Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Hoo Hoo Hoo’s On First?
April 27, 2013, 13:42
Filed under: Uncategorized
I've Got My Eye On You... (photo courtesy of Tucson Padres Facebook page)

I’ve Got My Eye On You…
(photo courtesy of Tucson Padres Facebook page)

Sometimes there’s a storyline from a game that has absolutely nothing to do with the game itself.  One of those developed at Kino Stadium last night.  This season a pair of owls has apparently taken up residence at Kino Stadium and last night one of them decided the view from the press box was far better than the on the distant scoreboard.  Broadcaster Tim Hagerty reported that the staff, media, and fans were all a’ twitter about this owl sitting on the metal awning outside the press box windows.  During the game there were (as usual) several foul balls hit up toward the press box and with each one you could hear the fans worriedly exclaim, “OWL!” as if that invocation itself might protect the bird from the flight of the ball.  Apparently no feathers went flying (makes you think of the time that DBack’s pitcher Randy Johnson beaned a dove with a pitch during spring training here some years ago).  There was no report on what media organization the owl was representing, though I have my own theory that it might be the “Wisdom Weekly.”  (Apparently owls don’t tweet, either, though the T-Pad staff posted this rather fine picture of the owl on their Facebook page last night!)

The T-Pads and Sky Sox played through the owl fuss without a single indication that anything was amiss.  Tucson starter, Tim Stauffer, pitched a great game and if you just look at the stats in the box score you have to wonder how COS beat us (again)!  Tucson slightly out-hit the Sox AND struck out more batters than did COS pitching.  The bottomline, then, was that the Sox were able to push runners across home plate, while Tucson left more men stranded.  Tim allowed two of the three COS runs in his six innings of work.   Our first reliever, Tommy Layne, bless his heart, gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced to close the book on the scoring for the Springs.  Tommy is simply bedeviled by those first batters!  Colt Hynes made his first 2013 appearance for Tucson (one inning, no hits/runs/walks, one K) and looked fabulous; Miles Mikolas took the final inning and sat the Sox down one-two-three.  On offense, last night was catcher Rene Rivera’s chance to shine!  He was three for four at the plate (the only T-Pad to get more than one hit) – he was followed in the batting order by the pitcher’s slot and Tim showed that he knows how to play the game when he twice executed perfect sacrifice bunts to advance Rene a base.  No one brought Rene home, but it was neat to see Rene and Tim team up for some good old fashioned small ball.  There was one highly emotional moment in the game, when a reversed official call went against Tucson and literally pulled a run off the scoreboard…  In the seventh inning, Gregorio Petit had led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch to Rene (who then struck out for the only time last night), stayed at second through pinch hitter Cody Decker’s AB (he was a K), and raced into home when Jaff Decker sliced a ball down the first base line for an apparent single.  The first base ump called the ball fair…the home plate ump immediately over-turned the call, the run was erased, Manager Pat Murphy had a long and respectful disagreement with the officials, and Jaff struck out to end the inning.  I wasn’t there and didn’t see the play develop, but isn’t it the job of the umps on the line to call fair/foul?  Oh well.  Tucson was shut out for only the second time this season.  (A personal aside:  I know many fans were probably hoping Murphy would get in the umps’ faces in a more demonstrative manner.  They were probably hoping he’d go ballistic enough to be ejected from the game.  But as for me, I’m very proud of the way Murphy has handled himself in these situations.  I’ve never been one to like the “screaming in your face” style of disagreeing…my respect for Murphy just continues to grow.)  Final Score:  Tucson 0; Colorado Springs 3.

Transactions.  One night after pitching a final inning in the blowout game vs. the Sox, INF Anthony Contreras has been assigned to AA San Antonio Missions from Tucson (darn).  In his place, the organization assigned us OF Edwin Moreno from extended spring training camp.  I also learned that starting pitcher, Keyvius Sampson, left Thursday night’s game early because he was having back spasms.  Apparently they were not significant enough to land Keyvius on the DL (yet).

Sox vs. Pads at Kino!  The T-Pads play two more games versus the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA affiliate of the CO Rockies) at Kino Stadium.  First pitch tonight is at 7:05pm. There’s another great giveaway tonight, as the first 2,000 fans will receive a commemorative Tucson Toros Tee Shirt as part of our summer long remembrance of the history of AAA baseball here in Tucson. Sunday will be Military Appreciation and Bark in the Park day…and I do mean DAY.  First pitch at 1:05pm.  This will be the final day game on the Tucson Padres’ home schedule for the 2013 season.  And don’t forget:  the owl will be looking for you to be there!

(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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