Alex Pavlovic mentioned on a recent podcast that the Giants have been trying to work with Mac Williamson to get him on board the launch angle revolution and get the ball in the air more often. Because with Mac’s ability to lift and separate, good things happen when he does!
They’re not kidding that was a great AB. Twelve pitch at bat with Mac working his way back from a 1-2 count by fouling off six pitches before he got the one he wanted. That’s the way to work it, Mac!
HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson hit 2 HRs among three hits; Aramis Garcia and Jonah Arenado both doubled twice; Jacob Gonzalez doubled, singled, and walked.
|Melvin Upton Jr.||CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.286|
|a- Slade Heathcott||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.278|
|b- Ryan Lollis||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.270|
After taking a couple days off to wear off the consequences of a fastball to the hand, Chris Shaw rejoined the RiverCats lineup last night. First time back in the box? Like riding a bike!
Have I mentioned Shaw has power to all fields? Also, is it just me or do his doubles tend to all bounce off the top of the wall?
But this game really belonged to Williamson. After going nearly two months without a HR and scuffling through a season that’s obviously been tough both on and (I would imagine) off the field, his bat has been showing signs of life this week. Following a disastrous July in which he posted an incredible .418 OPS while striking out in about a third of his PA, he’s rebounded to hit .265/.308/.490 so far in August. Last night was his third multi-hit game of the month and it was a big one.
After a rough Steven Okert outing (it’s Reno — some pitcher was gonna wear it), the RiverCats went into the 9th trailing 6-5. Leading off the inning was Williamson, and he wasted no time in time it up with his second bomb of the night.
That’s three HRs now for Mac in the last week and 12 for the season. That a’ babe!
The game winning hit, however, went considerably less far. With two outs and Jae-Gyun Hwang on 1b it was up to Juan Ciriaco to get the job done. Celebrating his 34th birthday, the ageless one got himself and his teammates a present.
|a- K.C. Hobson||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231|
A sloppy night in the field cost the Squirrels a victory as they gave away three of the four runs the Senators scored. Aramis Garcia’s PB and a Carlos Garcia error combined to allow a Senators’ run in the 1st. Six innings later, RP Jarret Martin WP in the losing run in the 7th. And in the 6th, Harrisburg tied the game on a play that involved two different throwing errors.
Just a sloppy night.
On the brighter side, Garcia also had his finest night at the plate since his promotion to AA. Garcia reached base three times with a walk and two doubles. The second of the, a beautiful piece of up the middle hitting, gave Richmond their short-lived lead.
Starter Tyler Herb turned in his 6th consecutive quality start, striking out 7 while walking just 1. Herb has given the Squirrels’ rotation a nice lift since coming over from the Mariners. He’s allowed just 12 ER over his six starts with Richmond giving them some much-needed reliable innings every turn. His 7 Ks were a high in his time with Richmond, but he had two 10 K performances earlier in the year with the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League.
Herb was done in by the Nats two best prospects. Über prospect Victor Robles picked up two hits off Herb and followed each with a SB. While LF Jose Marmolejos picked up two hits, scored two and knocked in a run.
San Jose Bats
Garrett Williams scoreless stretch in the Cal League came to an end last night after 15.2 innings. But as the good folks in HR like to say, there are no failures, there are just opportunities to learn, and Williams had some opportunities to learn last night.
Mike Krukow has long talked about the importance of learning how to harness your emotions on the mound, and Williams might have learned a little of that lesson last night as well. In the 4th inning with a 2-0 lead a couple of seeing eye grounders wrapped around a stolen base brought his streak to an end. But then with two outs, Williams fielded a slow dribbler and, whirling to make the play, threw the ball away into RF. Walking off the mound after getting the third out, Williams was visibly upset at having failed to make the play, and that might have lingered into the 5th inning, when for a stretch of four or five batters he was a different pitcher.
