Woof! What a night. I think I can sum up last night’s games with a single highlight:
As you can see from the above, Tyler Rogers had himself a rough night, taking a major hit to the ERA (which has now jumped a half a run over the last two weeks). There is, however, a caveat to Rogers’ 4 run inning: it looked like he hadn’t given up any runs at all when he walked off the field at the end of the 8th inning. But then...
Now to be perfectly fair, I will say that it looks to me like they actually got this call right. Ryan Lollis’ foot appears to come off the bag in his stretch and the home plate ump was in fact the guy with the clearest view to see that. But hauling the team back out of the dugout to complete the inning? That’s rough. As even the El Paso announcer noted, it’s pretty hard to blame Rogers for things falling apart when he was sitting on the bench thinking his night was over a minute earlier.
The entire night was a study in frustration for Sacramento. Their offense had runners in scoring position in six different innings, only to go 0 for 11 in those scoring opportunities. A Trevor Brown Sac Fly produced their lone run for the night.
That wasted a pretty darned good effort from Matt Gage who had just his third quality start as a RiverCat. One thing Gage can definitely do is fill up the strike zone — perhaps too much given his somewhat limited stuff. For the third time in his last four starts, he didn’t issue a single walk. The fifth such start overall with Sacramento (out of 10 starts). He definitely makes them earn their way on. Of course with a WHIP hovering in the 2.00 level, it appears “they” are quite capable of doing that more often than not.
The system’s only victory (spoiler alert!) came from the Lancaster Barnstormers’ annex squad. The Squirrels are hot lately, winning 6 of their past 7. Leading the charge is 1b K.C. Hobson, who is honing in on Slade Heathcott’s team lead for HR despite having played with Richmond for just 45 games. Hobson hit his 10th last night.
Of course, he’s got to watch out from behind because Caleb Gindl has 8 HRs in just 33 games.
Feels like this entire roster is a bunch of Carlos Moncriefs these days. Now nobody loves a Carlos Moncrief story more than me, but sheesh, this does not feel like the way a healthy farm system should look.
There was a tiny bit of prospect-ness about the game. Jordan Johnson made his first appearance in a month (leg strain), pitching an inning out of the pen. And Christopher Jesse Hinojosa halted a bit of a hitless stretch with two hits, including his 13th double of the year.
Oddly enough, the Flying Squirrels are the only team in the Eastern League this year to have a winning record against the 85-44 Thunder, who are thundering indeed.
San Jose lost at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 12-4
losing their three game series, 1-2
San Jose Bats
Thus it ever goes against the Rawhide. The search for a series win in Visalia will have to wait for another year as the streak extends to four and a half years now. Dom Mazza was far from perfect in his long-awaited Cal League debut. The lefty from Walnut Creek coughed up 12 hits, 7 runs, a homer, a walk, and three hit batsman in just 5.1 IP. Not exactly the way he dreamed it I’m guessing.
His opposite number, Jon Duplantier, on the other hand, shoved it down the Giants’ throats, allowing just one hit over 5 dominant innings while striking out 9.
San Jose did rouse itself for a three-run mini-rally upon seeing a reliever in the 6th. Ryan Howard reached on a leadoff error and then Reynolds, Arenado, Dobson, and Quinn came up with consecutive hits — more than half the team’s total for the night.
But Heath Slatton allowed a huge five-run rally in the 8th to quash any hopes of a stirring comeback.
Yep. The lights went out alright.
San Jose now sits a game behind a three-way tie at the top of the division. They return home for their final three home games of the year, starting tonight against Stockton. After that they finish with seven games on the road, including a final four game set in Stockton. So they get a chance to take on one of the teams in front of them anyway.
Augusta lost at Asheville Tourists (Rockies), 9-8 in 10 inn
losing their four game series, 1-3
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||5||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||.228|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||5||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.248|
Certainly the most entertaining contest of the night, Augusta’s loss to Asheville features seven different lead changes before a walk, a WP and a two out single sent the Greenjackets to extra-inning defeat. That hung the loss on Caleb Smith, who had already blown the save by allowing a game-tying HR in the 8th. Smith has had a serious back-step of a year. A year ago he looked like he’d conquered the Sally and was ready for bigger things. But his Cal League season lasted just 7 games and 8.2 innings, and he’s struggled to keep it together back in A ball. Forty walks in 43 innings just won’t get it done Caleb.
Sandro Fabian had his second consecutive three-hit game — all of them singles interestingly enough. Fabian has nine hits over his last four games. He’s playing like a kid who can smell the finish line.
Augusta also got big nights from Jacob Heyward, who also had three hits, and C Skyler Ewing, both of whom had a double. I can’t speak for how the Catcher conversion is going, but Ewing has had a very loud second half with the bat. He’s SLG .510 since the beginning of July.
Kelvin Beltre’s one hit was his 22nd double of the year. After a long power drought he’s had extra base hits in three of his last four games.
|1- Christopher Burks||PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|a- Kevin Rivera||PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.267|
Another back and forth affair. Logan Webb ran out of gas in his third inning of work, walking three batters in the 8th inning and WP in the go ahead run. Michael Sexton’s two-out double in the top of the 9th tied it back up. But in the bottom of the 9th, John Russell hung a curve and the resulting fly ball got through everybody.
A Sac Fly ended it for a happy Eugene crowd.
Prior to that it had been a Johnson and Baldwin show for the Volcanoes. The two speedsters stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, swiping six bags between them and pulling off two double steals that both led to runs. Here’s the kind of mayhem the pair produced out of a simple HBP last night:
Now, how well all that mayhem is going to work at higher levels? We shall see.
Still when the night was over the Volcanoes had fallen further off the pace. Now 3 games back and in last place, Salem-Keizer’s elimination number is down to 7 and counting.
|a- Mikey Edie||PH-LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.419|
And yet another walk off loss! This loss was a comedy of errors for the AZL team. Miguel Figeroa allowed six runs in the 2nd inning — all of them unearned thanks to back to back throwing errors from Figueroa himself and Jacob Gonazalez. And after the offense climbed their way back into a tie the Giants lost it on a PB from Ricardo Genoves.
Gonzalez had a tough night altogether, making his 13th error, striking out twice and grounding into a double play.
Franklin Van Gurp continued his impressive debut with two more Ks in a couple of innings. Van Gurp’s K% is up to 35% now.
DSL Bats Gm 1
|b- Anyesber Sivira||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.214|
|Wascar De Leon||2B||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||.281|
|1- Robinson Batista||PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.324|
|a- Andrew Caraballo||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.209|
DSL Bats Gm 2
|Wascar De Leon||LF||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.277|
Well, that’s why it’s a bad idea to put yourself in a position where you need to win every game for a month. Because it’s really hard to keep that pace up. Especially hard when one of the major cogs driving the train becomes MIA. Franklin Labour has only played one of the team’s last seven games, so we can presume he got a little nicked up last week. Without him the lineup lost some major teeth.
The 4-0 shutout in game 1 was the official elimination game. Of the 11 hits the team collected in the two games only went for extra bases — a Wascar de Leon double. So, three more games and then we’ll see who, if any, of this group shows up in Instrux for fall (they also have Instrux at the Dominican camp, which is where most of the roster will take their instructions).
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. Dillon Overton
Richmond: Dan Slania vs. Will Carter
San Jose: Mark Reyes vs. TBD
Augusta: TBD vs. Hildemaro Requeña
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Javier Assad
AZL: Joey Marciano
DSL: Norwith Gudino
Do better tonight, guys, ok? Friday night fun night?
Fortunately, I have the perfect tonic to soothe my jagged nerves: Kevin’s timelapse video of his day at the eclipse.