The Rainiers did it last night in El Paso, beating the Chihuahuas 7-3 and clinching the 2021 Triple-A West Championship.
With no playoffs this season, the league championship is awarded to the team with the best regular season record. The Rainiers clinched it with last night’s win, improving the team’s record to 72-45. Challengers Reno and Sugar Land cannot catch Tacoma with just three regular season games remaining.
The Rainiers streaked to the title, playing nearly flawless ball down the stretch. Tacoma has won seven straight games, and 12 of the last 13, and 18 of the last 21.
The run to the championship really began in mid-July.
On the morning of July 19th, Tacoma was 33-30 and 6.5 games behind first place Reno. At that point the Rainiers had 12 head-to-head games left against Reno, but all of them were on the road.
Since that date, the Rainiers are 39-15. That includes a 9-3 record in the 12 road games against Reno, in which the club nearly erased the entire 6.5-game deficit in head-to-head play. And while we here at this blog do not want to condone violence, the Rainiers are 12-1 since the big brawl against the Aces.
The team celebrated the championship at Southwest University Park, where the El Paso Chihuahuas team management was a gracious host. There was a subdued celebration on the field after the final out, and then the team went to the locker room while a postgame fireworks show went off for the fans. After the fans cleared out of the stadium, the team came back outside and went to a field-level patio area that is reserved for groups, where the guys hung out and enjoyed winning the title.
The championship is the sixth title for Tacoma since Triple-A baseball came to our town in 1960. Here are the winners, with their final records:
- 1961 Tacoma Giants (97-57)
- 1969 Tacoma Cubs (86-60)
- 1978 Tacoma Yankees (80-57)
- 2001 Tacoma Rainiers (85-59)
- 2010 Tacoma Rainiers (74-69)
- 2021 Tacoma Rainiers (72-45 and counting)
The season continues this evening. The Rainiers have three more regular season games here in El Paso, and then play ten games in the ‘second season’ that has been dubbed the Triple-A Final Stretch. We’ll have a lot more on that when it starts on Thursday.
YESTERDAY: Taylor Trammell cleared the bases with a three-run triple in the top of the ninth inning, snapping a 3-3 tie and leading the Rainiers to a league championship clinching 7-3 win at El Paso. Starter Darren McCaughan pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) without walking anyone. Moises Gomez, Wyatt Mills, and Brian Schlitter provided scoreless relief.
TODAY: Tacoma (72-45) at El Paso (44-73), 5:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Eric Junge. He’s serving as both pitching coach and interim manager.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 6-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Logan Verrett (10-3, 5.03) at RHP Adrian Martinez (0-2, 6.28)
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has gone 76-for-228 (.333) over his last 58 games… Dillon Thomas has reached base in nine straight games, going 12-for-28 at the plate during that time… Jose Godoy has 11 hits during a five-game hitting streak… Alen Hanson has a five-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: It’s been a tumultuous campaign for El Paso, which fired a coach and saw veteran manager Edwin Rodriguez resign mid-season… El Paso just went 2-5 during a series at Albuquerque. The Chihuahuas are struggling, having lost 13 of their last 15 games… Taylor Kohlwey has a 12-game hitting streak… Jose Azocar has an 11-game hitting streak, and he has ten stolen bases over his last 16 games… El Paso has former Rainiers Patrick Kivlehan, John Andreoli, and Parker Markel.
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:
- Here’s video of Taylor Trammell‘s game-winning hit.
- The Mariners lost in Kansas City yesterday, 8-1.
- Reliever Andres Munoz is showing triple-digit heat while rehabbing from elbow surgery, and he may join the Rainiers soon.
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.