After having pounded the zone for two and half games he walked the leadoff batter on five pitches and then gave up a booming HR (his first allowed this year) and a ringing double. That quick stretch of batters ended up being the difference in the game. But the good news was, after a visit from pitching coach Mike Couchee, Williams collected himself and ended the 5th with back to back strikeouts and threw two more shutout innings. In one of those, he actually pitched through another of his own errors.
The end result was another strong outing for the lefty. He was commanding his fastball at 92-93 to both sides of the plate and throwing his sharp curve for strikes. He’s now gone 19 innings in the Cal league having allowed just 3 ER, while striking out 23 against 7 walks. He’s been particularly tough on LHH who have just 3 hits against him in 27 ABs with 11 Ks. That certainly puts the fallback option of a dominant lefty reliever on the table, if he doesn’t develop the needed third pitch (change!) to keep him as a starter. All in all another encouraging night in a year of encouraging nights for Williams.
Oh one other lesson from last night. The JetHawks, who are by far the most aggressive team in the league on the bases, stole four bases on Williams, running with abandon and he did little to try to slow them down. Now that the org has done such a great job getting his delivery on a straighter line to the plate, they’ll probably want to get around to some of the finer points of pitching like holding runners, varying times to home, coming up with a premium pickoff move, etc.
Steven Duggar had one of his finest nights at the plate of the year, reaching base four times including a double and two walks. And Jonah Arenado kept up his hot streak with two more doubles. That’s four extra base hits for Arenado in the first two games of this series. Good to see him ending the year on a high note.
Jonah Arenado continues late-season surge with two doubles tonight. 29 doubles this season rank third in Cal League. .409 AVG last 21 games.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 16, 2017
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
Stephen Woods, Jr. worked his way through four shutout innings, allowing just two hits. But he was rugged and rough, walking three and throwing just 44 of 71 pitches for strikes and he left after just four innings. Whether that was by design, because his abbreviated start had him off his normal schedule, or an in-game decision I can’t tell. But once he was gone the game swung in Columbia’s direction. Reliever DJ Myers entered with a 2-0 lead and would ultimately allow five runs to score on nine hits over his 4.2 innings of work.
The Augusta offense couldn’t keep pace, though they had chances. Columbia pitchers handed out five walks (three to Cristian Paulino alone) and three wild pitches. But Augusta hitters went just 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position, wasting every opportunity after a two-run 2nd. Jacob Heyward was the only hitter with two hits, one of which drove in Augusta’s final run. Heyward also picked up a walk. He and Paulino were the only Greenjackets to reach base twice.
I don’t show these often — certainly not as often as the players do these type of activities — but check out how awesome the players’ “off day” was on Monday. Sandro Cabrera sure looks like he’s having a good time. There’s a whole lot of this in a minor league player’s season, as well as all the field work. Good kids!
Salem-Keizer lost at Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 10-5
losing their five game series, 1-4
Put it on a loop, because there was a lot of that last night. Let’s check the ol’ NWL Team Pitching leaderboard to see how things are go.....aaaaaagghghg!
It’s not much of a secret why the Volcanoes have struggled the way they have this year. They lead the league in ER allowed (by plenty) though they’re only second in Runs allowed! They’ve walked the most in the league by a landslide, while having the third fewest strikeouts. They’re second in the league in HRs allowed, they have the worst team WHIP. Basically, if you can do it poorly from the pitcher’s slab, this staff is doing it poorly.
Last night they were helped along by a porous defense as errors from Orlando Garcia and Ryan Kirby contributed to four unearned runs for starter Peter Lannoo. Still, for an organization that is starving for a little good news on the pitching depth side of things, this kind of performance in the low levels is not a sign for great optimism.
