So this happened:
The PCL, by the by, is celebrating it’s 115th season of existence this year. It’s record have the test of time behind them. So when you nearing a PCL record, you’re really doing something.
Speaking of doing something:
HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando Calixte went off (see above!); nothing else really compares to that.
Dan Slania was so close to a clean outing. Following five straight games in which he’d surrendered at least 4 ER, he went to the mound in the bottom of the 6th protecting a 3-2 lead, having only allowed 2 hits on the afternoon. Good work Dan! But then he hit Brewers #1 prospect Lewis Brinson to open the 6th, and walked the next two batters to load the bases, and reliever Roberto Gomez cashed them all in when he surrendered a Grand Slam. Just like that the RiverCats were suddenly down 6-3, Slania’s line was ruined, and the road trip looked like it was headed for a downer of a beginning.
And then a funny thing happened: Sacramento hitters stopped making outs. For a LONG time. Juan Ciriaco was the 8th batter for Sacramento in the top of the 7th and he made the first out. It was a Sac Fly that brought in 6th run of the inning. The experience was so distasteful that it would take six more RiverCat batters before the next out was recorded.
The total list of accomplishments:
6 batters reached base safely twice in the inning
2 batters (Calixte and Slater) had two hits
1 batter (sorry Juan Ciriaco) recorded two outs
Yep. That was an inning. Austin Slater doubled twice in the inning and drove in four runs. Calixte, who hit two HRs in the game among his five hits, limited himself to just a single and double in the big frame. The one HR, which brought in the 11th, 12th, and 13th runs of the frame came off the bat of Chris Marrero, who is finding AAA much more agreeable than the NL was to him. Let’s take a moment to feel the pain of the lonely play by play man, carrying the reminders of every bat that laid him out or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame: “When will it end? My goodness!”
@rog61 I was at the game today - I don't know the full distances, but I'd guess he hit 900 feet worth of HR. And the wind was slightly blowing in!— Ken Cupples (@KennyCupp) May 11, 2017
But the star of the day was clearly Calixte, the surprise leader in most offensive categories for the RiverCats. Calixte ended the day with 12 Total Bases, 4 RBI, and 4 Runs scored. Both his HRs were hit to CF (or right of CF) showing off some serious power for the lithe MI. Calixte is up to 6 HRs and 9 SB and if he stays in Sacramento for some extended time could be looking at a 20/20 season or better. His career high in HRs is just 14, but he’s never got to spend a summer in the PCL before. Here’s to you, Orlando! Have a day:
Just maybe... he won’t stick around long enough to have a great PCL campaign though. Just maybe those skills will be displayed elsewhere.
So a pretty productive start to the road trip. Let’s see if the Cats can get a little positive momentum built up here, or if they’ll go out tonight and lose 1-0.
On a cold, rainy night in Maryland, the Flying Squirrels got off to a slightly less productive start on the road. Things looked good when Hunter Cole kick-started things with a solo HR in the top of the 1st, but starter Matt Lujan had his own mini-nightmare inning, allowing 7 hits and 5 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Lujan would pull it together and pitch well after that, allowing just three more hits over 5 scoreless innings, but the damage but was done.
Richmond managed 9 hits in the game, including two-hit games from both the 8 and 9 hitters in the order, along with 6 walks. But they struggled to get all that traffic to find the off ramp to home plate, going just 1 for 9 with RISP. Several times they were in a position where a hit could put them right back in the game. But timing is everything. Hunter Cole, who has been so hot lately, came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the 6th inning, and K’d to leave the Squirrels last, best opportunity squandered. If only you could choose when to hit your home runs.
On the Chris Shaw watch, he played his third consecutive game in LF (the first time he’s done that so far) and singled and walked. He did strike out though, keeping his K/BB ratio at a perfectly symmetrical 17: 17.
Miguel Gomez picked up two more hits, his 7th multi-hit game in the last 12, taking the team lead in batting average back from Shaw. That included his 7th double of the year.
