There was a great item in the Sacramento game notes yesterday, a tidbit I saw shortly before game time: the River Cats had hit 24 home runs in their previous nine games, which is one of the reasons they’ve been picking up more wins recently.
As I was relaying this stat to listeners during the top of the second inning, Sacramento catcher Andrew Knapp launched a three-run homer to left-center. Gulp.
That was part of what appeared to be a disastrous 45-pitch second inning for Rainiers starting pitcher Justus Sheffield, who seemed to allow 15-to-20 foul balls during the frame. The Rainiers were down 3-0, and it certainly appeared that Sheffield was not going to last long.
Sheffield, who always competes, had a remarkable turnaround and not only made it through six innings with a Quality Start, but he earned the win as the Rainiers came back.
After needing 60 pitches to get through the first two innings, Sheffield required just 46 pitches to make it through the next four. He allowed just the three runs, on three hits, and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. By the time he left the game, the Rainiers had taken a 4-3 lead.
Sacramento did add another dinger, in the ninth when the game was out of reach, and their streak remains impressive: 26 homers in the last ten games. But the Rainiers don’t care, they’ll take the win.
Gotta say, I’m not sure exactly what the San Francisco Giants are doing, but they are making moves that are leaving the River Cats in an odd space during this series.
Giants catcher Joey Bart was placed on the 7-day concussion list yesterday, and they called up Yermin Mercedes from Sacramento to replace him.
Today, the Giants called up Andrew Knapp, and shipped Mercedes back to Sacramento.
It appears that they simply changed their mind.
Yesterday: “We want Mercedes!”
Today: “No, we want Knapp!”
What a zoo for the players involved, to say the least for Sacramento manager Dave Brundage.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma won the series opener against Sacramento, 8-5. The River Cats hit an early three-run homer, but Tacoma tied the game in the fifth, and took the lead in the sixth on a line drive homer by Kyle Lewis. Tacoma scored four runs in the seventh inning to open up the game, taking full advantage of four walks issued by Sacramento reliever Michael Stryffeler. Jarred Kelenic had two hits and two RBI, and Brian O’Keefe added an RBI single. Tacoma has won three straight games, and six of the last eight.
TODAY: Sacramento River Cats (55-69) at Tacoma Rainiers (58-66), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 12-7.
PITCHERS: RHP Norwith Gudino (2-4, 9.00) at RHP Konner Wade (4-6, 4.96)
ROSTER MOVES: Left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone has rejoined the Rainiers roster, and he is scheduled to start tomorrow’s game.
HOT HITTERS: Erick Mejia has hit safely in four straight, and 16 of his last 17 games… Mason McCoy has reached base safely in nine straight games, and he has homered six times over his last 16 games… Taylor Trammell has an eight-game hitting streak… Kyle Lewis has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento comes into the series hot, winning five of six in a home series against first place Reno… Sacramento pitched really well in that series, holding Reno to three runs or fewer in all five of the River Cats wins… Sacramento has one former Rainiers reliever in Aaron Fletcher, and former Rainiers infielder Donovan Walton is on the injured list…. Austin Dean had a seven-game hitting streak end last night.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- The Mariners opened a six-game road trip with style, ripping Detroit 9-3.
- A really good feature on Julio Rodriguez, written by Alden Gonzalez, appears on ESPN.com today. Lots of good stuff in here about his youth and minor league days.
- The M’s have some injury issues around the shortstop position.
- Remarkable randomness in the PCL: after going 11 years without a player hitting for the cycle, Oklahoma City had the same player do it twice in a span of four games. Unbelievable.