Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Sky Sox Win Game, Series
July 22, 2013, 14:26
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night the T-Pads gave up a big early lead to the visiting Colorado Springs Sky Sox, worked hard to recover, but fell just a little short of a winning comeback in a good game at Kino Stadium.  It was a beautiful evening to be at the park…mild temperature, glorious sunset colors, and an incredible near-full moon that played with the cloud cover in such a lovely way.  Oh, what joy to see a live baseball game!  The Sky Sox sent newly-acquired Armando Galarraga in to start the game.  I was eager to see this former big leaguer, who’d once come one bad-call-out away from a perfect game some years ago.  This is one of the things that I love most about AAA baseball:  you never know who you’re going to see on the field!  Galarraga did pretty well against the T-Pads in his first AAA start this season.  He allowed only one run (Jaff Decker led off the Pad’s first with a double, advanced on a ground out, and came home on a wild pitch!) on two hits and no walks.  Fortunately for Tucson, he had to come out in the top of the fourth, while facing the first batter in the frame, with an apparent arm injury.  At the time Galarraga left, COS had a one-run lead…they scored twice on T-Pad starter, Matt Andriese, in the top of the first.  It was not the start that Matt had hoped for…the first three batters reached on hits (single, triple, double) scoring two runs almost before we’d had time to settle into our seats.  But Matt settled down a bit after those two runs came in and actually put up zeros for the next three innings.  But he had another meltdown in the fifth inning, allowing another four Sky Sox runs to score and giving them a six to one lead.  That was the end of the evening for Matt, and Jorge Reyes took his place on the mound for the sixth and seventh.  The “good” Jorge was on display last night – he kept the Sox off the scoreboard through two innings, allowing only one hit and no walks!  With our good bullpen in control, it was time to worry about our offense.  The Pads haven’t done real well catching up to big leads lately, but Tucson showed some grittiness at the plate and put up two runs in the sixth to halve the Sox lead.  Facing the Sox’s second reliever of the evening, Jaff led off the sixth with a walk – Gregorio Petit advanced him to second with a single and Dean Anna brought them both home with a two-RBI triple!  Still no outs and the pitcher looked vulnerable…but we stranded Dean at third, much to the disappointment of the fans (and the team itself, I’m sure).  But at least we had cut the gap down to three runs!  Neither team was able to score in the seventh and Brad Boxberger took the mound for another scoreless frame against the Sox in the eighth.  Facing yet another reliever in the eighth, the Pads again showed signs of life.  Dean led off the inning with a double and came home on Ben Francisco’s double that very nearly left the park as a home run!  Man that was exciting!  But the Pads once again couldn’t take advantage of having no outs and a man in scoring position…they did advance Ben to third, but left him there to end the inning.  Brad Brach shut the Sox down in the ninth…but COS’s excellent closer, Logan Kensing did the same against the T-Pads to end the game with a Sox victory.  Dean sure had an All-Star-Worthy night at the plate:  two for four with a double, a triple, a run-scored, and two RBIs!  Nice to see him in a good groove!  Matt took his third loss as a T-Pad, having allowed all six of the Sox runs.  With the loss, Tucson lost the series, too – something they have done very infrequently this season.  And their Division lead is now in serious jeopardy as Las Vegas was able to win last night, pulling to within ½ game of Tucson for the lead.  Thankfully, Sacramento lost – they are now in third place, still 1 ½ games back.  One good thing:  Tacoma appears to be more beatable right now (they’re two wins to eight losses in last ten games).  That’s good because that’s where our boys go next…and Tacoma is the only team this season that has swept us in a series.  In any case, Tucson’s current difficulty scoring runs continues.  I was pleased to see them mount a bit of a comeback last night, even though it wasn’t quite enough.  What worried me more, having seen the guys again, was that their vibe feels different to me now.  Sure, it could’ve been the effect of two consecutive losses (and a series of games with more losses than wins), but the chemistry seems off – the team’s attitude darker and less positive.  The one guy you can always count on to be cheerful, smiling, and joking with the crowd (Cody Decker) was practically scowling all night long and didn’t even greet fans the way he always does before a game starts.  Hard to describe, but the feel there worried me far more than our current performance woes.  One important thing this team has always had going for it was its chemistry and that they seemed to approach the game as something FUN.  I fear that if that’s missing, it’ll be awfully hard to get the performance issues straightened out.  It’s a long slog to the end of the season now – 42 games to go with only one off-day – and I know that’s got to be wearing on them…but I hope they find that vibe again and continue to give us the wonderful season we’ve enjoyed from them thus far.  Go Tucson – we believe in you!  Final Score: Tucson 4; Colorado Springs 6.

Transactions.  I don’t see anything new to report (yet) today.

Tucson on the Road for Four.   The Tucson Padres travel to Tacoma to face the Rainiers (Mariners AAA) for four games in WA.  Tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday the games will kick off at 7:05pm.  Day game tomorrow at 11:35.  You can catch all games live on 1290AM The Source or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  The Padres return home again on Friday, July 26th, to face the Salt Lake Bees (AAA Angels) for four games at Kino Stadium.

(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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