Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Wind Blows Away Four Innings
April 9, 2013, 15:00
Filed under: Uncategorized

Because the wind had been howling fiercely and constantly all day here in Tucson (and still was during the game), it was easy to imagine the conditions that developed in Colorado Springs last night as the game was eventually called after the fifth inning on account of severe wind.  But the game didn’t start that way.  Of all the parks in the PCL, it seems that Colorado Springs has the most freaky, changeable weather…  I remember a time last year when Tucson played there and the day started bright and sunny, but was soon hailing, then raining…and then the sun came out again!  Last night what started as a calm 55 degree evening, turned into the eye of a cyclone in the top of the third and with the wind, Tucson’s fortunes in the game changed.  The pitching matchup for the start of the game featured a new guy making his AAA debut for Tucson (RHP Keyvius Sampson) versus a seasoned veteran, attempting a come-back with his former big league club (RHP Aaron Cook).  In the first two innings, though both teams remained scoreless, Cook seemed to have the upper hand, getting T-Pads to fall in one-two-three order without a lot of extra effort, while Keyvius tossed in a couple walks for the Sky Sox.  But things changed entirely in the third inning.  Cook allowed a leadoff walk and a single before Keyvius – in his first AAA at-bat – successfully advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt.  And then, as fast as snapping your fingers, the wind blasted into Security Service Field and all bets were off.  Broadcaster Tim Hagerty did a great job talking about how papers, hats, and even a heavy plastic on-deck circle were flying around in the wind.  Any ball that went airborne was a crap shoot for the fielders – some flew out of the park, some dinked and changed course so many times the fielders were lucky to guess if a ball was in play or not.  It was, as Tim said, “chaos!”  And for some reason, this chaos benefitted Tucson much more than COS…either that or something has fallen into place for our new team and they have become an offensive machine!  With two out in the third, Tucson launched hit after hit, gathering up six runs and batting around the order before finally taking the field again.  Cook did not last that long:  he left with two out and all six runs were charged to him.  Keyvius also started the third…got the new COS pitcher to strike out, but then allowed a wind-aided homer, a triple, and an RBI single before Manager Pat Murphy went to the bullpen and brought in reliever Jorge Reyes.  J-Reyes got the next two outs to end the inning.  Tucson up six to two.  Jorge struck out to start the top of the fourth and CF Daniel Robertson followed with a groundball out.  Tucson’s two-out magic worked once again…after D-Rob’s out, RF Jaff Decker hit his second homer of the season, 1B Kyle Blanks hit a double and came home on a double by LF Travis Buck, who came home on a double by 2B Jonathan Galvez, who came home on an RBI single by SS Dean Anna.  C Jason Hagerty then made the final out for Tucson in the inning, but the Pads were now leading 10 to 2!  J-Reyes faced five batters in the bottom of the frame, allowing only one additional COS run.  Top of the fifth and yet another reliever in for the Sky Sox…another five Tucson hits, a wild pitch, and an error all resulted in another four runs for the Pads (all of which crossed the plate when there were two out).  Tucson was having a slugfest!  The Sox…not so much.  In the bottom of the fifth, J-Reyes shutdown the Sox one-two-three.  Halfway through the game and Tucson had smashed season highs for hits, runs, etc!  One could only imagine what the final numbers would look like after nine innings!  Sadly, one WAS left to imagine what that might have looked like.  Umpires, managers, and others all gathered together after five (when the game was “official”) and agreed that conditions were too severe to play a safe game.  The Rule Book says you can’t just quit a game because of adverse weather conditions; you have to wait a half hour to ensure conditions will not improve.  So, after a half hour wind-delay, the game was called.  It was critical to everyone that the game last night not be suspended.  Forecast conditions for COS today:  blizzard, snow, below-freezing temperatures.  Assuming that today’s game would have to be postponed, everyone did their best to hang tough through the really bad conditions last night until the game was official – the last thing everyone wanted was to play two double-headers on consecutive days!  And so Jorge Reyes earned the second win for our Tucson Padres (while Aaron Cook took the loss).  Tucson amassed 16 hits (five of which were doubles and one homer) and made no errors (that was probably a gift…there was one “dropped ball” that sounded like a sure error, but was called a double).  Every Tucson Padre except Jason Hagerty and Keyvius Sampson had at least one hit (and Hagerty reached on a walk; while Sampson had a productive sacrifice AB) – both Travis Buck and Dean Anna had three hits each (Dean Anna had four RBIs).  It was a completely different team than the one that played in Salt Lake earlier…and I hope this new look “sticks!”  Final Score:  Tucson 14; Colorado Springs 3 (5 Innings).

Tonight’s game has been weather postponed and will be made up as part of a double-header on Thursday, April 11th at 10:05am (local).  Each will be a seven-inning game and both will be broadcast live on 1290AM The Source, locally, or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  The T-Pads hope to play tomorrow’s game as scheduled at 10:05am – also live on The Source (or on the web).

Transactions.  The PCL transaction site indicates that 1B Brandon Allen has been assigned to Tucson.  San Diego signed Brandon as a free agent yesterday and has today assigned him to Tucson.  It appears Brandon played in Oakland last season…and has bounced from the Rays to the Rangers to the Padres this year.

Don’t Miss the Home Opener!  The boys will be home THIS Friday!  Make your plans now to attend the final season home opener at Kino Stadium 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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