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SF Giants Minor Lines 9/2/15

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Walks off and dingers and Ks oh my!

Lots of symmetry yesterday as the affiliates posted a perfect 4-0 record, all on one run victories. Three of the games even had the same score. Most of the teams are still marching to the brink of elimination, but that doesn't mean a two-out, Pinch Hit walk-off HR isn't cause for joy!

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HIGHLIGHTS: Trevor Brown hit a PH walk off HR. Brandon Bednar walk-off'd San Jose right into the playoffs. Chris Shaw helped stave off elimination with his league leading 11th HR.

* * *

Sacramento beats Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 5-4

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

RF

Jarrett Parker

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

.282

LF

Mac Williamson

4

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.260

3b

Brandon Hicks

4

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

3

.230

P

Edwin Quirarte

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

1.000

P

Brett Bochy

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

.333

PH

Trevor Brown

1

1

1

2

0

0

1

0

0

.269

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Edwin Quirarte

4.0

6

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

2.25

Steven Okert W 5-3

0.2

1

2

2

1

0

1

0

0

3.90

Archie Bradley (Reno)

7.0

7

2

2

0

7

1

0

0

2.93

The RiverCats had something of a statistical oddity in this game. They recorded ten hits as a team, and yet nobody in the lineup had more than one. Ten different players, including two relief pitchers (Quirarte was actually spot starting, but he has generally been a reliever) recorded exactly one hit. Recently promoted Jeff Kobernus, who had the team's only walk, was the only player in the lineup to reach base twice. Quirarte's double came in just his 5th at bat of the year, and Bochy's single came in just his 3rd.

In what will be a minor trend in today's Minor Lines, the majority of the runs in this game came via the longball. Three of Reno's four runs were scored on two HRs, and four of Sacramento's five came from three HRs. And many of those came in a crazy 9th inning. The scored was tied 2-2 in the 9th when Steven Okert surrendered a monster, two run blast to Reno 1b Nick Evans, who had four hits and three RBI on the night.

That set the stage for some drama. Leading off the 9th was Mac Williamson, who edged the RiverCats closer:

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And then with two outs, Trevor Brown and his shockingly dyed hair were sent up to save the game for Sacramento and save the game he and his shockingly dyed hair did! And much merriment ensued as we saw above.

For what it's worth, Brown's blond hair was NOT the loudest style choice of the night in Raley Field:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The man, the myth, the legend. <a href="https://twitter.com/JDoskow">@JDoskow</a> looking extra sharp for tonight&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RiverCats?src=hash">#RiverCats</a> game. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClawsUp?src=hash">#ClawsUp</a> <a href="http://t.co/ClamB4pVrl">pic.twitter.com/ClamB4pVrl</a></p>&mdash; River Cats (@RiverCats) <a href="https://twitter.com/RiverCats/status/639253928207474688">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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With five games left, Sacramento needs to go at least 4-1 to finish the season with a .500 record.

* * *

Richmond won at Harrisburg (Nationals), 3-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

SS

Rando Moreno

4

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

.282

RF

Hunter Cole

3

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

.286

C

Jackson Williams

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.230

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Chase Johnson W 1-1

5.0

3

2

2

3

5

0

0

2

5.93

Adalberto Meja

2.0

1

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

2.37

Derek Law, S, 11

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

4.94

Chase Johnson started out strong in this game, retiring the first 10 men he faced.  He ran into some trouble after that, as 6 of the final 11 he faced reached base, including back to back walks in the 4th (the first two men to reach base against him). He had spent a very long inning running the bases in the 3rd. In fact, he scored the eventual winning run, coming home on a Sac Fly from Hunter Cole on a fairly close play. But whether that had anything to do with his struggles in the 4th and 5th or it was just the second time through the lineup, who's to say. Johnson was consistently hitting 95-96 on the in-stadium gun, but he never showed much of a feel for his breaking ball in this game. After allowing those back to back walks and a run scoring single in the 4th he got of the jam using his fastball:

