DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH – SERIES NOTES, JULY 25, 2017
Diamonds Look to Get Back on Track After a Weekend of Difficult Losses to the Stompers. Starting Pitching and Offense are Strong Points, Bullpen is a Concern
Picking themselves up after being laid low by two consecutive walk-off losses to Sonoma, the Pittsburg Diamonds welcome Vallejo back to Winter Chevrolet Stadium. The Diamonds lost all three games in the wine country and at 2-6 are already four games behind the undefeated Stompers. The Admirals were swept by San Rafael over the weekend and have a second-half record of 1-5. Here’s a look at the expected starting pitchers for Pittsburg:
Tuesday, July 25, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Back from a blister that sidelined him for awhile in June, Michael Gunn has regained his spot in the starting rotation. The 24-year-old hard-throwing lefthander out of Wilson, Arkansas started his professional career in 2014 as part of the Boston Red Sox organization. In his last start – July 19 at Vallejo – Gunn earned the win with six innings pitched giving up just one run and striking out seven. His season stats:
Season Team W L ERA G GS SHO SV IP SO BB H
Summer 2017 2 1 4.42 9 6 0 0 40.2 49 24 33
Wednesday, July 26, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Widely regarded as the team comedian, Tyler Stirewalt has made a serious impression on Pittsburg’s pitching success. After playing at Fresno State, Stirewalt was drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Last Thursday, Stirewalt went eight innings, got eight strikeouts and got the win as the Diamonds defeated Vallejo 9-5. His season stats:
Season Team W L ERA G GS SHO SV IP SO BB H
Summer 2017 5 3 3.15 10 9 0 0 60 48 32 48
Thursday, July 27, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined
Diamonds Try to Shake Off Frustrating, Emotional Losses – Having chased Sonoma all of the first half of the season, Pittsburg was determined to make an early statement that it was going to be even tougher competition in the second half. The Diamonds were tough competition all weekend in Sonoma but lost all three. Friday night a tight game was blown open late by the Stompers. On Saturday night, the Diamonds led by a run going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but reliever Jordan Brink could not record an out as Sonoma scored two-runs for a walk-off victory. Sunday night was worse. Pittsburg led by two going into the bottom of the tenth inning, setting the stage for the Stompers centerfielder Matt Hibbert who smashed a three-run homerun for the second walk-off victory in two nights.
From the Trading Block to the Homerun Trot -- It was a homecoming of sorts last week for Gerald Bautista who was traded from the Vallejo Admirals to the Diamonds with just two weeks left in the first half of the season. As his old and new team kicked off the second half of the season, he did his best to make Vallejo wonder why they got rid of him. Tuesday night he hit an RBI triple off the wall, Wednesday night he sent the ball over the wall for a homerun and Thursday night he drove in two runs with a double.
Diamonds Hope Playing the Admirals Will Right the Ship – They have had some wild, tight ball games, but overall Pittsburg has gotten the better of Vallejo. After taking two of three in the opening series of the second half, Pittsburg is 10-5 on the year against the Admirals – the same record the Diamonds have against San Rafael. Against Sonoma on the year, Pittsburg’s record is 3-12.
It’s Easy to Find These Diamonds – The Diamonds are rapidly becoming Pittsburg’s reality TV show with expanding coverage of their games streaming online. Of course, the best way to catch the action is to come on down to Winter Chevrolet Stadium and enjoy a summer evening in the covered grandstand. $7 tickets are available at www.DiamondsProBall.com. All games can be heard live on www.Mixlr.com with Tony Schultz and Scott Macdonald calling all the action. The pre-game show “Runs!Hits!Aaron!” featuring Diamonds manager Aaron Miles can be heard ten minutes before the scheduled first pitch each day. A link to the “live broadcast” can be found on the Diamonds’ home page. Friday and Saturday home games are shown live on Delta TV which can be found at Comcast Channel 24, Uverse Channel 99 and also streamed on the City of Pittsburg website (search “Diamonds”). Sunday games and other games are streamed live by www.BayAreaSports.tv. That schedule can be found on their website.