Sunday, August 21, 2005

Game Report: Rainiers vs. Grizzlies - A rolling fastball gathers no Moss

I wanted to get to a Rainiers game sometime before the end of the season, so I called up one of my friends in Tacoma and went down to the game yesterday (8/20). It was a pretty good game, with the Rainiers shutting out the Grizzlies 5-0.

It was "Autographed Logo Ball" day, with autographed Rainiers baseballs going to the first 1500 fans. 100 of them were supposedly Felix-signed. We have no idea, because we only got there like 10 minutes before the game and the balls were long gone - attendance for the night was 6416, which isn't too shabby for Cheney.

Damian Moss looked a little shaky at times, but he never let a Grizzlies player get past second base, although that would also be owing to excellent plays in the field, I think. In the 3rd inning, Doug Clark tried to steal third base after the 4th ball for Mike Cervenak walking, and Wiki absolutely nailed the guy at third. The next inning, Angel Chavez tried to go from first to third on a single by Jed Hansen, and Abraham Nunez made a play of positively Ichiro-like brilliance, recovering the ball and firing it to third base, where Hunter Brown made a tag a few seconds before Chavez reached the bag. It was really beautiful.

Nunez was also great at the plate, going 2-3 with a home run and scoring two runs. Although, he was also the goat to some extent in the 5th inning -- he hit this really long fly ball, and he just sort of stood there watching it sail towards the wall in center-right for a bit... then he started running. In the meantime, the ball actually hit the wall and ricocheted off, and the right fielder recovered it and threw it in, and the hit, which should have been a double, was turned into a single. A few at-bats later, Aaron Rifkin pounded the ball to the same spot Nunez did, except this time, it actually went over the wall. Whooosh.

Bucky Jacobsen. What can I say? The guy looks like he's eaten a cow since last season. Maybe two cows. He's huuuuuge. I joked that "I'm sure it'll have him listed at 6'3, 225 in the book, but he's gotta be pushing 260." To their credit, they list him at 6'4, 255. Anyway, Bucky still drew a ton of cheers from the crowd, but I think he's really got to work on actually hitting AAA pitching again -- in four plate appearances, he walked once and struck out the other three. His line in Tacoma so far (with only 25ish plate appearances) is .150/.320/.200. Oh well, I'm sure he'll get there -- he was mashing at single-A ball, after all.

Hunter Brown disappointed me -- maybe I shouldn't go there intending to cheer for him. He was 0-for-4 at the plate, although he made some pretty good plays at third. The most amusing point of the game happened during his at-bat in the 3rd inning, actually, when Seung Song threw an impressively wild pitch that sailed about 7-8 feet over his head. Infact, I'm not even sure you could call it a pitch. It was more like aiming at some of the ushers behind the diamond club seats or something. TJ Bohn had scored on Bucky's bases-loaded walk the prior at-bat, so Jose Lopez scored on the wild pitch. Fun stuff.

TJ Bohn is a really tall dude; he sort of has the same build as John Olerud, except he runs much faster.

The Grizzlies have the ugliest uniforms known to man. They have bright green shirts with orange numbers on the back, and khaki pants. I mean, yeah, the green isn't that much uglier than the A's uniforms, but at least the A's wear white pants with the green/yellow. (The Grizzlies are a Giants farm team though. Not sure I understand the color choice there.)

Anyway, between Damian Moss, Scott Atchison, and Emiliano Fruto, they combined for 10 strikeouts and no runs. Good stuff. Atchison's one inning went like: K, single, K, single, K.

I have to only be glad that this was the Rainiers music staff operating and not the Mariners, or that guy in the music booth that likes Neil Diamond would have had a field day with Seung Song and "Song Sung Blue", I'm sure.

Hunter Brown has "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner as his at-bat song. Wiki Gonzalez is using that "bring 'em up" or whatever rap song that I swear either Randy Winn or Mike Cameron used to have, as his at-bat song.

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