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SF Giants Minor Lines, 8/14

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The Greenjackets are unbeatable! And Chris Stratton and Cory Taylor come up with terrific outings.

Deviating from the Giants' system for a moment, the big story in minor league baseball for the last several weeks come from the Indians' Francisco Mejia, who put together the longest hitting streak in professional baseball in the last half century. Mejia's streak somewhat controversially reached 50 games Saturday night, when the official scorer made a somewhat dubious reversal to his scoring decision after the game was completed. But that was as far as he got, and yesterday the historic run came to a completion. Still 50 games! There are only four other players since 1955, minors or majors, who have had 40 game streaks, and none more than 45 (James McOwen in 2009). Pete Rose's 44 game streak back in 1978 is the only one in the majors over since DiMaggio's.

So let's take a moment to celebrate an amazing summer for this young man.

HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Stratton struck out 8 over 7 IP; Christian Arroyo reached base 4x; Cory Taylor K'd 8 over 7 shutout innings

Sacramento beat the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 4-3

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Ramiro Pena

2B

2

0

2

1

0

0

2

2

0

.302

.367

.439

Mac Williamson

RF

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

.269

.307

.509

Austin Slater

LF

4

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

1

.258

.351

.407

Miguel Olivo

C

4

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

.248

.282

.429

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Chris Stratton (W, 10-5)

7.0

4

2

2

2

8

0

4.54

Tyler Rogers (H, 2)

0.1

2

1

1

1

1

0

4.00

Chris Stratton continued his string of success since returning from his time in the majors. Clearly, Chris got some lessons up there he's been able to put to work in the PCL. This was the 6th time in 7 starts since his return that Stratton has allowed 3 ER or less (he also had a 3+ inning relief stint to stretch out in which he allowed just 1 run).  Before making his major league debut he had done that in just three of his nine starts.

Even more striking has been the effect on his K rate. Prior to his debut, Stratton had 36 Ks (to 15 BBs) in 52.1 IP. Since his return he's upped that to 45 Ks (11 BBs) in 48.2 IP and he's been close to a K per inning in several of his starts. What could this new, run preventing, K inducing version of Stratton portend for the future? Is he un-busting himself? Is he trusting his stuff and attacking hitters, rather than nibbling around the edges? Stay tuned for more exciting developments as events unfold!

The remarkable year of Ramiro Pena continues! Pena, who like Ruben Tejada and Grant Green cleared waivers and returned to Sacramento, seems to be playing his way into a chance with somebody in 2017, it seems to me. He hit as well in his short stint in the majors as he has throughout the year in the PCL. Pena was a good portion of Sacramento's offense yesterday, as he reached base safely in all four PA and gave the RiverCats the lead with what proved to be the game winning hit.

Mac Williamson began his road back to SF with his first rehab game. A little time to get back to game speed and we'll see him in vanilla and black again soon, at the very latest in 16 days.

* * *

Richmond beat Bowie Bay Sox (Orioles), 3-0
winning their three game series 2-1

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Steven Duggar

CF

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.321

.380

.417

Christian Arroyo

3B

3

0

3

0

0

0

1

1

0

.277

.324

.375

Angel Villalona

DH

2

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

.143

.250

.257

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Cory Taylor (W, 1-0)

7.0

4

0

0

2

8

0

0.75

Cory Taylor dominated in his second start in AA, using a hard sinking low 90s fastball to pick up ground balls, and a dastardly breaking pitch to generate Ks.  He came one off his career best with 8 Ks (he twice had 9 earlier this year in Augusta) including ringing up Bowie's Chance Sisco, possibly the EL's best hitter, twice, once looking and once swinging.

