Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

All About Pitching
April 6, 2013, 15:21
Filed under: Uncategorized

The end result (Tucson taking a loss) may have been the same as the season opener, but the game last night was an entirely different critter than the opener.   Pitching was the name of the game last night, as starters for both teams ploughed through the lineups without giving many opportunities to score.  Tucson sent RHP Sean O’Sullivan (who was the San Diego starter for the Spring Training game played here in Tucson) in for the start and he did a great job, facing the minimum through the first seven batters.  He then allowed a walk, but our defense pulled him out of trouble by turning a double play on the next batter.  Sean offered up the first hit against him, a single, in the fourth but the next batter struck out to end the inning with no further damage.  On offense, Tucson wasn’t having much better luck facing RHP Billy Buckner (yet another former DBack on the Bees team!)…but the T-Pads did make Billy pay for a slightly unsettled first inning.  Buckner gave up a walk to the third batter he faced (2B Jonathan Galvez) and then watched as 1B Kyle Blanks batted Galvez in with an RBI double.  Billy and Sean ended up with nearly identical lines:  five innings worked, one run each, two walks each, and five Ks each.  Sean allowed only two hits; Buckner allowed three.  The run off Sean came in his final inning of work, when he suddenly appeared vulnerable.  He allowed a leadoff walk, got two outs, and then allowed an RBI double to DH John Hester.  All knotted up at the end of five, both Managers went to the pen for fresh arms.  The relievers for both teams also did incredible work – stingy with walks and hits – until the eighth.  The Bees’ RHP Robert Kohn allowed a single to C Rene Rivera and then got the scare of his life when CF Daniel Robertson belted out a deep drive that Salt Lake’s CF Scott Cousins wrapped up in an amazing catch.  A bit rattled, perhaps, Kohn then walked RF Jaff Decker.  He was able to get out of the inning without any damage when Galvez struck out.  Drat!  T-Pad Manager Pat Murphy sent RHP Fautino De Los Santos in for the bottom half of the eighth.  In his Tucson debut, Fautino got the first batter to strike out, but then allowed two consecutive singles…and so Murphy pulled him for LHP Tommy Layne.  It’s going to break my heart if Tommy is always the bad news story of the game!  The Angels Family of Teams is all taught to be extremely aggressive on the base paths, and the Bees are no exception to that rule.  When Fautino allowed the second single, the runner at first hauled all the way to third, setting up what would be the sad story line of last night’s game.  We’re tied at one – pitchers have been excellent – there’s Bees on the corners – and my man Tommy Layne tosses a ball into the dirt with his first pitch…a wild one that scored what would be the winning run for Salt Lake.  Oh, the indignity of the thing!  As with the opening night game, the run was charged to someone other than Tommy:  he still sports an ERA of Zed!  (For the record, after the wild pitch, Tommy did get two fly ball outs to end the inning.)  Our Pads faced the Bees’ closer in the ninth; RHP Ryan Brasier struck out two (though it took 13 pitches before Blanks went down) and got a fly ball out to end the game with a win for Salt Lake and his first save of the season.  Fautino took the loss.  There was one common feature from the two games that Tucson has played so far:  they have struck out a LOT (ten times in each game).  However, as Broadcaster Tim Hagerty noted, it’s really hard to tell if that’s a function of Salt Lake’s pitching OR something to worry about with our batters.  Time will tell.  Let’s see how they do tonight: same two teams, same time (5:35pm Tucson local), same broadcast stations (again 1290AM The Source, will tape-delay their broadcast until after the Wildcats’ baseball game vs. Cal is over).  Final from last night:  Tucson 1; Salt Lake 2.

Transactions.  No new transactions to report today.

Don’t Miss the Home Opener!  Make your plans now for the Tucson Padres final season home opener at Kino Stadium on April 12th.  The Pads will face the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants), with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.  Not only will there be the usual Opening Night festivities, but the first 2,500 fans through the gate with paid admission will also receive a free 2013 Tucson Padres schedule magnet!  Tons of exciting events in the first homestand, fans – check them out here. I hope to see you at Kino Stadium for Opening Night!

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


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