Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Mixed Results in Last Two
July 31, 2008, 15:51
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tucson closed out their last homestand with a bang, pounding out a 15 to 3 win over the Omaha Royals to win that series.  Then they hit the road Eastward…and lost their first game in the Big Easy. 
Tuesday, July 29:  Winders 15, Royals 3.  Rehabbing D-Back, Juan Cruz, led off the game with two strong innings of work that succeeded in getting him off the DL and back to the Bigs.  Juan allowed a run on three hits and no walks.  He was followed by the usually scary Juan Gutierrez who actually won his third game of the season for his five innings of work.  Our Juan allowed six hits and two walks, but no runs…and he struckout five.  Good job!  Brandon Medders followed with a successful inning and Emiliano Fruto closed with an inning of work.  He allowed the final Royals runs on a two-run homer by Gookie Dawkins.  The Little Snakes had hits and runs galore.  Each of the following scored at least three runs:  Jeff Salazar, Trent Oeltjen, and Phil AvlasJosh Whitesell also wowed the crowd with a solo homer and a total of four RBIs!
Wednesday, July 30:  Winders 1, Zephyrs 7.  A day later and the Winders couldn’t quite find the same spirit that launched them to a big win against the Royals.  A.J. Shappi took the start for the Winders and he did quite well.  He allowed two runs (only one was earned) during his five innings of work.  As he departed, the Winders were just one run behind, after slugger Tim Raines, Jr. had posted his 15th homer of the season in the top of the fourth.  But Dustin Glant was next and he pretty well hammered the nail in the coffin when he allowed five earned runs on five hits and four walks in two innings of tossing the ball to our catcher.  Tucson couldn’t take advantage of the NOZ pitcher who was making his AAA debut (and a very fine one it was!)…our bats went silent – Tucson only got four hits the entire evening.  Emiliano pitched the ninth for us – and he, at least, had more success in New Orleans than the night before in Tucson!  No runs, hits, or walks.  One K.  That must’ve felt good!  And guess who’s playing second base for the Zephyrs?  One of my all-time favorite former Sidewinders:  Andy Green!  He played pretty well last night and Ryan Radtke was delighted to have chatted with him before the game.  One of baseball’s truly good guys.  Steady player.  Had his most amazing season in 2005 while with the Winders.  Ah, sweet memories!
Bright, Shining Rays.  It just so happens that I was living in Tampa Bay FL when the city was awarded their MLB franchise team.  I closely followed the naming process (I never did like the Devil Rays) and was amazed that a whole city could be so excited about getting a major league club.  They’d been fighting for one for years and their joy was palpable when their efforts were finally successful.  Although I was personally disappointed it was going to be an AL team (I’ve always been an NL fan), it was neat to be at “ground zero” for a new ball club.  And then they started play.  By then I was out of the area and had to follow them from afar.  And since they were immediately the biggest joke in baseball, I honestly didn’t work that hard to keep tabs on them.  But deep in my heart I’ve always had a soft spot for these guys who now call themselves the Rays.  In case you don’t really follow MLB AL standings, since the Tampa team has dropped the Devil from their name, they’ve played like men possessed.  After years of hearing that part of their problem is that they play in the stacked deck of the AL East (Yankees…Red Sox…anyone?), these guys have carried their surprising Spring Training record into the regular season and through to the second half.  Never in my life did I think I’d see a season like this for Tampa Bay.  To be three games up on the Boston Red Sox on July 31st…to have lead the AL East for a fair portion of the year…  I’ve even heard that Tampa Bay fans are finally supporting their team again – in a way they haven’t had an excuse to since the early years after winning the franchise.  Oh, I love a good baseball underdog story!  Go Rays!
Oh My Goodness!  The Dodgers have picked up Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox!  And the White Sox picked up Ken Griffey Jr, too.  Big changes afoot, my friends.  Stay tuned for the race to the playoffs!  Should be exciting.

Follow the Team on the Road!!  You can always catch away games of our favorite team by tuning into COOL 1450AM to hear Ryan Radtke’s excellent play-by-play coverage.  Tonight’s game will be aired live at 5pm local.  Here’s an outline of the schedule ahead for the Little Snakes:
July 30 – August 2:  Sidewinders at New Orleans vs. Zephyrs, AAA Affiliate of the NY Mets 
August 3 – 6:  Sidewinders at Oklahoma RedHawks, AAA Affiliate of the Texas Rangers
August 7:  Off Day
August 8 – 11:  Sidewinders vs. Tacoma Rainiers at TEP
August 12 – 15:  Sidewinders at Colorado Springs SkySox

August 16 – 19:  Sidewinders vs. Portland Beavers at TEP  (NOTE:  August 16th is Faith Night at the Park!  You won’t want to miss this.  Be sure to get your Group tickets NOW!)

August 20 – 24:  Sidewinders at Salt Lake Bees

August 25 – 28:  Sidewinders at Colorado Springs SkySox

August 29 – September 1:  Season Ending Series at TEP!!  Join us in this last-ever series for the Tucson Sidewinders…  To close this 40-year run of minor league baseball in Tucson, the Winders will face the Salt Lake Bees



(Disclaimer – this posting not reviewed/approved by the Sidewinders, Diamondbacks, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)

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