A Throwback Of Its Own: A Sunday Doubleheader

May 4, 2014

We had another game rained out on Saturday night, and this one turned out to be a no-brainer.

The teams waited for an hour after the scheduled 5:05 start time, but instead of clearing up the rain just came down harder and harder. There was no choice but to postpone the game, and play two today.

Throwback Weekend will carry on. Tacoma will wear the 1990s-era Rainiers jerseys in the first game of the doubleheader, and the 1980s-era Tacoma Tigers jerseys in game two. We gave away the Jay Buhner shirseys yesterday; today the first 1,500 get a snapback Tacoma Tigers hat.

Sunday’s DH starts at 1:35 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 12:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Mark Rogers (1-0, 2.25) against Las Vegas LHP Dana Eveland (2-1, 4.29) in the first game, and RHP Andrew Carraway (2-1, 3.80) against RHP Rafael Montero (3-1, 4.31) in game two. There is a chance that Vegas will flip-flop Eveland and Montero.

Links:

  • Yup, we got rained out.
  • My Minor League Report for The News Tribune looks at new Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash, and some prospect news from the PCL.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook looks at the Abraham Almonte situation in Seattle.
  • John McGrath is waiting to see Robinson Cano, Superstar.
  • The Mariners hung on for a wild 9-8 victory in Houston on Saturday. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched well in his 2014 debut.
  • Ryan Divish posted his power rankings.
  • In the PCL, we had a… no, that can’t be right. Let me do some checking.
  • Salt Lake topped Reno 6-5 on Roberto Lopez‘s RBI single in the eighth inning. First baseman Mike Jacobs provides veteran leadership for the Aces.
  • Former Rainiers catcher Adam Moore was one of three Chihuahuas to homer in an 8-5 win over Sacramento.
  • Out in the Springs, the Sky… nope. That’s got to be some sort of mistake.
  • Fresno is playing well, and they won their seventh in a row in Albuquerque last night, 6-4. The story focuses on Isotopes outfielder Mike Baxter.
  • Johnny Giavotella hit a pair of key doubles to help Omaha knock off Oklahoma City, 4-2.
  • Seriously, Colorado Springs Gazette. It’s not April Fool’s Day, is it?
  • New Orleans rode a three-run homer by Kyle Jensen to a 5-1 win at Round Rock.
  • Nashville keeps getting good pitching, and keeps winning.
  • OK, apparently this is real, but I still don’t believe it. Colorado Springs beat Memphis in the first 1-0 home win at Colorado Springs since 1996.
  • Speaking of the Sky Sox, here’s an excellent feature on pitcher Tyler Matzek, who has regained his status as a big league prospect.
  • Buster Olney’s column for ESPN Insiders leads off with an item about Memphis outfielder Oscar Taveras. He won’t be in the PCL much longer.

Let’s play two!

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Rain Sides With Rainiers

April 22, 2014

We have had so many rainouts this year, maybe the rain felt like it owed us one.

With Tacoma leading Sacramento 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Sacramento catcher Ryan Ortiz lost Jesus Sucre‘s pop-up among the rain drops, letting it drop for a two-run single to give Tacoma an 8-5 lead. One batter later the umpires called for the tarp, and 36 minutes of absolute downpour later the game was called and Tacoma was pronounced the winner.

About five innings of the game were played without rain, but once it started it was serious.

Tacoma shortstop Chris Taylor had a tremendous game, ripping the first two homers at the Triple-A level. Both of them were hit to the opposite field: a three-run shot that bounced off the top of the wall and over in third inning, and a solo shot that went well over the fence in the fifth.

James Jones returned to the club and ripped his first Triple-A homer in the third inning. In fact, Jones hit his on the very next pitch after Taylor’s, for back-to-back jacks.

Cole Gillespie also hit a homer, giving the Rainiers four in the game. The club had ten hits and boosted its PCL-leading team batting average to .314.

Tuesday’s game starts at 6:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Chance Ruffin (0-1, 6.08) against Sacramento RHP Josh Lindblom (1-1, 7.79).