Christian Arroyo and Steven Duggar teamed up for most of the offense, accounting for 4 of the team's 7 hits and both of its walks. In the first inning, Duggar led off with a single and came all the way around to score when Arroyo's first hit got past the RF for a two-base error. In the 3rd, with Darren Ford on 1b, Duggar walked and then the two teamed up on a double steal. Arroyo lined a clean single to CF scoring Ford.  Arroyo would reach base twice more in the game, with his third single and a walk

The final run of the day came from a surprising source. Angel Villalona, playing in just his 14th game of the year, hit his 1st HR of 2016 and his first HR in AA since 2014. It was just the 5th hit of the season for the once-upon-a-time top prospect, who has spent most of the year inactive. Usually he gets activated for a handful of days each month to give others a rest, or to cover for somebody's DL stint.

My name is Ozymandias/King of Kings;
Look on my works, ye mighty, and Despair!

Richmond gets what is (unbelievably!) their final off day of the season today, before finishing the year with 22 games over 21 consecutive days.

* * *

San Jose lost at Lancaster JetHawks (Astros), 9-4
losing their three game series, 1-2

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Jonah Arenado

1B

4

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

.267

.298

.437

T.J. Bennett

3B

4

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

.282

.347

.455

Ty Ross

C

3

1

3

1

0

0

1

1

0

.233

.298

.339

Robbie Garvey

LF

4

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

.259

.321

.348

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Austin Fleet (L, 0-1)

2.2

5

5

5

3

2

0

6.00

Dusten Knight

2.2

4

2

2

0

4

1

5.67

Pat Young

0.2

3

2

2

0

2

0

3.81

Dan Slania

1.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

1.29

Reyes Moronta

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

2.32

Unfortunately, it did most of it's carrying for the other team, though Jonah Arenado and TJ Bennett both hit solo HRs. For Arenado, it was his second HR in as many days, and it extended his hit streak to 11 games, the second time this year he's had an 11 game streak, which is tied for the team high (Ronnie Jebavy also had an 11 game streak). Arenado now has 14 HRs to go with his team high 32 doubles. Still struggling to get that OBP over .300 and make it stick but he's showing some power this year.

One streak that did not continue today:

Perhaps the burden of expectations, perhaps the promise of that 27 mph wind, perhaps just the law of averages, but in the event, Davis ended the streak with an 0 for 4 and 3 Ks.

Odd day on the mound in many respects, with vet Austin Fleet getting the spot start (and fairing quite poorly) and reliever-converted-to-starter Dan Slania being called on for an inning of relief.  Slania started on Thursday so I suppose this was his bullpen day, and blowing through the spot starter and two long relievers in the first six innings no doubt put the Giants in a bind. But it seems that every day brings a new indication of the org's problems just filling out all it's pitching staffs at this point in the 2016 season.

Thanks to the overall badness of their division, the Giants are still in the pole position for the Wild Card, but they're six games under .500 for the second half and trending in the wrong direction. And now they face a real challenge with the first place Blaze coming up this week:

* * *

Augusta beat the Lexington Legends (Royals), 7-5
sweeping their four game series, 4-0

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Jalen Miller

2B

3

2

2

0

1

0

1

1

0

.232

.276

.338

Dillon Dobson

3B

2

1

1

0

0

0

2

1

0

.272

.316

.475

Junior Arias

1B

4

1

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

.304

.354

.547

Jean Angomas

LF

4

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

.248

.292

.337

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Michael Connolly (W, 11-4)

5.2

7

3

1

3

6

0

2.32

Ryan Halstead (H, 5)

1.1

0

1

0

1

2

0

4.50

Connor Kaden (H, 4)

1.0

1

1

1

1

0

0

3.82

Everything's coming up Milhouse for the Greenjackets these days as they rolled to their 8th consecutive victory and their second consecutive series sweep, expanding their 1st place lead to 4.5 games. One of the leaders of this roll is Michael Connolly whose 5.2 inning, 3 Runs, 1 ER, 6 K effort was actually his most lackluster start in a month. Take a look at what Connolly's done over his last (now) 11 games:

Now our friend David Lee has expressed his opinion that Connolly's an "A ball ace" so we probably shouldn't get over-excited about the prospects of seeing him charge to SF any time soon, but he's certainly helping Augusta charge to the post-season, and that's not nothing.

