Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Like a Mirror
August 31, 2013, 12:52
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night’s game at Cashman Field in Las Vegas had a distinctly familiar feeling to it as both starting pitchers made quick work of their opponents in an excellent pitching duel. It was a lot like the team’s final game at Kino Stadium…including the way the home team (not us!) got one mid-game run to take and hold the lead.  Our Sean O’Sullivan did a fine job for Tucson, going eight complete innings and allowing that one run (a single, a sac bunt, and an RBI single) in the fifth inning.  Sean didn’t have his strikeout machine working last night, but did hold the 51s to the one run on six hits and two walks.  His opponent on the mound, Rafael Montero, had an outstanding outing!  In his six and one-thirds innings of work he allowed no runs on only three hits and one walk. He struck out eight Padre batters and was able to sit our team down one-two-three in three innings.  Like the previous night at Kino Stadium, this game didn’t look like the “typical” game in Vegas – parks known for being much more hitter-friendly.  Vegas began putting relievers in the game in the seventh inning, but the Pads were still unable to get anything going against Tim Byrdak or (former T-Pad) Greg Burke.  That brings us to the ninth inning.  Jaff Decker first up for the Pads against new reliever for the 51’s, Justin Hampson.  Jaff gets a single!  Only our fourth hit of the night!  Daniel Robertson then executed a successful sacrifice bunt to get Jaff to second and to bring Dean Anna to the plate.  Dean got an RBI single!  Game tied!  I was expecting extra innings at that point, but had a pleasant surprise when Mike Wilson stepped to the plate.  Mike had entered the game as a defensive change in the eighth, replacing Kyle Blanks in left.  And making it look so easy, Mike took a ball deep and OUT of the park for a two-run homer!  Tucson suddenly had a two-run lead!  Hampson got the next two outs and Tucson sent Brad Boxberger in for a save.  Brad did it PERFECTLY – he struck out the side for a fast and easy end…and a Tucson win!  Win for Sean (his eighth) and save for Brad (his fifth).  Dean was the only Padres player to get multiple hits – he was two for four with a double, an RBI and a run-scored.  He continues to look good for the PCL batting championship title!  The win took the Pads back to nine games over .500 – I’m hoping that they’ll finally break through that glass ceiling and get 10 (or more) over before the season ends.  You see, I’ve found a solution to my dilemma regarding the standings:  I CAN root for Tucson to beat Vegas AND still hope that Vegas wins the Division.  Because, you see, Tacoma has a say in this thing, too.  Duh.  I swear, sometimes I’m so slow to pick up the obvious!  Last night Tacoma tromped on the Sacramento River Cats!  Two more Tacoma wins and Vegas will clinch the Division.  And since our Pads can’t win the Division, I’ll be perfectly happy as long as the River Cats can’t win it, either!  Go Tucson – Go Tacoma!!  Win win win!  Final Score:  Tucson 3, Las Vegas 1.

Transactions.  I don’t see anything new to report yet today.  It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when San Diego can expand its roster to 40 players tomorrow.  By the way, the game notes I picked up Thursday night from the Press Box indicate that Tucson has been affected by 151 transactions this season.  Wow!

Gone, but NOT Finished.  The Tucson Padres are playing their final series of the 2013 season in Las Vegas against the 51s (AAA Mets).  That series continues tonight at 7:05pm (tomorrow’s game will also air at that time – the final game, on Monday, will be played at 12:05pm).  You can catch all of the remaining games on both 1290AM The Source and live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  And I have to say, it’s pretty cool that about 20 Tucsonans went to Vegas to support the Padres in this season finale!  Neat to hear folks cheering there for our guys!  Well done, fans!

(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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