There had been some reports that Hisashi Iwakuma was going to make a brief rehabilitation start for the Rainiers today, but it looks like that is going to get scratched due to weather concerns. He may still show up and pitch, but don’t count on it. If it happens, we’ll enjoy it.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story in The News Tribune has reaction from Chris Taylor on his big game, and an update on the Hisashi Iwakuma situation. Once you consider the state of the Mariners rotation, their concerns about Iwakuma make a lot of sense.
  • TJ Cotterill caught up with James Jones prior to last night’s game.
  • We have an update on the condition of Mariners starter James Paxton.
  • The Mariners lost their seventh in a row yesterday… and it was Felix Hernandez losing to the Astros.
  • It’s not the Mariners time to panic yet – but it is close, Larry Stone writes.
  • Panic? Did somebody say panic? Fresno infielder Joe Panik had three hits and the Grizzlies got to Reno’s Archie Bradley for a 6-4 win.
  • Efren Navarro became the Salt Lake Bees all-time franchise leader in career hits (502) with a pair of doubles in a 6-4 win over Albuquerque last night.
  • Las Vegas super-utilityman Eric Cambell launched a two-run homer and the 51s topped El Paso, 5-4. Las Vegas is tops in the PCL with a 14-5 record.
  • Brewers top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson tossed seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, striking out nine in Nashville’s 7-0 win at Omaha.
  • Colorado Springs beat New Orleans 2-1 on a 20-foot single.
  • Kyle Hendricks was once traded from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs, and last night he tossed six scoreless innings for Iowa against his former teammates. Iowa beat Round Rock, 5-1.
  • Memphis hit three homers in a 7-4 win over Oklahoma City.
  • The Mariners Double-A team in Jackson, Tennessee lost an 18-inning game to Chattanooga last night/this morning, 7-4. The game clocked in at 5 hours, 17 minutes.
  • Baseball America’s daily minor league round-up is here.

Final game of the homestand tonight – after this, Tacoma plays 20 of its next 24 games on the road. The Rainiers already have a winning record on this homestand (5-2). Let’s see if they can close it out with another W.


Doubling Up Again

April 20, 2014

We had yet another rainout last night, so Tacoma and Sacramento will play a doubleheader today to make up for it.

It looked like we were going to play last night, and the team waited a while before postponing it. In the end, edges of storms that looked on radar like they might miss the stadium kept hitting us. It came to a sadly comical end at around 7:00 when there was sunshine out beyond the left field fence, a double rainbow in center field, and rain continuing to fall at the ballpark.

Anyway, let’s play two today.

Sunday’s games start at 1:35 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (Triple-A debut) against Sacramento RHP Sean Murphy (2-1, 5.06) in the first game. Game two pits the Rainiers LHP James Gillheeney (1-1, 5.40) against Sacramento RHP Marcus Walden (PCL debut).

Links:

  • We’ll start with a story about a rainout. In the story: both Jesus Montero and Chance Ruffin were placed on the Temporarily Inactive List, which means they are gone for at least three days. Montero’s wife is having (maybe had last night?) a baby, so congrats to the family.
  • My minor league notebook for the TNT had items on Cole Gillespie and a hitter in Class-A on a power surge.
  • The Mariners lost their fifth in a row and were limited to just two hits in a 7-0 loss to Miami last night. Cue the Harry Doyle.
  • As always, there is a lot of good stuff in Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook.
  • Before today’s Mariners game, they called up Brandon Maurer and optioned James Jones to Tacoma. It’s a long way from Miami to Tacoma so we may not see Jones for another day or two.
  • I’m pretty sure Ryan Divish put these power rankings together simply so he could take a shot at Justin Bieber.
  • Even though he is facing NCAA sanctions, John McGrath wrote a column about another flaw in the MLB replay system.
  • Everyone else in the PCL played last night, although Las Vegas ace Noah Syndergaard probably wished it was raining as he was getting tattooed by El Paso, 8-5.
  • A “plethora” is a very large number, and that’s how many home runs Salt Lake hit in a 12-2 wipeout of Albuquerque yesterday. They even hit back-to-back-to-back dingers.
  • Randy Wolf – whom you may remember from such hits as “Mariners Spring Training” – tossed five innings for Reno and earned the win in a 9-2 victory at Fresno last night. Roger Kieschnick returned to his old stomping grounds.
  • Nashville starter Mike Fiers was on fire indeed, striking out a dozen in a 5-1 win over Omaha.
  • Oklahoma City’s Rudy Owens tossed five no-hit innings and Jon Singleton hit his PCL-leading 7th homer in the RedHawks 6-2 win at Memphis.
  • Three pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout as New Orleans topped Colorado Springs, 3-0. Needless to say, that game was not played in the Springs.
  • Iowa got hammered by Round Rock, 12-2, but they activated top prospect Javier Baez from the disabled list today.
  • The new ballpark in El Paso opens up in just eight days.

All together now, once again… Let’s Play Two!