San Jose beat Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers), 3-2
losing their four game series, 1-3
San Jose Bats
The Giants staved off the 4 game sweep at the hands of the Quakes thanks to a terrific start from the mainstay of their rotation thus far, Michael Connolly. Connolly went 8 masterful innings and was rarely in trouble. His lone stumble came in the 4th when he walked two of the first three batters. His defense then betrayed him a bit as runs would score on a PB from Matt Winn and a two-error play from 2b Dillon Dobson which tied the game at 2-2. But when you’re a pitch to contact guy like Connolly your fate is tied to the defense behind you for good or bad. It’s been mostly good for Connolly in 2017.
Connolly's outing tonight matched the longest start of his pro career. Lowered ERA to 1.78 - third in Cal League. 6 BB/29 SO in 35 1/3 IP.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) May 12, 2017
San Jose has slowed down a bit on its early season HR rate. They’ve dropped to second in the league (behind these Quakes) with 31 on the year. But it was two early solo shots that staked Connolly to the lead. The first came from Cal League vet Daniel Carbonell, who’s been heating up of late:
The second came from a much more surprising source. Johneshwy Fargas gets most of his highlights on Minor Lines from his defensive exploits, but he muscled up here, hunting a 2-0 fastball and doing it some damage.
But the game winning hit? It went slightly .... less far. Jalen Miller didn’t exactly put a jolt into this ball, but his speed put the pressure on and pressure leads to mistakes sometimes.
So San Jose sneaks away with a 2-5 record on the year versus the Quakes and now host the Inland Empire 66ers. The 66ers’ record is just one game better than the Giants, which gives San Jose an opportunity to escape the worst record in the Cal League with a successful series. Goals!
You can hear Joe Ritzo and Justin Alligheri’s thoughts on the season thus far (spoiler: it hasn’t gone well!) on the latest Inside the San Jose Giants podcast:
|Frandy De La Rosa||1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||.243|
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||.357|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||.196|
The Greenjackets were the third team in the system to start their scoring off with a solo HR, as Jacob Heyward joined Kelvin Beltre at the team lead with his 4th. Heyward has been making a little better contact lately, but he still has almost a 50% Three True Outcome rate on the year as 49 of his 102 PA have resulted in HRs (4), Ks (33), or BBs (12).
Unfortunately for Augusta, there wasn’t much punch in their offense to follow that opening shot as they managed just three more hits on the night (along with 4 walks). Back to back doubles from Beltre and Skyler Ewing would help them plate two more runs in the 4th, but they’d only manage one more hit the rest of the game (a Sandro Fabian single) while striking out 9 times (including four of their final five batters).
Following a stretch of winning baseball, the Greenjackets have fallen into another sustained slide, going 1-9 over the last 10 games. At 11-22 they have the worst record in the 16-team Sally, joining their colleages in San Jose and San Francisco. Sacramento, with a .394 winning percentage is 1 game away from the worst record in the 16-team PCL. Richmond at 13-19 (.406 winning percentage) is the standard bearer for the system. They’re in last place in their six-team division, but there’s two teams with a worse record than them in the league, and the Squirrels are a ginormous 2.5 games above the EL’s worst record.
Now I feel like the Colorado Springs announcer. My goodness! When will it end!
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: TBD vs. Paolo Espino
Richmond: Corey Taylor vs. Tanner Scott
San Jose: Heath Slatton vs. TBD
Augusta: Melvin Adon vs. Chris Comito
Melvin Adon looks to bounce back from his rough start, while Heath Slatton is hoping to build off of his brilliant one. And Sacramento’s rotation has entered what appears to be a prolonged stretch of TBD as they scratch for available arms.
Finally, a reminder that baseballing is hard, and a gentle good humor will always stand you in good stead. Nicely done, Tyler Eppler!
Honored to be named the new number 1 prospect in baseball! But confused as to why they chose a video of me giving up a hit??.... https://t.co/bDgrhJtZZE— Tyler Eppler (@TylerEppler36) May 12, 2017