I Saw Jarred Kelenic’s First Game With The Tacoma Rainiers

Also the Mariners recently lost 2 of 3 to the Orioles, including getting no-hit on Wednesday, because their offense fucking sucks.

UNRELATED (note: not unrelated at all), Jarred Kelenic – the uber-prospect who has been Major League-ready for two years now, allegedly – hit two homers in his AAA-debut. If you could bet legal tender on a player hitting a home run in his AAA-debut, I would be a rich man right now. Because who couldn’t see him hitting a homer in this game coming a mile away?

The fact that he hit two homers? And almost single-handedly won this game for the Rainiers? Well, that doesn’t surprise me either.

Kelenic batted leadoff and played left field. He definitely strikes me as a guy who will hit anywhere from 2-4 in the Major Leagues, but it makes sense to bat him leadoff for Tacoma. You want to maximize the number of AB’s he gets, as quickly as you can. Because I guarantee he will be playing in Seattle inside of the next 2-3 weeks. He will not make it into June in a Rainiers uniform (barring injury), I can say that much.

Kelenic finished 2 for 6 with two homers and three runs scored. The game itself was pretty enjoyable! It was a glorified bullpen day for both teams, and both bullpens looked pretty solid between the Rainiers and the El Paso Chihuahuas. Kelenic’s first homer in the fifth inning gave the Rainiers a 1-0 lead, which stood until the top of the 7th, when the Chihuahuas scratched two runs across. But, Kelenic’s second homer tied it at 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning.

It was all set up: Kelenic, with two outs, bottom of the ninth, coming to the plate with a chance to win it in regulation. He gave some MIGHTY swings, but ended up striking out against a dude throwing absolute smoke.

With those funky extra innings rules – where a runner starts on second base – El Paso was able to score two more runs in the 10th, and that looked like the end. My two friends left at some point not long after the bottom of the 7th, but my dad and I stayed until this point. So, unfortunately, we missed Cal Raleigh’s 2-run homer in the 10th to re-tie the game. We missed both teams scoring a run apiece in the 11th, and we missed the 2-1 12th inning to seal it for the Chihuahuas. A 2-2 game in regulation ended up a 7-6 defeat for the Rainiers.

Nevertheless, a mighty fun night at the ballpark! You can see some mediocre pictures from my phone here, including shots from Kelenic’s and Raleigh’s first official at-bats in a Rainiers uniform. And, if you follow me on Snapchat (and why wouldn’t you?!), you can see both Kelenic homers in all their shaky-cam glory … for a few more hours, anyway.

If you haven’t been to a Rainiers game, it’s a GREAT night at the minor league ballpark. I can’t recommend it enough. Tickets are super cheap, seats are fucking amazing, lots of great food options. There’s even a cool bar in left field where you can drink and watch the game. Get your ass down here sometime! Tacoma isn’t all aromas and criminals!

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