Rain Yesterday, Two Today

April 18, 2014

We had Rainiers rainout No. 4 yesterday, and that means doubleheader today.

Tacoma and Salt Lake will play two seven-inning games, starting at 6:05 tonight at Cheney Stadium. There will be about 25 minutes between games, and yes the Friday Night Fireworks show will still go off after the second game. The weather forecast looks promising for both games to be played tonight.

There was some news yesterday, and it wasn’t good.

Tacoma first baseman Ji-Man Choi was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for methandienone, an anabolic steroid. Apparently this stuff is available over-the-counter in Korea but has been illegal here since 2001. At any rate, it’s against the rules which should have been well-known to Choi. Both the Mariners and Choi made brief statements which you can find right here.

So Tacoma is down a first baseman – and a heckuva hitter – until mid-June. Choi has left Tacoma and will be at extended spring training in Arizona while he serves the suspension.

The Rainiers made a bunch of roster moves yesterday:

  • Tacoma added reliever Stephen Pryor to the active roster, and placed reliever Nick Hill on the 7-day disabled list.
  • Choi was placed on the suspended list – he does not count on the Rainiers 25-man roster.
  • Outfielder Julio Morban joins the team from extended spring training, where he was recovering from a broken leg suffered at the end of the 2013 season. Morban is a highly regarded prospect and a good hitter who has been slowed by injuries.
  • Chantz Mack – a 2013 draft pick from “The U” – joins the club from extended spring training to provide outfield depth while James Jones is in the big leagues.
  • Right-hander Jordan Pries is here in Tacoma and he will be activated to start for the Rainiers tomorrow. He was pitching well at Double-A Jackson.

It should be fun to watch Morban play. He’ll probably DH quite a bit initially as he gets his playing legs back, and slowly be added to the outfield mix.

Friday’s doubleheader starts at 6:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (0-0, 11.57) against Salt Lake LHP Justin Thomas (1-0, 6.10) in the first game, and the Rainiers are going with RHP Chance Ruffin (0-1, 7.45) in game two against a Bees starter to be announced.

Links:

Let’s play two!


Back On The Field

April 9, 2014

It was another unplanned night off last night – our third rainout of the season, in six days. The make-up game will be played as a part of a doubleheader on Saturday, May 24.

It wasn’t a bad day for former Rainiers reliever Bobby LaFromboise. He was with El Paso after the Padres claimed him off waivers at the end of spring training, and yesterday he was called up to the big leagues to be the “26th man” for the Padres doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. He didn’t pitch in the first game this morning, but maybe he’ll get into the second.

The forecast looks more promising for tonight and we should get one in.

Tonight’s game is 7:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. El Paso starts LHP Juan Oramas (0-0, 9.00) against Tacoma LHP James Gillheeney.

Links:

  • Don Ruiz used the rainout to catch up with El Paso skipper Pat Murphy, who “couldn’t be more excited to be a Chihuahua.”
  • The Mariners won their home opener, picking up a 5-3 win over the Angels to improve to 5-2 on the season. Seattle is 4-0 against the Angels.
  • The News Tribune has a Mariners opening day photo gallery.
  • Seahawks mania spread to the Mariners home opener. John McGrath wonders if it might be just what the Mariners need.
  • James Paxton felt a strain in his back and left the game yesterday – so it’s a good thing that Taijuan Walker is set to throw 85 pitches in the Double-A Jackson home opener tonight. This should be Walker’s final rehab start.
  • Corey Hart had his first big game as a Mariner, Larry Stone writes.
  • It looks like Baseball America is going to do a daily minor league round-up – here is today’s.
  • Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus has a fun piece (for subscribers) looking at the minor league career statistical leaders among players who have never appeared in the majors. I know, that sounds confusing, but it makes sense once you look at it.
  • In the PCL, Albuquerque won its fourth in a row despite an inside-the-park home run by Reno’s Didi Gregorius.
  • Salt Lake beat Fresno in the 12th inning on C.J. Cron‘s walk-off home run – and friend-of-the-blog Steve Klauke called it.
  • Zach Lutz is swinging a hot bat, leading Las Vegas to a 5-1 start. The 51s beat Sacramento last night, 7-6. You might prefer to say that the River Cats “tubled.”
  • Colorado Springs split a doubleheader in Round Rock. Tyler Chatwood made a nice start.
  • New Orleans is in an early-season losing streak: the Zephyrs dropped their fifth in a row yesterday, an 8-1 decision to Oklahoma City.
  • Nashville pitchers struck out 13 Iowa Cubs in a 4-1 win last night. Cubs pitching coordinator Mike Mason thinks the Iowa staff is pretty good. Good stuff from Chicago on top prospect Javier Baez, his difficult start to the season, and player development.
  • The Royals have been raiding Omaha’s pitching staff, which might be why the Storm Chasers gave up six runs in the ninth inning and lost to Memphis, 9-4.
  • When we go to Fresno I’ll definitely try that tri-tip sandwich, but you won’t find me anywhere near the Grizzly Eggs.
  • I will link to any Pat Jordan piece, including one I have not read yet, because I know it will be awesome. If you have never read A False Spring just get started already.

