The first five hitters in the Sacramento lineup had 1 hit — combined. The RiverCats had one of the best offensive performances of the night. Don’t believe me? Salem-Keizer managed just four hits (though three runs). Augusta scored 1 run on 6 hits. San Jose was shutout and managed just one hit.
Ugh! Time to count up our stores:
It might be time to start investigating who had the worst cumulative organizational record in baseball history. Because this isn’t normal. And it’s not good.
There are some who put no store in minor league records. But your humble narrator is not among them. Organizations who have turned around stinking ships at the major league level with dynamic farm systems lately (the Astros, the Cubs, the Mets, the Royals) have put together large depths of impact talent that won games and championships up and down their systems, just like the Giants used to back in the day (right before they started winning championships at the major league level).
I don’t know what all these teams* are going to produce, but it’s hard to predict a lot of major league wins coming up out of it soon. No, this is not normal. It’s not easily explainable. And it’s not good.
*Love you, AZL Giants! I’m not mad at you.
HIGHLIGHTS: CJ Hinojosa had four hits;
Lefty Matt Gage has been having a rough go of it in the PCL lately, particular in his last three games which have seen his ERA rise from 3.18 to 6.65. Gage has allowed 5 runs in each of his last three appearances (4 earned in two of them) none of which have last 5 innings. Yesterday’s start was just the second of his career in which he has failed to strike out a single batter (the other was a pounding in Richmond back in 2015 in which he was knocked out of the game in the 2nd inning). And to make matters worse, he walked four — the most he’s ever walked in a game in his career.
Sacramento pitchers struck out just 2 Tacoma batters in this game (a season low, I hardly need to say), with both of those coming from Dusten Knight in his 2 inning stint.
Meanwhile, the top of Sacramento’s order scuffled. As noted above, Mac Williamson’s was the only hit the top five batters in the order produced. The bottom of the order picked up the flag for the offense, particularly Tim Federowicz and Juan Ciriaco how had five hits and three doubles between them. Federowicz, who doubled twice in this game, has proven to be a very nice depth pick up for the Giants.
Federowicz’s second double kicked off a late rally that momentarily gave the RiverCats a chance to steal this game away however. Ciriaco followed with an RBI double and with two outs back to back walks to Lollis and Parker loaded the bases. A two-out error on a Ryder Jones chopper to third brought Chris Shaw to the plate with the chance to give Sacramento a stunning lead.
Ah, Chris. Hit ‘em where they AIN’T! That’s the trick.
Richmond won at Akron Rubber Ducks (Cleveland), 4-2
losing their four game series, 1-3
Jerry Sands hit a two-run HR in the top of the 9th to break a 2-2 tie and prevent a four game sweep at Akron. It also (spoiler alert) prevented a system sweep on the day, as Richmond would manage to hoist the only W.
Despite giving up just three hits and one earned run, Cory Taylor labored through five innings, taking 97 pitches to become the pitcher of record. Still it was an effective, if short, start. A solo HR was all the damage he gave up. Taylor has now given up just that one ER over his last two starts as he hopes to turn his season around in the second half. He’s still throwing just over half his pitches for strikes, however, perhaps nibbling a bit around the edges after getting punished in the zone by AA hitters over the first two months of the season.
Veteran Brandon Bednar’s first homer of the year tied the game at 1, and in the 5th CJ Hinojosa singled in Slade Heathcott with the lead run. That was one of four hits on the day for CJ, all singles. That pushed his batting average over .300, but dropped his Iso under .100. Still, it was a great ending to a tough series for Hinojosa who had gone just 1 for 13 over the first three games. More astonishingly, he struck out in each of the first three games of the series, giving him more Ks than BBs for the first time since back on June 28. Hinojosa definitely was the Hitter of the Day for the system though, outhitting entire teams in the org.
He can hit!
Tyler Cyr vultured the victory when he allowed a leadoff double and a two-out run-scoring single in the bottom of the 8th making him the pitcher of record. That was, somewhat astonishingly, the fourth time in six games that the Richmond bullpen had blown an 8th inning lead. Cyr redeemed himself by striking out the side in the bottom of the 9th to secure the win.
