Here at Minor Lines we never overlook a chance to celebrate a player’s hard work. So let’s give a hearty cheer to the latest (and last) All Stars of 2017.
Manuel Geraldo and Stetson Woods will also be representing the NWL in the annual Northwest League/Pioneer League matchup. Maybe Ryan Kirby will get to participate in the HR Derby and defend the title for his former teammate Gio Brusa. The NWL/PBL All Star game will be next Tuesday in Hillsboro.
Walk off #1! Sacramento and Round Rock played a back and forth affair, with each team coming back to tie and take the lead twice in this game. The RiverCats jumped out ahead with two HRs in the bottom of the 1st. Jarrett Parker started it off with a solo shot (his 3rd of the year). Then following a Pablo Sandoval walk, Chris Shaw went deep for the first time since July 2nd. One thing about Shaw, he definitely doesn’t have to rely on pull power.
Shaw had been in a dry-spell with just one hit in the last week, so his night (HR, single, walk) had to feel good. For Jarrett Parker, it was the most Jarrett Parker game possible as he either walked or struck out in all of his remaining PA for the night.
Ryder Jones, playing both RF and 3b, also had another nice game with two hits, including a double, and two RBI. It was the second two-hit game in a row for Jones who, as we’ve noted, rather oddly has hit much better in Sacramento this year than on the road (oddly for the PCL which has much friendlier environments).
After trading blows throughout, the RiverCats took a 5-4 lead to the 9th but Round Rock had one more punch left in them. Derek Law gave up a gut-punching two-out, 0-2 game tying HR to the Express’ Ryan Rua. Apparently Bochy’s going to have to have them pitch out 0-2 even in the minors.
However, in the bottom of the 9th, singles from Sandoval and Shaw put the winning run on 3b. With two outs, Ryan Lollis grounded a ball up the middle that Jurickson Profar fielded, but his spin-throw to 1b couldn’t be handled by 1b Ronald Guzman. And there was much rejoicing.
Richmond lost to Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 5-3
winning their three game series, 2-1
Bullpen troubles abound! Richmond had its first three game sweep of the season in its grasp. They skipped past the troublesome 8th inning that has caused them so much trouble lately and headed to the 9th with a 3-1 lead. A hot shot back to the mound that Cyr could field and deflected away from 2b Myles Schroder. A perfect bunt. A hit batsman. An error. Pebble, pebble, pebble....landslide. Mix the whole thing together and you have dispiriting four-run 9th inning and Cyr’s second blown save in as many appearances.
Brandon Bednar and Hobson both had three hits leading the offense to it’s oh so close sweep. And, of course, all the minor league FA on this Richmond squad got to indulge in a moment of joyous hope, and several longtime Squirrels no doubt were thrilled for a favorite former teammate.
San Jose beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 4-3 in 13 inn
winning their three gae series, 2-1
San Jose Bats
Well here’s a redemption story for you. Jalen Miller came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the 13th having gone 0 for 5 with 5 Ks. And the result? Much rejoicing!
Happy story notwithstanding, as Joe Ritzo was detailing throughout this game it’s becoming concerning how non-competitive some of Miller’s at bats are getting, particularly against breaking balls. If there’s a development leap in MIller’s future it will have to involve significant improvement in pitch recognition. Here, as an example, was Miller’s strikeout with the bases loaded and one down in the 5th.
You can hear it in Joe’s voice. There’s got to be a growing concern in the Giants development office with Miller’s ability to compete at this level right now.
Two innings into the game it certainly didn’t look like this would be a day that would end in joy for the Giants. Matt Krook opened the game by walking the first batter and would be down 1-0 with two men on four batters into the game. He struck out back to back hitters to get out of that jam. But then the second opened with one of the sloppiest sequences you’ll want to see. Within the first four batters of the inning Krook, 3b Jonah Arenado, and SS Ryan Howard had all committed throwing errors on infield grounders. Krook and Arenado were at least trying to make tough plays; Howard’s was the ground ball version of a can of corn.
But Krook was able to collect himself and get out of that defensive mess with only two runs surrendered and that would start a stretch of 11.2 innings of shutout baseball from Krook and four relievers that would allow the struggling offense just enough space to steal away a win. Special commendation has to go to Matt Solter who threw four innings of shutout relief with 6 Ks after Krook left.
