You just can’t beat rookie ball for pure entertainment value!
Behold, the most GCL play ever. pic.twitter.com/DJ8aKcuv1Y— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) August 10, 2017
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw hit his 20th HR of the year; Jonah Arenado had two more hits with HR; Heliot Ramos had two hits with HR; Deiyerbert Bolivar struck out 6 over 3 shutout innings.
Sacramento lost at Iowa Cubs, 2-1
losing their four game series, 1-3
|Melvin Upton Jr.||CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.400|
|a- Mac Williamson||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.224|
|b- Jae-Gyun Hwang||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.293|
Well, no use messing around. Let’s get to the good stuff. This happened!
Which was pretty Shawsome! Now because I like to be fair and balanced, I feel duty bound to note that this also happened:
which was a little less shawsome. That was the pitcher hitting so it’s possible that that ball didn’t come off the bat with the normal action of a left-hander. Also possible it just surprised Shaw. But it’s always worth remembering that he’s still working on his all around game. That’s why they call it development.
[I sort of feel like I’m betraying my BC brethren with that clip. Sorry, Chris! I meant well. Keep on working!]
That play made the difference in the 2-1 game, driving in the Cubs’ tying run and putting the go ahead on 3b with one out. Jemile Weeks would drive it in a couple pitches later with a Sac Fly. That was also the third consecutive game in this series in which the Cubs starting pitcher had an RBI hit.
Shaw not only hit his 20th HR of the year, he drew his first walk in the month of July. Shaw had a walk rate over 10% in Richmond this year, and mastering the strike zone anew with each increased level of pitching competition is a big part of the story for him. He now has four HRs and four doubles in August, so identifying pitches to attack is coming along nicely.
Richmond lost to Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), 4-0
getting swept in their three game series, 0-3
Cory Taylor miraculously survived walking the bases loaded in the 2nd inning, but when he allowed four consecutive batters to reach base in the 3rd, including two more walks, his night came to an end. Other than a rain affected game in April, it was his shortest start of the year, though it was the fourth time he’s failed to make it as far as four innings. Controlling the strike zone has been a real issue this year for Taylor. He has the second most walks in the Eastern league with 53 BBs in 103 IP. And unlike a lot of wild child pitchers, Taylor’s 86 Ks don’t suggest he has the stuff to tap dance through that level of control.
Seth Rosin allowed both of his inherited runners to score, and the four-run 3rd inning held up for the only runs of the game. Richmond managed eight hits, including two doubles, and included two walks. But they spread them all out as far apart as possible as if they were trying to dry their runners rather than score them, ending with just five at bats with runners in scoring position.
Given the sweep at home, this article would seem to be pretty timely.
San Jose lost at Stockton Ports (A’s), 6-4
losing their three game series, 1-2
San Jose Bats
|1- John Polonius||PR-3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
Jake McCasland leaves his start tonight in Stockton after throwing just five pitches. Walked off the field with the trainer.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 11, 2017
That’s a tough way to start off a night. The Giants’ got yeoman’s work from Matt Solter and Heath Slatton, each of whom gave them 3 innings or more and each of whom struck out 6 batters in their time on the hill. But bullpen games are tough on a staff and neither reliever made it through the lineup unscathed giving up six runs between them and a HR apiece.
They were once again damaged by 3b Sheldon Neuse who came over to Oakland in the trade for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. The A’s bumped Neuse up from the Sally to the Cal and he’s been on a tear since. This was his third HR of this series.
We noted the other day, and Joe Ritzo has as well, that since returning to San Jose and joining the pen Heath Slatton has seen an uptick in velocity. He used it to good effect last night. Slatton has struck out 9 batters now in his last three appearances (6.2 IP).
The offense, which had exploded the night before couldn’t keep up. Jonah Arenado kept up his hot hitting but the rest of the lineup fizzled.
Jonah Arenado with his 10th home run of the season for the #SJGiants. Two more hits tonight - now 16-for-31 (.552) over his last 7 games.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 11, 2017
San Jose dropped it’s first series since July 20-23, but they remained in a share of first place. At 23-24, they’re in a three-way tie with Modesto and Visalia for the 2nd half title. Quite the tortoise race.
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.248|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.243|
Caleb Baragar walked off the mound after six strong innings and a 7-1 lead, no doubt thinking happily that his 4th Pitcher Win of the year was well in hand. Instead, if Baragar cares about his W-L record, he suffered through three innings of some hair raising bullpen follies. Jose Morel allowed four runs practically before the fans had finished singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the home half of the 7th. And Nolan Riggs somehow wormed his way through an 8th inning in which walked one batter and hit two others.
Even the normally reliable Patrick Ruotolo wasn’t immune to the trend. Taking the mound in the 9th to protect a 7-5 lead, Ruotolo started by allowing the first three batters he faced to reach base (two singles and a walk).
Turned out the real closer for this game was also one of the biggest bats: CF Johneshwy Fargas. Fargas ended a game in which he doubled twice, scored twice, and knocked runners in twice in a singular fashion: he collected a clean single up the middle and threw out the tying run at home plate.
