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SF Giants Minor Lines, 5/30

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A night that had the cognoscenti dreaming of promotions.

See? Look right here.

(I mean, if you'll excuse the overreach of my self-claiming cognoscenti status.)  Ok, if you need a more perfessional type:

Anyway, this was a night of stars that most certainly disappoint. Four of the top five pitching prospects in the system all took the mound, and their collective efforts?

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

Blackburn, Mejia, Coonrod, Bickford

27.1

15

3

2

8

32

0

Three of the four set their season highs in strikeouts yesterday. Holy Cats! Let's talk pitching.

Sacramento beat Oklahoma City Dodgers, 4-3
splitting their four-game series 2-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Gorkys Hernandez

5

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

2

.259

.339

.342

RF

Mac Williamson

4

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

.288

.318

.511

1b

Ryan Lollis

4

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.260

.308

.355

LF

Darren Ford

4

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

.256

.324

.331

2b

Juan Ciriaco

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.239

.284

.283

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Clayton Blackburn

7.0

4

2

1

1

8

0

1

0

4.14

Steven Okert BS1, W 3-1

2.0

1

1

0

0

3

0

0

1

4.42

Clayton Blackburn backed up his best start of the year with one that was even better. He pitched into the 8th for just the second time this year, and walked off the mound without having allowed a run, though leaving two runners behind, both of whom would score (thanks to an infield hit, a WP, and a Juan Ciriaco error). Blackburn also set a season high for Ks with 8. The Dodgers are, one should note, a free swinging bunch, who lead the PCL in strikeouts by a goodly margin with 463 as a team (Sacramento, a little on the good side of average in the league has nearly 100 fewer). But Blackburn had one of the sharpest breaking balls he's taken to the mound this year, and with the ability to steal strikes at the start of at bats with the hook, he was able to keep batters off balance all night.

Since returning from his short (and unofficial) major league stint, Blackburn has now had his two best starts of the year, throwing 13+ innings and allowing just one earned run. As noted, though he left the game with a 3-0 lead, he was robbed of a well earned Win. Steven Okert ended up striking out the side, but got some bad luck and poor support from both MI, as well as WP in Blackburn's second run.

That just set up the final drama though. For the second time in the series, a Gorkys Hernandez double set up Mitch Delfino for the walk off fun.

* * *

Richmond won at Erie Sea Wolves (Tigers), 1-0
splitting their four game series, 2-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

LF

Austin Slater

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.324

.420

.507

CF

Myles Schroder

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.271

.328

.362

C

Eliezer Zambrano

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.241

.293

.259

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Adalberto Mejia W 2-1

8.2

4

0

0

1

10

0

0

0

1.87

This game was so brilliant it's easy to get caught up in, but to really rhapsodize it properly, we need to take the longer view. Mejia has had five starts in the month of May.  In those five starts, he's surrendered 3 Earned Runs (5 Runs overall).  He's thrown 36.2 IP with 23 Hits, 3 ER, 7 BB and 28 Ks. In his "lousy" start for the month, way back on May 3rd, he went only 6 innings and surrendered 3 Runs while striking out 3. That game is totally bringing the averages down! In three of his last four starts he's been unscored upon and pitched at least into the 8th. It's been a pretty phenomenal month. And I would actually be a bit surprised if he makes another Richmond start at this point. Three seasons into his Richmond career, it's probably that time.

But let's not sleep on what he actually did in this one game. He set two different professional bests yesterday, with the 10 Ks and the 8.2 IP. That he did all of that in a game where a single mistake could lead to a loss just adds to the package. So with all that said, let's take the extended look at some fantastic work from the big lefty. Here he is striking out the side in the 6th.

All of that was done with the game in balance the entire time, as the Richmond offense was snoozing the day away. Managing just six hits and two walks in the game, they scratched across the winning run in the 5th when the team's two vets teamed up for the game's only run. Myles Schroder singled, stole second, and came home with the game winner on Eliezer Zambrano's single.

That was enough for Mejia though, who came within one out of a CG Shutout, exiting the game after allowing a two-out ground single in the 9th. All of his Infield teammates circled to give him a pat on the back before he left. I wonder if they were thinking it would be the last time they see him this year as well.

