Rainiers PCL Playoff Series Game 3 Gamethread

marc w · September 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Traffic prevented me from getting here early, so I’ll make this quick:
The Rainiers send Mauricio Robles to the mound today versus Vin Mazzaro of Sacramento.

The line-up is Ackley, Halman, Mangini, Winfree, Carp, Smoak, Nelson, Alfonzo, Hulett.

Chris Carter’s starting at DH for the RiverCats, and Michael Taylor is in CF.

Summary: The Rainiers lost game 3 of their best of 5 series tonight 6-2 because Mauricio Robles wasn’t sharp and because the RiverCats hit 2 HRs. Robles velocity was down and he couldn’t command his FB. A great change-up helped him rack up strike-outs, but he couldn’t find the zone consistently enough to give hitters, particularly righties, something else to look for. I’m pleased he was able to pitch as well as he did (for as long as he did) when he clearly didn’t have it tonight.
The R’s will try and close things out tomorrow at noon here at Safeco. Should they win, it’s on to Memphis for the championship series. But as Cheney’s been bulldozed and because the Red Sox are visiting the Mariners, the Rainiers would play every game on the road.

Halman K’d twice, but had two of the better swings against RiverCats starter Vin Mazzaro. Dustin Ackley had a forgettable game. If you’d like the gory details and a few pictures, they’re below.
–update 6:58–
Everyone seemed to have a good excuse, but uh…this place is deserted. If you’re local and you want to sit in the Diamond Club seats, here’s your chance. Pick a seat…any seat!

–update 7:02–
The Rainiers check out their new digs in the home dugout:

–update 7:05–
We’re underway, with an outside FB from Robles at 93. So far his FB velo’s down quite a bit from when I saw him, and while he’s not a command guy, it’s not hurting him so far. Oops…spoke too soon, Matt Watson yanks a pitch right down the RF line for a HR. 2-0 Sacto. 2K, 1BB in the first.

–update 7:38–
Robles pitched out of a jam in the 2nd, but he had help. Travis Buck doubled to lead off, and then a walk to Chris Carter and a balk put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. But he blew away Michael Taylor with his best FB of the night (96), then fanned Baisley on a change. But Corey Wimberley hit a fliner to medium left, right down the line. Out of nowhere to make an amazing diving catch comes…Mike Carp. I’m still shaken.

–update 7:50–
Pictures! Here’s Robles in the stretch, and one of Tug Hulett and the massive container ship that is Chris Carter.
(Robles is in trouble again after a walk, a WP and a stolen base in which the runner was practically sliding into 3rd before the ball left Robles’ hand. Still, he got a big K of Everidge. The biggest change for Robles today is his FB which he can’t command and doesn’t have much life. His change is better, however, so he’s throwing a lot of them.)

–update 7:55–
Sacto gets a 3rd on a sacrifice fly scoring Sogard. Halman’s throw was on-line but just a bit late.

–update 8:05–
Offense? Base hit to RCF by Alfonzo and then a line drive 2B to the LCF gap. 2 on in scoring position, no out. But Dustin Ackley’s rung up on a…questionable check-swing. Wow. These umps are not having a great game. Halman scores Alfonzo with a line-drive sacrifice fly, but Matt Mangini flies out to CF to end it. 3-1 RiverCats after 3.

–update 8:20–
Attendance is 2,460. Sheesh. Is there something else going on tonight? M’s go quietly in the 4th; they really need to get to the RiverCats bullpen, which they’ve destroyed in the first two games. Mazzaro’s making it tough – he’s got 5 Ks through 4 with only 1BB (Robles has 4). That said, Mazzaro now has thrown more pitches than Robles.

–update 8:30–
Robles has settled down, and got through the 4th and 5th on 18 total pitches. He’s using his slider a lot; he’s basically at the Rich Harden 60/40 pitch mix right now. Can’t complain, he’s got way more command of the CH than the FB tonight, and the AAAA guys like Everidge are utterly lost against his change right now.
Now it’s Mazzaro who looks tired. He’s walked Tug Hulett on 4 pitches. Men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out for the Rainiers.
Dustin Ackley pops out to CF and Greg Halman hits a rope to LF, but Watson makes the catch. 3-1 still.

–update 8:45–
Robles gives up a hit, and his command could go either way now – either ‘a bit worse’ or ‘gone.’ Goes back to the change to get Josh Donaldson swinging, a few pitches after a good 94 mph FB. He’s not tiring as quickly as he did in his first few AAA games. He’s making Travis Buck look ridiculous right now; maybe it’s time to throw 80% change-ups. ….That would’ve been advisable, as Michael Taylor hits a FB just over the RF wall and it’s now a 6-1 lead.

Mazzaro’s now out of the game – 5Ip, 3H, 1R, 2BB, 5K, 102 pitches, 59 strikes. Edwar Ramirez is in, whom the Rainiers roughed up in game 1.

