After dropping their third consecutive game, and the series, on Saturday in Bellingham with a 3-1 loss, the Pippins look to bounce back into the win column on Father’s Day with a 1:05 PM first pitch at Joe Martin Field. Left-hander Dylan Barkley is set to make his third start of the summer for Yakima Valley, opposed by Bellingham southpaw Diego Barrerra. Pregame radio coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 12:50 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS DROP SERIES IN BELLINGHAM, LOSE THIRD STRAIGHT: The Pippins failed to get anything generated offensively on Saturday night against Bellingham and fell, 3-1, for their season-high third consecutive loss. Darius Garcia got the start in his Pippins debut and was impressive, allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) over 5-plus innings, and the bullpen duo of A.J. Wood and Ty Pohlmann did their job, but the Pippins managed just four hits over the first eight innings against Bellingham righties Nick Proctor and Matt Geoffrion. In the ninth, against left-hander Bryce Moyle, the Pippins struck for one run, but Spencer Bramwell, who drove in the run, was thrown out trying to advance to third on a wild pitch, ending the game and clinching the series for the Bells.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Left-hander Dylan Barkley is set to make his third start of the summer to close out the series in Bellingham. The Pippins’ opening day starter in Ridgefield, Barkley last started a week ago at home against Wenatchee, allowing one unearned run over 5.1 innings of work. He struck out 5 batters in that start, and, for the second consecutive outing, did not walk a batter. Barkley has not allowed a walk over 11.1 innings this summer, and has a 1.58 ERA through two starts.
FOR THE BELLS: Left-hander Diego Barrerra is set to make his season debut for the Bells as the starter on Sunday. A 6-foot, 155-pound southpaw native to Chino Hills, California, Barrerra played his freshman season at Washington in 2019. In 7 games for the Huskies, including a pair of starts, Barrerra did not record a decision but had a 6.08 ERA over 13.1 innings. He struck out 14 batters and walked 9, while opponents hit .260 off of him.
PARKER PACES THE OFFENSE: While the offense has been slow to take off for the Pippins in 2019, infielder Tanner Parker has settled in quickly at second base. After a 2-for-4 performance on Saturday, Parker extended his hitting streak to five games, and his streak of multi-hit games to four. Over his last 5 games, Parker is hitting .529 (9-for-16) with 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 1 walk to 1 strikeout. He has raised his batting average more than .200 points in that span, from .133 to .345.
BULLPEN BUCKLES DOWN: The Pippins’ bullpen had another strong night on Saturday, as A.J. Wood came in and tossed a scoreless inning, and Ty Pohlmann followed with 2 innings of one-run ball. The Pippins bullpen, even after allowing 5 runs on Friday, still has a WCL-low 2.57 ERA on the season. The starting pitching has topped that, too, with a 2.24 mark. In addition, even after one inherited runner scored on Saturday, the bullpen has allowed just 23% of inherited runners (3-for-13) to score on the season.
CLOSE GAMES BECOMING COMMON: The Pippins lost another close game on Saturday, falling 3-1. It was their third consecutive loss by 2 or fewer runs. All four losses this season have come by either 1 or 2 runs. Saturday was also the fifth consecutive game, win or loss, decided by 2 runs or fewer. Overall, the Pippins have had just 2 games out of their first 10 decided by more than 3 runs (an 8-3 win over Wenatchee on June 8, and a 10-3 win at Ridgefield on June 5).
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins used two pinch-hitters on Saturday, the first time this season they have used more than one in a game…Pippins pinch-hitters were 0-for-2 on Saturday, and are now 0-for-6 on the season, with 3 strikeouts…the Pippins committed multiple errors for the third consecutive game, dropping their fielding percentage to .958, 5th-worst in the WCL.