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Rainers Report

With a much-needed off day on Wednesday, we here at No Rhubarb! feel it a good opportunity to check up on the hometown nine. So here we go with our first Rainier Report of the season.

Yeah, we know the name sucks. You come up with something better.

The Tacoma Rainiers currently stand at 10-8, good for second place in the Pacific North Division, but the Rainiers stand a staggering seven games behind the first-place Salt Lake Bees. The Bees are 17-1, which is just unbelievable in of itself, but the Bees are undefeated (11-0!) on the road. We knew that Salt Lake would be good - the Bees feature the Angels' best hitting prospect Brandon Wood and best pitching prospect Nick Adenhart - but this is ridiculous. The Beavers and Sky Sox are bunched up behind the Rainiers, but everybody in the division is looking up at Salt Lake.

Jeff Clement
- The power-hitting catcher has proved all that he can in Triple-A. Sporting a whopping .367/.500/.650 line with four homers and 15 walks, Clement could be heading to Seattle any day now.

Bryan LaHair -Tied with Clement for the team lead in homers and slugging a robust .522. Still can't hit lefties though.

Matt Tuisasosopo - When Tui was named Our Favorite Rainier, he was really scuffling along, sporting an awful .212/.297/.333 line. Well, being named Our Favorite Rainier has been quite the tonic. Currently at .262/.338/.392, Tui has been red-hot lately, hitting .368 his past 10 games.

Ryan Feierabend - It would be difficult be more important to a team than the Rainier ace. He leads the team in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Not Rockin'
Yung-Chi Chen
- We are willing to cut Chen some slack after missing nearly the entire 2007 season, but .212/.255/.302 is just sad. He's particularly helpless behind in the count, where his average slips to .071. Yikes

Tug Hulett - Chen's partner at second, Hulett has hit even less, if that's possible. Tug's playing time has been limited, but .124/.263/.156 doesn't really call for more.

Rob Johnson - The defensive side of the Reff Clemtson double-headed catching monster leads the team in errors. You figure it out...

Joe Woermann - We at No Rhubarb! are somewhat inclined to like Joe, beings as he's from the Puget Sound and went to school down in San Diego, but his start has been terrifyingly bad. Pick a number, and its terrible. No wins, two losses, ERA of 18.62, 20 runs in 9 2/3 innings, 14 walks... just awful.

Yes, we know: It's still early!

Do you own a Nintendo DS? Portable game system, replacement for the GameBoy, startling addictive? Just about everyone we know does. Meaning the Official Wife of No Rhubarb! and both Freitai, No Rhubarb! having a very limited social circle. Anyway, the Seattle Mariners - major league affiliate of Your Tacoma Rainiers - are owned by Nintendo. And they want you to looooove your DS as much as they love your money. So, if you're a proud DS owner, you can head to Safeco Field and use it for all sorts of good stuff. Over the park's dedicated network, fans will be able use their DS to track stats from the Mariner website, chat with other DS-owning fans, order refreshments or souvenirs... and all from the comfort of your seat. The M's played around with this last season, charging a nominal fee for the trouble, but when it starts up again this time it will be totally free.

This is pretty damned cool,and gets the official No Rhubarb! Seal of Approval. Knowing the DS-obsessed Freitai as we do, we're expecting to be at the game testing this out before the end of next homestand.

The Rainiers are having it rough, weatherwise. Tacoma and the Colorado Sky Sox were rained out Monday night. It was actually canceled for wet grounds, but "wet grounded out" sounds a little odd. No makeup date has been announced as of yet, but look for another Sunday doubleheader the next time the Sox are in town. Daytime baseball tomorrow as the Sox and Rainiers finish their series at 11:05.

Wlad Balentien's x-ray came up negative after Tacoma's power-hitting rightfielder left the game Saturday night. Wlad tweaked his left knee sliding for a foul ball during Tacoma's 12-3 loss to Colorado Springs. To be safe, Wlad will be kept out of Tuesday's game, but he should be on the field on Thursday in Tucson.

Game Results and wrap-up today is courtesy of Erik Hanberg. Thanks Erik! And if any other Rainier fans would like to file a guest wrap-up, just drop us a line! Even if you haven't been to the game, just make something up! Our quality control is shockingly low.

In their home matchup against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Rainiers went hitless until their big 4th inning. The most impressive moment of the inning was Charlton Jimerson's stunning double to center field that bounced off the big wall just a foot or two shy of sailing over it--a rare feat at Cheney Stadium. My good friend Phil, a former bat boy for the Rainiers tells me the only person he ever saw hit one over the center field wall was Jose Canseco during a Tigers/A's game way back when.

The Sky Sox were able to narrow the score to within one after a 2 run homer to right in the 8th, but were quickly shut down in the 9th to lose to the Rainiers 5-4.

It was my first baseball game this season, either at Safeco or Cheney, and it was a great one to watch. The weather was chilly but mostly sunny, the fans were excited to be there, and I got to see Rhubarb streak. Turns out he's not a better mascot when he's naked. That said, I looked for an extra antler and saw none, so I'm starting to wonder if Rhubarb's a lady mascot.

A great Sunday afternoon game for the Rainiers.

Erik Hanberg regularly blogs at

Thanks Erik! Same two teams at Cheney Stadium Monday night. Robert Roohrbaugh (2-0, 4.63) takes the hill for Tacoma, against Sky Sox hurler John Koronka (1-0, 7.30).

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