Well, we’re in the stretch drive. We enter the final month of play for the minor league season this week and it doesn’t look as though we’ll have any exciting newcomers joining the org today. We’re probably not going to see a couple of the top prospects again before Fall league and we haven’t had much in the way of midseason promotions to pique the interest. We are still waiting on a couple debuts, as well as the official signing of Jack Conlon. So we play it out. Remember, we’ll miss baseball when it goes away for the winter, so we have to enjoy it while it lasts.
HIGHLIGHTS: Jonah Arenado went 4 for 5 with two doubles, game winning hit; Stephen Woods, Jr. allowed one hit over 5 innings; Ismael Munguia reached base 4x with 3 RBI, double, SB.
|a- Tyler Brown||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
Mark Melancon saw his first game action since June 27, pitching the first inning of the RiverCats game. He faced the minimum three batters and threw 15 pitches. Melancon walked one batter, but Pablo Sandoval started a round the horn double play to end the inning. So that’s the good news.
Mark Melancon had a scoreless inning (good!)— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) July 31, 2017
Mark Melancon didn't throw a pitch over 87 MPH (bad)
Roberto Gomez would then come in and “start” the game in the 2nd and throw 5 very effective innings before giving way to lefties Snelten and Okert.
The RiverCats offense went up against old friend Mike Kickham, who we last saw retiring in mid-season from the Flying Squirrels last year. It doesn’t seem like things have gotten too much better for Mike in the interim, and Sacramento definitely treated him rudely yesterday, putting up four runs in the bottom of the 1st. Kickham had both Mac Williamson and Chris Shaw in two-strike holes in that first inning rally but couldn’t finish either one off.
Sacramento would put two more on Kickham in the 4th, with Sandoval’s single finishing him off. Armed with a 6-0 lead against the worst team in the PCL, Sacramento cruised to the win.
Just as an aside before leaving: there was a lot of talk last year about how the Giants should have stepped up and beat the Nats’ offer for Melancon at the trade deadline. One of the players the Nats sent to Pittsburgh in that deal was Felipe Rivero who is in the conversation for best relievers in baseball this year and almost certainly the best LHP reliever (sorry Andrew Miller). Steve Okert, meanwhile, just keeps returning to Sacramento. I’m not sure I’m convinced it would have been that easy to beat the Nats’ offer.
Richmond beat Erie SeaWolves (Tigers), 3-2
winning their five game series, 4-1
When they won the opener of this long five-game series, Erie moved into first place in the Western Division of the EL. But that high didn’t last long as Richmond came back to win the next four consecutive games, knocking Erie back down to 3rd. That stretch included Richmond shutting Erie out in both halves of a double-header on Saturday. And on Sunday, Dan Slania brought more pitching, holding the powerful SeaWolves to just two earned runs. Jarret Martin came in to pick up the final four outs — striking out three of them — and Richmond had it’s finest series win of the year.
Hunter Cole, fresh off a month’s stint on the DL, had a huge series picking up 7 hits in 10 ABs the last three days. That included a HR on Saturday and two doubles yesterday. But it was Caleb Gindl’s bat that determined the outcome. Gindl broke a 2-2 tie in the 6th with his 2nd HR for Richmond and that run stood up to win it.
All that said, the finest performance of the weekend in a Richmond jersey may have come from this 100 year old Pitcher.
You have our deepest respect & gratitude WWII Field Artillery Sergeant Kal Skeirik. Still got it at pic.twitter.com/bSLJTGfLbO— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) July 30, 2017
I’d like to be able to throw like that at 100!
San Jose won at Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), 9-8
splitting their four game series, 2-2
San Jose Bats
Jonah Arenado hit a two-out, two-strike double in the top of the 9th bringing in the tying and ultimate winning runs when San Jose was down to its last breath. The comeback win culminated a wild one in Lancaster, as San Jose blew a 5-1 lead, but then stormed back in the final two innings from an 8-5 deficit.
Arenado was the big hero, going 4 for 5 with two doubles including the game winner. This wasn’t a particularly unusual performance for Arenado, who is apparently on a crusade to balance the scales of his brother’s dominance of the Giants, by exerting an equal dominance of the Rockies Cal League affiliate.
Jonah Arenado vs. Rockies affiliates Modesto/Lancaster last two seasons: .369 AVG, 13 2B, 7 HR, 23 RBI in 35 G. Game-winning double tonight.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 31, 2017
Arenado’s other double came in the middle of San Jose’s five-run uprising in the 3rd inning, which included two-run homers from both Aramis Garcia and Dillon Dobson. For Garcia, it was his 17th of the year — 4th best in the Cal League this season. That also gives Garcia the organizational lead in HRs, one more than Chris Shaw and Brandon Belt.
