Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Winless No Longer!
April 7, 2013, 16:16
Filed under: Uncategorized

In the relatively short time since my last post, Tucson has completed the final two games of their series in Salt Lake City.  And awesome news:  they trounced on the Bees today to win their first game of the 2013 season!  Feels a little like last season when Tucson rarely got swept in a series…but let’s hope this year’s crop of players has a far stronger win-streak than that, shall we?

Can’t Hear You Now…  It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest tech geek in the world, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I vastly prefer listening to baseball games on a good old fashioned radio, versus streaming online feed.  Given the T-Pads broadcast agreement with 1290AM The Source, however, I’ve been forced to tech-up if I want to hear my Pads live (at those times when their games conflict with UofA Wildcats baseball).  So far that has been an iffy proposition for me.  Between having my internet and WiFi drop (sadly, a rather common occurrence), not being able to get my iPad to run any of the feeds, and having my laptop battery tank on me I’ve just not had the best of times with the “new” formats.  Last night was the worst, though…in the sixth inning the online feed suddenly went silent (though it looked like it was working) and nothing I could do would get the audio back.  So my notes from last night’s crucial final innings came from GameDay.  Sure it means I probably got the information correct, but it’s not nearly as fun when I don’t have Tim Hagerty explaining things to me!  Here are my notes from these last two games:

Saturday, April 6:  Tucson 3; Salt Lake 5.  Both Tucson and Salt Lake started young pitchers who were making their AAA debut in the game last night.  For Tucson, LHP Robbie Erlin took a rather short outing of 3.1 innings…and none of those was particularly easy for him.  Overall, he allowed three earned runs on six hits and three walks.  He did strike out three.  The walks were a surprise as Robbie is known as a control pitcher – he walked a grand total of 14 batters during the 2012 season with San Antonio!  But while Robbie was struggling, Tucson was also making inroads against Bees’ starter, RHP A.J. Schugel.  The T-Pads scored the first run of the game in the second, when Schugel allowed a bases-loaded walk that sent C Jason Hagerty home.  Tucson scored two in the third after a series of singles and walks and a Bee throwing error.  But their three-run lead didn’t hold for long, as Salt Lake came back in the bottom of the third to score three runs of their own.  That was enough to chase Erlin from the game and we got our first look at RHP Brandon Kloess out of Tucson’s pen.  Kloess looked good!  In fact, I think our bullpen might be one of the strengths of this team.  Brandon went 1 2/3 innings – no runs, no hits, one walk and two Ks.  Then Manager Pat Murphy sent RHP Fautino De Los Santos in for the second straight game.  In his two innings, he allowed no runs on two hits, no walks, and three Ks.  Murphy wasn’t the only Manager dealing out good bullpen arms:  after their early lead, Tucson couldn’t put another run on the board…in fact, they had only two hits in the final four innings.  It was looking like we’d need extra innings to settle the three-three tie when suddenly Tucson had a giant hiccough in the bottom of the eighth.  With RHP Nick Vincent on the mound, the Bees launched the inning with a solid double…Nick got the second batter to strike out, but then walked the third to face the Bees’ ninth batter, Roberto Lopez.  Without Tim talking me through the sequence of events, I’m sure I’m missing some of the excitement here, but suffice it to say that Lopez got an RBI single and that a second run scored on a throwing error by Tucson’s RF Sawyer Carroll.  Two runs in – it was all Salt Lake would need (even though Nick wasn’t quite done in the eighth:  he got another strikeout, 1B Kyle Blanks made Tucson’s third error of the game, and then – finally – Nick got a line-out to end the inning).  Yet another Bees hurler shut the Pads down one-two-three in the ninth to close out the game.

Sunday, April 7:  Tucson 9; Salt Lake 1.  After starting the season with three losses, there’s nothing quite like a resounding win to raise the ol’ spirits!  With my usual Sunday stuff to tend to, I wasn’t able to tune into today’s game until it was in the seventh…and Tucson was ahead…seven to one!!  Tim Hagerty’s voice was practically DANCING over the internet, he was so happy with the way things were going!  Tucson’s starting pitcher, right hander Thad Weber went five innings for the win.  He surrendered the only Bees run on five hits and no walks.  He struck out five!  Offensively, the Pads went to town:  Kyle hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the fourth, followed by LF Travis Buck’s first dinger – a two-run shot in the fifth.  DH Cody Decker, CF Daniel Robertson, and C Rene Rivera all had their first doubles of the year as well.  After committing three errors the night before, Tucson went without one today – and took advantage of the three errors Salt Lake committed instead.  Relievers Brad Boxberger, Daniel Stange, and Miles Mikolas all pitched well, allowing no runs and only two hits among them.  All in all a wonderful effort that surely lifts a weight off the team’s shoulders as they head off to Colorado for their second road-series of the year. Well done, Team Tucson!

Tomorrow’s game will be broadcast live from Colorado Springs as the Padres face the Sky Sox (AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies).  First pitch will be at 5:35pm Tucson local time and you can catch it on 1290AM The Source, locally, or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  The T-Pads will play four in the Springs before they come home for the first home game of the year on Friday!

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 this coming Friday, 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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