Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

August Angst
August 9, 2013, 16:25
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our Tucson Padres are still struggling to bust out of their recent slump…definitely couldn’t solve that last night and they fell to the New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins AAA affiliate) in front of a Thirsty Thursday crowd at home.  Jason Lane took the start for Tucson.  I really like Jason, even though his past two starts haven’t been as successful as his first two with the Pads.  Jason has excellent control on the mound – he simply doesn’t walk batters.  The flip side of that, of course, is that he’s throwing strikes…and some players are gonna hit those.  That was the case last night, as Jason gave up 11 hits and seven runs in his five innings of work.  The “worst” of those hits:  three home runs.  New Orleans just kept scoring and scoring, while simultaneously keeping Tucson off the scoreboard.  The Zephyrs put up two in the first (a two-run homer), one in the second (a solo homer), one in the third (a sac fly brought home a runner who’d reached with a triple), and three in the fifth (two of which came in on a two-run homer).  Our Pads had looked flat to that point, even though they were facing the Zephyrs’ pen.  The first New Orleans reliever (who started), Rett Varner, worked three innings and allowed only two Padre hits…much less runs.  He struck out five.  After getting only one on base (with a walk) against reliever Robert Morey in the fourth, Tucson finally showed remarkable signs of life in the fifth!  Cody Decker and Eddy Rodriguez hit back-to-back solo homers to kick off the inning and it was easy to think that was going to be a huge turning point for the Pads.  Ah, didn’t work out that way, as the Pads continued to go scoreless until the ninth.  But meantime, our own relievers came in and shut down the Zephyr offense, too.  Brandon Kloess (two innings, no hits/walks, three Ks), Brad Boxberger (one inning, one hit, three Ks), and Tommy Layne (one inning, one hit, one K) were just what the doctor ordered against the slugging Zephyrs!  Down seven to two in their half of the ninth, and facing the Zephyrs’ final reliever of the evening, Josh Wall, Tucson was finally able to string together a couple of base-runners on a combination of hits and walks.  Cody took a one-out walk and scored on Eddy’s RBI double.  Mike Wilson came in with two down and took a walk, while Eddy advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Daniel Robertson then brought Eddy home with an RBI single.  Things were looking good!  Two runs in…but also two outs.  Quite honestly, Tucson scores really well with two outs, so that didn’t faze me.  But Dean Anna lined out to end the inning and the game…and just like that, it was over.  Both Sacramento and Las Vegas won last night…so Tucson slipped back a whole game on each of them…we are now five games back of Sacramento.  Vegas is one game back of the River Cats.  We’re also in danger of hitting the .500 mark for the first time in months: our record is 60 and 59.  Come on guys!  Dig deep and get some wins!  Final Score:  Tucson 4, New Orleans 7.


Transactions.  Quite a lot has happened on the transaction front since my last post.  First of all, the organization swapped catchers on us.  Chris Robinson has been sent to AA San Antonio; Rocky Gale came to Tucson from San Antonio.  I love Rocky, but I think we’ll miss some of C-Rob’s skills on offense.  He’s the only catcher I know who can bunt for hits and run like crazy on the bases.  Oh well.  Reliever Ryan Kelly was also dispatched to San Antonio from Tucson.  Keyvius Sampson returns in his place.  They expect that Keyvius will move into the rotation, likely shifting Anthony Bass into the bullpen.  While Cameron Maybin remains with Tucson on his rehab assignment, he’s dealing with a sore knee and may not play for a couple of days.  Also, sad news about a former T-Pad who was beloved by fans in Tucson:  the organization has released Anthony Contreras after his return from the DL in San Antonio.  Drat!  I hope he’ll find a new baseball home soon!  I kept hoping we’d see him back here this season, and it breaks my heart to see him cut.  Best of luck to Anthony!

T-Pads Are Home!   The T-Pads continue their series against the New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA Marlins) tonight.  There’s an incredible deal for families with youngsters at Kino Stadium tonight, as it’s Kids Free Friday!  All kids 12 and under can get into the Park for free, plus they’ll receive a voucher for a free hot dog and soda!  Our Tucson Padres players will sign autographs and pose for pictures for the kids from 6:00 – 6:30 and all kids who arrive before 6:30 will get a free set of 2013 Tucson Padres baseball cards.  After the game, all kids can run the bases. Tomorrow night also features a major promotion:  it’s the Field of Dreams Giveaway Night!  One lucky fan will win their choice of a quality pre-owned 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier from the Jim Click Automotive Team car OR $3,000 in cash!  All fans ages 17 and older will get a lucky number ticket when they enter the park.  In addition to the car, 49 other contestants will qualify and win great prizes that are each valued at over $100. These include dinners, a San Diego Padres VIP trip (game tickets, travel funds and hotel), gift certificates and more – $25,000 worth of prizes!  First pitch for all home games will be at 7:05pm.  You can’t beat the fun at the ol’ ballpark – I hope to see you 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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