This is actually from Saturday night, but let’s start off the week with a little defense, shall we? Courtesy of @Shawsome24:
There may have been a wee bit of lumber going on in that stride. Still, as Jason Parks used to say: #want!
HIGHLIGHTS: Joan Gregorio K’d 8 in 5 shutout innings; Mac Williamson went 3 for 4 with a double; Miguel Gomez went 3 for 5 with HR.
|a- Juan Ciriaco||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.246|
Joan Gregorio’s 2017 PCL campaign has in some ways been a mirror image of his 2016. Last year following his promotion to AAA, Gregorio posted terrific K rates (26%) but a bloated ERA (5.28) that was at least partially the result of elevated walks and a very high HR rate. This year, Gregorio has been limiting runs, but his K rate dropped through the floor (down to 18%). Interestingly, both his walk rate and his HR rate have actually increased this year, which is why his FIP (5.40) tends much closer to last year’s ERA than this year’s.
But yesterday, the big right had everything going for him. He struck out a season high 8 while issuing just 1 walk and throwing 5 scoreless innings. Most impressively, all 8 of Gregorio’s strikeouts were swinging, so it’s not like he was benefitting from a generous home plate ump. He was just generating a lot of swings and misses. Check him out here, going up against former big league vet Ryan Hanigan who he makes look absolutely foolish, getting three swing throughs on the way to the K.
LHP Michael Roth, fresh off the DL with blister issues, made his first relief appearance since April, going the rest of the way for the shutout.
On the other side of the ball, the River Cats offense struggled to do much to support Gregorio. The lone exception was Mac Williamson, who enjoyed a three-hit day, including the team’s only XBH. That was a double leading off the 2nd inning and it led directly to the only run of the game. Mac came home on Juniel Querecuto’s medium deep fly ball. And Mac showed some nice athleticism getting into home on a close play.
This was only the second shutout for the River Cats this season, with the last one coming all the way back on April 10. It was also the first time all season the River Cats have won a game when scoring fewer than 3 runs. They’re just 2-21 for the year when scoring fewer than 4 runs. They are, however, a perfect 11-0 when scoring 7 or more runs. Not exactly built on dominant pitching, I guess you’d say.
Richmond won at Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 5-3
losing their three game series 1-2
Behold the amazing powers of Miguel Gomez, destroyer of balls:
Gomez and CJ Hinojosa both picked up three hits and scored twice to help Richmond avoid a three game sweep. In a rare start, Tyler Horan had the big swing of the bat, grounding a bases-clearing double past the 1b. That made the score 5-1 in the 3rd and the Squirrels coasted to victory, using four relievers to get through the final 3.2 innings.
Now I’ll bet some of you are thinking: it seems like Roger only shows highlights of Miguel Gomez’ HRs when he’s batting left-handed!
As Doug would say: “Thank you fictional audience member! You’re quite astute!” (sorry for stealing your bit, Doug!). In fact, I have only shown LH Miguel Gomez HRs this year, and there’s a very good reason for that. All 7 of Gomez’ HRs this year have been hit from the left side. In fact, if there’s any nit to be picked with Miguel’s offensive season (and I’m not really sure that there is), it’s that he has shown a decided platoon split this season:
Interestingly, he has 6 walks in 209 ABs as a LHH (against 28 Ks) and 6 walks in just 42 ABs as a RHH (against just 4 Ks). So, at least for this year, he’s been an even more extreme contact hitter RH, but shown a good deal less power, with just an .071 Iso.
San Jose lost to Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 5-2
getting swept in their four game series, 0-4
San Jose Bats
In the immortal words of T.S. Eliot:
this is how the first half ends
not with a bang but a whimper
San Jose trudged to the All Star break with yet another poor showing at the Muni, getting swept at home in a four game series against the Rawhide.
