C’mon people! I’m on deadline here. Work with me a little bit.
Sigh. Well I can’t waste this gem from the Vegas series now that I’ve seen it:
HIGHLIGHTS: Christian Arroyo extends hitting streak to 11 games; Bryan Reynolds had three hits; Kelvin Beltre had two hits, a BB, and Sac Fly.
Christian Arroyo didn’t wait long to provide fans with a jolt of excitement in this game with this shot to RF in the 1st inning.
I’m reminded of a quote from a Giants’ official when Arroyo was in San Jose that he hits balls to RF harder than most of their LH pull hitters. Arroyo’s start to his AAA career couldn’t be going much better as he’s now 19 for 43, sporting a .442/.478/.651 line, and has just 4 Ks (none in the past week). If you close your eyes and listen really realllllly carefully, you can hear the drum beat starting:
Ayup, that’s the one! Bring Arroyo up and put him in LF, put him at 3b and move Nunez to LF, put him somewhere just bring him up! Of course, our fearless leader is thinking next level:
[quietly pre-writes post about Brandon Crawford playing left field]] https://t.co/nlDxGdsVUQ— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) April 19, 2017
The man’s a visionary.
Anyway, after the Arroyo HR the game got less and less interesting for RiverCats fans. Dan Slania is finding AAA a little tougher sledding than AA. For his second straight start with Sacramento, Slania allowed 4 ER in 5 or fewer innings, and for the second straight start he was a little loose with his control, walking 4 (matching a career high). He was putting guys away well enough, coming just one shy of a career high in Ks with 8, but the walks eventually bit him when Shane Robinson followed one of them with a 3 run HR that put the Bees ahead for good. SLC keep adding on, scoring in three of their four final ABs to salt the game away (hand to my heart, that pun came out completely unintentionally!).
The RiverCats bats stayed cold the entire night with just four hits over all. Even Arroyo ended up with one of his lesser nights of the year, reaching base just the one time. Ryder Jones continued his nice start with an RBI double but the rest of the order was quiet dropping Sacramento to 5-7 after their 4-1 start. Hopefully a Tyler Beede start tonight will help turn things back around.
And before we go, so long as the Bees are in town, take a look at this article on Eric Young, Jr. who picked up two more hits last night (you might need a hankie).
Man, it’s too bad Chris Shaw didn’t homer as well, or I could do the “drumbeat” bit again! Also, it seems that Richmond’s offense doesn’t perform so well when Shaw’s going O-fer, as he has in both of the first two games at Bowie. The Squirrels did manage eight hits (Slade Heathcott’s double being the only XBH) and two walks (both courtesy of Ryan Lollis). But they went 1 for 11 with RISP, continuing what’s been an April of offensive futility.
The Squirrels are last in the Eastern League in scoring with just 40 Runs in 12 games (Bowie actually leads the league, which would seem to make this series a one-sided match up). Richmond is also the league’s worst in batting average (.230) and OBP (.289) but, ha ha!, they are only next to last in SLG (.328). Tough way to win.
One of Jordan Johnson’s troubles last year was getting himself into big innings and not being able to get back out again. From that perspective last night was something of a glass half full/half empty night. For the most part Johnson’s evening was encouraging, as he mixed his full repertoire of pitches to last 7 quality innings, striking out 5. But he did once again run into a meltdown when he allowed the first five batters of the 3rd inning to reach base. The inning included a 3 run HR from “minor league leader of nearly every offensive category” Cedric Mullins as well as a walk and three singles. However, on the plus side, Johnson bowed his neck and got out of what could have been a much worse inning, retiring the final two hitters of the inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd. And he stuck it out for four more very effective innings. The only other run he allowed in the game resulted from a two-out Catcher’s interference call on Matt Winn.
So perhaps on the whole we can chalk this one up as a successful learning experience for Jordan. Reyes Moronta finished off the night with a “get your work in” inning. He surprisingly didn’t strike anyone out and even allowed a hit, but was efficient in retiring the side on 11 pitches and kept his near perfect AA campaign intact.