Augusta played a little rope-a-dope yesterday, letting Lexington get out to a 3-0 lead in the 5th, but they came charging back in the middle innings, putting up 7 runs over the 5th and 6th. One of the leaders of their charge was, once again, Jalen Miller, who's having a very encouraging August (.297/.409/.622). Miller reached base four times yesterday, on two hits, a walk, and a HBP, and stole his 10th base of the year. Miller provided the ultimate winning runs when he tripled in Seth Harrison and then came in himself on a Dillon Dobson Sac Fly.

With the Legends swept out of town, the Greenjackets gear up for a huge series:

* * *

Salem-Keizer lost at Everett Aqua-Sox (Mariners), 6-5

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Manuel Geraldo

3B

5

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

.295

.323

.367

Heath Quinn

RF

5

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

4

.331

.411

.522

Ryan Howard

SS

5

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

.263

.294

.359

Kevin Rivera

2B

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.311

.356

.428

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Raffi Vizcaino

5.0

6

3

3

3

1

0

5.02

Patrick Ruotolo (BS, 1)(L, 1-1)

0.2

2

2

2

1

0

0

1.29

RHP Patrick Ruotolo picked a rough time to surrender the first ER of his professional career yesterday. The 5'10" 27th round pick out of UConn, had been nothing short of sensational in his debut, having allowed just 1 unearned run over 18.1 innings prior to yesterday with a sensational 34 Ks (including 27 Ks in 13.1 IP in the NWL). But after five consecutive appearances in which Ruotolo had K'd at least 3 batters, including three times striking out every batter he faced, he didn't seem to have his regular stuff last night, striking out none of the five batters he faced, and allowing two hits for the first time since his NWL debut more than a month ago. One of those hits was a two-out, two-run walk off double to lose the game.

What made Ruotolo's blown save all the more painful was that the Volcanoes had just staged their own dramatic comeback moments before. Down to their final out of the game with nobody on base, Gio Brusa drew a walk and was doubled home to tie the game by Ryan Howard. A Ryan Kirby single gave them, ever so briefly, the 9th inning lead and dreams of victory.

The charge of Manuel Geraldo continues! With three more hits the 19 year old now has multi-hit efforts in six of his past seven games, raising his batting average 30 points in a week. Geraldo is 15 for 34 on the week with just 5 Ks. He's also stolen 3 bases in that time.

Geraldo's boom and bust cycles mostly contrast with the steady breakout season that All Star 2b Kevin Rivera has had, but Rivera's been hot lately as well, hitting .351/.368/.595 in Augusta, a stretch that includes the first 2 HRs of his career. Rivera, who turned 20 in June, was the Giants 14th round pick in the 2014 draft, out of the Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico. The Giants have gone to the Puerto Rican HS well pretty regularly over the last few drafts with Johneshwy Fargas, Rayan Hernandez, Luis Lacen, Hector Santiago, and Jose Layer being other picks over the last four years. Rivera now has a 10 game hitting streak (which is obviously quite a long way from 50).

Continuing with our series of Inside the Dugout segments, here's Bill Harrington chatting with All Star catcher Joh Riley:

* * *

AZL Giants had their regular 5th day off

DSL Giants had their regular Sunday off

No game, but I can't leave without pointing out what a brilliant job of earnest ragging I managed with Francisco Medina. Just a day or so after pointing out how punchless he's been this season, Medina went 7 for 8 over the weekend with HRs on consecutive days, giving him 3 for the year! The two-game spree caused his SLG to go up more than 50 points. In a weekend!

Nicely done, Francisco! Let's see that swing.

* * *

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: Joan Gregorio vs. Jake Junis
Richmond: Off 
San Jose: Jordan Johnson vs. Tyler Pike 
Augusta: Off
Salem-Keizer: Victor Concepcion vs. TBD
AZL, DSL: TBD

Remember, every day with baseball is better than days with no baseball. It may not always feel that way, but it's true. I have scientific proof! Check out the look on this kid's face: