SALT LAKE CITY — With a 144-game schedule, sometimes things just aren't going to go your way. On Sunday, that was the case for the Salt Lake Bees, who gave up 27 hits in their 17-0 loss to Fresno, Salt Lake's worst shutout loss since a 14-0 loss at Tacoma in 2009.
"We ran into a really hot team," Bees manager Dave Anderson said. "Everything they hit fell in, pretty much. We didn't make very good pitches at times."
There was no room to point fingers in the Salt Lake bullpen after its performance on Sunday. Starting pitcher Alex Sanabia gave up 10 hits before being pulled in the fifth, but those who followed didn't fare much better. Atahualpa Severino came in for Sanabia and gave up four hits in just over an inning of work, while Scott Snodgress gave up six in just a single frame the next inning.
Vinnie Pestano settled things down in the eighth by not giving up any hits, but the big news came in the ninth when outfielder Gary Brown walked onto the mound to pitch. Being down a dozen, Salt Lake had the freedom to make some moves, and felt it had nothing to lose with Brown on the mound.
With a smirk on his face the entire frame, Brown tossed pitch after pitch, hovering aroung the 60 mile per hour range, as the game essentially turned into an adult softball league game for an inning. The move seemed as though it was to lighten the mood in a game that got out of hand, but according to Anderson, that wasn't the case.
"It wasn't fun, I was trying to save some pitching," Anderson said. "We're already short a guy in the bullpen as it is, so we were just trying to save some pitching."
If you noticed a name missing from the lineup on Sunday, it’s probably because the Angels optioned Daniel Robertson to Anaheim late Saturday night. The outfielder for the Bees has been with the team all season long and finally got a deserving call up, but not before showing Salt Lake fans the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
During this series with Fresno, the Bees partnered with Intermountain LDS Hospital and the Utah Department of Health to put together what they called, “Bee Healthy Week.”
Aside from the corny headline, the mission of the week is to encourage fans to be more active and participate in a number of activities during games throughout the series. Some of those activities included a blood-pressure check, body fat analysis, hydration station and chair yoga.
“We need to do our part to promote (healthy living),” general manager Marc Amicone said. “I mean, it is a healthy lifestyle to come to a game with the sunshine and watching professional athletes play, and we sometimes forget that. It’s great.”
Additionally, some of the players, including Robertson, led clinics over the weekend with the Knothole Club, a club consisting of elementary-aged kids within the Bees organization. At these clinics, the kids learned tricks and tips from the players on the field as well as receiving a tour of the team locker room and an opportunity for autographs.
“You never know what you can help a kid with,” Robertson said. “I was fortunate enough, and blessed enough, to have people influence me to get me to where I am. Where I’ve been, obviously put me in a good position, I feel like. Hopefully I can change a kid’s life too.”
Just days before Robertson received his promotion, 22-year-old closer Trevor Gott was also called up by the Angels. But just like his teammate, Gott also participated in the clinics before leaving Salt Lake, making that two major league players that the kids were able to work with.
And while they may not realize it now, these moments are ones that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
“Maybe down the road at some point, they see somebody in the major leagues or come back to a Bees game and say, ‘Yeah, I was out there on the field with him.’ That’s pretty fun,” Amicone said.
The conclusion of the series ends the Bees' eight-game homestand and they hit the road Monday for a series with Las Vegas.
GAME NOTES: Josh Rutledge extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double in the first inning … Salt Lake was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position while Fresno was 14 for 28 … The attendance was 4,120 … The Grizzlies are the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
BEELINES: Fresno 17, Salt Lake 0
The Bees surrendered 27 hits in their 17-0 shutout loss to the Grizzlies.
Next up: Salt Lake RHP Drew Rucinski (2-4, 6.45) at Las Vegas LHP Darin Gorski (3-5, 5.28), Monday, 8:05 p.m.