Tyler Skaggs walking to the outfielder for his pre-game warmups.
(NOTE: As with the first one, there are many images in this story that I took. Prepare accordingly.)
In the second (and probably final for this season, to be honest) installment of "me going to Reno Aces at Tucson Padres games to watch highly touted pitching prospects and then take pictures and write about them" (probably should come up with a catchier title sometime.), I went tonight to see Tyler Skaggs test his mettle against the Padres. As you may recall, Skaggs was the PTBN that kept a good many people from jumping off various cliffs and tall buildings in the Dan Haren trade back in 2010.
Like Trevor Bauer before him, Skaggs started the season in AA Mobile, and then was promptly called up to Reno. Before tonight he was the holder of an impressive-for-Reno 2.65 ERA in his time in AAA. Would he feast on the Tucson Padres, or would they feast on him?
It's the second one, unfortunately. The Aces were lackluster on offense, and made a few costly defensive mistakes. I wasn't really that surprised, they are a D'Backs farm team, after all. Follow after the jump for more deets, as the kids say.
It was also dollar hot dog night. I took advantage of this twice.
The Aces staked a 1-0 lead on a Josh Bell RBI double in the top of the 1st, but that was the height of their offense, unfortunately. The second batter Skaggs faced, Andy Parrino, lined a hard ball right into Skaggs' leg. The trainer came out, but Tyler stayed in the game. It's hard to say whether that affected the rest of his night, but it wasn't a great night for him.
It seemed to start out okay. His stuff, from my untrained eye, looked pretty good, but he only recorded one strikeout all night. This is a weird thing, but the sound that the catcher's mit made when a pitch from Skaggs hit it was distinctly different from every other pitcher that night. That probably means nothing, but it's something that I noticed.
There was a chance for a clean inning, as Skaggs had Parrino picked off later in the inning. All Mike Jacobs at First Base had to do was make a clean throw to second to get the runner out, and Jacobs did throw the ball in the general vicinity of Adam Eaton. Thing is, Adam Eaton plays Center Field, and Parrino was safe. This would become very important, as Skaggs would walk the bases loaded. I wasn't at the best angle to say one way or the other, but Keith Law, who was also in attendance, seemed to think he got squeezed:
Skaggs 90-94 in the first. Broke two bats, took a liner off his leg, got squeezed by the HP ump on the second of his two walks.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 19, 2012
The admittedly awesomely-named Beamer Weems made those walks and that error pay with a bases clearing double to make it 3-1 in favor of Tucson.
- Adam Eaton getting to second on a fast grounder that went through the second baseman's legs. Dude is fast, but you probably already knew that. He was hitless, but reached base twice on the aforementioned error and a walk.
- No other member of the Aces really stood out at the plate except for Josh Bell, who had two hits. Think about that one the next time you argue about whether PCL stats transfer or not.
There was a Joe Paterson sighting! He was seen in the 8th inning, and 2/3rds of the batters he faced were lefties! That's at least closer to using him properly than what caused him to be sent down in the first place.
- The Padres have a promotion where if reliever Brad Boxburger gets a K, then hamburgers are half price through the rest of the game. He struck out Josh Bell to make this happen. Minor League concession stand hamburger lovers everywhere rejoiced!
- Also in the promotional area: You know the thing that almost every minor league team does where they pick a fan to race around the bases against a mascot? The mascot usually starts at second but then runs very slowly and/or showboats their way around the bases to give the fan enough time to overtake them? Well, the fan chosen this time around happened to run at a very very VERY slow pace. It looked like for a moment that the Kino Bambino, the Tucson Padres mascot, would actually win, leading to some mild embarrassment for all. Fortunately, Padres manager Terry Kennedy came to the rescue and tackled the Bambino as he was rounding third, which was actually kind of hilarious and I wish I got it on camera.
- Last promotional thing: Since it was dollar hot dog night, Wienerschnitzel sponsored an actual hot dog eating contest between innings. The winner ate two.
- At some point in the game, I think Ryan "Good" Wheeler rolled a ball over to where I was sitting when I wasn't looking. I picked up the ball from over the fence and I gave it to a kid with a broken arm sitting behind me. I just want that on the record in case my "decent human being" credentials are ever in question.
- About 85% of the players on the Aces need a damn haircut or need to shave. Hippies.