My kingdom for some video! I sure wish Johneshwy could hit more because he is a playmaker in every other phase of the game for sure.
Salem-Keizer lost at Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 3-1
losing their three game series, 1-2
|a- Kevin Rivera||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.245|
The Volcanoes offense was extinguished last night. Logan Baldwin has been red lava hot lately, but even he was slowed down somewhat last night. Baldwin’s single and walk represented 40% of Salem-Keizer’s baserunners for the game, which isn’t so hot. Baldwin did also steal his 9th base of the year.
Catcher Chris Corbett scored the Volcanoes only run of the game when he led off the 3rd with a single, moved around to 3b on a bunt and groundout, and scored on a WP. And that was pretty much that.
Jose Marte is in the same position that guys like Adon and Raffi Vizcaino and Victor Concepcion were in last year — just hold on and try to compete and survive against the advanced competition. The live-armed 21 year old RHP is doing his best to compete, but he’s struggling to survive. Along with an ERA inching towards 6.00, he has more walks than strikeouts this year (29 to 27) in 39.2 IP. Adon last year, by comparison was 55 Ks, 34 BBs in 67.1 IP. This was definitely a challenge assignment for Marte, who could no doubt be hanging out with his buddy Camilo Doval and having much more success in the AZL. Last night was something of a watershed for Marte, as he went a career high 6 innings, allowing just three runs. He did again walk more than he struck out though.
For those of you who are fascinated by John Russell’s huge strikeout numbers for the year, Conner Penfold has some video for you to examine. Check out the big curve on John!
I may've figured out how John Russell strikes out so many dudes. Lethal snap, quick arm action on these curveballs. https://t.co/3uPUujKJUP— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) August 11, 2017
No video last night so we’ll have to use our imagination with a little artist’s rendition!
No, that’s not what Heliot did last night! He went ka-boom instead! In the 9th inning, Ramos went deep for the first time since way back on July 20th, providing the winning runs in the 6-4 game. Rally Ramos has begun! Ramos did strike out two more times last night, but that’s now three hits and a walk in the last two nights, which is good signs of life. Almost has the OPS back over 1.000 now. Good job, Heliot!
Here, it probably looked a lot more like this:
Jose Layer picked up two more hits last night as well, though he had to leave the game with a leg injury following a slide into 2b. Layer’s shown good contact skills this year, though he hasn’t been driving the ball much, with just four doubles in his 15 hits.
Aaron Bond, the 20 year old OF from San Jacinto College also HRd last night and picked up a double as well. Like Ramos, it had been nearly a month (July 16) since Bond’s last HR. And, like Ramos, last night’s was his 4th of the year.
But the star of the game was 21 year old Venezuelan lefty Deiyerbert Bolivar, who allowed just one hit over three shutout innings while striking out six. Bolivar had a tremendous 2014 season in the DSL, but after his domestic debut in 2015 he ended up missing all of 2016 following surgery. He’s been a little unsteady coming back this year but he’s definitely picked it up of late. In his last two starts he’s allowed just 1 Run on 4 hits while striking out 11 over 7 innings.
Marco Gonzalez may not be dominating the DSL with fearsome stuff that will play at any level, but he is definitely having his way with this level. Checking the ticker that’s now 65 Ks to 18 BBs in 59 IP to go with his 1.68 ERA. And with just three baserunners allowed yesterday he knocked the WHIP down to less than 1.00. That’s not a bad little campaign for the 19 year old.
The DSL Giants were off and running yesterday, stealing a whopping eight bases in the game. Alexander Canario, who also had two hits, stole his team leading 16th, but his lead isn’t very safe as Anyesber Sivira is now up to 15. My what an outburst.
The resurrection of Ghordy Santos continues! With two hits, including a double, and a walk Santos recorded his third consecutive game in which he’s reached base at least twice. In 11 games since July 24th Santos has now lifted his batting average by 61 points (now over the Mendoza Line!) and his OPS by 111 points (up to .712). that’s not a bad two weeks’ work at all Ghordy! That .206/.371/.341 line is a little funny looking, but it’s improving by the day.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jose Flores vs. Andrew Heaney
Richmond: Nate Reed vs. Cole Irvin
San Jose: Shaun Anderson vs. Robert Dugger
Augusta: Stephen Woods, Jr. vs. Matt Dennis
Salem-Keizer: Jason Bahr vs. Juan Nunez
AZL: Jake Greenwalt
DSL: Norwith Gudino
Hey we got some Duggar on Dugger action tonight! I’m not gonna like: this is not the most exciting slate of prospect pitchers I’ve ever seen, though the new guy takes the mound again in San Jose and there’s a smattering of interesting arms among the lower levels. The Giants really do need to beef up the starting pitching depth of the system though.
Lastly, Alex Pavlovic’s podcasts are always a great listen. But let’s highlight the new one with Todd Linden as the hitting coach for San Jose goes into some detail on the little Giants’ hitters. Would you think of someone as pedigreed as Bryan Reynolds being described as “raw?” It’s good to listen to the thoughts of the folks on the front line of development and see things through their eyes.