Rainiers PCL Playoffs Game 5

September 12, 2010 · Filed Under Mariners · 55 Comments 

Feierabend v Mortensen, 7:00pm

The Rainiers won the first two games on the road, then saw the RiverCats pull the same trick in Safeco. Tonight’s the deciding game – the winner heads to Memphis for the PCL championship.

The series has been defined by command, or the lack thereof. Game 1 saw the Rainiers spot Sacramento to a 7-1 lead, but RiverCats starter Clayton Mortensen’s wildness gave the Rainiers an opening, and got to Travis Blackley to get the come-from-behind win. The Rainiers led most of game 2, thanks to another 5 walks in 5 2/3 from Sacramento starter Travis Banwart.
In Safeco, Rainiers starters Mauricio Robles and Yusmeiro Petit had decent off-speed stuff but little command of their fastballs, and while neither was hit terribly hard, the walks ran up pitch counts and meant the Rainiers were consistently playing from behind (Sacramento has scored at least one run in the first inning of 3 of the 4 games so far).

Tonight Sacramento starts Mortensen, their ace, on 3 days rest. The Rainiers will counter with Ryan Feierabend, who’s making his first appearance of the series. Game 1 starter Andy Baldwin’s available in the bullpen as well.

The Mariners start someone not named Felix Hernandez, so why not tune in to Mike Curto on 850AM or here? Better yet, come down to Safeco. The logistical issues of getting to Safeco while thousands of Seahawks fans leave proved much less severe than I’d thought. So come down; you may have an entire section to yourself, but if you’ve ever wanted to feel like some insane tycoon who orders professional sporting events played for his/her personal benefit, tonight’s the night.


RAINIERS WIN! The Rainiers take the series 3-2, with a 4-1 win in game 5. After trailing for the middle innings, the M’s tied it in the 6th, then took the lead on a truly bizarre play: 1 out, runner on first. Jose Yepez hits a grounder to short who goes to 2nd to try and get Mike Wilson, but Wilson beats the relay. The 2B fires to first in time to get Yepez, and 1B Tommy Everidge, thinking there were 3 outs, throws the ball into the crowd. That’s a 2-base error, and that allows Wilson to score, about 5 minutes after the play ended.
A Matt Mangini two-run HR gave them some breathing room, and Josh Lueke closed it out in the 9th. Ryan Feierabend’s the player of the game, after an 8IP, 1R, 2H, 0BB performance.

As usual, pictures below.
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Rainiers PCL Playoffs Game 4

September 11, 2010 · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues · 22 Comments 

Well at least this doesn’t directly conflict with an M’s game today. If you’re in Seattle, come down to Safeco. Gametime is 12 noon, and if yesterday was any indication, great seats are still available.

Tacoma again goes for the series win, sending Yusmeiro Petit for his first start of the series. Petit is coming off his best outing of the season, going 7 innings of shutout baseball on Sept. 5th with 8Ks and no walks. More importantly, the RiverCats have re-activated Brett Tomko to make the start for Sacramento. This means the Rainiers can satisfy the Sullivan Postulate, which held that after beating Travis Blackley in game 1 and John Halama in game 2, the Rainiers could only win by beating Tomko. That looked tough, as he’d been placed on the inactive list. But he’s back, and I’m betting he can still hear Lou Piniella’s screams echoing around Safeco field.

Recaps/commentary on last night’s RiverCats win from Mike Curto here and Larry Stone here.

Today’s Rainiers line-up:
1: Ackley
2: Halman
3: Mangini
4: Winfree
5: Carp
6: Smoak
7: Nelson
8: Alfonzo
9: Hulett

Lots of photos, not as much commentary below. Just a reminder that gameday is here and you should listen to Mike Curto here or on 850AM. Aaand that’s the ballgame, final score 5-1 Sacramento. Just like last night, none of the Rainiers’ pitchers had good command. Petit struggled a bit, but nobody struggled more than Dan Cortes who gave up 3 in the 9th. The 5th and deciding game is tomorrow night at Safeco Field – it’d be great to get a bigger crowd out tomorrow, but the logistics are going to be tough – the Seahawks game will be letting out and the I-5 roadwork will make getting back to Tacoma a nightmare. I’m not selling this. PLAYOFFS! WINNER TAKE ALL!
Pictures of Ackley, Halman, Mangini, Petit, Cortes, Patterson, Tomko and more after the jump.
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Rainiers PCL Playoff Series Game 3 Gamethread

September 10, 2010 · Filed Under Mariners · 16 Comments 

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. Read more

Pineda Day Gamethread 8/2/10

August 2, 2010 · Filed Under Mariners · 51 Comments 

For those of you that weren’t able to heed Dave’s advice and come out to Cheney Stadium tonight, here’s a gamethread.

First, many of you wondered if Rob Johnson was sent down to catch Pineda in Tacoma, but that’s not the plan, at least for tonight. Eliezer Alfonzo gets the start tonight.

Second, this will be an interesting opportunity to watch how Pineda faces hitters who’ve faced him before. This isn’t the first time he’s facing an opponent for the second time (he’s faced Fresno twice too), but it should be a decent test. He was sharp in his first game against Reno, but managed only 3 strike-outs in 6 2/3 IP. That’s quite a contrast from his 11 Ks in 5 IP in his next start in Sacramento.

Gametime is 7pm.

1: Woodward
2: Mangini
3: Smoak
4: Nelson (DH)
5: Halman
6: Carp (LF)
7: Ackley
8: Alfonzo
9: Wilson

-7PM update–
Pineda leads off Doug Deeds with a FB at 92 MPH. Second pitch is an interesting 88 MPH cutter or something, then a 94 MPH FB. Have to find out more about that cutter/2 seamer. Gets a fly out on a high away FB.

Game scoreboard just flashed 101 on a Pineda FB. I’m not sure I buy that. 95 on the next pitch.
Chris Rahl lifts a 94 MPH FB to deep, deep left, but you can do that in Tacoma.

1-2-3 inning capped with a swinging K of Jeff Bailey on a 95 MPH fastball. 97 is the top speed assuming the 101 was a mistake, and he threw 2 sliders at 83/87, the one oddball cutter, and the rest FBs. Lots of them up in the zone, same as his debut. Something to watch.

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