Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Ours! Nope, Theirs…
July 31, 2012, 17:36
Filed under: Uncategorized

On an absolutely perfect night in the Old Pueblo, the Tucson Padres were positively cruising through the first five innings in last night’s game against the Tacoma Rainiers!  Starter Matt Palmer was pitching a gem, giving up only a handful of hits and walks and no runs, while Tucson’s offense had a field day!  “Poster Boy” Matt Clark launched a three-run homer in his first at-bat in the first inning…and followed that up with a solo homer in the third!  The PA guy suggested that every night at Kino Stadium should be Matt Clark Poster Giveaway night!  True that!  Tucson scored at least one run in each of the first four innings, tallying up an impressive eight to nothing lead.  I really never doubted that we had the win in the bag…even though I didn’t really anticipate that we would shutout the Rainiers.  I mean, these two teams have played fairly evenly:  I didn’t expect Tacoma would just roll over and slide out the door.  And they didn’t.  I think it was an omen when my friend noted that the T-Pads broke their scoring drive in the fifth.  They’d had runs in each previous inning and she took the break in the stretch to be a sign of change to come.  She couldn’t have been more correct.  In the sixth inning it was as if two completely different teams took the field.  The T-Pads couldn’t pitch or field and the Rainiers exploded offensively in response.  It started with a single.  No biggie – Palmer had allowed a couple hits already…so I wasn’t worried.  Especially when Palmer got a fly ball out with the next batter!  See…no prob!  But then…three consecutive singles (one of which brought in the first run of the evening for the Rainiers) and a run-scoring hit batter followed.  When Palmer then gave up a three-run double to former T-Pad Guillermo Quiroz, Manager Terry Kennedy pulled Palmer for reliever Jason Ray.  Not a good night for Jason.  While he struck out the first batter he faced, his outing quickly went downhill…in total he allowed three runs (after Palmer allowed six – five of which were earned) – NONE of which were earned because there were errors and wild pitches and just so much junk going on out there.  So Ray didn’t make it through the sixth, either.  TK tried Miles Mikolas next…  He faces the 12th batter in the sixth, Luis Jimenez, who already had a single and a run-scored in the inning.  Jimenez hits a two-RBI single, reaches second on an error, and then was thrown out at third base to – FINALLY – end the inning!  But the Rainiers had put up a total of nine runs in one inning to take the lead…and to so humiliate the T-Pads that the home team wouldn’t score another run in the game.  (Great relief pitching by Tacoma in those later innings also helped the Rainiers significantly, of course.)  Tacoma added a couple of insurance runs in the seventh and ninth, just to be sure their lead held.  Sadly, it did.  At this moment, the Rainiers and T-Pads have split the last eight games they’ve played against each other:  winner tonight takes the combined series – let’s go, T-Pads!  Final Score:  Tucson 8; Tacoma 11.

Transactions and Injury Report.   Bad news for San Diego:  former T-Pad C Yasmani Grandal injured himself on a swing Monday night and has been placed on the 15-day DL for a strained right oblique.  When word flew around the stadium last night that Yasmani had been injured, we were all wondering how this might affect our relatively “green” catching crew…as it happens, the organization went down to Lake Elsinore to call up C Eddy Rodriguez rather than mess with our catchers.  Of course, it’d be nice for either Rocky Gale or Robert Kral to go to the Bigs…but for now, I’m kind of glad we’re keeping them here with us.  In another move, the Tucson Padres picked up RHP Alexis Lara from Lake Elsinore.

Homestand Ends Tonight.   The T-Pads face the Tacoma Rainiers at Kino Stadium for their final game in this series tonight.  Don’t forget it’s eegee’s Free Ticket Tuesday…stop by your local eegee’s and pick up free tickets for this, or any, Tuesday night home game!  Our Pads hit the road back East tomorrow:  they’ll play four night games (at 5:05pm Tucson local time) at Round Rock Express (AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers).  They then move on to play the Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers) for four night games (at 6:05pm local).  Remember you can catch ALL Tucson Padres games this season on Tucson’s own Tejano 1600 AM (also available on the web off the Tucson Padres website).  You don’t have to miss a single pitch while the team’s away!

(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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