Offense, do better! Be more like this guy:
San Jose Bats
Oh, here I found our new LF! Mike Morse made his 2017 debut in LF last night for San Jose, walking, striking out, and lining out sharply to 3b in three PA. The walk was part of a big three-run rally in the bottom of the first, punctuated by another big hit from the Giants’ hottest hitter:
Garcia now leads the Cal League in RBI with 13 and is tied (with many including teammate Gio Brusa) for the league lead in HRs with 3. He’s also second in the league in SLG (.610) and OPS (.996). He’s had some struggles controlling the running game this year as teams have really run on the Giants, but he did get a pickoff in this game. I’m still calling Aramis as a May call-up for Richmond.
Two other Giants on the leader board are Bryan Reynolds and Ryan Howard, both (like Garcia) in the top 10 in the Cal League in batting average. The tandem once again led the offense in hits with Reynolds picking up his 4th three-hit game of the year (in just 9 played). Reynolds’ power hasn’t really shown up in the Cal yet as he has just three XBH among his 15 hits, but he’s continuing his trend of combining high BA and K%. Reynolds BABIP as a pro is over .400. It’ll be interesting to see how long he can keep elevated BABIPs as he rises through the ranks.
The pitching staff made those three 1st-inning runs hold up, despite a “dance with danger” outing from starter Matt Krook who still shows no sign of corralling his command. Krook now has 9 walks in 5.2 IP this year. He did have some strikeout stuff working which helped him navigate some of the trouble spots. The biggest crisis came in the 2nd, when an error from Dillon Dobson, two walks and a single resulted in a run in and bases loaded. But Krook got a groundball to end the inning and wasn’t seriously threatened after that even with the free passes.
Bryan Morris' first appearance of the season: A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning. Struck out one. FB was 93-94. Returning from a foot fracture.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 19, 2017
The bullpen locked it down after that with Carlos Diaz, Caleb Simpson, and Ryan Halstead K’ing 6 over their four innings of work. Bryan Morris also made his first appearance of the year a successful one. Morris could be a valuable arm for the Giants’ pen this year once he gets healthy.
Before we leave, for folks in other parts of the state who might want to take in a Cal League game, the Visalia Times-Delta has a nice rundown of the best talents to see around the league:
Cal League Notebook: Your 2017 prospects-to-watch guide https://t.co/TfhnBlk1I2— VTD Sports (@VTD_Sports) April 15, 2017
|Frandy De La Rosa||2B||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||.162|
Last week, Charleston’s fire-breathing youngster Albert Abreu thoroughly dominated Augusta, but on a drizzly Georgia night the Greenjackets were able to hold their own against him in a second look. That was particularly true of Kelvin Beltre, who tripled off of Abreu in the 1st and later drove in a pair of runs with a single and a Sac Fly. The Sac Fly proved to be the game winner. Augusta’s other run scored on a Sandro Fabian K/WP.
It wasn’t exactly an offensive explosion for the bat-challenged Greenjackets but at 4-9 any win is a pretty one. Augusta managed just six hits but were aided by three walks and two HB. Newcomer Frandy de la Rosa had a much better second game. After picking up a hat trick in his debut, he reached base three times last night with a walk, a single, and a triple. Ironically, neither of Augusta’s two triples figured at all in the scoring.
Cameron Avila-Leeper picked up his first professional win in relief. After walking 7 batters and striking out 0 over his first two appearances (4 IP), Avila-Leeper flipped the ratio last night striking out 3 and walking 0. The diminutive lefty is likely better suited in relief where he’s been used his last two times out.
Patrick Ruotolo continued his march to perfection in picking up the save. He still has not allowed either a hit or a walk this year in 5.2 IP.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Beede vs. Troy Scribner
Richmond: Matt Lujan vs. John Means
San Jose: Heath Slatton vs. Nick Baker; Mark Reyes vs. Joel Payamps
Augusta: DJ Myers vs. Freicer Perez
Beede hopes to leave his troubles in the Rocky Mountain states in his third start of the season. And while we’re waiting for baseball to begin today, why not listen to the latest installment of “Inside the San Jose Giants?” See you everybody!
New Inside The San Jose Giants podcast episode with special guests Gio Brusa and President/CEO Dan Orum! Listen: https://t.co/MvO8U52g78— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) April 18, 2017