Updated June 26, 2021 - 2:42 pm
1. Streaks: One intact, one not
The Aviators belted two more home runs in a 10-9 loss at Salt Lake on Friday night, making it 19 consecutive games in which they’ve hit a homer and tying a franchise record. The Bees rallied with three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to halt Las Vegas’ four-game win streak.
Final: Bees 10, Aviators 9 pic.twitter.com/RZ244RAe6b
— Las Vegas Aviators (@AviatorsLV) June 26, 2021
2. Spin and bear it
Aviators pitching coach Rick Rodriguez suggested umpires could check pitchers for foreign substances from now until Cleveland wins the World Series and it won’t alter the strategy for getting guys out. “It’s still all about location, location, location,” Rodriguez said of the part spin rate plays in getting guys out.
MLB CHECK THE SPIN RATE https://t.co/dOjvrhgmk4
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) June 24, 2021
3. Getting a grip
Still, Rodriguez said he’s “pretty sure” that a high percentage of minor league pitchers are — or at least were — doctoring the baseball to get a better grip on it. Especially the ones on the arid side of Triple-A West. “The balls tend to be a little slicker here in the heat and maybe harder to get a grip,” he said.
— CDP 🐗⚾👏 (@cdpayne79) September 15, 2017
4. Cruising altitude
As for the football-like scores during the recent homestand — the winning team scored in double figures in eight of the 12 games — Rodriguez said any edge pitchers might gain by spinning the ball is negated by the thin air and high altitude. “You make a mistake, and normally a fly ball that would go to the warning track will be a home run,” he said.
5. Close but no cigar
One of the hidden features of Las Vegas Ballpark is a humidor under the grandstand that is supposed to keep baseballs tacky. “It’s working good, but once the ball comes out of the humidor and it sits in the bag to go out to the game it might dry up a little bit,” Rodriguez said.
6. Extra bases for Wilson
Heading into Saturday night’s game at Salt Lake, Aviators’ third baseman Jacob Wilson had 41 hits, with 29 (including his 13th homer of the season Friday night) going for extra bases. He’s slugging at a rate of .667 — .220 above his lifetime average.
That’s a two-run homer from Jacob Wilson and we are IN THE LEAD!
Aviators 3, Rainiers 2 pic.twitter.com/Zw1PGnUVoA
— Las Vegas Aviators (@AviatorsLV) June 20, 2021
7. Quote of the week
Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto: “It’s 105 degrees but I just put on my sweatshirt because the Las Vegas Aviators installed the greatest air conditioner on planet Earth in the visitors’ broadcast booth.”
It's 105 degrees but I just put on my sweatshirt because the Las Vegas Aviators installed the greatest air conditioner on planet earth in the visitors broadcast booth. We'll start at 6:55 streaming:https://t.co/QphKOyMTGr
— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) June 18, 2021
8. Runner-up quote of the week:
Rob Fai, play-by-play voice of the Fraser Valley Bandits, a proud member of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (his words): “Vancouver shouldn’t be focusing on trying to get the Oakland A’s to move north. They should be positioning themselves to bring the Pacific Coast League (editor’s note: Or Triple-A West, the PCL’s new secret identity) back to Vancouver once they get pushed out from Las Vegas.”
Vancouver shouldn't be focusing on trying to get the Oakland A's to move north… They should be positioning themselves to bring the Pacific Coast League (AAA) back to Vancouver once they get pushed out from Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/w8RZaHGmIN
— Rob Fai (@RobFai) June 23, 2021
9. Big bang theories
The Aviators return to Las Vegas Ballpark on Thursday for a six-game series against Sacramento. Thursday is $2 beer night, and additional fireworks — the traditional kind — will be detonated after the Friday and Saturday night games on July 2 and 3.
DON’T MISS OUT! 🎆
Las Vegas Ballpark will be hosting fireworks after tonight’s 7pm game pic.twitter.com/ZMMlMnoKBN
— Las Vegas Ballpark (@thelvballpark) June 11, 2021
10. Aviators quick quiz
Which of the following does not apply to Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, site of the Aviators’ current six-game road series: A: Massive upper deck. B: Stunning view of the Wasatch Mountains. C: Largest capacity (14,511) among Triple-A ballparks. D: Clean up on Aisle 5. The correct answer is D. Though the Smith’s Food and Drug supermarket chain purchased naming rights to the ballpark in 2014, spilled nachos and sodas usually are swept up without an announcement over the public address system.
Stop by and say hi! pic.twitter.com/90xSphyzxg
— KSL Unrivaled (@KSLunrivaled) April 29, 2019