Game Notes at Tacoma
Tonight's Game: After taking game one, the Aces will look for back-to-back wins tonight against Tacoma with righty Matt Koch taking the ball for Reno. Koch was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks on April 28 and outrighted to Triple-A Reno on May 3. He compiled a 9.15 ERA in nine appearances for Arizona out of the bullpen this season. Koch pitched for the Aces from 2016-2018. He holds a 8-8 career record with a 5.79 ERA with the club. He will face lefty Jonathon Niese for Tacoma. Niese has some considerable big league time under his belt appearing in 211 games while making 197 starts for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates over his career. This season, he is 1-0 in two starts with Tacoma holding a 3.24 ERA in the process.
Long Island Ducks: Jonathon Niese last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2016 when he appeared in six games for the New York Mets. In 2017, he was invited to Spring Training with the New York Yankees and again in 2018 with the Texas Rangers but never pitched in either system once camp broke. After pitching in the Atlantic League Player Showcase in March of this year, he was drafted by the Long Island Ducks, an independent league team. Niese never pitched for the Ducks and was signed by the Seattle Mariners on April 25. Current Ace, Travis Snider, played for Long Island in 2018. He hit .290 in 94 games
with 13 home runs, 71 RBIs, and 63 runs scored. Former Ace, Rey Fuentes, plays for the Ducks currently and in 10 games is hitting .326 with a home run, 8 RBIs, and 10 runs scored.
Home Sweet Home: Playing in Tacoma has special meaning for Aces outfielder Travis Snider. The former first-rounder went to Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Washington where he was drafted out of in 2006. Snider also played football in high school. According to Ryan Radtke, Snider played in front of about 15 family members and friends in the series opener last night. The high school is roughly an hour north of Cheney Stadium where the Rainiers play.
Clarke's Start: Taylor Clarke made his first Major League start for the Diamondbacks last night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Clarke got the loss but had a quality start going six innings and giving up just two runs. Clarke made 38 starts in his Aces career, (19-11, 4.40 ERA, 210.2 IP, 173 K, .252 AVG against). Clarke made his Major League debut out of the bullpen for Arizona this year on April 20 against the Chicago Cubs. In that relief appearance, he became the first player since saves became a statistic, to record a save and a base hit in his debut.
7-8-9 in Good Shape: Lefty Marc Rzepczynski and righties Rubby De La Rosa and Jimmie Sherfy have been lights out at the end of ball games for Reno thus far. All three appeared in last night's game throwing a combined 2.2 innings without allowing a run or a hit. They have a combined ERA of 1.31 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched. Rzepczynski has three holds this season, De La Rosa leads the team with a 0.66 ERA, and Jimmie Sherfy leads the PCL with seven saves.
Jazz Hands: Diamondbacks' No. 1 prospect, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, stumbled out of the gate for Double-A Jackson this season. He is hitting just .184 through today. However, he's been heating up as of late going 7-for-19 with four home runs over his last five games. Chisholm has 18 hits this season, nine of them are home runs and three of them are doubles. Chisholm is a Nassau, Bahamas native. Just six Bahamians have ever made it to the big leagues.
Just Saying: The Portland Trail Blazers have lost four games in the NBA playoffs this year. (4/19 @ OKC, 4/29 @ DEN, 5/5 vs. DEN, and 5/7 @ DEN). The Rainiers are 1-3 on those days including last night's loss to Reno. The Trail Blazers play again tomorrow, May 9, the same day game three will be played between Reno and Tacoma.
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