It took four days, but it’s finally time to open the 2017 season for the system’s #1 prospect.
HIGHLIGHTS: Tyler Beede allowed just 1 run in 6 IP; Kelby Tomlinson reached base 4x, scored three runs, and stole a base; Aramis Garcia had his second consecutive 3 hit game including his first HR of the year.
Tyler Beede had a strong AAA, and 2017, debut going 6 solid innings. Beede was an efficient, strike-throwing machine in this one. He breezed through the first three innings on just 31 pitches, with 20 being strikes. After the 4th the pitch count was just at 47, with 30 being strikes. It was something of a return to the San Jose version of Beede, as he kept the ball in the strike zone and mostly produced ground balls, while walking none and striking out 3. Let’s enjoy Tyler ending his day by striking out former spring training teammate Gordon Beckham.
All of Beede’s work came in a tight battle. When he threw his final pitch the game was tied at 1-1, though Sacramento edged ahead in the bottom of the 6th on a Kelby Tomlinson single, SB and an RBI single from Jae-Gyun Hwang. Tomlinson was sensational, reaching base in all four PA with three singles and a HBP. He scored three of the team’s 5 runs and along with #2 hitter Christian Arroyo, who also had three hits, provided most of the team’s offense.
The tight 2-1 game was blown open in the bottom of the 8th when Very Large Human Kyle Blanks, did a Very Large Human Thing.
A finally-healthy Blanks could be some real found money under the sofa cushions for the 2017 Giants.
Strong starting pitching, plenty of production from the top of the order, and solid relief work is an excellent recipe for victory, and the RiverCats had all three. Matt Reynolds, Kyle Crick, and Roberto Gomez threw three shutout innings to protect the lead. Crick was particularly impressive, striking out two of the three batters he faced and getting his AAA RP career off to a fine start.
Sacramento and Tacoma will finish off their series with a double-header tonight.
Richmond lost to Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 7-3
splitting their four game series, 2-2
|b- Chris Shaw||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100||.308||.400|
Cory Taylor’s 2017 debut didn’t go quite as well as Beede’s (Theme of the Day alert!), as he was knocked out in the 4th inning, after having surrendered 4 runs in the 3rd. Taylor allowed 8 of the 21 batters he faced to reach base, including two walks and a HB and he also let loose a WP. Taylor had particular trouble with Rockies #9 prospect Ryan McMahon, who doubled in both of his AB vs. Taylor. McMahon would complete his big day with a HR in the 9th.
After their big opening night explosion, Richmond hasn’t shown much offense in the opening series (of course, the classic “empty the bench” Sunday lineup didn’t help much!). But Miguel Gomez keeps on hitting. The new 2b had his second two-hit game of the weekend and is 5 for 13 on the year with 0 strikeouts (a rarity indeed around the system). Being Miguel, he also has 0 walks. Perhaps we should start a poll: when will Gomez have his first PA of the year in which he fails to put a ball in play?
As has become a Richmond tradition, this was a Sunday morning “Brunch and Baseball” game, which means the Squirrels were dressed out in their truly awful waffle unis.
Though on the (potentially, sorta, maybe-if-it-doesn’t-kill-you-first) bright side, it also meant fans could help themselves to one of these:
San Jose won at Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), 15-4
winning their four game series, 3-1
San Jose Bats
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211||.286||.211|
Following their opening night 16 inning loss, the Giants bashed their way to a big series win by scoring 32 runs over the final three games, picking up 42 hits in the three nights. In the series-ender, the Giants exploded for 15 runs, while giving their leadoff and #3 hitters (Jalen Miller and Bryan Reynolds) the day off.
Aramis Garcia led the way with his second consecutive three hit game which included his first HR of the year. That was one of three homers the Giants hit in this game over a four-inning stretch, as they kept the attack up throughout the night. San Jose scored in 7 of their 9 at bats in cruising to the big win. Ryan Howard hit the Giants first HR of the night and of the year, continuing an impressive opening series for the two-time Giants’ draftee.
Ryan Howard hits San Jose's first home run of the season. Howard having an excellent opening series: 7-for-20 w/4 RBI's. 5th rounder last yr— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 9, 2017
They got great production from the bottom of the order, where Michael Bernal got a rare start and produced three hits, and 9th place hitter Joheshwy Fargas chipped in with a double and a triple.
Aside from a rough 0.3 IP from former A’s prospect Yordy Cabrera, the rest of the staff was solid, with the four other pitchers allowing just 1 run on 7 hits. In an interesting move late in the game, Opening Day starter Mark Reyes came in and threw an innning. One presumes this is still a little fall out from the 16 inning affair opening night, and the coaching staff took advantage of the veteran Reyes’ day to throw on the side.
You can listen to Pitching Coach Mike Couchee discuss the staff with Joe Ritzo here:
Augusta lost at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 6-0
getting swept in their four game series, 0-4
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.188||.235||.250|
Time for some heat!
Throwing efficiency: Melvin Adon. Nothing happens until after foot plant. Then 100 MPH "stuff". No bending forwards. Rotation = Velocity. pic.twitter.com/mBlE48KgNS— Paul Nyman (@setprosports) March 28, 2017
Alas, Melvin Adon’s 2017 debut wasn’t quite as successful as Beede’s either (call-back on the Theme of the Day!). Adon worked his way quickly through the first before falling apart completely in the 2nd inning when he threw just 8 of 28 pitches for strikes, nearly all fastballs. Adon’s wildness continued a mighty troubling trend to start the year for Augusta pitching as they issued an astonishing 33 walks over the 4 game opening series. Twice in the series, Augusta hitters had fewer total baserunners than their pitching staff gave out in free passes alone.
In this one they were shut down by the Mets #14 prospect, Merandy Gonzalez, who really shoved it at them with a high velocity fastball, striking out 6 over 6 shutout innings.
It perhaps will come as little surprise then, that the Greenjackets are still winless. They had three hits in this game; Columbia had two different innings in which the score three runs. Not a recipe for success.
And ok-fine, dammit, this happened again.
All in all, it was a miserable opening weekend for the Jackets. I’m sure everyone back home enjoyed hosting the Masters tournament though, so if you’re gonna stink, this was a good weekend to do it without any of the home town fans noticing. Still, pick it up guys, how ‘bout?
Well, we must find our pleasures where they present themselves, so let us at least enjoy a Sandro Fabian double before forgetting that this series ever happened. Sandro loves him some high fastballs!
Sacramento: Ricky Romero vs. Ryan Weber and TBD vs. Chase DeJong
Richmond: Matt Gage vs. Tanner Anderson
San Jose: Matt Krook vs. Craig Schlitter
Augusta: Caleb Baragar vs. Nick Nelson
Final Note: Baseball America has their annual “Youngest Players at each Level” out and as always it’s a fun read. Christian Arroyo and Jalen Miller make the lists this year, while Sandro Fabian just falls short as the 11th youngest player in the Sally. If you want to feel angsty about the competition, you might take note that there’s a lot of Dodgers on these lists, and there’s one who’s just off the perimeter: Julio Urias, who the Dodgers have more or less stashed on the Rancho Cucamonga roster for a bit in an effort to monitor his innings, is the 11th youngest player officially on a Cal League roster. Unbelievable!