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SF Giants Minor Lines, 9/4/15

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Four outstanding starting pitching efforts across the system tonight as playoff dreams flicker on.

Final Friday night fireworks of the season.  Were the games as explosive as the after-show?

<blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fans enjoying another great <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> Postgame <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Fireworks?src=hash">#Fireworks</a> show at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Muni?src=hash">#Muni</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GiantTogether?src=hash">#GiantTogether</a> <a href="http://t.co/KAgTUBx7be">pic.twitter.com/KAgTUBx7be</a></p>&mdash; San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) <a href="https://twitter.com/SJGiants/status/607052414282301441">June 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Stratton had 8 Ks in 6 one-run innings. Joan Gregorio K'd 7 in 6 innings. Martin Agosta went 6 innings, surrendering 0 earned runs and 9 Ks. D.J. Snelten K'd 8 in 7 one-run innings.

Sacramento beat Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 6-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Darren Ford

5

1

2

1

0

1

0

0

1

.256

.330

.403

2b

Joe Panik

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.200

.200

.200

1b

Kevin Frandsen

4

3

4

2

0

0

1

0

0

.279

.339

.355

RF

Jarrett Parker

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.286

.377

.515

C

Trevor Brown

4

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

.268

.325

.351

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Chris Stratton

6.0

4

1

1

2

8

1

0

0

3.86

88

58

Matt Cain

2.0

1

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

3.57

32

23

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RiverCats?src=hash">#RiverCats</a> roll as Frandsen puts on offensive show <a href="http://t.co/8N1S31xFR8">http://t.co/8N1S31xFR8</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClawsUp?src=hash">#ClawsUp</a> <a href="http://t.co/UXgPFvhuTX">pic.twitter.com/UXgPFvhuTX</a></p>&mdash; River Cats (@RiverCats) <a href="https://twitter.com/RiverCats/status/640033668434558976">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Chris Stratton ended his 2015 with one of his finest efforts of the year, going six strong innings, allowing just six base runners and striking out 8. A solo HR to Alburquerque (and presumptive future Colorado) SS Trevor Story was the only damage done against him, though he got even with Story later.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eWREZG1Fi8c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

It's difficult to suss out what to make of Stratton's 2015 as he often mixed good end product with poor peripherals, but he has likely put himself into the mix with Blackburn and Blach for "next guy up" role in 2016 when injuries to the rotation creep up.  For the year, over AA and AAA he threw 148 innings with a 3.95 ERA, a FIP just about the same, and pretty poor peripherals, 6.8 K9, 3.8 BB9. Last night he was using his slider pretty aggressively in the zone and he can be effective with his arm if he attacks batters but he hasn't always shown the willingness or command to do that consistently. As Johnny Doskow noted, he was pitching with a lot of confidence last night though, and he can look good when he does that.

And speaking of injuries creeping up in 2016,

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Now pitching for your Sacramento <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RiverCats?src=hash">#RiverCats</a>... MATT CAIN!!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClawsUp?src=hash">#ClawsUp</a> <a href="http://t.co/k2eCdAKf3r">pic.twitter.com/k2eCdAKf3r</a></p>&mdash; Bronté Williams (@BronteMo3) <a href="https://twitter.com/BronteMo3/status/640007573081423872">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Cain throws two innings. 32 pitches, 23 strikes. Gave up one hit, struck out three. Sitting at 91-92 with his fastball. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClawsUp?src=hash">#ClawsUp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RiverCats?src=hash">#RiverCats</a></p>&mdash; River Cats (@RiverCats) <a href="https://twitter.com/RiverCats/status/640016865503281152">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Cain and Panik may both be joining the team when it returns home next week.

The RiverCats can still finish .500 for the year if they sweep their remaining games.

