Justus Sheffield had a strong start for the Tacoma Rainiers in the series opener at Sacramento last night, allowing just one run in six innings and earning the win.
If asked, Sheffield would probably agree to pitch all of his games at Sutter Health Park in Sacramento. The lefty has made three starts in the ballpark this season, allowing a total of four runs in 15 innings for a 2.40 ERA.
Sheffield was completely unrattled by leadoff doubles hit against him in both the third and fourth innings, calmly escaping the jams with no runs scoring. He got ahead of hitters in the count and generated plenty of infield grounders.
The Rainiers offense, which hasn’t been scoring a lot but has been producing enough to win recently, connected for nine hits and scored five runs. That was a nice showing in the end, because Sacramento starter Tristan Beck was impressive for the first six innings, allowing just three hits and one unearned run during that time.
Forrest Wall had the big hit in the game, snapping a 1-1 tied with a three-run homer to center field off reliever Cody Carroll in the top of the seventh inning.
I know I’m supposed to wax rhapsodic about Vin Scully today, but my only story is more humorous, and only in a you-had-to-be-there kind of way. But, here it is anyway.
The only time I was ever around Vin came in 1997 or 1998, in the press box at Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium. The Padres must have been playing the Dodgers, or perhaps it was a national TV game Vin was calling, I don’t remember. I was a young broadcaster with a press pass.
There was a dining hall at the back of the press box, a cafeteria-style setup where you slid your tray along metal rails that were in front of a buffet, and the servers loaded up your plate for you. I was in line, a couple people behind Vin.
Just overhearing his voice in idle conversation was was jarring enough, the most iconic sports voice of my lifetime.
And it was just funny, hearing that unmistakable voice narrating the buffet. “Are those pork medallions? Let’s do some of that. Those green beans look good. Will there be cake?”
I looked at some other people standing in line around me and everyone had a smile on their face, hearing that voice in such an ordinary circumstance.
Rest in peace, Vin Scully. The greatest to ever do it.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma won the series opener at Sacramento, 5-2, and the Rainiers have now won the series opener in eight of the ten road series played so far this season. Starter Justus Sheffield lasted six innings, allowing one run with seven strikeouts, and Nick Ramirez nailed down his seventh save. Forrest Wall snapped a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh inning by lining a three-run homer to center. Wall, Erick Mejia, and Brian O’Keefe each had two hits.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (44-55) at Sacramento River Cats (42-58), 12:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 8-5.
PITCHERS: RHP Konner Wade (3-3, 5.23) at RHP Wei-Chieh Huang (0-2, 7.85)
ROSTER MOVES: Reliever Michael Stryffeler was promoted from Double-A Arkansas yesterday, and then traded to the San Francisco Giants for Curt Casali and Matthew Boyd before making his Triple-A debut. That could come against Tacoma, for Sacramento, during this series.
HOT HITTERS: Mitch Haniger has homered twice in his past four games… not a hitter, but reliever Danny Young has allowed just one earned run in his last 14 appearances, spanning 13.2 innings pitched.
OPPONENT NEWS: The River Cats completed a nine-game road trip on Sunday, going 0-3 at Oklahoma City and then 2-4 at Round Rock… they have lost ten of the last 12 games overall… catcher Andrew Knapp signed with Sacramento after the Mariners designated him for assignment, and he homered in four straight games coming into the series, winning the PCL Player of the Week award… former Rainiers and Mariners infielder Donovan Walton is on the Sacramento roster, but he has not played since the all-star break… Austin Dean had an 11-game hitting streak end on Sunday; he has reached base safely in 13 straight games.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- We’ll start with Vin Scully‘s obituary from the Los Angeles Times.
- The injury-depleted Mariners somehow secured an 8-6 win over the Yankees last night.
- Having made their big move several days ago, Seattle made a couple minor trades at the deadline yesterday.
- Larry Stone has a solid column on the Mariners trade deadline moves.