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They Might Be Giants

minor lines, 4/16/09

AAA: Fresno lost to Tacoma 8-5
(allowing six runs in the last two innings)

Fresno: DH Scott McClain: 0 for 4, 3 SO
Fresno: C Eli Whiteside: 3 for 4, HR, 3B
Tacoma: CF Chris Burke: 2 for 4, 2B, BB, GiDP, 2 SB

Fresno: LHP Steve Hammond: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K--1 HB
Fresno: LHP Pat Misch: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
Fresno: RHP Osiris Matos: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 K
Fresno: RHP Ronnie Ray: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Whiteside provided most of the Grizzlies' offense.  He had three hits, after starting the year 0 for 11.  No one else reached base twice for the Grizzlies.  Batting cleanup, McClain had the oh-fer with the hat trick.  The 29-year-old Burke had a solid game, but he is in the minors this year after failing to make either Padres or Mariners rosters out of spring training.

Hammond had a relatively short start, throwing just 50 of 90 pitches for strikes.  Misch pitched effectively in relief, including a 6/1 GO/FO line.  Matos retired just one of three batters in the 8th inning, while Ray allowed hits to half of the dozen batters he faced.

AA: Connecticut defeated Trenton 3-1

Connecticut: RF Eddy Martinez-Esteve: 2 for 3, 2B, SF
Connecticut: 1B Andy D'Alessio: 2 for 3

Connecticut: RHP Nick Pereira: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K--1 WP
Connecticut: RHP Matt Yourkin: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
Trenton: RHP George Kontos: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K--1 WP

EME and D'Alessio each had two of the Defenders' seven hits, improving their respective AVGs to .226 and .333.

Pereira had a very effective start, allowing just one hit, but he was limited to just four innings.  Yourkin struck out four of the eight batters he faced in his second appearance in the Giants organization.  The 23-year-old Kontos, whom BA ranked as the Yankees #23 prospect, is repeating the Eastern League this year.

A+: San Jose defeated Stockton 3-1

San Jose: CF Darren Ford: 0 for 4, SO
San Jose: SS Brendan Crawford: 0 for 3, HBP, 2 SO
San Jose: C Buster Posey: 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SO, PB
San Jose: RF Roger Kieschnick: 0 for 3, HBP, 2 SO
San Jose: 1B Angel Villalona: 3 for 3, HR, SF

San Jose: LHP Madison Bumgarner: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
San Jose: RHP Garrett Broshuis: 1.0 IP, 1 H
San Jose: RHP Craig Whitaker: 2.0 IP, 2 K
San Jose: RHP Edwin Quirarte: 1.0 IP, 2 K
Stockton: RHP Craig Italiano: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K--2 HBP
Stockton: LHP Derrick Gordon: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 6 K

Last night was the first time for me to see Ford, Crawford, and Kieschnick in person.  Ford led off the game by softly lining a bunt to the third baseman.  He doesn't seem good enough as a hitter to be hitting leadoff for this team, although he still has a .375 OBP this year since he has almost as many walks as hits.  I know Crawford has done well this season, entering last night's game with a .500 AVG, but it looked to me like he was struggling last night against the Ports' pitchers.  Posey led off the 2nd inning with a shot of the right-centerfield fence for a leadoff double.  He subsequently scored at the plate on a really close play.  Most of the fans around me thought he was out, not that they weren't biased or anything or had a good angle to see the play.  Fans in the stands were calling out to Posey a lot.  I suppose a $6.2 million signing bonus can attract a lot of heckling.  There was one fan who kept calling out to him as a "big dummy" about how he was setting up for pitches from Whitaker.  From my point of view, this would make the fan not just dumb but perhaps insane if the defintion of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.  And it's like Posey has a big build anyway.  On the passed ball, he just missed a pitch up and in.  It's already his third passed ball this year.  Kieshnick looks like a hitter who is going to have some contact issues, at least based on this one game.  I had seen Villalona before, but I think this was the first time I have seen him play the field defensively.  He was the first of several fielders to nearly overrun a fly ball.  Early in the game, he began racing toward the stands for a fly ball only to look up and find that the ball was closer to the foul line than the stands.  Officially the wind was blowing out at 17 mph to CF, but I would have said the wind was to LF.  Villalona added an insurance run with a solo HR in the 9th inning.  With the help of the wind, the shot cleared the bullpen behind the LF fence.  I can't wait until this 18-year-old grows into his power.  Villalona also overtook Crawford for the team lead in AVG.

Bumgarner allowed just one run, but it was an unearned run, so his ERA remains spotless after two starts.  I would not have been surprised if the error which led to the unearned run would have been credited as a hit, as the second baseman had to jump for the looping liner, but the ball bounced out of his glove.  Bumgarner didn't look too comfortable when pitching from the stretch in the 2nd inning.  It looked like pitching coach Jerry Cram chewed on him a bit in the 2nd inning during a visit to the mound.  Bumgarner was much sharper after that, perhaps in part because he was throwing more fastballs.  His command improved, and he sailed through the last three innings.  He had a 3/8 GO/FO line for the game, and the game had quite a few high infield flies last night.  In a moment of reflection, I realized that the list time I think I had seen Broshuis pitch might have been in July 2005, and the opposing pitcher in that game was a young John Danks, who is now entering his third big league season.  Broshuis's more over the top delivery is a striking change from Bumgarner's low three-quarters delivery.  It's been mentioned earlier, but I can confrim that Whitaker is now throwing sidearm.  Quirarte looked sharp with two strikeouts in a perfect 9th inning.  He received his first save of the year.  The Stockton team is about the mirror opposite of the San Jose team.  I believe that with the A's first round pick Jemile Weeks still in extending spring training, that Italiano is the only player on the Stockton roster whom BA ranked among the A's top 30 prospects, and Italiano ranks just #24.

A-: Augusta lost to Savannah 3-1

Augusta: CF Francisco Peguero: 1 for 2, SO

Augusta: RHP Kyle Nicholson: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K--1 HR, 1 HB
Augusta: LHP Dan Runzler: 2.0 IP, 5 K

The GreenJackets' offense was limited to four singles.  With one of those singles, Peguero raised his AVG to .280, which is the highest AVG for any player in last night's lineup.

Nicholson scuffled in this start, with nearly half of the twenty batters he faced reaching base against him.  Runzler, who is in the Sally League once again, struck out five of the seven batters he faced.