Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

That One Hurt
August 18, 2013, 16:19
Filed under: Uncategorized

When the Tucson Padres put up two runs in the first inning versus Sacramento last night, I just sat back and smiled.  When the Pads score first in a game, they almost always win!  Really!  The stat is something like 32 wins to 12 loses in that situation.  Well, perhaps I wasn’t taking into account the fact that Sacramento had – at the last moment – been told to send one of Oakland’s pitchers in for the start on a rehab assignment.  LHP Brett Anderson, dealing with an ankle sprain, took the start for the River Cats and the Padres found him extremely vulnerable on the mound.  Reymond Fuentes led off the inning with a walk – Brett got an out, but then delivered three consecutive singles that scored two runs (then Gregorio Petit – a former River Cat who has just been itching to get into a game in this series – hit into a double play).  Nice start for Tucson!  LHP Robbie Erlin pitched for Tucson – he allowed a run in the Sacramento first inning, as well.  I wasn’t so worried about that run as much as the fact that the home plate umpire had a very hitter-friendly zone, and both pitchers had to toss a lot balls to get through each frame.  While neither pitcher went one-two-three, both DID get out of the second with no more runs scored.  After one batter into the third, it was the end of the evening for Anderson.  The scheduled Cat starter, RHP Arnold Leon came in for the third and stayed into the eighth.  Sadly, he was only hittable in the third.  Scott Moore had struck out to end Anderson’s outing, and the first batter Leon faced – Jonathan Galvez – hit a double by way of greeting.  Brandon Allen was up next and he launched a lovely two-run homer to give Tucson a four-to-one lead in the game!  Leon got the next two outs…and really never looked back.  He was like a different guy next time out.  BUT meantime!  Erlin was facing his own problems in the third.  He allowed a single, but then Jesus Merchan (Jesus?  No!) committed an error that got the next batter to first.  Both those runners would later score on a Sacramento triple. Back to a one-run game.  There was – get this! – an in-game, on-field WEDDING (not just a proposal) between the third and fourth innings!  What fun!  Broadcaster Tim Hagerty said the staff in Sacramento was pretty sure that was the first ever event of that kind.  I think that was the last time I smiled during the game.  Sacramento put up another run in the bottom of the fourth – another error (this one by Galvez – a much more common occurrence) contributed to that run scoring.  Brad Brach took the mound in the fifth and gave up one run in that frame…and two runs in the bottom of the sixth.  So, we tried Jorge Reyes in the seventh.  He got two outs eventually, but allowed three runs to score.  Kevin Quackenbush did mop-up work, getting the final K in that inning (actually, they took Jorge out of the game with an apparent injury…sure hope that doesn’t land him on the DL!).  You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned Tucson’s offense in awhile…that’s because, sadly, they were not scoring.  They did have one last fling with the scoreboard in their eighth inning.  Galvez led off with a double and Allen hit a single that got Galvez to third.  One out later, Ben Francisco brought Galvez home with an RBI single.  Cody Decker was up next (he was our catcher last night – third time STARTING at catcher for us this season)…and he struck out against new pitcher (former T-Pad) Evan Scribner.  Jesus then popped out.  So, only one more run for the Pads.  Manager Pat Murphy decided against further depleting his bullpen in what was now a Sacramento blowout, so he put Jesus on the mound for the bottom of the eighth.  It’s been a long time since Jesus pitched for us and he was a little rusty!  He was able to hold the Cats to only one additional run-scored (on three hits, a wild pitch, and a hit batsman) – which beat Jorge’s line, for sure.  Scribner allowed Rey a single in the top of the ninth and then got three outs (two were strike outs) to end the game.  Sacramento had one batter with a five-hit/four-RBI evening – another with a four-hit/three-RBI night!  On our side, both Galvez and Allen went three for four at the plate – and Allen had three RBIs.  That’s the good stuff…  But, the loss in last night’s game REALLY hurt the T-Pads.  Mostly because they had an early lead and lost that…then totally fell apart, making defensive mistakes (which we’ve just NOT done this season) and pitching fairly ineffectively!  But also because Las Vegas lost last night…and a Tucson win would’ve tightened up the Division race considerably. Vegas has already played and won today, so they’re only ½ game back of Sacramento (in the lead – again) today.  Tucson fell to FIVE games back.  It’s funny how different things became with the loss last night.  IF the Pads win-out the rest of this series, they’ll still be two games back of Sacramento for the lead.  Had they won last night through the end of the series, they’d be in a tie with Sacramento.  Here’s the bottomline – I don’t think Tucson can make the race to the end ON THEIR OWN.  We’ve still got to win…but we need everyone else to start beating both Sacramento and Las Vegas pronto.  I’m not giving up!  Go Tucson!  Final Score:  Tucson 5, Sacramento 11.

Transactions.  San Diego activated C Nick Hundley off the Paternity Leave List and optioned C Chris Robinson back to Tucson.  Chris should rejoin the team today.  Sadly, he did not get into any games in The Show.  (But I’m glad he’s back with us – he gives us a bunch of extra tools you don’t often see from a catcher!)

FINAL Homestand Begins on August 21st!   The T-Pads are on the road playing a crucial series versus the Sacramento River Cats (AAA Athletics) in CA.  You can catch all of those games – with our outstanding Broadcaster Tim Hagerty – at 7:05pm (except for tonight’s game, which will start at 6:05pm) on 1290AM The Source or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  The team returns home for the final, nine-game homestand of the season (and most likely for pro baseball in Tucson, period) on Wednesday, August 21st.  The Pads will face the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA Mariners) for five, followed by the Reno Aces (AAA DBacks) for four.  The staff is planning all kinds of fun, farewell events – I hope you’ll mark your calendars and plan to attend at least one of the final nine 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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