Yesterday was #SJGiants longest game since playing 18 innings on May 16, 2011. Brandon Crawford played all 18 at short that night at Muni.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 8, 2017
Following a tough and very long loss in their opener, San Jose got things turned around in a big way last night. Ironically, it was the rest of the system that snoozed their way through Friday’s games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Bryan Reynolds and Ryan Howard each collected three hits.
The famously rainy city of Sacramento, CA has had a tough time getting baseball going this season. Last night they tried to take the field, but rains returned to put them in a two-hour rain delay in the bottom of the first before calling it. In the VERY brief action, Kelby Tomlinson and Jae-Gyun Hwang both singled and stole 2nd, but that was all the baseball they had at Raley Field last night.
They’ll make another effort to get the season started today. Because Chris Stratton got in an inning of work before last night’s deluge, it’ll be Clayton Blackburn hopefully starting the “opener” tonight.
Hartford returned the favor for Richmond as the two have now traded one-sided losses. Richmond’s offense snoozed through Game 2, as they managed just five hits, with TJ Bennett’s double being their only XBH. They also had two walks and Chris Shaw’s HBP, but their traffic on the bases was so light that the team had just three PA with a runner in scoring position all night, and one of those was an Andrew Suarez sac bunt.
TJ Bennett doesn’t receive a lot of prospect love but the undrafted former Indy League player has been a nice addition to the Giants’ org since being signed out of a stint in the Australian Baseball League. Bennett can play all over the infield passably and has a nice left-handed power swing. His career is a tribute to persistence. He played at three different colleges (Oral Roberts, Mesa CC, and Utah), three Indy league teams (the Gateway Grizzlies, Joplin, and Schaumburg, IL) and Australia before finally landing a pro contract. TJ, this one’s for you!
Andrew Suarez’ season debut was a little on the rocky side. He surrendered a home run to the second hitter he saw on the night, the Yard Goats’ Ashley Graeter, who would pick up four hits on the night. He skirted through the second and third before a leadoff double led to another run in the 4th. And then he failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the 5th (albeit the first reached on an error), all of whom would eventually score off Matt Lujan’s relief work.
With highlights few to be found on the evening, how about a well-executed rundown?
That rundown helped salvage Tyler Cyr’s AA debut. And speaking of Tyler, you may be interested to know that he is NOT an astronaut! John O’Conner explains in this fun piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch
San Jose Bats
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||5||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.300|
If San Jose hitters had any hangover from Thursday night’s 16 inning opener, it sure didn’t show up in the batters’ box. They overwhelmed 66ers pitching with 16 hits and five walks on the night. Fifteen of the hits were singles as they performed the Death by 1,000 Papercuts dance. Jalen Miller’s double was the team’s only XBH.
Bryan Reynolds was on base five times in seven plate appearances last night in his reg season Cal League debut (3-for-5, 3 singles, BB, HBP)— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 8, 2017
Reynolds continued his hot start in Game 2 with his second consecutive three-hit night. The CF is now 6 for 10 on the season (all singles) and has reached base eight times. In all, every hitter in the Giants order reached base at least twice last night, a rare feat! Gio Brusa was the only member of the lineup who failed to record a hit but he walked twice to help keep the train moving. The Giants scored in five of their nine At Bats.
#SJGiants bullpen worked 11 2/3 innings last night and allowed only 2 runs. New closer Dylan Rheault w/2 perfect innings in SF org debut.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 8, 2017
After having to absorb 11.12 innings the previous night, San Jose’s bullpen once again had to do some heavy work as starter Jake McCasland managed just four innings of his own. Yordy Cabrera, Dylan Rheault and Ryan Halstead all came back to work their second consecutive game after throwing 2 innings Thursday. In all the pen has now surrendered just three runs over 15.2 IP. Joe mentions that Rheault has been named the team’s closer, though he pitched the 8th inning last night with a 7-run lead, though it’s hard to get much of a read on bullpen usage a night after a 16 inning affair.
You can listen to new manager Nester Rojas talk about his new team with Joe Ritzo on the pre-game show here.
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.222|
The Greenjackets have gotten off to a rough start in their first couple of games. Last night Augusta was bushwhacked in pretty much every phase of the game. Their offense managed just three singles and four walks while striking out 13 times. Jacob Heyward, expected to be a big middle-of-the-order bat has had particularly tough go of it in his first two games, as he’s failed to put a ball in play over his first 9 PA (5 Ks, 4 BBs).
Meanwhile their pitchers were putting people on base at roughly this pace:
The final totals were 11 hits and 8 walks, with Alex Bostic being particularly generous with the free passes, walking four in less than three innings of work.
Is there anything else to say about this? Oh yeah, they also allowed 5 SBs to the Fireflies. Yeesh! Turn the page please.
On a final note, while Dominic Mazza didn’t have much success on the field last night, his specific failure gained him a few minutes of notoriety, as he was invited onto the Dan Patrick show to discuss... well you know:
Sacramento: Clayton Blackburn vs. Chris Heston
Richmond: Sam Coonrod vs. Yency Almonte
San Jose: Conner Menez vs. Jose Rodriguez
Augusta: Cameron Avila-Leeper vs. Gabriel Llanes
The sentimental appeal here goes to the RiverCats game where former teammates Blackburn and Heston face off (hopefully). The best prospect matchup is in Richmond where the Giants’ #11 prospect (by BA) goes up against the Rockies #17 prospect. In Augusta, Cameron Avila-Leeper makes the first start of his pro career. Avila-Leeper, the Giants’ 17th round pick in 2015 (out of San Joaquin Delta JC) had TJ surgery almost immediately after signing and has missed most of the last two years, pitching just 3 innings in the AZL last year. Cameron’s a small lefty (listed at just 5’11” 150 lbs) but he dominated California JC ranks in his draft year, leading the state in wins (14) and strikeouts (130 in 114 IP). Very exciting to finally see him on the mound.
See you at the ballpark, everybody! Have a great weekend!