First of all…
Yep, another River Cat headed to San Francisco to try and fix some of the outfield problems. However, this time it is a prospect that is making his major league debut, and a prospect many fans have been looking forward to seeing. Austin Slater may not have the prospect pedigree that players like Christian Arroyo had, the 2014 8th round pick had a .322/.381/.460 line in Sacramento with 4 home runs. The move that will correspond with Slater’s promotion hasn’t been announced yet, but Slater will join the team on Friday in Philadelphia. Good luck to Austin!
Just before heading to San Francisco, our favorite former Stanford outfielder went on the radio with Ally Williams. An interview worth checking out.
Glad I had a chance to talk to Austin Slater in Sac before his big league jump! Sunday's Minor League Report: https://t.co/08qFM9zm52— Ally Williams (@itsallyduhh) June 1, 2017
|Steven Okert (H, 1)||0.2||2||2||2||0||0||1||3.86|
|Kyle Crick (BS, 4)||1.1||1||1||1||2||2||0||3.22|
|Tyler Rogers (L, 1-2)||1.2||4||1||1||1||2||0||2.23|
It was quite a game of ups and downs for the River Cats. So let’s start with the ups.
Dan Slania didn’t have a great game, but compared to the season he’s had, it was a big step up. Slania allowed just two runs, his lowest amount since being promoted to Sacramento. The peripherals weren’t great, as his batting average allowed remained at .330, and his WHIP even bumped up from 1.76 to 1.77. But he was effective.
Meanwhile, the offense started off hot. Mac Williamson, in his first game back at Sacramento, hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat. It would be his only hit of the game. Ryder Jones hit a two-run home run in the third, his 6th of the season. Add in Jae-Gyun Hwang hitting his fourth triple of the year, and Chris Shaw going 2-for-5 with a double and a walk, and there was a lot to like early on. And then the bullpen happened.
Unfortunately, a lot of familiar names had problems in the bullpen. Steven Okert gave up two runs while gaining a hold, but letting the score get to 5-4 in the 8th inning. Kyle Crick had to bail him out of the 8th, and then in the ninth, gave up a walk, and then a two-out double to allow the game-tying run…committing his fourth blown save of the season. Finally, Tyler Rogers got through the 12th, but in the 13th, gave up back-to-back singles, putting a runner on third. Rogers got a comebacker and got an out at the plate to get to two outs. But another infield ground ball to Ryder Jones gave up the winning run.
Richmond Game 1 Hitters
Richmond Game 1 Pitchers
|Collin Balester (L, 1-2)||3.0||1||1||1||1||2||1||4.32|
Richmond Game 2 Hitters
Richmond Game 2 Pitchers
|Matt Gage (W, 2-4)||6.0||6||1||1||2||3||0||3.68|
|Tyler Cyr (S, 4)||1.0||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.04|
The Squirrels finished off their game from Wednesday with a whimper, but then played to a win in Game 2 with one big memorable play.
In the finishing up of Game 1, each team only picked up two more hits from what was a game tied 1-1 in the fifth inning. The difference was, one of Harford’s extra hits was a solo home run off of Collin Balester, while the Squirrels just picked up singles.
Game 2 saw a great start by Matt Gage to limit the Yard Goats. Gage held the Goats to a run on six hits and two walks allowed. It wasn’t the most dominating start, with just three strikeouts. Gage has only 37 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched. But this was good enough for his second win the season.
On the offensive side, Slade Heathcott was once again getting things going, drawing a walk to lead off the game, eventually scoring on a Hunter Cole single. In the 4th inning, Cole gave the Squirrels a 2-0 lead with his third home run of the season. Cole hit 13 home runs for Richmond last season, while hitting .271. This season, he’s down to .219.
But while the win was nice, there was a nicer play in Richmond.
One unfortunate note is that Gomez went 0-for-4 in Game 2 of the day, ending his hitting streak at 14.
San Jose Hitters
San Jose Pitchers
|Caleb Simpson (BS, 3)||1.0||2||1||1||0||2||0||5.92|
|Dylan Rheault (L, 1-1)||1.0||3||2||2||0||0||0||2.66|
Matt Krook has slowly been turning his season around, and today’s game may have been another turning point.
As he’s done in each of his last five starts, Krook limited his opponents to just two earned runs, and allowed just four hits with three walks. The difference today was that his strikeout stuff showed up, and he busted out for 9 strikeouts, more than besting his previous season-high of 6 and setting a new career-high. Unfortunately, the bullpen did not hold onto the game, despite three home runs by San Jose.
The biggest day offensively was Jonah Arenado, who had three hits and his second home run in as many days. Heath Quinn also hit a home run for the second straight day, getting him to 5 on the season. Dillon Dobson tied Gio Brusa for the team lead with his 8th home run.
Another day, another Jonah Arenado home run. Tonight's blast travels 430 feet to left. Extends hit streak to 10 games. 3 HR last 5 games.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 2, 2017
Hunter Pence continued his rehab, going 1-for-4 and staying in the game for 7 innings. According to this tweet, Pence will stay in San Jose for Friday’s game as well. Maybe he’s excited to see the helicopter?
Augusta defeated Lexington (Royals), 4-0
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0.321|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||0.204|
|Garrett Williams (W, 2-0)||6.1||4||0||0||2||9||0||0.93|
|Caleb Smith (H, 1)||1.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Wilson Santos (H, 1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.38|
On a day of hopeful starting pitching, Garrett Williams had the best start of them all.
Williams didn’t allow a run of any kind for the first time this season. He went a season-high 6.1 innings, as well as a season-high 9 strikeouts, and put the GreenJackets on top, with at least a bullpen that did it’s job (unlike some other teams). Caleb Smith, in his second game down from San Jose, went 1.1 scoreless innings. And after an out by Wilson Santos, Patrick Ruotolo struck out the side in the ninth to get the win.
Skyler Ewing’s third home run of the season, a solo shot in the 9th, would have been enough to win it for Augusta. But behind that, Augusta’s hitters also added five doubles, with five players also getting multiple hits. Jacob Heyward had multiple hits for the third time in six games, with a pair of doubles getting him up to 7 doubles on the year. He’s batting .316 over the last ten games, and has raised his batting average from .210 to .246. Jose Vizcaino also had a pair of hits, including his second double in Augusta. After 7 games batting in Augusta, Vizcaino is hitting .321 with a .786 OPS.
Friday’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento: TBD vs. TBD
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. Justus Sheffield
San Jose: TBD vs. TBD
Augusta: Domenic Mazza vs. Travis Eckert
The Sacramento webpage indicates Dan Slania is going for Friday’s game, but clearly that won’t happen. Otherwise, that’s a lot of TBD up there.