8, New Orleans 1 – rising Brewers pitching prospect Freddy Peralta struck out seven over five shutout innings to earn the win. The stories from this game are behind a paywall.

OKLAHOMA CITY 8, Round Rock 7 – this is how you do a home opener: down 7-4 going to the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers scored four runs and walked it off. Travis Taijeron had the game-wining hit. Story from Oklahoma.

MEMPHIS 7, Omaha 0 – The Redbirds improved to 5-1 on the season as John Gant tossed seven scoreless innings in the defending champion’s home opener. Penny Hardaway threw out the first pitch. Story from Memphis.

NASHVILLE 7, Iowa 0 – Four Nashville pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout, and outfielder Dustin Fowler had two hits and two RBI for the Sounds. Apparently the local newspaper did not attend opening day? That’s crazy.


Rainiers Hit The Road For First Time This Season

April 10, 2018

We had our first tough PCL travel day of the season today: I got home from the doubleheader at 11:30 and the alarm went off at 3:30 AM for the early flight to Fresno.

For you new readers, we fly everywhere commercially, and there aren’t many flights to Fresno. You don’t get to choose what time you fly when you are flying to Fresno. Instead, Fresno chooses what time it will allow you to fly in. And today that time was early.

So, a short post today. I’ll have time for a better effort tomorrow.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma was swept in a doubleheader by Sacramento in a pair of one-run games, 3-2 and 6-5. Sacramento won the series, three games to two.

ROSTER MOVE: Prior to the game yesterday the Mariners placed Ryon Healy on the disabled list and called up reliever Chasen Bradford from Tacoma.

REHABILITATION ROW: The Rainiers expect to add Ben Gamel on a rehab assignment today, with Erasmo Ramirez and Ariel Miranda (non-rehab) expected to pitch this week

TODAY: Tacoma (2-3) at Fresno (3-2), 7:05.

Note that this is Fresno’s home opener and the game – as well as the broadcast – may start a little bit later due to pregame festivities.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.

SEASONS SERIES: 0-0. Fresno is a division rival and these teams will play 16 times this season.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Mike Hauschild (0-1, 27.00)

HOT HITTERS: Zach Vincej has hit safely in all five games this season, including a whopping 5-for-7 performance in last night’s doubleheader… Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Danny Muno have each reached base safely in all five games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Jack Mayfield is on a season-opening power surge, hitting safely in all five games and hitting a homer in three of the last four… Kyle Tucker is considered one of the top hitting prospects in all of the minors; he has a five-game hitting streak… Fresno lost the first two games of the season at Reno, then won three in a row.

FAMILIAR FACES: There are no former Rainiers on the Fresno roster at this time.

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 Times has a few details on the Rainiers doubleheader right here.
  • The Mariners had a game to forget, losing to the Royals 10-0 on Monday. Seattle is 4-4 on the season, which is just fine, but two of the losses have been total blowouts. Not sure what to make of that.
  • Matt Calkins asks if Mariners fans will be able to appreciate the brilliance of Shohei Ohtani.
  • I haven’t had time to listen, but TJ Cotterill and John McGrath of The News Tribune posted their first Mariners podcast. This could be a good format for McGrath, who can be quite the conversationalist and has witnessed more baseball history than anyone in town.

Around The PCL has been postponed due to travel. Will note that Fresno won at Reno, 11-5, to take the final three games of that series after losing the first two. And Memphis’s Tyler O’Neill did not hit a homer – or even a single, for that matter.