–update 9:00-
Robles is done after 6; Levale Speigner replaces him. 6IP, 4H, 6R, 5BBs, 9Ks, 2HRs, 1WP, 1balk tonight for Mauricio Robles.

–update 9:25–
Edward Paredes in now for the R’s. Tacoma picked up a run in the 7th on a couple of hits, an error, and a fielder’s choice ground-out by Dustin Ackley. Need some XBHs. Ramirez gets through the 8th without incident.
Paredes pitching in the 9th; good FB, but not quite up to his standards. Like Robles, Paredes seems like he’s missing a few MPH, and the RiverCats are putting good swings on the ball.
I cannot believe the M’s game turned out to be better than this one.


16 Responses to “Rainiers PCL Playoff Series Game 3 Gamethread”

  1. joser on September 10th, 2010 7:37 pm

    Couldn’t make it tonight so… I hate to say it, but I kind of hope they lose so I can go to a game tomorrow. Ah, screw that, I hope they win.

  2. joser on September 10th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Also, I happened to be referring to the stars of the R’s infield today and got myself caught between 1st and 2nd (kind of a mental pick-off pickle, if you will) and found myself saying

    “Ustin Smoakley”

    I kind of like it.

  3. juneau_fan on September 10th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Pauley’s hoping they lose too. He knows as soon as the Rainers season is over, he’s bumped for a call-up.

  4. naviomelo on September 10th, 2010 7:42 pm

    Well, at least they’re putting the ball in play in the 2nd…

  5. marc w on September 10th, 2010 8:24 pm

    Nice sliding catch by Winfree in RF. M’s getting very good D tonight from unlikely sources…just no hitting.

  6. Transient Gadfly on September 10th, 2010 8:36 pm

    Man, we really wanted to go. Couldn’t get babysitting. Listening to Curto on the MiLB feed. Wishing we were there….

  7. GoldenGutz on September 10th, 2010 8:42 pm

    I wished Robles could cut down his walks, he probably would be our 5th best prospect.

  8. lalo on September 10th, 2010 8:51 pm

    When Robles starts to throw strikes is awesome, but he need cut down the BB, I don´t know if he will be capable to do that, but I like him

  9. Westside guy on September 10th, 2010 8:53 pm

    Too bad they don’t televise the Rainiers playoff games – I’d watch that rather than the Mariners right now (plus we don’t have a Mariners game thread anyway…).

  10. littlesongs on September 10th, 2010 9:44 pm

    Is it just me or is everyone chanting “one more game” here in the top of the 9th?

    Mike Curto and the Rainiers have been a good salve for the wounds inflicted on my psyche by the Ms and Beavers this year.

    I sure wish that I was heading to Seattle tomorrow for what promises to be the clinching finale.

  11. marc w on September 10th, 2010 9:52 pm

    They were chanting ‘one more K’ at Tommy Everidge, who obliged with his 4th of the evening.

  12. KaminaAyato on September 10th, 2010 10:48 pm

    Robles just needs to gain control. From where I was sitting he definitely had issues.

    I also noticed that there were very few groundballs given up by Robles. At least that would fit at Safeco (minus the two homeruns down the right field line and in RCF).

    I started wondering if Safeco Field might be a home field disadvantage, but without knowing how Cheney plays to batters, I don’t know.

    Not a good day by Ackley at all. Lots of check swings and being rung up.

    Halman had good contact on a couple of balls, but it was right at the outfielders.

  13. littlesongs on September 10th, 2010 11:19 pm

    They were chanting ‘one more K’ at Tommy Everidge, who obliged with his 4th of the evening.

    Thanks Marc. That makes a whole lot more sense. I didn’t want to believe that Rainiers fans were so cynical.

    Tommy earned himself a Golden Sombrero. Because it’s the playoffs, it comes with a big ostrich feather.

  14. GoMariners on September 10th, 2010 11:25 pm

    Yes, definitely a homefield disadvantage for the Rainiers at Safeco Field – the Cheney homeruns in bunches by our hitters turn into flyouts at Safeco. Also, it sucks that only 2,000 fans showed up in a huge stadium. They would have had over 5,000 fans here in Tacoma and that would have packed the stadium that they are used to hitting in. Makes me mad.

  15. GoldenGutz on September 11th, 2010 10:01 am

    I would rather go to the Rainiers playoffs then the Mariners regular season, what is wrong with people. And it’s $20 for General admission (I think) that’s a steal if you ask me.

  16. floydr on September 11th, 2010 10:34 am

    Rainiers were in the visitor’s dugout on 3rd base.

    Only home plate entrance was open.

    Only 1st level, sections ~116-144 were open, very few concessions. Lights on in owner’s box and a couple of suites.

    Ushers letting only one kid run for foul balls in closed sections.

    Could hear comments from across the diamond.

    Very few M’s season ticket holders there – mostly Rainiers fans. Might have been a dozen Rivercat fans. Only one guard, few cops, two ball girls.

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