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SF Giants Minor Lines, 4/6/17

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Richmond overwhelmed the Yard Goats though victory was hard to find elsewhere in the system.

You said it, Chris! The excitement, the pageantry, David Justice throwing out the first pitch. There's nothing like Opening Night.

And how did Chris celebrate?

HIGHLIGHTS: Dan Slania K'd 8 over 6 innings; Bryan Reynolds reached base 4 times. Sandro Fabian knocked in three runs.

* * *

Sacramento's opener vs. Tacoma was rained out

Wouldn't you know it? With storms all over the eastern U.S. the only affiliate to miss out on Opening Night was Sacramento. They'll make up the postponement with a double-header on Monday.

* * *

Richmond beat the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 11-1

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

Slade Heathcott

CF

4

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.500

Brandon Bednar

SS

5

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.400

Miguel Gomez

2B

5

2

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

.400

Chris Shaw

1B

4

1

1

0

0

1

2

0

2

.250

Hunter Cole

RF

4

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

.250

Ryan Lollis

LF

4

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

.250

Matt Winn

C

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.250

T.J. Bennett

3B

4

1

1

0

1

0

2

0

1

.250

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Dan Slania (W, 1-0)

6.0

5

1

1

1

8

0

1.50

Christian Jones

2.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.00

Jordan Johnson

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.00

Chris Shaw wasted no time getting in the HR column, going deep on the very first pitch he saw for the season. Heck, let's see that again from a different view!

That was Shaw's only hit of the night, but his teammates provided a bunch more, exploding for 13 hits and 11 runs on the night. The top three hitters in the order, Slade Heathcott, Brandon Bednar, and Miguell Gomez (making his AA debut at 2b) all provided two hits, while TJ Bennett and Heath Cole both hit RBI triples. If there was a down note in the night's offensive performance, it might have been the team's 0 walk, 9 K balance as the lineup had their collective swinging shoes on for this one.

The onslaught was well more than enough to back a fantastic performance from starter Dan Slania who continues to be a better starter than he was in relief. Slania smothered the Yard Goats with 8 Ks in 6 innings, allowing just one run and walking away with the easy victory.

The final inning of the laugher provided a very interesting pitching note though, as erstwhile San Jose starter Jordan Johnson finished up the night with an effective inning of relief work.

That is the question alright! But just in case, I hearby retract my nomination of Johnson as the best starting pitching prospect in the Squirrels' rotation!

Final note: the game marked the Squirrels 9th consecutive opening day sell out, a remarkable achievement for a minor league club. The Giants have found themselves a great partner in the Richmond ownership group, which has done an amazing job of making themselves a part of the fabric of summer life in Richmond. And to give them their do, enjoy this great video piece that the Richmond Times-Dispatch made for the lid-lifter.

* * *

San Jose lost at Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), 4-3 in 16 innings

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

Jalen Miller

SS

6

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

2

.167

Ryan Howard

3B

7

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.143

Bryan Reynolds

CF

5

1

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

.600

Gio Brusa

LF

6

0

1

0

1

0

2

1

2

.167

Aramis Garcia

C

7

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

.143

Dillon Dobson

2B

7

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.143

Jose Vizcaino Jr.

DH

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

3

.200

Jonah Arenado

1B

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

.000

Johneshwy Fargas

RF

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA*

Mark Reyes

4.0

6

2

2

3

4

1

4.50

Yordy Cabrera

2.0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0.00

Caleb Simpson (BS, 1)

1.0

2

1

1

0

3

1

9.00

Ryan Halstead

2.0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0.00

Dylan Rheault

2.0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0.00

David Owen

3.0

2

0

0

2

2

0

0.00

Caleb Smith (L, 0-1)

1.2

2

1

1

3

0

0

5.40

Making up for Sacramento's cancellation, the Li'l Giants played themselves two games worth. They didn't do a whole lot of scoring in either, however. All three of the Giants runs came in the 7th, and it took a lot of help from the 66ers to get them, as the Empire setup a rally for San Jose, allowing Jalen Miller to reach on a strikeout, Ryan Howard on a throwing error and Bryan Reynolds on a walk. That set up the one big blow for San Jose: Gio Brusa's two-run triple. Crucially, however, San Jose failed to bring Brusa in from 3b with 1 out and though they momentarily had the lead, that failure would haunt them for many hours through the long night.