On the bright side, Bryce Johnson had another fine game. The speedy 6th rounder picked up two hits, stole home as part of a 50% successful double steal (though strangely the official scorer later took his SB away in a very odd decision) and he threw a runner out at home. Just another day in the life for Johnson, who is shining in his pro debut. In 39 games with Salem-Keizer, Johnson has had two or more hits 16 times. In games that he has started, he’s only gone hitless four times this year (he did have an 0 for 1 as a PH). As a guy who’s game relies on getting on base, he could probably bump his walk rate up a bit as he advances, but he’s definitely translated his speed and defense game to the pros in his first challenge. Nice going Bryce.
|a- Ismael Munguia||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.356|
|b- Mikey Edie||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.370|
Back to back two-out singles from Jacob Gonzalez and Diego Rincones made it a walk off win for the Giants as they continue to roll. Gonzalez, Rincones, Aaron Bond and Nathanael Javier each had two hits to lead the team. After a little dip, Gonzalez is back to tearing it up, hitting .368 in August. He doubled, singled and walked as he seems to consistently put up excellent at bats.
Bond, who is tied with Heliot Ramos for team lead with 5 HRs, also stole his 4th base of the year, as he tries to catch up with Heliot in that category as well. Ramos collected just one hit, a double to the gap, while striking out 3 times. In 2018, we’ll worry about him improving his contact rates; 2017 is the year of enjoying his loud tools and loud contact. Ramos is pounding out a .275 Iso. He’s going to play all of 2018 as an 18 year old, by the way. Sweet!
The walk off was necessitated Olbis Parra allowed the tying run in the top of the 9th, but Franklin Van Gurp (our Name of the Year!) came in to get the team out of the jam and off the field with a tie. At 21, Van Gurp is old for the league, but there’s no doubt that he’s dominating his competition. The RHP (who was once a teammate of Nate Pearson’s) has struck out 27 and walked just 2 in his 16 innings in the AZL. One of those walks was intentional. That’s good!
And before we go, here’s another treat from Bobby DeMuro’s visit to the AZL, some great video of Ricardo Genoves work behind the plate and with the bat. DeMuro raved about Genoves’ defensive abilities, and even had good things to say about the bat potential. It’s clear that Ricardo’s carrying tool and possibly his survival skill is going to be the glove.
|b- Luigi Pichardo||PH-RF||2||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||.238|
|Wascar De Leon||2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||.268|
|1- Keyberth Mejias||PR-C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.214|
|a- Martin Doria||PH-3B||1||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.240|
Scoring six times over the final three innings, the DSL Giants stormed to their 7th consecutive victory. With division leader Blue Jays also winning games right now, the Giants elimination number is closing down on them regardless (now 8) but they’re going down fighting anyway.
The Giants launched a relentless attack with 13 hits and six walks. Several of the usual suspects were at it again. Ghordy Santos had two more hits including his third triple of the year. Over the last two weeks Santos is hitting .360/.448/.500 —he’s making as nice a late season charge as the team, perhaps not coincidentally. The SS also has 7 SB over that fortnight, albeit with 4 CS as well. In this game Santos was PO 3b and caught stealing home, making it the second consecutive game the Giants had turned that particular trick.
Alexander Canario singled home a run and stole his team-leading 17th base of the year before subbing out for Luigi Pichardo who had a crucial two-run single himself. Pichardo also showed off his arm by throwing a runner out at 3b.
And Franklin Labour got his normal allotment — two hits and a walk. That’s multiple hit efforts in 10 of the last 13 games for Labour. Is it any wonder this team is suddenly on a winning streak with this kind of production from the middle of the order?
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jose Flores vs. TBD
Richmond: TBD vs. Greg Ross
San Jose: Matt Solter vs. Brandon Gold
Augusta: Melvin Adon vs. Colin Holderman
Salem-Keizer: Jose Marte vs. TBD
AZL: Jake Greenwalt
DSL: Gregory Santos
We’re getting down to our last few Melvin days of the year. And this one is supplemented with a dash of Santos and a splash of Marte and Greenwalt. Lots of teenaged arms that maybe have some dreams in them.
Keep an eye on Fangraphs today. Eric Longenhagen’s been posting updated Top 10s for everybody this week and the NL West lists should go up sometime today. Check here for updates. Stay well, everybody. And we’ll see you back here tomorrow.