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But he really struggled in the 5th and was frankly fortunate to escape with just the one run's damage (scoring on a WP, though he walked the bases full after that). Johnson was relieved by a very effective Adalberto Mejia.  Other than his final start before landing on the DL (when he K'd 8), Mejia never struck out more than 4 in any start this year, but he's now K'd 4 in back to back 2 inning relief appearances. You have to wonder if his stuff plays up a bit in relief where he doesn't worry about pacing himself. It'll be interesting to see how he's used in the AFL:

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The Squirrels only managed five hits in the game (all singles) plus a walk, but they managed to bundle three of the hits, a HBP, and a botched sac bunt play into one 3-run rally in the 3rd inning, and that was enough to secure them the victory.

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Thus their playoff hopes cling on. An Altoona loss moved them one game closer. They now sit 3 games behind Altoona with a tie breaker advantage and five to play.  Like the man said, it ain't like it used to be but it'll do.

* * *

San Jose beat Modesto (Rockies) 3-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

2b

Brandon Bednar

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

.241

LF

Daniel Carbonell

4

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

.273

RF

Tyler Horan

4

2

2

1

1

0

1

0

1

.210

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Andrew Suarez

5.0

7

2

2

1

6

1

0

1

1.80

Tyler Rogers

2.0

1

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

1.43

Ian Gardeck W 3-4

2.0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

3.63

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And with that, San Jose clinched a spot in the Cal League playoffs for the 11th time in 12 years.  Joe Ritzo has a few notes:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tonight&#39;s victory also clinches a league-record 12th consecutive winning season for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> (71-64). SJ was 13 under .500 on July 6.</p>&mdash; Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeRitzo/status/639304049741852672">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The playoff-bound <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> had a 34-47 record on July 6. They&#39;ve gone 37-17 (.685) since.</p>&mdash; Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeRitzo/status/639330081400225792">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If memory serves, tonight the first time since 2007 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> clinch at home. &#39;08 (Bak), &#39;09 (Stk), &#39;10 (HD), &#39;11 (Mod), &#39;12 (LE), &#39;13 (Vis)</p>&mdash; Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeRitzo/status/639349172030705664">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Prior to Bednar's walk off single, the Giants had only managed to score via the long ball, as they traded solo shots with Modesto. First Tyler Horan got them on the board with a gigantic blast over the batter's eye off of rehabbing major leaguer Tyler Chatwood who was pitching in his first game of 2015, following TJ surgery in 2014.

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As Joe notes, this was Horan's first HR since July 21. Horan endured a brutal August, hitting just .173/.262/.240, so it was good to see him with the two XBH game. After Modesto went ahead thanks to a Ramel Tapia HR, it was Daniel Carbonell's turn to put a jolt into one:

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As usual though, the story here was the pitching, starting with 2015 second rounder Andrew Suarez, who continues to impress in his debut season.

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San Jose is now 1 game in front of Visalia for the second half title and 1 game in front of Stockton for the 1st wild card spot. They're in regardless, but maintaining one or both of those leads is worthwhile as it will give them home field advantage for the best of three mini-series that starts the Cal League playoffs.

Congrats guys! Keep rolling.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SJ Giants clinch with tonight&#39;s win! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PlayoffTogether?src=hash">#PlayoffTogether</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SeptemberBaseball?src=hash">#SeptemberBaseball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/milb?src=hash">#milb</a> <a href="http://t.co/454Zz6uk4P">pic.twitter.com/454Zz6uk4P</a></p>&mdash; Julie (@phibear35) <a href="https://twitter.com/phibear35/status/639297260937867264">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

Augusta's game with Savannah was rained out
They lost the eventual five game series, 1-4

It will not be replayed. Boy, David Lee's not kidding, it really does rain there all the time. This was scheduled to be the Greenjackets final game in Savannah as next year the Sand Gnats will become the Columbia Fireflies, beginning a new life in a beautiful new stadium.