San Jose lost to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers), 5-0
losing their four game series, 1-3
San Jose Bats
The embarrassing dénouement to a stretch that saw San Jose go just 3-8 vs. the Quakes in the last three weeks. Quake with fear when the see the RC unis is about what’s been happening here.
Michael Connolly allowed four runs in the top of the 1st and that was all she wrote. The only drama left was whether or not Quake starter Adam Bray would throw a perfect game. He came darn close. Well, he didn’t come darn close in that Jonah Arenado’s single to lead off the 3rd inning prevented any drama from forming. But he did come darn close in that that was the only batter who reached base on him in his CG performance. Arenado was wiped out by a double play moments later and Bray would face the minimum 27 batters he twirling his masterpiece.
Hey! You might be asking yourself. I wonder how the Dodgers’ system is performing this year? I’m glad you asked, fictional reader, because I took the trouble to look it up. The Dodgers’ system is currently sporting a 292-244 record (.545). Only one of their eight teams is playing below .500 ball.
Heath Quinn got a clean bill of health from doctors on his aching shoulder but he sure hasn’t been hitting like his shoulder has a clean bill of health. Since returning from the DL on July 6th Quinn has hit an abominable .174/.204/.196 with 21 strikeouts in 46 ABs. This looks like a man who needs some more DL time.
Ok, cue the Panda pictures:
Speaking of Panda, I can’t help but notice the highlights I’ve seen of him so far in San Jose he was hitting RH. I thought he’d given up right-handed hitting the last year or so.
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.224|
Stephen Woods, Jr.’s season has had an odd rhythm to it. Not that this tells much of the story, but just as a snapshot, here’s his ERA by month:
More concerning than the ERA is the direction Woods’ peripherals have gone this month as his strikeouts have shrunk and his walk totals expanded. In May and June Woods recorded 52 Ks and 18 BBs over 44.1 IP. But so far in July he has just 13 Ks and 12 BBs in 17.1 IP. Seems like the Georgia heat and the long haul of his first full season could be wearing Stephen down a bit at this point. “Grind” is, at this point, the most-overused word in the baseball lexicon but it’s accurate too and Woods appears to be getting Ground a bit right now.
Oh, the Greenjackets lost by the way. By a lot.
Here, read a happy story about Skyler Ewing.
Skyler Ewing is heating up & so are Your 'Jackets - only 20 chances left to join us at the Lake! Here's the story: https://t.co/KnNGNFqlw0— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) July 23, 2017
|a- Gustavo Cabrera||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.298|
Despite a tough day at the plate, this was a nip and tuck pitchers’ duel for 8 innings. Tied 0-0 in the 6th before Stetson Woods finally gave up his first two runs of the game. But Ryan Kirby followed a Malique Ziegler walk with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the inning to tie it back up again. It went to the top of the 9th still a 3-2 nailbiter. But Conner Kaden, Alex Bostic, and Garrett Cave teamed up on a 5-run 9th inning to blow away the Volcanoes hopes. Bostic continued what has to be the roughest season in the system by failing to retire either batter he faced (a hit and a HB). And then Garrett Cave had his worst outing as a pro, allowing all three of his inherited runners to score and pitching in with a couple of runs of his own.
Ziegler’s been in a bit of a downturn since his last HBP episode early in the month. After posting an OPS over 1.000 in June he’s hit just .276/.345/.382 in July. Not at Heath Quinn levels of course. As we saw from his article in the Des Moines Register, he’s toughing it through some aches and pains and it’s showing up in the line. He did steal his team leading 16th base in yesterday’s game.
AZL Giants were rained out
Picked a good day to slip town pic.twitter.com/S9FZQKCXfo— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) July 24, 2017
Well, Heliot wasn’t in the listed starting lineup anyway.
DSL Giants had their traditional Sunday off
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento Tyler Beede vs Marco Gonzalez (I’d like Tyler O’Neill for a AAA pitcher, too
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. Greg Ross
San Jose: Mark Reyes vs. TBD
Augusta: Raffi Vizcaino vs. Carlos Pena
Salem-Keizer: Jose Marte vs. TBD
DSL: Aneudy Acosta
Ok, I know what to do on the internet when things start to get too negative. Here, have a cute dog video: