Livingston Primed for Biggest Start of Career

TACOMA, Wash. - When a playoff series begins in the big leagues, there are always those who side with the club that has the most "playoff tested" pitching staff. The Tacoma Rainiers can boast about having one very tested, experienced playoff pitcher - left-hander Bobby Livingston.

"I've been in the playoffs every year," said Livingston. "This is nothing new. I'm not nervous at all."

Livingston competed in the postseason in each of his first four pro seasons, taking from those starts enough to feel good about Thursday night's tilt versus Sacramento.

"This is the biggest start ever for me," he said. "Definitely. But I have to make my pitches, just like always."

The last time the 23-year-old faced the River Cats was just last week in the four-game set that the two clubs played at Cheney Stadium, ending the regular season.

The result? Let's allow Bobby to tell you what happened.

"I was just hitting all my spots," said Livingston. "Getting to 14 strikeouts was just a coincidence. I'm not a strikeout pitcher. But all of my stuff was working last time."

Livingston allowed just three hits and an earned run in the Rainiers victory Friday night, aiding the Pacific North Division title hopes that Tacoma sealed up two days later.

In the River Cats clubhouse after Friday's loss to Tacoma, many of the Sacramento players were in awe of Livingston's performance. Quite a few adjectives were used in the locker room that day. The most common? "Wow."

Cats skipper Tony DeFrancesco, the self-proclaimed "most relaxed and chill manager in the PCL," had his own thoughts on Livingston's performance.

"He was as good as we've seen any pitcher this year," he said. "The guys seemed to not have much of an idea up there. That's the first time we'd seen him. He was very, very good."

Livingston has been solid since joining the Rainiers, posting a 3.20 ERA in all but one start - a hiccup in Oklahoma City where he surrendered nine earned runs in one inning.

"I feel pretty good about things," said Livingston. "My stats aren't that good but each start I make I feel pretty good about. I wish I could erase the Oklahoma game, but instead I'll just go out and try and beat these guys (Sacramento) again."

Livingston is acquainted with a few members of the River Cats roster - some from their days in the Class A and Class AA ball over the past two seasons. One is outfielder Andre Ethier, who was named this season's MVP in the Texas League. Livingston's confidence when speaking to Ethier waned not an inch.

"I told him after Friday's game that he'd get another chance," said Livingston.

Another chance to go 0-for-3 with a strikeout?

Livingston faces veteran right-hander Ryan Glynn tonight in game two of the playoff series. Glynn has been tough on the Rainiers, and tossed five shutout innings against them just last Saturday night. But the Rainiers hurler is as confident as ever.

"If I make the pitches I know I can, I can do it again," said Livingston, referring to the way he pitched in his last outing. "I know I can beat those guys again."

Seattle Clubhouse Top Stories