Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

We All Fall
July 11, 2013, 16:00
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Tucson Padres did their very best to climb out of the hole Tacoma put them in, but weren’t quite able to pull it off, falling to the Rainiers in the game and the series.  The good news is that both Las Vegas and Sacramento also lost, so there was no change in the standings:  we’ve still got a 2 ½ game lead over BOTH those two second-place teams.  It was a muggy evening at the ballpark last night, but somehow managed to go all nine innings without a drop of rain.  The more worrisome thing for us fans was simply trying to figure out why Sean O’Sullivan had been pulled from his scheduled start.  I’d teased my friend about Sean being on the mound – he’s pitched in something like 95% of the games we attend!  And he WAS scheduled…and then suddenly Brandon Kloess was out there instead.  And Kloess just pitched on Sunday!  What’s up with Sean?  We worried about injury…we hoped it might be a call up to The Show…  Without Broadcaster Tim Hagerty’s help, we just didn’t know (yes, I should take my radio to the games, thank you very much).  All we knew was that suddenly the T-Pads were having a bullpen day against this strong Tacoma team that’s been such a thorn for us.  Kloess did a decent job on short rest…he tossed three complete innings and allowed two runs on five hits and no walks.  The Rainiers got one in the first off Stefen Romero’s RBI double to take the early lead…but the Pads put two runs up in the second (Cody Decker hit an RBI double scoring Gregorio Petit; Daniel Robertson ground into a double play for the first two outs of the inning – Cody scored on the play) to take the lead themselves.  Tacoma did the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in their half of the third:  they led off with three consecutive BUNT singles to load the bases!  Stefen hit into a fielder’s choice to bring one of those guys home for a run – another was tagged out at the plate – Kloess and our defense were somehow able to hold the Rainiers to only one run!  But the game was tied, two apiece, and Kloess was done for the evening.  Tucson sent Matt Lollis in to relieve Brandon.  Matt’s been with us before, but had only just been called back up again yesterday.  It’s the first time I’ve seen him:  he is a BIG kid!  You’d think he’d be very intimidating out there, but Tacoma didn’t seem to have any problems with him.  They were whacking the ball HARD off most of Matt’s pitches.  And the fourth inning was really goofy.  The first two Rainiers slugged out hits (a single and a double), but then Matt got a strikeout!  Sadly, the next batter walked and the bases were loaded.  Here’s where it got confusing!  What I wrote says Abraham Almonte hit into a fielder’s choice and a run scored, then there was an error and another run scored.  THEN, with the next batter at the plate, Almonte then took off for second and there was another error and Almonte scooted all the way home for the third run of the inning!  A two-error inning for the Pads – and the Rainiers made them pay for each of them!  Thankfully, Lollis got out of the inning without another run scoring…but now Tucson was down by three.  Lollis increased the deficit to four runs when he allowed one more Tacoma run in the fifth.  The good news for the Pads was that they finally chased the Tacoma starter, Brian Sweeney, in the seventh inning!  Sweeney had held them pretty close, but with two Pads on base and only one out in the seventh, Tacoma decided to go to their pen.  On another complicated set of plays/errors/etc., both those Tucson runners – and no others (thinking of Eddy Rodriguez who hit a single to get on base, advanced to second on a groundout, and tried to make it home on a single…but was tagged out at the plate) – reached home giving the Pads four total runs in the game (all charged to Sweeney).  Down only two runs – our pen giving Tacoma absolutely nothing (Jorge Reyes took over from Lollis and went two scoreless; Kevin Quackenbush took the final two – also scoreless) – and our guys on the upswing offensively, I totally felt we were going to see a comeback for a win!  I was even more sure of that when the Pads put up another run in the eighth inning.  Down only one run!  But Tacoma’s closer, Logan Bawcom, simply shut us down in the ninth.  Groundout, strikeout, groundout…game over.  Drat!  We’ll give Petit the nod as the offensive player of the game:  he went three for four (and I seriously hope he’s okay…he got his hand smashed in a late defensive play at third) with two doubles and a run-scored.  The downside of last night:  two caught stealing and three errors (there were some additional non-error miscues) – it just felt a little sloppy out there last night all the way around.  But I was impressed that the Pads came back on Tacoma…didn’t quite come back far enough, but they gave it a real good shot!  Now our #1 Tucson Padres are on their way to Las Vegas to play another crucial four-game series against the #2 51s.  Go Tucson!  Final Score:  Tucson 5; Tacoma 6.

Transactions.  Today’s paper trumpeted the good news on page one of the Sports Section:  our Sean O’Sullivan has been recalled by San Diego and will be starting for the Parent Unit tomorrow night against San Fran!  Read the really touching story here .  I’m going to miss Sean O’ a ton – but wish him the best in The Show.  I’d LOVE to see him “stick” in their rotation!  Yesterday’s newspaper clarified the odd Transaction notes regarding RHP Miles Mikolas:  he has also apparently been recalled by San Diego and is hanging out in the Parent Unit’s bullpen!  With those losses from our pitching staff (and since Tyson Ross won’t show up until the road trip), the organization assigned Matt Lollis to Tucson from AA San Antonio Missions.  And, as you know, Matt pitched for us last night.

Padres On The Road Again.   The Tucson Padres are in Las Vegas for the first time this year, preparing to face the 51s in their home park.  The teams will play four games in three days, beginning tonight at 7:05pm.  Tomorrow they’ll play a double-header, with the first game beginning at 5:05pm.  Friday’s game will be at 7:05pm.  Remember, you can catch all the Tucson Padres games live on local radio 1290AM The Source or live-streaming off the team’s website.  After this series, the PCL heads into the AAA All-Star Break.  Play will resume for your Tucson Padres here at home on Thursday, July 18th, versus the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA Rockies).  Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss a chance to see your #1 Tucson Padres in action!

(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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