And with this rainout the Greenjackets are officially eliminated. This is how their season ends, not with a bang but with a whimper (lots of T.S. Eliot this week!).  But at least David Lee is beginning to role out his player scouting reports:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">Augusta Player Report: Aramis Garcia <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFGiants?src=hash">#SFGiants</a> <a href="http://t.co/R7HX7H73ZS">http://t.co/R7HX7H73ZS</a></p>&mdash; David Lee (@David11Lee) <a href="https://twitter.com/David11Lee/status/639147935628984320">September 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Not Giants related, but the final spot for the Sally playoffs is coming down to a showdown between Asheville and Greenville, and if the Drive secures that final spot it will definitely be worth watching on MiLB TV as Greenville keeps adding to the biggest stockpile of high upside prospects in the minors. The team which already featured Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Javy Guerra and Michael Chavis recently added this year's #1 draft pick Andrew Benitendi (who's HRd 3 times in just 14 games with Greenville) and announced yesterday that they're sending 17 year old wunderkind Anderson Espinoza up to Greenville for the rest of the season as well. Espinoza has set the prospect world afire this summer with a kind of buzz I don't know if I've heard since King Felix was his age.

* * *

Salem-Keizer beat Eugene Emeralds (Cubs), 3-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

LF

Byron Murray

4

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

2

.125

1b

Christopher Shaw

3

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.284

SS

Jose Vizcaino

3

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

.300

RF

Julio Pena

3

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

.233

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Grant Watson

3.0

5

2

2

1

4

0

0

0

4.50

Nathanael Santiago

3.0

2

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

3.15

Heath Slatton

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Ryan Halstead S, 7

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

2.42

This was a game the Volcanoes simply had to win. So it looked bad when once again their starting pitching put them in a disadvantage right off the bat with Grant Watson giving up two runs in the top of the 2nd.  But Watson and a parade of four relievers held the Emeralds off the board after that, allowing just three hits over the final six innings of play.

The offense only managed six baserunners in the game. But fortunately four of their six hits went for extra bases. Byron Murray tripled off the CF wall for his first NWL hit and came in to score on an error making it 2-1. And then in the bottom of the 7th, Chris Shaw blasted his league leading 11th HR (and franchise record setting 58th for the team) to tie the score at 2-2. It was the fourth HR in Shaw's last six games. Jose Vizcaino followed Shaw with a double, and with two outs he came round to score on Julio Pena's triple.

Shaw spoke with the Volcanoes crew after the game:

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And so the Volcanoes slim slim playoff hopes stay alive for another day. One more game with Eugene tonight and once again its a must win (in fact SK pretty much needs to win out and get help, like Richmond). A win tonight will at least put the Volcanoes back in front of Eugene in a potential wild card scenario. Then they just need to get Eugene out of 1st place (which is proving difficult as Hillsboro apparently thinks they've won enough for this year).

Young Logan Webb hits the mound again tonight. Hopefully it's Jekyll Logan and not Hyde Logan.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We ❤️ fan photos! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSKV?src=hash">#GoSKV</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BoLane">@BoLane</a> <a href="http://t.co/5oRhInK0mC">pic.twitter.com/5oRhInK0mC</a></p>&mdash; Volcanoes Baseball (@SKVolcanoes) <a href="https://twitter.com/SKVolcanoes/status/639294624792637440">September 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

So a playoff clincher and two dim flames of hope kept alight for another day. Not too shabby. Matt Gage and Logan Webb try to advance their team's causes tonight, while Jose Reyes helps SJ try for the sweep and Chris Stratton looks to get Sacramento back up to the .500 line. In Augusta, Mark Reyes has a chance to grab the Sally ERA title with a strong start. The season's final shots have not yet been fired!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Join us this Friday for the last post-game fireworks extravaganza of the season as apart of Fan Appreciation Weekend! <a href="http://t.co/jryFAHgGId">pic.twitter.com/jryFAHgGId</a></p>&mdash; Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) <a href="https://twitter.com/GreenJackets/status/638448193672466433">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote>

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