Minor Lines is coming at you fast today. Only three games on the menu today so let’s just jump into it.
|a- Slade Heathcott||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.255|
WE GOT DRAMA!
Tyler Rogers once again had trouble nailing down the save. Rogers walked two batters and hit another to create a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the 9th. Into the mess stepped Steven Okert.
Very nice to see from Steven, who will most certainly be returning to San Francisco at the end of the week (sounds like he and Derek Law may be the only call ups). Since being sent back down to Sacramento, Okert has appeared in 12 games and he’s been outstanding in 10 of them, allowing just 3 hits and no runs in 10.1 IP, with three walks and a HB. The other two were much messier as he allowed 6 runs on six hits, two walks, a HB and two HRs.
Before Okert, the relief in this game had been a little on dicey side, as DJ Snelten had also blown a one run lead with two walks and a hit in the 7th.
Starter Andrew Suarez, however, was strong again with a tidy 5 inning, one-run performance. Suarez threw just 70 pitches before being relieved as the Giants appear to be downshifting on most of the system starters this week in preparation for the end of the year. Suarez hasn’t allowed more than 2 ER in a game since July 17 — a stretch of eight games and 50.1 total innings. Over that same time he’s struck out 43 batters. Suarez has definitely been one of the relatively few Giants’ farmhands to take an unambiguous step forward this year.
Another of those would probably be LF Chris Shaw who once again came up with the big hit for the RiverCats yesterday.
That was Shaw’s 17th RBI in 23 August games. He has 75 RBI overall on the year.
|a- Dylan Davis||PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.218|
|b- Rando Moreno||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.205|
|c- Jerry Sands||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.289|
|Carlos Alvarado (H, 6)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.22|
|Jarret Martin (H, 10)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.27|
|Seth Rosin (BS, 4)||2||2||1||1||1||1||0||5.11|
|Caleb Gindl (W, 1-0)||2||1||0||0||3||2||0||0.00|
They didn’t quite make it to midnight last night (god love the minors!) but Richmond and Altoona offered up some Weird Baseball nonetheless. We had relief pitcher ABs! We had position players on the mound! What we didn’t have was a lot of runs.
In the bottom of the first, Caleb Gindl, CJ Hinjosa, and Myles Schroder started the game off with three consecutive hits and a run. The Squirrels wouldn’t score again for the length of an A ball double header. That was almost good enough for a 1-0 win, but Seth Rosin allowed a two-out RBI single to tie the game in the top of the 8th and it was a war of attrition from that point on.
The teams combined to use 14 pitchers and both ended up with a position player on the mound. With the knuckleball stylings of Ty Horan no longer an option for the Squirrels, they went to CF Caleb Gindle, and Gindl frankly showed off some pretty lively stuff from the left-hand side. For two innings Gindl was throwing up a little low 90s action — now he didn’t always know where it was going, but it was an eye opener nonetheless.
The key distinction to the game’s end, somewhat ironically, wasn’t how the two position players pitched, but rather how they fielded! After Gindl walked the bases loaded in the top of the 14th he got out of it by doing this:
But when Altoona backup Catcher Tomas Morales loaded the bases with two walks and a HB in the bottom of the 15th, he did this:
Gotta field your position, big guy! That could have been a 1-2-3 double play that got you to the 16th! I’m thinking everybody was pretty happy at that point that Morales couldn’t bend down to get it, however.
San Jose and Augusta both had their final off days of the year
This was a tidy little 2-1 game heading into the 9th. Things happened at that point, however, and most of those things were anti-Volcano in nature. Aaron Phillips, who’s had a pretty fantastic pro debut in general, went out to the mound for his fourth inning of work and that was a bridge too far as Phillips failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. It was an inning that built up from small things to big -- a seeing eye dribbler, an infield hit, a sac bunt that was thrown away, and soon enough 7 runs had scored. The 9th rounder from St. Bonaventure has missed bats in his debut with a 30% k rate. But batters who haven’t gotten on have scored at a hefty clip, as he’s kept just 58% on base.
Malique Ziegler has been in a serious rut for most of August, but he showed off his disparate skills in this one. He stole his 26th base of the year following a walk and finished up the wackiness of the 9th inning by hitting a two-run HR — just his second HR since the opening week of the season (5th overall). Technically, Ziegler picked up the season’s very first Toolsy Triple as he also recorded an OF assist, though that was on a cutoff play to the plate so it doesn’t exactly fullfill the spirit of the Toolsy Triple. It would be nice to see Ziegler finish the season with a bit of flair.
The Volcanoes have now lost five games in a row since they were briefly tied for 1st place and will likely be eliminated from contention tonight. At 28-43 they have the NWL’s worst record. That’s a fate they share with both of their A ball brethren as San Jose and Augusta likewise hold the worst records in their respective leagues.
AZL Giants were off
If you want a cheery thought for the day, literally half of the Arizona League’s top 10 in batting average plays for the Giants:
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Matt Gage vs. Mitch Atkins
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Austin Coley
San Jose: Garrett Williams vs. TBD
Augusta: TBD vs. Ofreidy Gomez
Salem-Keizer: Luis PIno vs. TBD
AZL: Miguel Figueroa
Garrett Williams should have one more start this season after today, or more if San Jose can secure a post-season bid. But after today we should definitely be on everybody’s final starts. Even so as we’ve seen the last few days, the Giants seem to be cutting back on innings around the system with players like Stetson Woods. Matt Krook and Melvin Adon moving into relief to control innings and others, like Andrew Suarez just reducing pitch counts. Smart move, time to downshift and get ready for fall activities.
Obviously, the only games that are meaningful from this point through Monday will involve San Jose who sit in the middle of a crazy Cal League free for all.