Rainiers Report #6: *sound of vomitting*
The Rainiers' Jorge Campillo and Tucson's Yusmeiro Petit matched up in a tight pitcher's duel today at Cheney, and for most of the day, the two put up zeroes in a crisply played game in the intermittent rain.
Then, everything went to hell.
Campillo and Petit are both change-of-speed pitchers; Petit was once a big time prospect with the Mets (the centerpiece of the Carlos Delgado deal), and he blew through the low minors easily. Scouts never bought into him, thinking that his meh stuff and plus command meant his ceiling was more of a MOR/BOR starter in the Majors.
So far, the scouts appear to be right - Petit's been scuffling for a while, first at AAA Albuquerque last year in the Marlins' system, and now again for the D-Backs AAA affiliate. None of that mattered today, as a fastball-hitting line-up couldn't seem to square him up. Below, Wlad Balentien gives an example of the sorts of swings Petit was getting:
You might expect a pitcher like this to be especially hard on Adam Jones and Wlad Balentien, but instead, the two OF prospects looked pretty good. Balentien hit a 2B on the first pitch he saw, and later worked a walk. Adam Jones was 2/3 with a 2b and a 3b and 2BB. Here's Jones swing on the 3B, a line drive off the base of the CF wall:
The Rainiers struck first in the bottom of the 7th, when Rob Johnson led off with a brilliantly placed bunt single - Sidewinders 3B Jamie D'Antona's throw (which never had a chance anyway) went into the dugout, and Johnson took second. The next batter, Gookie Dawkins, thought he'd try the same thing. His bunt wasn't quite as good, but the result was the same: Petit threw wildly to first, resulting in a two-base error and the first run of the ballgame. Navarro followed and, you knew this was coming, laid down a bunt. This time, the Sidewinders were able to handle it for the first out. Adam Jones followed with a triple and chased Petit.
However, the bullpen let Campillo down. After 7 2/3 innings of 0R 5H 3K 1BB baseball, Campillo turned it over to Ryan Rowland-Smith, making his 2nd appearance after his rather uneventful stay in Seattle. He got out of the 8th, but the 9th would prove... I don't know, nasty? Ridiculous? Bush-league?
Alex Romero led off with a single, but RRS got Jeff Salazar to bounce a slow chopper right to 2b Gookie Dawkins. Dawkins attempted to tag Romero coming down the line, but missed. He then tried to hurry a throw to first, but threw it away. What looked like an easy FC and fairly easy DP turned into a 2nd and 3rd, no out situation. RRS walked the next hitter to set up the double play again, but the tone had been set. Sean Green was called on to finish it out - a good move as an extreme GB pitcher. With D'Antona batting, Rob Johnson yielded a fairly sloppy passed ball, and it was 2-1. Green walked D'Antona to again set up the DP opportunity. He didn't quite get it, but he did get Brian Barden to chop one to an onrushing 3B Ronnie Prettyman - he looked to have a force at home, but after studying the situation for what felt like 5 minutes, he decided to throw to first for the out. 2-2. Dee Brown then hit a comebacker to Green who flipped to Johnson, but Johnson dropped the ball for an error and a 3-2 Snakes lead. A wild pitch from Green scored another. After another out, Rich Thompson hit a bloop single to left which Jon Nelson misplayed for another error (that's three in the inning, for those scoring at home), and the final run.
From a 0-0, well-played game (Snakes LF Romero made some nice plays in LF) to a 5-2 game reminiscent of tee-ball and office softball. To cap it, I got in a car wreck on the way home. Rad. I'm displeased with my saturday, and would like to exchange it for another.
(all photos by Marc W.)