Well, no use messing around. There’s a story in today’s minor lines and, of course, it’s a bad one.
Cueto left his start in San Jose because of forearm tightness. This season is the worst.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 1, 2017
Bochy didn't want to speculate on nature or severity of Cueto's forearm issue. He'll go for tests. Remember: he can opt out. Giants cannot.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 1, 2017
Without speculating but just taking note: Johnny Cueto’s contract still being on the books next year is likely to severely hamper the Giants ability to add any salary at all to their team this off-season.
As easy as taking cake from babies, Sacramento has finally found somebody they can beat up on! The RiverCats took down New Orleans for the third consecutive night and have now won six out of seven games on this homestand. The hero last night was starting pitcher Jose Flores, who had his best start since his sensational AAA debut. Flores came just one out from matching his season best of 7 innings while throwing a season high 98 pitches. The 28 year old Venezuelan journeyman has been a very nice pickup for the Giants and filled crucial innings for both Richmond and Sacramento. Between the two stops, Flores has posted a 2.60 ERA while K’ing 81 in 83 IP.
Flores only faltered at the very end of his night, walking his final two batters to load the bases in the 7th. Reyes Moronta came on to get Flores out of the jam. In three appearances Moronta has inherited five runners now and has prevented any of them from scoring. Over the final two innings, Moronta and Derek Law allowed just one walk apiece while striking out four of the final seven New Orleans hitters.
I suppose you might look at that clip and ask me if “Law is back?” He did break off a couple of beautiful hooks. But he also walked Chris Parmalee on four straight pitches (the last of which wasn’t close) and the pitch before that last one was a curve he hung at the bill of the cap. So I guess I’ll say “Jury still out.”
Sacramento’s offense wasn’t exactly in Beast Mode. They managed just seven hits themselves and went 1 for 7 with RISP. But they picked up Sac Flies from Pablo Sandoval and Ryder Jones to help scratch out three runs. Jones SF drove in starting pitcher Jose Flores which probably qualifies it for “Most Entertaining Sac Fly” of the season.
And before we go, everyone wants promotion news and I finally have some to make the maddening crowds happy:
Richmond had a scheduled day off
They journeyed up to Maine where they’ll begin a series in Portland tonight. While they were making the journey one Squirrel got himself a commendation! Nicely done, Cory!
San Jose Bats
Obviously we’re in wait and see mode with the most important element of this night. As for the game itself, San Jose strung together half of their eight hits on the night in a three-run 4th inning. That inning included doubles from both Gio Brusa and Steven Duggar and a two-run single from Ryan Howard, who is 2nd in the Cal League in both hits and average.
Duggar’s double was a classic Duggar at bat, working back from 1-2 to get the count loaded and then teeing off when he’d forced the pitcher back in the zone.
Duggar did strike out in his other three PA for the night as he continues to have an unusually high K rate working back into game shape. All three of those Ks, by the way, were called strike 3. Is Duggar preparing to become our next generation Brandon Belt? Too soon to tell, but almost certainly yes. Let’s just mentally prepare ourselves now for Duggar getting boatloads of terrible called strike 3s so it won’t bother us so much when it happens.
After their scoring rally in the 4th, the Giants wouldn’t collect another hit the rest of the game. But three relief pitchers held the Rawhide at bay, helped by some fine defense along the way. There were several fine plays on the night but let’s highlight Ronnie Jebavy.
Off the field, we have even more promotion news as well as a rotation shakeup.
LHP Garrett Williams has joined the #SJGiants - will start Wednesday. Had a 2.25 ERA in 11 starts with Augusta. Matt Krook to the bullpen.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 31, 2017
Krook to the bullpen to limit his innings down the stretch in first full season. https://t.co/pyJLd9SMyt— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 1, 2017
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||3||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.233|
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but when I was a Freshman in college I went out for and “played” on an outstanding Junior College team that came close to going to a State Championship and had a boat load of players drafted. I had no business being on that team since I was just a shadow of the player most of my teammates were. But in retrospect, it was one of the great experiences of my baseball life and taught me most of what I think I know about the game. Our assistant coach on that team was a semi-retired Pete Beiden (for whom Beiden Field in Fresno is named) and that man’s baseball mind was a truly amazing thing. And because I was anchored to the bench during all games, I got to listen to hundreds of hours of him talking ball. Of all his pearls of wisdom, I think my favorite has always been:
Baseball is a simple game: take outs quicker than you make outs.
Sorry for the long digression, but Augusta’s game put me in mind of this phrase since the game turned on several tiny instances of making outs or failing to make outs. Don’t make outs at the plate. Convert batted balls into outs in the field. And when you don’t do that, bad things happen.
In the top of the 6th Jacob Heyward came to the plate with two outs and he flipped a ball into shallow CF. Out or no out?
So close! But that inch or so of failing to convert the out turned into a two-run rally for the Greenjackets. That rally ended when Michael Bernal missed the sign from his 3b coach and slid into 3b instead of turning for home. Realizing his mistake too late, Bernal then jumped up and bolted for home getting thrown out by a considerable margin. TOOTBLAN’s are bad, Michael! Remember: take outs quicker than you make outs.
And then in the bottom of the 6th, the key play was one that doesn’t appear in the box score at all, but was again, all about the failure to take outs from the opponent.
Kelvin Beltre’s inability to convert a potential inning-ending double play ended Raffi Vizcaino’s night on a sour note. Sandro Cabrera would come in and allow back to back run scoring doubles that would decide the game.
It was a tough night defensively for Beltre who failed to convert two pretty easy double play chances and also crow-hopped on a routine grounder and then rushed a throw that resulted in an error credited to 1b Jose Vizcaino. Small sample size because the Sally has so few video feeds, but I have to say the looks I’ve got of Beltre at 2b this year have been on the rough side.
It was a strong start for Vizcaino. He faced the minimum nine batters over the first three innings, and, as we saw should have gotten through six innings allowing just one run. His finest stretch came in the 3rd inning when he struck out the side using a lively fastball and a couple of sharp breaking balls.
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Jo Adell and Heliot Ramos have both been picked off at second base and it's only the 3rd inning. #baseball— Matt Pullman (@2outwalks) August 1, 2017
That’s rookie ball! Heliot Ramos picked up another two hits and an RBI to stretch his hit streak to 16. Ramos has collected at least one hit in 18 of the 20 games he’s played and he’s collected multiple hits in 10 of them. Nice start for the 17 year old. I would like to humbly suggest that Barry Bonds’ official role with the Giants should now become “Heliot Ramos’ personal hitting guru.”
Most of the Giants production came from the bottom of the order, where 8 and 9 hitters Francisco Medina and Kyle McPherson collected three of the team’s seven hits, including both of the XBH, and scored all four runs.
But the player of the game was probably once again Camilo Doval coming out of the bullpen. Doval retired all nine batters he faced, including four by way of the strikeout. He now has 22 Ks (6 BBs) in 15.1 IP and has struck out 16 of those in just his last three appearances, covering 8.2 IP. Doval has allowed just 2 hits over his last 11.1 IP. The 20 year old RHP is really making good on some of the promise observers were seeing back in Instrux.
DSL Giants were rained out
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Andrew Suarez vs. Keyvius Sampson
Richmond: Tyler Herb vs. Henry Owens
San Jose: Grant Watson vs. Joe Duplantier
Augusta: DJ Myers vs. Ian Anderson
Salem-Keizer: ALL STAR BREAK
DSL: Francis Pena
In a new innovation for tonight’s games all players will be encased in bubble wrap before taking the field.
Ok, that’s all the bad news for today. Let’s go out with a smile, watching our youngest prospect practice his defense: