The Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants advanced to the World Series, and each team was spurred by a player with local ties.
Kansas City completed a four-game sweep of Baltimore on Wednesday, with former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas earning the win in the deciding game. Vargas pitched 5.1 innings and allowed just two hits and one run in the Royals 2-1 victory.
Later on Wednesday, San Francisco reliever and 2010 Rainiers pitcher Yusmeiro Petit tossed three scoreless innings and earned the win in a Game Four victory over St. Louis.
The Giants polished off the Cardinals on Thursday night, 6-3. Former Rainiers and Mariners infielder/outfielder Mike Morse hit a pinch-hit, game-tying home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 3-3.
Then in the bottom of the ninth inning, Federal Way High School (Class of 2002) product Travis Ishikawa hit a walk-off three-run homer to give the Giants a 6-3 victory.
Ishikawa played at Cheney Stadium this year, as a visitor for the Fresno Grizzlies in a series July 11-13. A longtime off-the-bench player in the majors, he opened the season with the Pirates, was released in late April, signed by the Giants to a Triple-A deal, and then promoted to San Francisco in August. He’s played all or parts of seven years in the majors, and 11 years in the minors.
Today Ishikawa’s name is on an impressive list (source: Lee Sinins ATM Reports):
WALKOFF HOMERUN TO CLINCH A POSTSEASON SERIES
Bill Mazeroski World Series 1960 Pirates
Chris Chambliss ALCS 1976 Yankees
Joe Carter World Series 1993 Blue Jays
Todd Pratt NLDS 1999 Mets
Aaron Boone ALCS 2003 Yankees
David Ortiz ALDS 2004 Red Sox
Chris Burke NLDS 2005 Astros
Magglio Ordonez ALCS 2006 Tigers
Travis Ishikawa NLCS 2014 Giants
I must admit, I forgot about Todd Pratt.
Now we have a long wait for the World Series. Game One is on Tuesday in Kansas City. We’ll have some sort of preview for you on Monday.
- The folks at MiLB.com have their Mariners minor league all-stars, with lots of commentary from Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. There is some good stuff in here.
- Bob Dutton has an overview of where Mariners landed on the various Baseball America league top prospect lists.
- Here’s how Mike Morse prepared for the biggest hit of his career.
- Former Rainiers pitcher Yusmeiro Petit is gaining a lot of respect in San Francisco.
- 2005 Pacific Coast League MVP Andy Green (who was with the Tucson Sidewinders) was named third base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks. New Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale was the Tucson manager when Green won the MVP.
- John McGrath recalls his experience covering the 1989 Earthquake Series.
- The Rainiers Team Store received a brand new shipment of those retro hats you guys love so much – including a new Tacoma Cubs model. Here’s the direct link.