Caleb Simpson would allow the tying run to score in the bottom of the inning, and Ryan Halstead escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the 9th.

Caleb Smith, the Giants 7th pitcher (and 2nd Caleb) of the night, would almost personally put the game to bed when he walked three batters in the 16th, including a two-out, bases loaded pass to end it. Thus ended a whole lot of opening night baseball.

Bryan Reynolds had a successful full-season debut, singling in each of his first three PA. Adding in a walk, Reynolds paced the San Jose squad by reaching four times on the night. His three hits were a third of the team total. 20 year old Jalen Miller not only got the promotion to the Cal League following his tough slog through the the Sally, he also made a move back to SS for the opener with former team USA SS Ryan Howard moving over to 3b in deference. The org is clearly convicted on Miller's abilities. Though he went just 1 for 6, Miller walked twice and including his K-WP reached base 4 times in the game. The two walks were hopefully a sign of better things from the lead off hitter this year: it was only the third time in his career that he had walked multiple times in a game and first since his rookie league AZL campaign in 2015.

Miller's move to SS allowed SJ another interesting lineup experiment, with the powerful Dillon Dobson playing 2b for this one. That's another move to keep an eye on.

* * *

Augusta lost at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 14-7

Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG*
Anthony Marks CF 4 1 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 .500
Sandro Fabian RF 5 0 2 1 0 0 3 0 2 .400
Ryan Kirby 1B 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .200
Jacob Heyward LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 .000
Manuel Geraldo 3B 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .400
Kelvin Beltre 2B 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .200
Brandon Van Horn SS 5 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 .200
Will Albertson C 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 .333
Kevin Rivera DH 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA*

Domenic Mazza (L, 0-1)

2.2

7

7

7

1

2

2

23.63

Matt Solter

2.1

2

1

1

2

4

0

3.86

Sandro Cabrera

1.0

3

3

0

1

2

0

0.00

Cesar Yanez

1.0

1

3

3

4

0

1

27.00

Jeff Burke

1.0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0.00

And speaking of getting Opening Night off to a rousing start, Dom Mazza helped set the hearts of ESPN executives a-flutter by serving up a 2nd inning HR to Tim Tebow (was ESPN on site to capture it, but of course they were) which began a forgettably short night for the veteran lefty. Mazza would allow another home run in the 3rd as a part of a 5-run explosion that ended his opener and began a rout for Columbia. Sandro Cabrera and Cesar Yanez each allowed Columbia to pile on with three-run innings. Cabrera had a particularly rough inning, as he not only allowed three hits and a walk, but he also threw a run-scoring WP and committed a throwing error. Also this happened, because... A ball:

But hey, he struck out Tebow!

After falling behind 7-0, the Greenjackets' offense momentarily roared to life in a five-run 4th inning that included five of the club's 11 hits for the night and a walk. The rally was punctuated by Sandro Fabian's two-out, two-run double, Fabian's first hit of the year.

Fabian would also figure in the middle of Augusta's other scoring rally, contributing  an RBI single in the two-run 8th. Is it time for the "he can hit!" label? Fabian apparently has a fan in Jalen Miller:

Augusta also got an excellent night from Anthony Marks, the undrafted FA who helped propel tiny Coastal Carolina to the College World Series' title last year. Marks had two hits, including a double, walked and stole his first base of the year. In all, the Greenjackets posted 11 hits and 6 walks on this very offensive night. They did strike out 12 times, including a hat-trick from cleanup hitter Jacob Heyward who had quite the two-true outcomes night, never putting a ball in play over five PA.

* * *

Today's Projected Starters:

Sacramento: Chris Stratton vs. Tony Zych
Richmond: Anthony Suarez vs. Jake Wynkoop
San Jose: Jake McCasland vs. Grayson Long
Augusta: DJ Myers vs. Jordan Humphreys

Myers inclusion in the rotation is slightly surprising, but Augusta's rotation is starting to come into focus. Possibly Mazza, Myers, Woods, Bostic, Adon?

As you plan for the weekend, if you're in the Sacramento area old friend Chris Heston is scheduled to start Saturday night's game vs. the RiverCats for Tacoma.

All in all it was a great way to start off another summer of minor lines. Light 'em up!