Final Note: Happy 21st birthday to Christian Arroyo, who took the day off to celebrate (though I'm guessing Arroyo would have considered playing the game a better birthday present).

* * *

San Jose beat Modesto Nuts (Rockies), 3-0
sweeping their two game series, 2-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Steven Duggar

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.278

.389

.491

SS

CJ Hinojosa

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.351

.437

.524

LF

Daniel Carbonel

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.263

.263

.368

3b

Jose Vizcaino, Jr

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.243

.314

.296

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Sam Coonrod

6.2

2

0

0

3

7

0

1

0

1.18

Rodolfo Martinez S 15

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.81

So did Sam Coonrod set his season high in Ks on this day too? He did! (Kind of). He rang up 7 Nuts, after having just 12 Ks over his previous five starts in total. However, in a quirk of the calendar, it so happens that Coonrod is going to equal that mark TODAY! Pretty crazy, striking out 7 on back to back days. (In fact, today will resume the game that was suspended in the first week of the season, in which Coonrod also had a 7 K game working).

Coonrod seems to be on something of a Tyler Beede SJ plan, as he's using a two-seam fastball a lot to generate ground balls. And it appears the Giants also have him working on diversifying his secondary usage much more than he did in Augusta last year. The total package is still coming together (as the 25 K, 19 BB ratio suggests), but the electric arm is still there, and if they can get the secondaries up to consistency as well, Coonrod offers as much upside as any starter in the system.


Unlike Mejia, I suspect Coonrod still has some work to do in the Cal League, refining the repertoire and working a bit more on the command. But there's no denying he's putting together a pretty sensational campaign. The man has simply been hard to hit.

Alright, should we sneak in some offense? After hitting a fly ball out to the wall in CF in his previous AB, Chris Shaw aimed a rocket to deep right in his final one, giving him his 11th HR of the year. That's tied for second in the Cal. Shaw leads the Cal in SLG, OPS, and RBIs.  So let's just add to the highlights for another of the star's of the system.

xx

* * *

Augusta won at Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox), 5-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

1b

Miguel Gomez

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.346

.386

.495

3b

Kelvin Beltre

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.234

.307

.343

RF

Seth Harrison

3

1

1

3

0

0

1

1

0

.248

.326

.379

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Phil Bickford W 2-4

5.0

5

1

1

3

7

0

0

0

2.63

Tyler Cyr

2.0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2.50

Caleb Smith S 4

1.0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

3.60

So, somehow, on this day, Phil Bickford's 5 IP, 1 Run, 7 K outing ended up sort of hum drum. Only 5 innings? Not a season high in Ks? What gives Phil?

Though Bickford wasn't as sharp as he's normally been this year (hitting 90 pitches in just 5 innings, and walking a season high 3 in the game), he was difficult to hit. Bickford's K rate for the year is now hovering just an eyelash below 30% and his K/BB rate, while not Kershaw-esque is sitting at nearly 5 to 1. This was now the fourth start in a row in which Bickford allowed either 1 or 0 runs, and fifth time in the last six starts. He's allowed just 6 ER since April 27, covering 34.1 IP, during which time he's K's 33 and BBd 9. Stamina is still a question with Bickford, as he's worked into the 7th just once this year, and his repertoire is still a bit fastball heavy, but without a doubt he's having an excellent first full season.

Though the Greenjackets went just 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position, that one was a big one, as Seth Harrison followed a single and two walks with his 2nd HR of the year, a three run shot that completed a four-run rally which would give Bickford and his relievers all the support they would need.

So the final tally: four dominant pitching performances, four victories. I like it when things work out that way! Hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day!

* * *

Wow! I don't think we're gonna do better than that for awhile. Maybe we should just close up Minor Lines and go out on top! Hey Chris, hey Andrew, no pressure to do well at all, but if you're not awesome today it's gonna kind of stick out given the week so far.

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: Chris Heston vs. Jeremy Guthrie
Richmond: Andrew Suarez vs. Jayson Aquino
San Jose: DJ Snelten vs. TBD (plus the end of the suspended game from April)
Augusta: Logan Webb vs. Luis Martinez

And, of course, we can't leave without giving a huge congratulations (and sigh of relief) to the Golden State Warriors, who made us all very proud and delirious (except you Kings' fans, I don't know what to tell you folks).