In an epic upset that will be talked about for years, the undersized runt of the solar system bests perennial champion. News at 11.
HIGHLIGHTS: Tyler Herb allowed 1 run in CG victory; Stephen Woods struck out 7 in 6 IP; Jacob Gonzalez hit first pro HR;
Big news in Sacramento’s CF yesterday, as Melvin Upton Jr. opted out of his minor league deal with the Giants to seek a contender in need of his skills. That opened things up for the Giants to finally promote the guy they originally thought was going to be playing CF in Sacramento: Steven Duggar.
As he had going to AA, Duggar took to his new assignment with relish showing off all the tools that make him so exciting. In the 1st he worked a leadoff walk and came around to score the RiverCats first run on Chris Shaw’s 32nd double of the year (22nd with Sacramento).
In the 4th Duggar singled for his first AAA hit and immediately took 2b for his first AAA SB. And in between, he showed off his wheels in the OF, saving the team a run.
That’s the guy we’ve been waiting for all year. Glad to have you Steven. Please keep your legs healthy for the rest of time!
This was supposed to be Johnny Cueto’s first rehab assignment but he came up sick and so that will be shoved off to a later day. Instead Jose Flores took his regular turn and gave Sacramento yet another quality start. In 10 starts in the PCL, Flores has posted an ERA under 3.00, including strong efforts in Albuquerque and Reno. He has 60 Ks in 57.2 IP at the AAA level. Flores seems like a guy who’s waiting for an opportunity to go Albert Suarez his way into a career somewhere.
Steven Okert and Derek Law were nearly perfect over the final 3, allowing just one hitter to reach base.
|Tyler Herb (W, 2-2)||9||5||1||1||1||4||1||2.58|
Tyler Herb delivered the system’s second complete game in as many days, which is just about as rare in the minors as a total solar eclipse! This was Herb’s 7th consecutive quality start since joining the Squirrels. And as he’s going to be Rule 5 eligible this winter and consequently represents another 40 man decision, perhaps we should get to know him better.
I actually saw Herb in his first start with Richmond when he gave up 5 runs against Bowie. Unfortunate timing on my part since that was the only non-quality start he’s made with the Squirrels. But my impression of him was that he was an extremely appropriate Chris Heston replacement, as his game an offerings are very much in line with what Heston brought. He can spot a high 80s/low 90s fastball and lives on mixing up his offerings and locations. And thus lives on the knife’s edge of his command and sequencing.
This is Herb’s second year in AA. In 11 starts in Jackson last year, in the fairly pitcher friendly Southern League, he ran up a 5.04 ERA and 4.46 FIP after having been promoted from Bakersfield where he had a very admirable 3.28 ERA, 3.99 FIP. Except for that stretch in Bakersfield his K9 has mostly lived in the range between 6-8, which is exactly where he’s been with Richmond, striking out 38 and walking 14 in 52.1 IP.
Will he be a 40 man guy. As I say, he looks very much like a younger, more controllable Chris Heston. But that defines him as essentially a fringe 40 man guy. It all depends on the numbers and the options but I’d guess likely not unless they heard interest in him during the trade season.
The Squirrels made it easy for Herb to go the distance supplying him with 11 runs of support on 10 hits and 6 walks. Daniel Carbonell and KC Hobson both went the distance which allows me to note that I just found out this weekend that Hobson is the son of former Boston Red Sox starting 3b and manager, and onetime Roll Tide QB, Butch Hobson. How ‘bout that.
And since we’re discussing fine pitching and 40 man decisions, I suppose I shouldn’t leave Richmond without noting that Dan Slania was recognized for his fine performance last week with an EL Pitcher of the Week citation:
San Jose had an off day
They begin a big three game series in Visalia tonight.
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.242|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||5||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||.240|
As it turned out, Salem-Keizer wasn’t the only Giants’ affiliate that got to enjoy yesterday’s eclipse. Augusta was visitor at one of the last of the minor league stadiums to bear witness to the path of totality: “The Joe” in Charleston, South Carolina. Unlike the Volcanoes, Charleston chose to have an eclipse party first, and a post-eclipse ballgame second.
Once the game got going, it was Augusta starter Stephen Woods, Jr. who provided the brilliance. Following a one-one single in the bottom of the 1st, Woods, Jr. retired 11 consecutive batters including four strikeouts. Before he was done, he struck out 7 RiverDogs, using his dastardly fastball/curveball combo, while allowing just four hits. He was throwing a shutout through six innings, but returning for the 7th, he allowed the first two batters to reach and the call went out to the pen. Caleb Smith allowed one of his inherited runs to score, tarnishing Woods, Jr.’s line just a bit.
Woods, Jr. is really having a fine first year in Augusta and has been on a long stretch of success at this point. Dating back to the first week of June, Woods, Jr. has pitched 61.1 innings, while only allowing 16 earned runs, five of which came in a single disaster start near the end of July when he was knocked out by the BABIP gods in the 2nd inning. He’s K’d 61 batters over that same stretch although he still struggles with his control at times, as shown by his 33 walks. For the season those numbers are 106 Ks and 57 BBs in 102 innings.
