Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

“Hey Pop! Look At Me!!”
August 5, 2012, 15:18
Filed under: Uncategorized

As a starter, RHP Matt Palmer seems to have two settings:  on or off.  Like a light switch.  With nothing in between.  I’ve seen him pitch the worst first inning I’ve ever seen…and then I’ve seen him pitch exceptionally well.  Last night in Round Rock, it was the “On” Palmer who took the mound for Tucson vs. the Express!  Palmer was just cruising through his seven complete innings of work, allowing no runs on only two hits (both to former T-Pad Luis Martinez) and two walks.  Meantime, Tucson actually scored three unanswered runs!  Andy Parrino had an RBI double in the second to score Beamer Weems; Beamer launched a solo homer in the fourth (just activated from the DL, Beamer was an offensive explosion all by himself last night!); and Andy brought in Beamer (once again!) with an RBI single in the seventh.  Palmer looking good – Tucson ahead…and it turned out that not a bit of it mattered, because the fun was just beginning!  When Palmer issued his third hit of the game (to leadoff batter, you guessed it!, Luis Martinez!) in the eighth, Manager Terry Kennedy decided to go to the bullpen and bring on LHP Josh Spence to complete the frame.  Didn’t quite happen as planned:  Josh allowed a walk and then a three-run homer by RR’s Luis Hernandez.  Just like that, game tied!  When the next two batters got singles, TK pulled Josh (who got the first blown save in the game – his second of the season) for Nick Vincent.  No outs, three in, two on…  Nick gets an out on a fielder’s choice that also scores the go-ahead run, gets a ground out, and gives up one more run (all charged to Spence) on a single before getting the final out.  Round Rock scored FIVE to take the lead.  And it’s the bottom of the eighth!  In the top of the ninth, Tucson faces reliever Johan Yan for (what could’ve been) their final ABs…  Yan had the same problem Spence had:  allowing two singles and a four-pitch walk before he was lifted for former big-leaguer, Neil Cotts.  Cotts gives up an RBI single to Blake Tekotte, gets Jedd Gyorko to strike out (Jedd was wearing a halo all night long…I could literally FEEL his need to swing for the fences in his final ABs), allows a two-RBI single to Matt Clark, gets Jeremy Hermida to fly out, walked Vince Belnome (a 12-pitch AB!), and finally retired the side by getting Sawyer Carroll to strike out.  Three more runs for Tucson, giving them a one-run lead!  Cotts tagged with the second blown save of the game.  Bottom of the ninth and we need someone to save the game for us.  That used to be Erik Hamren’s job, but apparently TK is now giving other guys a chance to try out for the job (after Hamren’s recent failures in that position).  Tonight’s try out went to Miles Mikolas.  And who’s he facing?  If you guessed Luis Martinez, you can go to the front of the class!  Luis gets a leadoff double.  Fortunately, RR pulled Luis for a pinch-runner – no more chance of seeing him batting tonight!  The next Express batter ground out…but advanced the runner to third.  And then Round Rock tied the game when Luis Hernandez hit a deep sacrifice fly.  Miles gets another out and is done.  BUT, the game is tied; Miles earns the third blown save of the game.  On to extra innings, or (as a former Tucson Sidewinders PA guy used to say) “Free Baseball!”  Round Rock sends Willie Eyre to the mound to face the Pads.  He gets Beamer to ground out (the only time in the game he didn’t reach base!), but allows Robert Kral and Andy singles, and then walks Blake to load the bases.  Jedd then struck out once again.  One power hitter down, but Matt Clark up next.  And Matty does NOT disappoint!  With his dad, Terry Clark, watching from the Round Rock dugout, Clark launched a screaming line-drive homer that barely cleared the fence for Tucson’s third GRAND SLAM of the 2012 season!  Then Jeremy ground out.  But did you hear?  GRAND SLAM for Matt Clark in the 10th!  Tucson up by four runs!!  And that seemed to kick the spirit right out of the Express.  Neil Wagner in to close for Tucson:  strike out, single, fielder’s choice out, strike out.  Game over!  Tucson wins to split the series.  Mikolas credited with the win, his second (and see Transactions…he’s already gone again); Eyre the loss.  Clark’s final line:  two for four with two walks, one homer, one run-scored…six RBIs.  Nice!  Final Score:  Tucson 10; Round Rock 6.

Transactions and Injury Report.   Well, RHP Cory Burns didn’t last long with San Diego – he was optioned back to Tucson today.  San Diego has recalled RHP Miles Mikolas once again instead.  Cory did see his Major League debut during his short stay in The Show:  in yesterday’s game vs. the Mets, Cory went two and one-third innings of relief giving up no runs on two hits, three walks, and two strike outs.  Meanwhile, back with the T-Pads…neither Jesus Merchan nor Daniel Robertson played in last night’s game.  Jesus is dealing with a sore hamstring; D-Rob continues to recover from being hit by a pitch the night before.  Both are day-to-day.

The Land of Enchantment Beckons.   Our Pads are now in New Mexico to face the Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers) for four night games (tonight at 5:05pm local, Mon – Wed 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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