After a day off on Monday, the Pippins return home to the Orchard to open up a three-game series with the Bellingham Bells. First pitch for the series opener is set for 6:35 PM PT, with left-hander Mark Finkelnburg expected to start for the Pippins against a to-be-announced starter for Bellingham. Pregame coverage, both audio and video, begins with Miles Klotz at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:20 PM.
PIPPINS SWEPT IN CORVALLIS, LOSE NINTH STRAIGHT: The Pippins closed out their season-long road trip on Sunday in Corvallis on a low note, falling behind early and never fighting back in a 9-1 loss. Corvallis completed the sweep and completed an 0-5 road trip for the Pippins, who have lost a season-high nine straight games. Darius Garcia was roughed up as the starter, allowing 6 runs in 2.1 innings on 8 hits and 3 walks, and four Pippins relievers combined to allow 3 more runs in relief. Offensively, Owen Cobb’s RBI single was the only run scored for the Pippins off of Corvallis left-hander Tevita Gerber, who struck out 7 over 5 one-run innings. The Knights completed the season series sweep over the Pippins, going 6-0 on the year.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Left-hander Mark Finkelnburg will make his fifth start of the summer to open up the series against the Bells on Tuesday. The 6-foot-8, 205-pound southpaw from Loyola Marymount turned in a season-best performance last Wednesday in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Port Angeles, striking out 11 in a 6-inning complete game performance, but took the loss after allowing four earned runs on 3 hits and two walks. On the season, the lefty has an 0-1 record and 4.07 ERA in 17.2 innings, striking out 21 and walking 9. Opponents are hitting .235 off of the Portland, Oregon native.
FOR THE BELLS: The Bells have not announced a projected starter for Tuesday’s series opener.
TRYING TO STOP THE BLEEDING: With Sunday’s loss in Corvallis, the Pippins have dropped nine straight games, which is their longest losing streak of the season, and the longest losing streak of any WCL team in league play in 2019. Their opponent, the Knights, extended their winning streak to 9 games, the longest active winning streak in the WCL. In addition, the Pippins have lost nine consecutive road games, with their last win away from home coming on the season’s second day in Ridgefield.
A LOT OF DUDES: The Pippins had three new additions to the starting lineup last weekend in Corvallis, with catcher Brett Wells, infielder/outfielder Zach Meddings, and infielder Brady Hormel becoming the 38th, 39th, and 40th different players to appear in a Pippins uniform so far this season through 23 games. A litany of injures has led to larger-than-expected roster turnover early in the season.
404 RUNS NOT FOUND: The biggest issue for the Pippins in the course of their nine-game losing streak has been the offense, which has struggled mightly over the past week and more. In five of their last six games, the Pippins have been held to two or fewer runs, scoring 1 or 0 in four of those games. Over the losing streak, the Pippins are averaging 2.7 runs per game. In the first 14 games of the season, when the Pippins went 8-6, they averaged 4.5 runs per game.
FRAZIER FINDS HIS PLACE: Pippins reliever Tyler Frazier tossed a scoreless inning on Sunday in Corvallis, his second consecutive scoreless outing out of the bullpen after a scoreless inning on Friday against the Knights. Frazier has an 8.43 ERA in his first 5.1 innings with the Pippins, but in 3 innings spanning 3 relief appearances, Frazier has not allowed an earned run, while striking out 4 batters to just one walk.
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins committed just one error on Sunday, their first nine-inning game with fewer than 2 errors since June 16 at Bellingham…Brett Wells threw out 2 of 4 attempted base-stealers on Sunday; the newcomer has now thrown out 4 of 7 attempted base-stealers in his first 3 games as a Pippin.