With Melvin Adon and Sam Coonrod set to go it seems like we had a good chance for a nice display of power pitching. So who rules the night’s pitching lines?
Tremendous start for Heath Slatton tonight. Career-high 10 strikeouts in 5 innings with just 1 run allowed (5 H, 2 BB).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) May 6, 2017
That would be Heath Slatton! Former reliever pressed into starting duty who in five previous starts this year had only lasted more than 2 innings one time and had surrendered 20 runs in just 9.2 IP. Go figure! Double digit strikeout performance #2 turned out to be even more surprising than #1!
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw reaches base in all 3 PA with a HR; Aramis Garcia hit a HR and two doubles; Heath Slatton K’d 10 batters in 5 IP.
Sacramento lost at Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), 5-1
splitting their four game series, 2-2
Dan Slania hasn’t found 2017 quite as easy going as he did 2016. His ERA stands at an ugly 8.75 as he’s now allowed at least 4 ER in each of his last five starts (following an outstanding debut). He’s averaging an incredible two baserunners per inning for the year. He has K’d 31 batters in 29.2 IP though that’s bolstered by two 8 K performances in his first three starts.
Orlando Calixte picked up a double, the only XBH among Sacramento’s 7 hits in the game. Really the only time the team got much of anything going was in the 4th when they opened with back to back singles. But that led to this crazy play, in which Astros 2b Tony Kemp showed off some serious athleticism, and Jae-Gyun Hwang has some real explaining to do regarding his baserunning decisions.
Cats are back home tonight to take on Reno.
Richmond Bats 1
Richmond Bats 2
An admission: I always include the Batting Averages in the tables but not other slash line info. Why do I do this? Is it because I think the average is particularly meaningful? No it is not. It’s because I’m lazy! Averages are included in the Box scores, OBP is not. Despite the fact that I’d really like to include at least OBP if not SLG, the extra half hour or so that it takes clicking on each player page and collecting the data stops me. Sorry (but you can click the player pages, they’re all linked in the tables!).
I bring this up as this habit has probably prevented some of you from noticing how good a season Chris Shaw is having. His average is hanging around the .250-.270 range and it’s probably pretty easy to give a look, snort, and dismiss. But that would be wrong, because Chris Shaw is making some major major improvements on his first go round of the EL.
The showy part of last night is that he bombed one out into the Richmond parking lot in the 1st inning. No small feat on any day, but particularly not on a cooly, windy, stormy Richmond evening.
The less showy part came in his third PA, when he completed a perfect night at the plate by drawing a walk. That’s Shaw’s 15th walk of the season. Coincidentally, he also has 15 strikeouts this year. Last year, in his first go round with AA, Shaw sported a 21.5% K rate and a shade below an 8% BB rate in 256 PA. Now with 100 PA in 2017 (right about the range that we’re told K and BB rates begin to be meaningful), he’s nearly doubled the BB rate and shaved the K rate significantly so that they both sit right about 15%. That’s elite walk rate and for a power hitter a very handsome K rate. And with control of the strikezone he’s boosted his Iso up to a current rate of .222. In other words, Shaw is doing exactly what he should be doing on a second run at AA: improving his offense in nearly every area. So let’s not stop at the average, because that .284/.408/.506 line is plenty pretty when you get the whole thing!
Sam Coonrod’s shown mostly excellent control in 2017, but that was decidedly not the case last night, as he lost his release point entirely and was all over the place. He walked a season high 3, hit a batter, threw a WP, and at one point in the hairy 5th inning when the game just almost got away from him he was actually throwing more balls than strikes in the game. And for what was in every way his worst outing of the year, what was Sam’s reward? His first Win of the year! Yeah.
As for the second game: it was definitely played and that’s about all we need to say of it (other than maybe poor Luis Pino is really having his lunch money stolen by the bullies in AA). Tyler Horan, who recently came off the DL, played both halves of the double header and collected three hits in all, including a double and triple.
San Jose Bats
Pretty danged incredible! Here were Heath Slatton’s game results for the year entering last night’s game:
Not, in my humble opinion, terribly encouraging! And so, of course, he goes out last night and blows through 5 innings, striking out 10 of the 23 batters he faced. Slatton’s previous career high in Ks was 4. Wow! Now we really do have to establish a pool for who the next 10 K game will be. Matt Lujan? Roberto Gomez? Crazy!
Slatton’s 5 innings helped the Giants jump out to a big 7-1 lead, and although some of the relief work was a bit dicey last night, Ryan Halstead calmed things down by striking out two in the 9th to save it.
The Giants offense was extremely efficient last night, plating 8 runs on just 9 hits. In part that was because they also were the beneficiaries of 8 walks! And in part, it was because the hits they did get had some thunder in them. Six of their nine hits went for extra bases with Aramis Garcia having the big bat. Making his first pro appearance at 1b (still not cleared to catch just yet as the Giants are being conservative with his concussion), Garcia wasn’t showing any ill effects in the batter’s box, as he knocked out his 5th HR along with two doubles.
Garcia’s 5 HRs leads the Giants minor league systems. Only Christian Arroyo (who now has six across AAA/MLB) has more in the organization. And who would have guessed Arroyo as “early organizational HR leader” in the pool?
Garcia is slugging a robust .732 and were he qualified both his SLG and his OPS of 1.135 would lead the Cal League by far (the SLG is almost .150 points above league leader Will Smith). Ah, it’s a pretty swing, let’s watch it again:
Interesting final note: if you’re in the area on Tuesday and looking for something to do, you might want to consider seeing how the San Jose lineup looks against a big leaguer:
Roberts: Rich Hill expected to rejoin #Dodgers rotation after another rehab start Tuesday with Rancho Cucamonga.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 6, 2017
Rancho Cucamonga is in San Jose on Tuesday. https://t.co/EnZA7Nuo3t— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) May 6, 2017
|Frandy De La Rosa||DH||3||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||1||.240|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.209|
Well, Melvin, it’s this way:
After three straight scintillating outings Adon got his hat handed to him in this one. It was bad from the beginning as the first batter Adon faced took him deep for a leadoff HR. In the 2nd, Adon got into trouble and, like a lot of raw hard throwers, tried to get himself out of it by overthrowing. In addition to a few well placed singles, there was a walk a HB and two different run-scoring WP (there was also a PB mixed in as well, as Will Albertson struggled to reign in Adon’s offerings). By the time Adon’s night was over it was a quick 6-0 deficit.
Get ‘em tomorrow, Melvin. The same could be said of young Cameron Avila-Leeper, the lefty from San Joaquin Delta JC who blew up the 5th inning, allowing 7 runs without making it through the inning (9 runs would score in all in the frame). That was the second time this year that Avila-Leeper had allowed 7 runs and overall he’s had a rough entry to full season ball, allowing 22 ER so far in just 13.1 IP, striking out just 8 while walking 10.
Frandy de la Rosa provided most of what offense there was with a two-run HR and a Sac Fly. The HR was a classic left-handed swing over the imitation Green Monster in Greenville, just like Yaz used to do it!
And for the fun of it, let’s watch Kelvin Beltre’s triple as well, because how often do we get to see Beltre highlights?
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Beede vs. Frank Duncan
RIchmond: Cory Taylor vs David Hess
San Jose: Matt Krook vs AJ Puk
Augusta: Caleb Baragar vs. Michael Shawaryn
If anybody’s in the Stockton area the Krook/Puk promises to be entertaining. And of course, #1 prospect Tyler Beede should make for a very entertaining Saturday night at Raley Field. Let’s get a 10 K game from somebody a little less unexpected maybe?!?