* * *

Richmond beat Reading (Phillies), 5-4

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

RF

Hunter Cole

4

1

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

.292

1b

Ricky Oropesa

3

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

.253

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Joan Gregorio

6.0

4

2

0

2

7

0

0

1

3.09

Kyle Crick

0.1

0

2

2

1

1

0

1

0

3.34

Pedro Rodriguez S, 2

2.0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2.33

Outstanding pitching performance #2 belonged to Joan Gregorio. For different reasons Gregorio's 2015 is something of a puzzle, but in the end he handled a very aggressive assignment to AA quite well. After being moved back into a starter's role on July 11, Gregorio threw 43.1 IP, allowing 11 runs on 42 hits and 16 BB vs 38 Ks. Most of the damage came in two starts, Aug 14 and 29 in which he gave up 7 runs on 13 hits and 7 BBs.

He ended the year with his best game, matching season highs in both IP and Ks, while allowing just 2 unearned runs (one of which, naturally, was set up by a two base throwing error from Gregorio on a pickoff, which are apparently the most dangerous things for any Giants pitcher to attempt). With one option year down it will be interesting to see if they give Gregorio another year of starting in 2016 or if he begins to be an option for next year's bullpen. Here's possibly his final pitch of the year.

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Even with the errors leading to two runs, the Squirrels had a firm grasp on the game, holding a 4-2 lead going to the late innings. Juan Ciriaco and Hunter Cole hit back to back doubles to key a three-run rally to take the lead in the 5th  and they added a run in the 6th.

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But Kyle Crick got involved in the 7th and he helped tie the game back up with his own variation on Three True Outcomes: he struck out a batter, he walked a batter, he hit a batter. Jose Casilla would let both of Crick's runners score and the game was tied 4-4. But two old timers, Juan Ciriaco and Skyler Stromsmoe teamed up to score the winning run on a walk, a Sac bunt, and Ciriaco's two-out single.

So Richmond stayed relevant. Still two games back with three to play. Akron dropped their game with Harrisburg last night so they dropped a game further back.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Squirrels beat the Fightin Phils 5-4 and keep their playoff hopes alive! Come out tomorrow for a 6:05 game! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoNuts?src=hash">#GoNuts</a> <a href="http://t.co/EE9Na6FDf2">pic.twitter.com/EE9Na6FDf2</a></p>&mdash; Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoSquirrels/status/639987231336329216">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

San Jose lost to Bakersfield Blaze (Mariners), 2-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

Christian Arroyo

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.306

.346

.464

LF

Daniel Carbonell

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.280

.331

.415

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Martin Agosta, L 5-9

6.0

7

2

2

0

2

9

0

0

4.25

Ray Black

1.0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

3.00

Outstanding performance #3 went unsupported, sady, but Martin Agosta ended a turnaround 2015 on an upnote (the regular season anyway; he could still make a post-season appearance). Agosta began the year getting hammered out of the rotation, built his stuff and confidence back up working out of the bullpen, then had an incredible run in the rotation before missing significant time in the second half with injury. It all added up to some positive steps for the 2012 second round pick. In particular his 125: 26 K:BB ratio was exceptional.  We'll see if he can use 2015 as a springboard in 2016. Up till now his career has been somewhat star-crossed for sure.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Agosta leads the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> with 125 strikeouts this season over 107 innings (26 BB). Finishes with a 4.25 ERA (2.92 in the second half).</p>&mdash; Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeRitzo/status/640015226507689985">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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I believe those 125 Ks were third in the system behind Chase Johnson (129) and D.J. Snelten (126).

Not only did Agosta's teammates fail to support his effort offensively, they also allowed the only two runs of the game to score on errors from Bednar and Arroyo in the 4th inning. Bednar's fielding error started the rally. And then on a double that drove in the first run, Arroyo threw the relay away trying to get the back runner at 3b, allowing the 2nd run. Rough night for Arroyo who went 0 for, K'd twice, and committed the error as his tough final month continues.

Oddly, it was San Jose's 9th time being shut out this year, and six of them have come at the hands of the last place Blaze. San Jose's division lead was cut to 1 game, while they maintained their 1 game lead in the wild card, with three to play.