Tonight the second time in the last five days the #SJGiants win a game after being down to their last strike.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 31, 2017
Augusta won at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 6-0
winning their four game series, 3-1
Stephen Woods, Jr. allowed just 1 hit over 5 innings of work, and combined with three relievers on a shutout victory. Woods wasn’t exactly pitch efficient — piling up 95 pitches in his 5 innings — but he was fairly dominant in shutting the Fireflies down. He picked up 6 strikeouts, his highest total since June 27. It was also the first start since June 27 that he had kept his opponent off the scoreboard. The outing capped an up and down month for Woods. He started out strong, allowing just two runs over his first two starts of July. But then hit a rough couple of games, including a start in which he failed to get out of the 2nd. Good to see him returning to form here. Here, Woods takes down Fireflies slugging 1b Brandon Brosher, who had hit two HRs earlier in the series.
Augusta had just five hits of their own in the game. But they also benefitted from four walks, a HB, and a couple of Columbia errors. They scratched out single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th (scoring on a double play and a suicide squeeze in two of those innings).
But in the 8th, they broke the game open after two walks and a single brought Sandro Fabian to the plate with the bases loaded. Columbia countered by bringing in Cam Griffin to face him. This was the second time in the series that Griffin came into a game to face Fabian; the first time Fabian had homered off him on the 1st pitch. This time?
That, I believe, qualifies as “booming.” At least it was the second pitch this time, Cam! They might want to avoid that matchup next time.
Fifth round pick Jason Bahr made his second pro start his finest appearance so far this year. Going a season high 4 IP, Bahr picked up 4 Ks, walked no one, and allowed just 1 ER. Bahr’s controlled the strike zone well so far, striking out 18 and walking just 4 (he does have 2 HB) in his 15.2 IP. Bahr zipped through the first couple of innings, but tired in the 4th, allowing his only run on an RBI double to the penultimate batter he faced.
After Bahr left the game, however, the pitching got a little woolly (though I know Crash Davis says nobody gets woolly). Three relievers would allow 9 runs (7 earned) the rest of the way. That included an ugly inning from 4th round pick Garrett Cave who allowed three runs on four hits. Cave’s stuff has been playing ok in the strikeout column (16 Ks in 12 IP) but he’s been hittable in the zone, allowing 7 runs now on 12 hits. (Apropos of nothing, remember when Tim Lincecum showed up in the NWL and struck out 10 of the 14 batters he faced before being promoted? That sure was fun).
In his final game before starting in the All Star game, Malique Ziegler reached base twice and stole his 20th base of the year, putting him in a tie for the NWL lead. Ryan Kirby, who will also start Tuesday night, picked up two hits and an RBI, ending a bit of a dry spell for him as well.
|a- Mikey Edie||PH-C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.615|
|Reagan Bazar (H, 2)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||8.22|
|Sidney Duprey (BS, 1)||0.2||3||3||2||0||0||0||4.24|
|Franklin Van Gurp (BS, 2)(L, 1-1)||2.1||1||2||0||1||4||0||2.61|
The Giants amassed an 8-0 lead in this game going into the 5th, but things went downhill quickly from there. Starter Miguel Figueroa, with the help of three errors, allowed six runs in the 5th and Sidney Duprey (relieving this time) lost the lead with a 3-run 7th. The Giants would rally to retake the lead in the top of the 8th, but a throwing error by 1b Angeddy Almanzar tied the game in the bottom of the 9th and the Angels would complete the comeback win with a walkoff in the 11th.
Heliot Ramos did manage to keep his hitting streak going with an 8th-inning triple, and he also lined out hard in his first AB. But this was not a night he’s going to be clipping into his Memory book. Ramos struck out swinging four different times on the night, giving him an alarming 26 in his 83 ABs. That will be the part that they’ll be tooling some along the way. Ramos’ triple was his 5th of the year, second best in the AZL just behind the recently traded Esteury Ruiz.
Jacob Gonzalez picked up two more hits including his 8th double of the year. That’s two straight multi-hit efforts for Gonzalez after a lull for a couple weeks. The Giants also got multiple hits from 2016 DSL Giants Genoves, Almanzar, and Jose Rivero. Ismael Munguia, the little sparkplug from Nicaragua with three hits, a double, a walk, a SB and 3 RBIs. The double was just his third XBH.
In addition to his two hits, Ricardo Genoves once again showed off his strong arm, gunning down one of the three SB attempts against him.
Ricardo Genoves threw out a runner in the bottom of the first for AZL Giants. He's 11CS/24SB attempts on the season, which is excellent.— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 31, 2017
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jose Flores vs. Justin Nicolino
Richmond: OFF DAY
San Jose: Johnny Cueto vs. Jose Almonte
Augusta: Raffi Vizcaino vs. Jeremy Walker
Salem-Keizer: ALL STAR BREAK
AZL: I’ve given up trying
DSL: Francis Pena
Obviously the big news in the day’s slate takes place at the Muni in San Jose:
How much longer will Johnny be a Giant? Will he be here in September? In April? Who knows? So go see him shimmy up close and personal in San Jose while you still can!