Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson


You Can’t Sweep Us!
April 28, 2012, 13:14
Filed under: Uncategorized

I admit it…I’m starting to take rather perverse pleasure in the way our Tucson Padres keep busting up each series with a win to prevent a sweep!  Sure, I yearn for the day when they win – or even split! – a series, but in the meantime, the fact that we tenaciously cobble out at least one win in each series pleases me.  Last night’s five to one victory over the Sacramento River Cats at Raley Field was made even sweeter by the fact that it finally broke the Padres’ four-game losing streak!

The home run ball appeared to be King through most of last night’s game.  Fresh off the DL, Yasmani Grandal went deep in his first at-bat to give the T-Pads an immediate lead in the game.  It was Grandal’s first homer of the season and seemed to say, “Yes, I’m back – and I WILL be a force to reckon with!”  Naturally, the River Cats weren’t about to go down without a fight:  their leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning, Jermaine Mitchell, also went deep to tie the game.  Tucson tacked on a run in the top of the third (Everth Cabrera scored on James Darnell’s RBI single) and went back to the home run in the sixth when Sawyer Carroll drove another ball out of the park.  Three-one, T-Pads, and the pitching (on both sides) had been so effective I felt the biggest concern was to simply hold that lead and not let Sacramento score again.  But we got some breathing room in the ninth when Cat’s closing pitcher, Merkin Valdez, got sloppy.  He got both Beamer Weems and Daniel Robertson out and then issued a single to Everth.  Now Everth had been having quite a night!  Although they didn’t factor in the scoring earlier, Everth had already stolen two bases on the Sacramento defense, so you just knew that getting Everth on base in the ninth, even with two down, was going to be exciting!  While Grandal was at the plate, Everth stole second…Yasmani walked.  With Darnell at the plate, Everth stole third…and he scored only seconds later when James reached first on an E5 by the Cats!  Obviously rattled, Valdez then tossed two consecutive wild pitches with Matt Clark at the plate!  The first scored Grandal; the second advanced Darnell to third!  Matt flied out, but the damage was done:  Tucson had added two unearned runs to their run-total for the night!  Four total stolen bases for Everth!  Wow.

Equally impressive were our pitchers!  Josh Geer started and went six innings, allowing only one earned run on six hits (one was that homer) and two walks.  He struck out four (broadcaster Tim Hagerty indicated that Geer’s style of pitching is to put the ball in play, so the low strikeout total is not unusual…and kinda irrelevant).  Cory Burns, Brad Boxberger, and Brad Brach each pitched a one-two-three inning!  No hits!  No walks!  No runs!  Josh earned his second win of the season – and all (but Brach, who still has a ZERO ERA) received a bit of redemption for rather rough outings in Tucson this past week.

Carroll Pleases Fans On Both Sides!  I was thrilled when Sawyer Carroll whacked out his third homer of the season during last night’s contest.  This is one of our power players and I hope he’s starting to get in the groove!  (In fact, last night seemed to have a different, more confident, feel to it.  I’m hoping that with Grandal and Weems back maybe we’ll see some significant improvement overall.)  But Sawyer also pleased the Sacramento fans…  When he came up to bat in the eighth inning, the fans just went nuts!  Hooting and hollering like crazy.  Tim Hagerty informed listeners that Sawyer had been designated the inning’s “K-Man.”  If the K-Man strikes out, every fan in attendance is given a coupon to a local restaurant.  Ah, so that’s why the volume level rose increasingly as Sawyer battled!  Full count and I was sure those fans were going to be disappointed, but nope: Sawyer finally struck out swinging.  He’s the man for the Sacramento fans, too!

Transactions and Injury Report.  Nothing new to report affecting the Tucson roster.  But an interesting tidbit affecting the Salt Lake Bees:  Mike Trout has been called up by the LA Angels!  Good luck to him.  I wouldn’t be unhappy to see him stay in the Bigs…one less major “threat” for our T-Pads to face vs. the Bees!

On The Road Still…   Tucson faces the Sacramento River Cats (Athletics AAA affiliate) for two more games at Raley Field.  Today’s game is a night game; tomorrow’s is a day game.  They’ll have another off-day on April 30th and return home for two series at Kino Stadium.  Tuesday May 1st through Thursday May 3rd versus the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners AAA affiliate); Friday May 4th through Sunday May 6th versus Sacramento.  Interesting promotion on May 5th for Cinco de Mayo!  The Park will open at noon for celebratory fun, followed by a double-header versus Sacramento.  I’m not sure why a double-header is on the schedule, but it is!  You can check out all the upcoming promotions here.  Remember, even away games are broadcast on Radio Tejano 1600 this season – and, as always, you can follow each and every game via the internet off the Tucson Padres’ website.  Broadcaster Tim Hagerty does an amazing job calling the games; tune in and support your hometown team!

(Disclaimer – This posting has not been reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Padres, Tucson AAA Baseball, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)

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