Even with all that great work from the pitching staff, the game came as close to an L as possible, with Bryan Reynolds picking up a two-out, two-strike RBI single in the bottom of the 9th to send it to free baseball.
While there were elements of very sloppy baseball in the Giants win, let’s take time to celebrate the defensive gems as well!
And since I was hard on Miller up above, let’s enjoy his defensive stylings as well.
Big day as well for Gio Brusa on his 24th birthday. Two hits, including a leadoff double in the 13th before scoring the game-winning run.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 27, 2017
Augusta Greenjackets were Off
Julio Benitez, Garrett Cave and Logan Webb came within an out of throwing a combined shutout while the Volcanoes’ offense (oh it’s so hard not to say “erupted”) ... scored many times in the middle innings.
You know, we almost never get to see video action of the Volcanoes so let’s enjoy the Eugene series and put some eyes on players.
The big blow of the game was new All Star Ryan Kirby’s 5th HR of the year. Kirby is not only leading the NWL in RBIs, he’s got 11 more than second place guy. And part of the reason is that Kirby tends to hit HRs with people on base. This was his second three-run shot of the year (hear that, Giants?).
Kirby also walked twice, helping push his OPS up to .894, second in the league.
Bryce Johnson’s game normally revolves around his speed (and indeed, he stole his 12th base in 22 games in this one), but yesterday he showed off a decently accurate arm (though why this guy is running here I’m not entirely sure... short season ball).
Relievers Garrett Cave and Logan Webb struck out six Emeralds over the final four innings of the game. Webb was throwing particularly nasty stuff, including a hard riding sinker that both the batters and Catcher Chris Corbett were having trouble dealing with. Webb gave Eugene a rally for free in the 9th with three WP (including allowing a strikeout victim to reach) and a HB. But his stuff was simply overwhelming the Eugene hitters. Nice to see from the TJ survivor.
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The AZL Giants took down the team with the league’s best record, and as usual they did it with their offense. Heliot Ramos continued his surge with a single and double. Ramos has had just two games without a hit (the 3rd and 4th games he played) and in one of them he was removed after his second at bat. Really pretty darned incredible. Hovering at the .400 line. A 13 game hitting streak. And now more than half of his hits (15 of 29) have gone for extra bases, leading to an insane-o .343 Iso. The only player in the AZL with a higher OPS is the best college bat of this year’s draft Keston Hiura who has long since made his way on to A ball.
As Eric Longenhagen put it yesterday about Ramos:
Ramos was one of several Giants with two hits, including young Catcher Ricardo Genoves who has, interestingly enough, consistently handled the clean-up spot in the order.
Jacob Gonzalez doubled and scored in the first, interrupting a pretty long dry spell for the 2nd rounder. He had been 2 for 18 before that. But that turned out to be his only hit in the game.
Following his stunning 8K, 3.2 IP performance last week, Camilo Doval continued to miss bats, picking up 4 more Ks in 2 innings. Doval now has 18 Ks in 12.1 IP.
With the win the Giants magic number for securing a 1st half playoff spot shrank to 2. By this weekend we’ll hopefully have a post-season contestant.
Emerging Minor Lines cult hero Alexander Canario had another big day, reaching base with a single, a double, and a walk, scoring two of the Giants runs and knocking in a third. Canario was one of four Giants with two hits, including 17 year old Raiber Gutierrez who reached base three times and stole three bases (giving him 9 SB for the season). Franklin Labour continued his strong season with two hits and two RBIs.
Norwith Gudino has been jockeying back and forth with teammate Marco Gonzalez for second in the league in strikeouts. With this 2 K effort the two ended this trip through the rotation tied with 54 Ks on the year. Gudino now has 54 Ks to just 7 BBs over 51.1 IP. Quite a season for the third year DSL vet.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Andrew Suarez vs. James Dykstra
Richmond: Sam Coonrod vs. Beau Burrows
San Jose: Jake McCasland vs. Ty Culbreth
Augusta: Melvin Adon vs. Gabriel Llanes
Salem-Keizer: Alejandro de la Rosa vs. Matt Swarmer
AZL: Jake Greenwalt
DSL: Francis Pena
Richmond sees the prime hookup for the day with Sam Coonrod going up against the Tigers #3 prospect Beau Burrows. And of course, I always look forward Happy Melvin Day!
It’s always refreshing to me to see how much joy players can take in victory, in amidst the long slog of a losing season. To the victors!