Only two games last night, so we have a short Minor Lines today. Let’s start with a little spotlight on defense. Johneshwy Fargas has struggled to hit in the Cal League in two tries, but that never stops him from giving his all on the defensive side. Here he is, trying to make a spectacular catch when LF Gio Brusa couldn’t pick up a fly ball, and failing that, he shows off his gun recording one of his two OF assists on the night. Way to work, Johneshwy!
HIGHLIGHTS: Joan Gregorio struck out 7 and lowered his ERA to 1.95; Johneshwy Fargas picked up two hits, stole a base and threw out two baserunners.
Sacramento won at Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 6-5
losing their 5 game series, 1-4
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Seems I was a tad over-eager in declaring a four game sweep yesterday! (Stupid AAA five-game series). By the 9th inning of last night’s game, the Rainiers might have been anticipating a five-game sweep as they tagged Kyle Crick with a big four-run rally in the bottom of the 8th to take a 5-2 lead. But the RiverCats showed some fight and came right back with four more in the top of the 9th to sneak out of town with a victory.
Ryder Jones hit a long, well placed fly down the LF line to bring in the first two runs, and then new Rivercat Chris Marrero stepped up with a chance to tie.
Sacramento would ultimately load the bases with two outs and then Nick Hagadone came in to try to preserve the tie. Though a ball was never put in play vs. Hagadone, his appearance saw a lot of action nevertheless!
Personally I think Slater needs a Replay Review there.
All of the late game frenzy obscured another strong pitching performance from starter Joan Gregorio. Gregorio allowed just one unearned run on two hits over 5.1 IP to lower his 2017 ERA down to 1.95. He also set his season high with 7 Ks. The one flaw in Gregorio’s night was a high pitch count and tendency toward free bases, as he allowed four walks. And in general, that’s been the one thing you can point to with Joan’s season so far as an issue. He’s now walked 15 batters in 27.2 IP (vs. 23 Ks). Apparently he’s adopting Sam Coonrod’s 2016 approach: iffy peripherals, few runs!
Last year Gregorio featured a 5.28 ERA in the PCL, largely on the back on his high HR rate, as he allowed 13 in just 107 IP. This year he’s keeping the ball in the park (1 solo HR).
It’s always nice to see guys do well against the toughest competition and that was true of Gregorio last night. He was particularly effective against the Mariners #2 prospect Tyler O’Neill, who he punched out three times in just 5 innings!
The RiverCats actually outhit Tacoma in this game 15-5, but the Rainiers benefitted from six walks issued by Sacramento pitchers, including two from Crick in his first real blow up of the season.
Richmond’s scheduled game in Altoona was cancelled due to rain.
No makeup date has been announced yet.
San Jose Bats
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#SJGiants finish April with a team ERA of 4.78 - seventh in Cal League (starters 6.23, relievers 3.50).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) May 2, 2017
It’s becoming a sadly familiar story in San Jose this spring: starting pitcher gets the team down big early, offense can’t get them back in the game. Veteran lefty Mark Reyes continued the trend by giving up 5 runs before the Giants had even come to bat in a disastrous opening. Before Reyes collected an out in this game he’d already surrendered four hits (including two doubles), walked a batter, hit a batter, and thrown a wild pitch. Not the way to set a tone, Mark.
Because the Giants are desperate at this point for innings from their rotation, however, it was Reyes’ game to do with what he would and to his credit, once he staggered through the first he settled down nicely over his final five, limiting the Nuts to just one more run. But the damage was done. The bullpen on this team is doing a nice job; but it’s been near impossible to get to them without the team being down already.
San Jose batters did pick up 10 hits in this game, though nine of them were singles and they added no walks. They had just 5 PA in the game with a runner in scoring position. By and large their offensive excitement for the game came on just this one swing of the bat:
That gave Howard a 9-game hitting streak. The 5th rounder from Missouri and former Team USA SS has been having an excellent Cal league so far, continuing in the Matt Duffy/CJ Hinojosa tradition for the Giants of lower drafted MI excelling in the Cal and earning quick promotion? He’s currently slashing .320/.340/.433. You could look askance at his free-swinging ways (1 BB in 97 ABs) but such was the case with Duffy and Slater and a few others in the Cal league. There’s time to shore that up. Howard’s also shown solid contact ability with just 12 Ks (12%).
The Giants offense has really sputtered since losing Aramis Garcia. Come back soon, Aramis!
Augusta had a scheduled travel day.
They begin a series in Kannapolis tonight
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Roberto Gomez vs. Brian Holmes
Richmond: Matt Gage vs. JT Brubaker
San Jose: Jake McCasland vs. Nick Neidert
Augusta: Domenic Mazza vs. Bernardo Flores
There’s far too many nights these days when the Giants fail to send a single legitimate pitching prospect to the mound to starter a game. In fact, it feels like the days when they have any real starter prospects slated to go are the exceptions. I’d expect the top of the draft next month to be pitching heavy and try to replenish the lack of power arms. It’s really incredible how thin the SP inventory is right now in the org.
But on a fun note, it’s Johnny Vandermeer Day! Domenic Mazza tries to repeat perfection against the Intimidators. Go get ‘em Dom! (and seriously, let’s get this kid to SJ, that rotation is desperate).