Once in a while, you get a nice little surprise that just makes your day.
Today it was Gary and Penny Featherston, parents of Dust Devils shortstop Taylor Featherston, who sent a couple boxes of cookies up to the press box. And these are some serious cookies!
They're designed by Posh Cookies out of Houston, Texas, and each one came wrapped up in cellophane with a nice little red bow. Open it up and it's a beautiful shortbread with white frosting and white icing trim around the edges. On top is written 'Thanks for an awesome season! Gary and Penny Featherston"
I just took my first bite, and it's very tasty. I'm going to try to savor this one for a while.
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Thanks Gary and Penny!! Very kind of you.
Christian Bergman on the hill today for Tri-City. He's just coming off an incredible scoreless innings streak of 31 innings, which was broken during his last outing in Everett to fall just short of the Northwest League record of 32.
Bergman finished with four scoreless innings in that start and he's got four shutout innings so far tonight. Looks like he's ready to start another lengthy scoreless innings streak.
Dust Devils lead Yakima 1-0 after five innings. Tim Smalling hit a leadoff triple in the fourth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Massey. The way Bergman is throwing, that could be all Tri-City needs to wrap this one up. But it's always nice to get some insurance.
The Dust Devils did get some sad news after a 3-1 win over Yakima last night, when first baseman Blake McDade was released.
Players getting released is pretty common. It happens a few times every year, but this one was a little more difficult to take because of McDade's popularity on the team. Not to mention the fact that he did a nice job filling in at first while Jordan Ribera went down.
I heard a few players waited for McDade while he packed his bags to bid him a proper farewell. Later in the evening, both Tyler Gagnon and Kyle Hancock posted notes on their twitter accounts lamenting the loss of McDade.
Players come and go, but teammates like McDade are rare. He proved himself a tireless worker and supportive teammate who never complained. The Rockies always do a good job finding a place for players if they want to continue playing, and I have no doubt McDade will land on his feet somewhere.
Whoever gets him will be lucky. Best of luck to you.
Massey comes up with two outs in the sixth and hammers the first pitch he sees from Bears starter Teo Gutierrez over the left field wall to make it 2-0. I believe that moves Massey into a tie for sixth in the Northwest League with seven homers.
Bergman still cruising after eight innings, but his pitch count has got to be close to the limit. We'll see if Freddie Ocasio lets him come out for the ninth. It wouldn't surprise me if he comes out — a second-year guy who is stretched out will get a little more leeway than a rookie — but generally it's not Freddie's call.
Either way, the Dust Devils have a good chance to tie the NWL team record of 10 shutouts tonight, and Bergman is the perfect guy to be out there for that mark.
Still 2-0 after eight innings.
Here we are in the ninth. My line of sight allows me to see the Dust Devils dugout and the bullpen all at once. I was keeping an eye on Ken Roberts out there warming up in the pen, but I was thrilled to see Bergman step up out of the dugout and take his place on the mound.
Looks like he'll get a shot at history after all.
And the big guy gets it done, setting down Danny Pulfer, Jimmy Comerota and Garrett Weber in order to notch his second complete-game shutout of the year.
Dust Devils win 2-0 and take a four-game lead in the East.