It was my mom's birthday today — she turned 69 today — and she is capping it with a trip to Gesa Stadium. She loves coming out, and the Dust Devils staff treats her like a queen, which makes me very happy.
She surprised her man, Boyce, and me by buying dinner over at Fiesta! Mexican restaurant out on Road 68. She said it was a German tradition. Never heard of that, so I pretended to scold her for paying for her birthday meal. But that's my mom for you, bless her heart.
Fiesta is a great place, by the way. Good atmostphere, wonderful service and the food is fantastic. Had myself some nice fish tacos today with a lime guacamole sauce.
Found out when I got to the park today that Matt Argyropoulos, the third baseman out of Washington State, was promoted from the Rockies' rookie-league club in Casper, Wyo, and joined the Dust Devils today. He hit .217 at Casper in 21 games and showed some power, hitting four home runs to go with 12 runs scored. Should be a good addition to an already potent offense.
Speaking of which, the Dust Devils have just put up six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning against Vancouver to take a 6-0 lead. Tri-City got three consecutive one-out singles off C's starter Blake McFarland. A wild pitch then brought in Brian Humphries for the first run of the game. Jared Simon walked to load them up again, and Ryan Casteel looped an RBI single over first base to make it 2-0 and chase McFarland.
Shane Davis came on in relief and got Juan Crousset to ground out to second base, scoring Tyler Massey. But Jason Langfels added two more runs, smashing a two-run triple over center fielder Jonathan Jones to make it 5-0.
Finally, Blake McDade got into the act, lining an RBI single off the glove of second baseman Jon Berti for a 6-0 head start.
But the player of the game without a doubt so far is Tri-City starter Christian Bergman. The guy has been lights out so far through six innings, and he's showing no signs of stopping. He's allowed just one hit and no walks while facing the minimum number of hitters — 18.
Dust Devils radio man Jason Schwartz just informed me that of the 64 pitches Bergman has thrown through the first six innings, 48 have been strikes. I noticed an interesting stat on the Dust Devils website (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=t460&t=p_pbp&pid=548357) showing that as long as Bergman keeps the bases clean, he has a 0.00 ERA. With runners on base, his ERA balloons to 9.68 and with runners in scoring position it's 15.30.
Fortunately, tonight the Canadians haven't been able to touch him.
Bergman might get a chance to record a NWL rarity — a complete game. I believe the last one by a Dust Devils pitcher was Andrew Kreidermacher on Sept. 5, 2006 in a 9-2 home win over Boise.
It looks like Ching-Lung Lo is warming up in the bullpen, but Bergman comes out for the ninth. They're going to give him a shot.
Tri-City still leads 6-0 heading into the ninth.
The big man gets it done. Bergman had to fight for it, though. He was at 78 pitches heading into the ninth and got the first out on four pitches. Definitely room for two more.
But then Bergman allowed a bloop single to Bryan Kervin on five pitches, putting him at 87 pitches with one out. Dust Devils manager Fred Ocasio was teetering on the top step ready to call in a reliever.
But Bergman got Jones to ground to Langfels at third. He almost turned the double play, but Kervin made a nice slide to take out Hernandez at second.
89 pitches with one more out to go, and they let him go for it. Bergman repays the faith, striking out Matt Newman on five pitches for the complete-game win.