Today is the end. We’ve reached the final game of the 2021 Triple-A baseball season.
It’s been a wild ride. The Tacoma Rainiers opened the year as a pretty average club, featuring a solid lineup but literally no starting pitchers. Like, they didn’t have any. But the Mariners picked up some starters with Triple-A experience, the pitching staff stabilized, the lineup started to gel, and all the sudden we had a real winner on our hands.
The team clinched the Triple-A West championship with a win on September 11 at El Paso, the sixth title for Tacoma since the franchise began in 1960. Now we’ve reached the final day of the season with the club sitting 25 games over .500.
For the victors come the spoils, and the Rainiers have earned many accolades with more to come. Logan Verrett led the league with 11 wins, and Jose Marmolejos could win the batting title today. Marmolejos is hitting .339, and Salt Lake’s Michael Stefanic is second at .335 going into the final game. Marmolejos needs two plate appearances today so that he qualifies for the title – he can’t sit out and protect his average.
More awards are expected. Minor League Baseball will announce the Triple-A West awards this coming week, such as league MVP and Pitcher of the Year, etc. There will also be an all-league team, and the Rainiers have candidates at several positions.
Thanks to all of you for reading the blog this season. We’ll continue with sporadic updates during the offseason when the Rainiers-related baseball news warrants it, starting with the league awards when they come out this week.
Let’s see if the Rainiers can win their final game today, and then we’ll see you at Cheney next April!
YESTERDAY: Salt Lake beat the Rainiers in the 12th inning, 4-3, scoring the go-ahead run on a two-out wild pitch. The Rainiers had just four hits in the game – a rare one in which the team did not give a lot of run support to Logan Verrett. Verrett pitched eight innings and allowed two runs, getting a no-decision in his final start of the year. Eric Filia had half of the Rainiers hits.
TODAY: Salt Lake (55-73, 6-3 Triple-A Final Stretch) at Tacoma (77-52, 4-5), 1:35.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 16-12.
PITCHERS: RHP Davis Daniel (0-1, 13.19) at RHP Brian Schlitter (1-0, 4.08)
It’s a bullpen game for the Rainiers on the last day of the season, which seems like a modern tradition.
ROSTER MOVES: We had roster moves yesterday, as the Mariners called up infielder Donovan Walton and optioned reliever Wyatt Mills to Tacoma. Will Mills report for the last game of the season? Did the Mariners even ask him to? Find out later today!
HOT HITTERS: Luis Liberato is 21-for-48 over his last 14 games… Dillon Thomas has nine RBI over his last six games… the Rainiers are 44-25 when Donovan Walton is in the starting lineup, and 33-27 when he is not.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just went 4-1 in a five-game series against Sacramento… Mitch Walding is saving his injury-riddled season with a late surge, going 22-for-60 with five homers over his last 15 games… Brendon Davis has four homers and ten RBI over his last seven games… Bees home run leader Jake Gatewood has missed the last six games with an undisclosed injury.
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.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Mitch Hangier was the hero as the Mariners came back and beat the Angels on Saturday night, keeping their playoff chances alive.
- The best the Mariners can do is tie for a playoff spot and force a Game 163 tiebreaker. To do this, they need to win today and either Boston or New York must lose. There could be as many as four teams tied for two playoff spots if everything breaks the right way. All MLB games start at 12:05-ish PT on the last day of the season (which was a great idea when they started doing this a couple years ago).
- Mariners fans are into it and the games have been packed all weekend.
- Top prospect Julio Rodriguez has watched the last two games from the seats.
- The Reno Aces had to cancel the entire final home weekend due to Covid. What a bummer.
- KNKX radio did a brief piece on the Tacoma Rainiers championship season.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.