Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Tucson Splits Series with I-Cubs
May 19, 2013, 16:09
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today’s day game is over and done…long before I could hit my computer to follow the broadcast.  Maybe it’s for the best…after winning last night, Tucson closed out the series with a loss today.  Brief notes on each game follow.

Saturday, May 18th:  Tucson 4; Iowa 2.  The T-Pads scored big and early once again to launch last night’s game.  The evening saw a rather different lineup as both LF Mike Wilson and C Yasmani Grandal joined Tucson…to keep hot-hitting C Rene Rivera’s bat in the lineup, Manager Pat Murphy shifted him to first base (where he played quite admirably!).  The new guys made an immediate impact!  Wilson, batting third, smacked out an RBI double in his first Tucson AB (and first in affiliated baseball this season – he’s been playing Indy ball) – Yasmani followed that with an RBI single!  Rene was next in the batting order…and he had his first oh-fer night in a long time (Rene and Jonathan Galvez were the only Pads not to reach base last night…and that includes our starting pitcher, Sean O’Sullivan, who was one for two at the plate).  However, Gregorio Petit did produce an RBI single to close out Tucson’s scoring in the first inning.  Three runs early!  Sean had an excellent outing all the way around, holding the Cubs to only two runs through seven complete innings of work.  One of those Iowa runs came in the first, the second came in the fourth.  Tucson never trailed in this one, and our pitching prevented anything from even looking like a Cub comeback.  The Pads added an insurance run in the seventh when our first two batters reached on consecutive errors, followed by a sac bunt by Dean Anna and an RBI groundout by Daniel Robertson.  Murphy left Sean in to take the first batter in the eighth inning, but replaced him with lefty specialist Colt Hynes to face the string of lefties the Cubs had built into their lineup facing righty O’Sullivan.  Colt ended up pitching 1 2/3s innings (five batters) and allowed no runs.  Again.  In fact, Colt continues to post an ERA of ZED, ZERO, NADA!!  That’s in 11 games, folks.  Wow!  Murphy dipped into the pen one final time in the ninth, sending Brad Boxberger in to face the third and final batter of the game.  He hurled a three-pitch strikeout!  Well done, Tucson.  Of course, in some ways the I-Cubs seemed to be helping us out…they were charged with four errors and their pitching staff tossed six wild pitches (three helped out in our first inning).  Another win!  For the first time, ever, the Tucson Padres were now four games above .500.  Unfortunately, our Division won out AGAIN, so our relative position in the standings remains unchanged.  I cannot recall ever following a team in such a tight division.  It’s a little nerve-wracking…and a lot of fun!

Sunday, May 19th:  Tucson 3; Iowa 7.  Tucson scored a single run in each of the first, fifth, and ninth innings.  At first it didn’t appear that that would be much of a problem, because starter Wilfredo Boscan was doing a good job of keeping the I-Cubs off the scoreboard, too!  But things got messy in the fourth, when Wilfredo suddenly allowed a two-run homer to Brad Nelson followed by a solo homer to Donnie Murphy.  Cubs ahead three to one after the fourth.  Tucson added a run (D-Rob gets an RBI single, scoring Jaff Decker) in the top of the fifth, and then Wilfredo was back out on the mound to start the fifth inning.  Wilfredo faced four batters – all would end up scoring, as Boscan gave up three consecutive singles and then a bases-clearing double to Nelson (again with the big AB!) with none out in the inning.  Daniel Stange came in at that point, gave up another hit, but only one more run (charged to Wilfredo), before the inning ended.  Stange stayed in for the next two innings – excellent work, as he held the Cubs scoreless on that one hit, and he K’d three!  Nick Vincent took the eighth – also scoreless, no hits or walks, and one K.  And so we came to the final outs for Tucson.  Down seven to two.  And man oh man did we miss out on a great opportunity!  Grandal led off with a K, but then the next three Padres all reached base safely – bases loaded with Pads!  Brandon Allen slugged out a run with a sacrifice fly RBI…that’s one more Tucson run in!  Still two on, but now also two out…  And doggone if Rene didn’t lineout to end the game.  Our surest, hottest hitter of late has gone flat-out cold, fans.  Rene – who had a .414 batting average just a couple days ago – is now oh for his last nine ABs, and his batting average is now at .380.  Oh sure, that’s still very good, but…  I hate to see his hot streak end!  So, Tucson has fallen today – but still split the overall series with the Iowa Cubs.  The rest of our Division is still playing as I type this, though at this very moment, it appears that everyone else is losing too (way too early to call).

Transactions.  Well, I knew something was going to have to give with the backlog of catchers we suddenly have on the Tucson Padres roster…so, this just in:  C Rocky Gale has been reassigned to AA San Antonio Missions.  Also, San Diego has optioned Brad Brach to Tucson.  And dang, I was afraid this would happen: the Toronto Blue Jays have claimed Thad Weber off waivers from San Diego.  He’s gone.

Race Turns to Omaha.   Tucson catches a bus to Omaha, Nebraska this evening and will kick off a four-game series against the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA Royals) beginning tomorrow night.  Game time will be at 4:35 local for all four games; you can catch them live on 1290AM The Source and off the Tucson Padres website worldwide!  Mark your calendars and plan to enjoy some great times at the ol’ ballpark as the Tucson Padres return home on Friday, May 24th.  Not only are there a ton of really fun promotions to take advantage of, but the Pads will be facing the Sacramento River Cats (AAA Athletics) for four; followed by the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA Giants) for another four!  Both of these teams are neck and neck with us in the division standings – maybe YOUR presence in the park rooting for the Pads will tip the scales in our favor!  See you there!  (Check promotions here)

(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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