The sun is out as I press “publish.” Let’s play tonight.


A New Day

April 6, 2014

We suffered another rainout on Saturday night. That game with Albuquerque will be made up in a doubleheader on Friday, June 6. Start time will be bumped up at 6:05.

We’re hoping to get one played today. Start time is 1:35 – pregame starts at 1:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here (So far this season I’ve done three pregame shows but only called one night of actual baseball). Albuquerque starts RHP Zach Lee against Tacoma LHP Anthony Fernandez – both pitchers are making their Triple-A debuts.

Links:

  • My first Minor League Notebook for The News Tribune is a look at where some of the top prospects in the PCL are playing.
  • Felix Hernandez brought his A-game to Oakland and the Mariners beat the A’s, 3-1. That guaranteed a winning record for the season-opening road trip.
  • New Mariners closer Fernando Rodney nailed down his first save. In this notebook: it sounds like Hisashi Iwakuma is going to rehab with the Rainiers when he is ready.
  • They are still talking about the Friday night “rainout” in Oakland, which was really a human error because the grounds crew didn’t tarp the field overnight on Thursday evening. John McGrath writes that the Mariners should have been awarded a forfeit. Mariners player representative Charlie Furbush had never dealt with anything like this before.
  • I knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less sad: it’s our first Sunday of the MLB season, and there is no Larry Stone’s Inside Pitch in the Seattle Times today. Let’s have a link of silence.
  • Ryan Divish tried to fill the void with his version of Stone’s power rankings.
  • Which Mariner are you? I got Kyle Seager.
  • Former Rainiers ace Michael Pineda was terrific in his Yankees debut yesterday. It’s been a long road for Michael, who is an easy guy to root for if you’ve ever met him.
  • Important notice for fans: your popcorn bucket is not a glove.
  • Down at Class-A High Desert, future “crafty lefty” Tyler Pike tossed five strong innings and D.J. Peterson went 4-for-4 in a 9-3 win.
  • In the PCL, we had an epic comeback: trailing 6-1 going to the ninth in Las Vegas, Fresno scored seven runs and emerged with an 8-6 victory. The final six runs scored with two outs.
  • Noah Syndergaard may be a great pitcher, but he lacks as a first base coach, Ron Kantowski writes amusingly.
  • At age 40, I think that Bobby Abreu is the oldest player in the PCL right now.
  • First Chiahuahuas-related headline alert: El Paso nips Reno. There will be more. Speaking of more, former Rainiers catcher Adam Moore had two hits for the little doggies.
  • Michael Taylor had a big game to help Sacramento defeat Salt Lake for the River Cats first win of the season.
  • The Rockies have some pitching prospects, like Tyler Matzek of Colorado Springs. He struck out 11 New Orleans Zephyrs over just five innings and earned a win last night.
  • Veteran Kevin Kouzmanoff helped Round Rock beat Oklahoma City last night, 7-4. Scott Baker had a good start, allowing one run in six innings.
  • It’s been a rough start for top Cubs prospect Javier Baez, who is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts and now one ejection for Iowa.
  • Omaha and Nashville split a doubleheader.

Let’s play a game today.


Wednesday’s Game Rained Out

May 25, 2011

An early decision here in Tacoma, and we have our first rainout of the season.

The game will be made up with a doubleheader on Thursday, starting at 6:05. It will be two 7-inning games.

Also, it’s a Tasty Thursday, which means $2 Miller beers and $1 hot dogs, ice cream, coffee, and soda. And those deals will last longer since it’s a doubleheader – this is a good opportunity for a night of inexpensive entertainment.

We have to hope for better weather tomorrow – it will be the last time Tacoma and Nashville play all season, so no make-up date is possible. We’ll need to get the games in.

For those of you with tickets for Wednesday, you can trade them for tickets to a different game. You don’t have to do it right away – swing by the box office during normal business hours and they’ll help you out.