We stepped into another dimension last night in Las Vegas, as the Rainiers and Aviators played a game as if someone had spiked the dugout Gatorade cooler.
Las Vegas beat Tacoma, 18-17, in a game that defiled all forms of logic and reason.
The Rainiers led 11-3 in the fourth inning, 13-6 in the sixth, and 15-8 at the seventh inning stretch. Then Las Vegas sent 15 batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, scoring ten runs and taking an 18-15 lead.
Tacoma was still in it, and the Rainiers scored two runs after there were two outs in the top of the ninth, and had the tying runner on base when the final out was recorded.
The Rainiers contingent of Triple-A rookie hitters is really enjoying its first trip to one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in professional baseball.
Jake Scheiner went 4-for-6 last night, with two homers and a double. He drove in six runs and scored four in what was his biggest game of the season to date.
Cade Marlowe was 4-for-6 with a triple and a homer – he had two chances to hit the double he needed for the cycle, but it didn’t happen. Marlowe scored three runs and drove home four, and he also stole two bases.
Zach DeLoach had just two hits, but one of them was a mammoth three-run homer pulled over the berm in right field.
Of course, Las Vegas had numerous hitters put up huge performances as well, most notably J.J. Bleday. He homered for the third straight game, scored four runs, and drove in five.
The two teams combined for 35 runs on 39 hits. Las Vegas out-hit the Rainiers, 23-16, but Tacoma batters drew nine walks. The bonkers box score can be found right here.
Walking back to the hotel after the game, two thoughts were lingering in my mind. First off, the game clocked in at 3 hours, 19 minutes. How long would it have taken in 2019 when the umpires did not enforce the pitch clock? Easily over four hours, and probably closer to four and a half.
The other thought involved the potential move of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas. People working at Las Vegas Ballpark are convinced that the A’s are going to play two seasons there while the new stadium is built. I’m not sure sure that MLB is prepared for the incredible amounts of scoring that would happen with big league sluggers hitting at this place.
Sure, the 18-17 game is a rarity. But the 9-8 final we had in the series opener on Tuesday is standard fare in this ballpark, and that would be happening for 81 home games if the A’s played in this facility. Records would be broken.
We still have four more games here – who knows what’s in store for us tonight.
YESTERDAY: Las Vegas scored ten runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, pulling off a huge comeback and beating the Rainiers 18-7. Max Schuemann‘s three-run double gave the Aviators the lead in and inning in which 15 batters came to the plate.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (13-9) at Las Vegas Aviators (10-13), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Jose Rodriguez (1-0, 3.00) at RHP Zach Neal (0-0, 7.71)
Imagine what these poor guys were thinking while watching last night’s game.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers placed Taylor Dollard on the injured list with mild soreness; I’m told he’s not expected to miss too much time. Reliever Jarod Bayless was added from Class-A Modesto.
HOT HITTERS: Cesar Hernandez has gone 7-for-10 with ten walks during a five-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in 18 of his 19 games… Zach DeLoach has reached base safely in 17 of his 18 games played… Taylor Trammell has a six-game hitting streak… Kean Wong has a four-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: After opening the season 2-10, Las Vegas has started playing better recently. They just won four-of-six on the road at Sugar Land… J.J. Belday has homered in three straight games, and he has reached base in 11 straight games… Tyler Soderstrom is the top prospect on the team, he was the A’s first round pick in 2020 and is just 21-years-old. His father Steve pitched in the PCL for Fresno in 1998 and 1999… the Aviators have one former Rainiers player, and it’s a blast from the past: pitcher Joe Wieland, the last Tacoma pitcher to win 14 games when he went 14-6 for the 2016 Rainiers.
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 lost to the Phillies last night, 6-5, in a game that got away in the eighth inning.
- Bad news on the injury front: Robbie Ray is out for the season.
- Fangraphs has an article on the impact of the Ray injury.