He’s been especially sharp of late, allowing 1 or 0 runs in each of his past four starts, including this one.
A combination of offensive and bullpen support deprived Stephen a deserved win, but the Greenjackets would ultimately pull the game out in 11 innings. Jose Morel vultured himself a win, blowing the save in the 9th inning and then retiring all six batters he faced in the 10th and 11th.
Another Jr. — Jose Vizcaino, Jr. — did most of the work for the bats. He brought in the game winner with an RBI groundout and had earlier sent a jolt out of the Joe:
The RiverDogs are the likely Southern Division winner for the Sally league so playing competitively against them, as the Greenjackets have done this series, is a nice sign, especially Woods, Jr.’s dominant effort.
Our own Kevin Cunningham and Jen Mac Ramos were at this game in person, so I’ll let them give the celestial dance blow by blow. Sounds like it was quite an amazing experience!
As for the baseball, the concept of an “eclipse delay” caused the Volcanoes an issue. The delay was scheduled to take place after the 1st inning. In order to avoid burning their starter Peter Lannoo, Salem-Keizer chose to send reliever John Timmins out to pitch the first and he immediately put them into a 4-0 hole. So much for that strategy. Of course, Lannoo would go on to give up 5 runs of his own, so who’s to say what might have worked. Between the two of them they allowed three HRs, including two to Daulton Varsho who was the Diamondbacks’ Competitive Balance round pick this year (don’t even get me started on that idiot thing).
Weilly Yan, who had spent the year in the AZL camp, made his way up to the NWL for his A ball debut. Yan was recently clocked in the 93-94 range with his fastball down in Scottsdale.
The loss dropped the Volcanoes two games behind Hillsboro in the division race. Though I’ll add my standard caveat that Salem-Keizer has the worst record in the league this season, and probably isn’t going to make a brilliant run to the title.
Anyway, yesterday was about things even more beautiful than a baseball game.
Jacob Gonzalez hit his 1st pro HR for AZL #Giants. A long bomb to left-center against Cubs. Gets silent treatment in dugout.— Bill Mitchell (@billazbbphotog) August 22, 2017
Jacob Gonzalez collected three more hits including a double and, yes, his 1st pro HR in last night’s game. The homer came early as he hit a 3-run bomb three batters into the game. Sadly, the following 32 batters would produce just five more hits and no runs.
But the important thing is that Gonzalez keeps swinging a sweet bat. He has 7 hits over his last three games and 14 hits in his last seven games. The strapping teenager projects to have big power as he grows into his body (I’ll remind folks who were worried about Gonzalez’ power based on the lack of HRs that a) they shouldnt be, and b) Mike Trout hit 1 HR in his AZL season).
No HR shot, but we do have a little video of Jacob working the count last night.
Jeremiah Estrada sequences vs. Jacob Gonzalez, Angeddy Almánzar pic.twitter.com/5KSl6xIrAq— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 22, 2017
Jake Greenwalt, for the second consecutive start, allowed 5 ER on 6 hits. He’s also given up three HRs in those two games. The year’s been a pretty uneven one for the 19 year old, whose ERA is now up to 6.42. Ouch! There have been definite steps to build on, however.
Ray Black got into his second game of the year, relieving Greenwalt with two outs in the 4th. Black only pitched to three batters as they didn’t want him to come back out for another inning after cooling down.
The DSL Giants book-ended this game with three run innings in their first and final at bats, and nothing in between.
Raiber Gutierrez, who’s been a very solid leadoff man for the Giants this year, had a big game. He started both scoring rallies and ended the game with two hits, a walk, two runs scored and two stolen bases. His 17 SB on the year are one behind Alexander Canario for team lead. Canario doubled home the first two runs of the game (his 16th double) and scored twice himself.
Franklin Labour hit the team’s only other extra base hit, his 10th double of the year and stole his 13th base. Luigi Pichardo got into just his 10th game and had a single, a walk, and a SB. Pichardo has hit in 7 of the 10 games he’s played this year.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Johnny Cueto vs. Ryan Carpenter
Richmond: Dillon McNamara vs. Beau Burrows
San Jose: Garrett Williams vs. Sam Lewis
Augusta: Melvin Adon vs. Matt Dennis
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. TBD
AZL: Seth Corry
DSL: Aneudy Acosta
Just about as good a slate of pitching as the system can muster. Sacramento at last word was expecting Cueto to go tonight, but if he can’t it should be Andrew Suarez turn. Garrett Williams opens a huge three game set in Visalia while Melvin Adon tries to rebound from his worst start of the year. And down in the complex league we should have Seth Corry looking to carry on his strong string of recent starts.
Enjoy the games everybody!