#SJGiants 30-40 in the first half. First time in 14 years San Jose finishes the first half in last place in the North Division.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 18, 2017
I know there are folks here who think W-L are meaningless in the minors, but I can’t help but note that the minor league champs that the Giants fielded in the 00s in Augusta, Salem-Keizer, and San Jose pretty directly preceded San Francisco’s success in the ‘10s and I don’t think that’s wholly co-incidental personally. Still, if you want a silver lining, Joe Ritzo’s got one for you:
Of note, the 2015 SJ team also went 30-40 in the first half... then went 42-28 in the second half, reached playoffs, went to Champ Series.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 18, 2017
Top SJ hitters after 1st half:— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 18, 2017
- Howard .325 AVG
- Reynolds .295 AVG, 3 HR
- Quinn .288 AVG, 8 HR
- Garcia .278 AVG, 8 HR
- Brusa 10 HR
On to the All Star game! Folks in the Visalia area may want to brave the surface of the sun temperatures and check out tonight’s HR derby.
Augusta lost Asheville Tourists (Rockies), 3-0
winning their three game series, 2-1
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.207|
|Frandy De La Rosa||1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.250|
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.212|
Oh yeah, more whimper. Augusta ended the 1st half with a pretty listless effort as well. I suppose I’ll repeat for the umpteenth time: it was hot this weekend! (I’m still recovering from my experience sitting in the sun stands in Baltimore Saturday afternoon; even Manny Machado’s brilliance had trouble cutting through the heat waves).
Anyhoo, Stephen Woods, Jr. gave it his best for Fathers’ Day, giving up just one run over 7 IP while striking out 6. Except for his one big hiccup on Memorial Day weekend when Woods, Jr. allowed 6 ER in just 1.1 IP, he’s had a very solid first half in the Sally this year. The BB numbers are still on the high side, but when he’s throwing strikes he’s been tough this year. Here was a note from Eric Longenhagen a few weeks back that sums up Woods’ first full season thus far pretty well:
Woods had stock-sinking control issues in college and continues to have rashes of wildness. But his control has glacially improved since his freshman year at Albany, and Woods has had stretches of competent strike-throwing this spring. He touches 94, will flash a plus curveball, and is at least a middle-relief prospect at this point, but some scouts like the delivery enough to keep projecting on the command.
Kelvin Beltre was given the day off to rest before heading off to the All Star game. Beltre has an impressive streak going on right now, having reached base in each of his last 21 games. Over that stretch Beltre has hit .357/.472/.429 with 17 BBs and 15 Ks. Prior to that, in 36 games he had just 8 BBs and 29 Ks. This new approach that Beltre seems to be trying out has come with a substantial reduction in power though, as he has just 5 XBH (all doubles) in this 21 game stretch. It’ll be interesting to see what his 2nd half looks like.
Julio Benitez, 22 year old RHP, had an excellent debut to his 2017 season, allowing just 1 unearned run (resulting from his own fielding error). He struck out 6 and walked just one (though that one walk also contributed to the unearned run. Benitez has spent the last three seasons in the DSL and AZL clubs and has started in just 5 of the 36 games he’s appeared in over his career.
It’s possible that Benitez was a late entry to this game because I believe Alex Bostic was originally listed as the scheduled starter for this game.
Juan Rodriguez had two run-scoring singles and two SB, while Richard Amion (playing both 3b and 2b) had three hits to lead the team and also stole SB. Malique Ziegler, who had reached base in 8 of his 10 PA to start the year, got cooled down in a big way as he took the hat trick, though he too did manage to steal a base (his 3rd of the year).
The Volcanoes are showing an decided tendency to run early and often so far on the young season. Not only do they lead the NWL in SB, they’ve lapped the field. SK has 14 bases in their first four games; the next closest team in the league has just 7 SB.
Volcanoes drop game 4 of the series but steal 6 bases, putting them at 14 for the season. pic.twitter.com/YYdNi67DdJ— S-K Volcanoes ⚾ (@SKVolcanoes) June 19, 2017
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Beede vs. TBD
Richmond: Off Day
San Jose: All Star Break
Augusta: All Star Break
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Osvaldo Hernandez
DSL: Norwith Gudino vs. TBD
Very short slate tonight as the A ball teams hit the All Star break and Richmond gets a travel day (which they can surely use having played 13 games in the past 12 days. But we get a Tyler Beede start to look forward to. He’s back home in Sacramento, so we’ll watch carefully to see if his homeritis followed him back from Las Vegas.
Happy baseball, everybody!