* * *

Augusta lost to Charleston (Yankees), 3-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

2b

Richard Rodriguez

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.321

SS

Travious Relaford

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.240

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

D.J. Snelten L 5-6

7.0

5

1

1

0

8

0

0

1

2.86

Carlos Diaz

1.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1.68

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">DJ Snelten goes 7 strong innings and allows 1 ER as <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AGJ?src=hash">#AGJ</a> drop game 2 with a 3-0. &#10;<a href="http://t.co/iL1GUttsS7">http://t.co/iL1GUttsS7</a> <a href="http://t.co/GvJoxTmoUc">pic.twitter.com/GvJoxTmoUc</a></p>&mdash; Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) <a href="https://twitter.com/GreenJackets/status/639990024193376261">September 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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And add D.J. Snelten to the list of guy's who finished their year strong. Snelten threw 7 terrific innings, allowing just one run while striking out 8 vs 0 walks. The year started out rough for D.J. but he found his footing once he was sent back down to Augusta. As a starter in the Sally, Snelten posted a 10.1 K9 vs a 2.0 BB9. He had a 2.86 ERA  and a FIP below 2.50 in 85 IP. Snelten has very strong stuff from the left side when he repeats his delivery. It will be interesting to see if the Giants give him a second shot at the Cal in 2016, or if they feel he's ready for the two level jump (as happened with Gregorio, who was also demoted from the Cal back to the Sally in 2014).

Nothing really to be said about the Augusta offense at this point, as vacation plans appear to have been made. They managed just four singles and two walks in another in a series of anemic performances.  It's a long hot summer down in Georgia and these kids pretty well look to be cooked.

The weekend will offer interest to Minor Lines though, as Michael Santos and Samuel Coonrod make their season bows today and tomorrow. Hopefully they go out as well as D.J. did.

* * *

Salem-Keizer won at Boise Hawks (Rockies), 8-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

5

3

2

0

1

1

0

0

1

.266

.307

.426

RF

Steven Duggar

3

1

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

.279

.378

.351

DH

Miguel Gomez

5

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.323

.336

.450

1b

Christopher Shaw

5

1

2

1

2

0

0

0

1

.287

.359

.538

SS

Jose Vizcaino

3

0

0

2

0

0

0

1

1

.290

.355

.460

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Luis Pino W 4-1

5.0

5

2

1

2

1

0

0

1

1.43

Demonic Mazza

2.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.00

Armando Paniagua

1.0

0

1

1

1

2

0

1

0

6.75

Rayan Hernandez

1.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

4.84

On a cold, windy, rainy night in Idaho, the Volcanoes came out on top, in a error plagued game. Between the two teams, 10 errors were committed leading to five unearned runs. Fortunately, most of that sloppy largess went the Volcanoes way as they cashed in for two big rallies. The tone was set right from the start of the game when lead off batter Ronnie Jebavy reached on a throwing error from 3b and went all the way around to 3b on a subsequent error from the RF backing up the play (or attempting to). That led to a 3-run 1st inning rally, keyed by Chris Shaw's first double of the night. Shaw's second double, a shot deep to CF, was in the middle of their 4-run rally that broke the game open in the 7th.

Two of Salem-Keizer's errors in the game came from Jose Vizcaino, who the Volcanoes are trying at SS to help keep offense in their lineup. They had been played the very light hitting Christian Lichtenthaler at SS recently as they struggle to make up for the loss of C.J. Hinojosa, who hasn't played now since Aug. 20. They could really use Hinojosa in their lineup now on both sides of the ball.

The victory was one of two happy outcomes last night, as back in Hillsboro the Hops defeated Eugene (setting a NWL season record for shutouts in doing so). That puts Eugene and Hillsboro in a tie for 1st and Salem and Eugene in a tie for the potential wildcard.  With two games to go, they need both of those races to flip to their advantage. At the very least, they need Hillsboro to take sole possession of 1st place while SK maintains their tie with Eugene for the WC.

* * *

Joe Biagini and Andrew Leenhouts take the must win starts (literally!) for Richmond and SK.  Christian Jones is on the mound for SJ, trying to nail down home field advantage of the mini-series. While Miguel Santos and Tommy Hanson get their final starts of the year in Augusta and Sacramento.