Michael Pineda’s AAA Debut
With all the talk of the imminent trade of Cliff Lee, M’s fans need some good news – some hope.
Well, hope’s taking the hill for the Tacoma Rainiers tonight. Michael Pineda faces off against the Salt Lake Bees tonight at 7, and you can switch over to the audio on 850am or pick up the live stream at the Rainiers’ website.
Jay and I are in Tacoma, and will keep this updated with notes and photos. This season hasn’t gone how we wanted, but I’m still really happy to say that the M’s system has Cliff Lee and Michael Pineda pitching on the same night. Enjoy this.
–Update, 7:04 —
Pineda’s through one inning with two weak grounders and a strikeout of lefty Michael Ryan. He worked at 94-95 with a slow slider at 82. Mostly FBs. All systems go.
Peter Bourjos, an Angels prospect, led off tonight. He was also the lead-off man in Cliff Lee’s rehab start. Poor guy must have a really skewed idea of the Rainiers (although he torched the non-demi god portion of the R’s rotation in Salt Lake earlier).
And he’s through 2 IP, with two pop-ups, one more weak grounder. Lots and lots of the mid-90s FB. Hoping to see more of his offspeed stuff later.
Meanwhile, a Greg Halman broken-bat single plates David Winfree, and it’s 1-0.
Another 3 up 3 down IP for Pineda. Broken bat fliner to the SS, a grounder to first and a K.
The Rainiers just tack on another as an Adam Moore double scores Tui from first. This is the strangest team; Moore and Snell look about as hopeless as it gets in the majors but they’re dominant here. Tui’s in the same boat as well, despite reaching base on a swinging bunt.
Went to a 3-1 count on Nate Sutton, but then blew him away for the K. Michael Ryan takes the first 3 pitches for a 3-0 count and Pineda steps off to compose himself. Gets to 3-2, then loses him for his first walk, and Adam Moore heads to the mound for a chat.
3-0 on Mark Trumbo now; leaving a lot of pitches up and out of the zone. Aaand that’s two straight BBs.
Thankfully, Cory Aldridge swings at the first pitch and pops out to left field. Thanks, Cory!
Mike Wilson just launched a home run that might touch down some time after midnight. LF didn’t move. It scored Greg Halman, who’d doubled. Rainiers leading 4-0.
Pineda’s tiring a bit; velo’s down, missing spots. 4-pitch walk to lead off the 5th, then gave up his first hit, a bloop fliner to right by Paul McAnulty. He came back to strike out Terry Ryan, got a weak grounder from Colmenares (too weak for a DP), then K’d Peter Bourjos on three pitches. Way to work out of trouble, kid.
We are seeing his change more, and I like it a lot more than Bourjos did.
Pineda had a nice quick inning in the 6th, getting a couple of easy GB outs and a deeeeep fly out. Mark Trumbo, the righty who’s leading the PCL in HRs, swung through two straight FBs at 95 and 96, then hit the third (at a mere 94) about 410 feet. But CF in Tacoma accommodates such things, and it ended up a loud out.
That’s it for Pineda. 6IP, 1H, 0R, 5K, 3BB. 90 pitches, 60 strikes. Mike Koplove starts the 7th.
A photo from his warm-up with Adam Moore:
And another of Pineda in the wind-up:
Pineda in the 6th: