When things just aren’t going your way:
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw 3 hits including two doubles; Dusten Knight, Reyes Moronta, DJ Snelten, Rodolfo Martinez, Sandro Cabrera, and Logan Webb combined for 10 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts (and just 1 BB); Logan Webb has an immaculate inning.
|Melvin Upton Jr.||CF||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||.333|
|a- Ryan Lollis||PH-1B||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.271|
|b- Wynton Bernard||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.243|
Back to back extra innings games have started the series with the Cubs with each team taking home a Win. This time it was the Cubs turn to celebrate.
The RiverCats faced yet another lefty in what has been an extremely port-sided road trip. This time it was Rob Zastryzny, who had started the week with the Cubs but faced the Giants’ AAA version rather than the major league version. That gave Chris Shaw yet more practice on his platoon splits and he fared quite well, doubling twice off the Zasty one. The road trip has Shaw’s numbers vs. LHP looking pretty shiny, as he’s now up to .309/.356/.509 off of same-siders.
Shaw and Mac Williamson did the offensive heavy lifting for the Cats, collecting five hits, four doubles, three runs, and two RBIs between them. They got Sacramento off to a strong start with back to back RBI doubles in the first that keyed a 3-run inning.
And later, after Matt Gage had torched that lead they teamed up again to help score the tying run in the 8th. Shaw started the inning with his third hit of the game and Mac doubled to put runners at 2b and 3b. That could have set Sacramento up for a bigger rally, but Williamson ran into an out trying to get himself to 3b on Federowicz’ Sac Fly. That turned out to be a big 90 feet, as the Cats would have only one more base runner the rest of the game. Worthwhile gamble but solid execution from the Cubs.
After Matt Gage had allowed 11 hits and 5 runs in his short, four inning start, Sacramento got extraordinary relief out of Dusten Knight, Reyes Moronta, and DJ Snelten. The trio gave Sacramento 6 innings of nearly perfect relief, allowing just 1 hit and no runs while striking out 10 batters. Knight struck out all three batters he faced, while Snelten retired all 9 batters he faced, striking out 4.
The game also saw the return, finally, of Melvin Upton, Jr. to the lineup. It’s long since past the time when might have been part of the Giants’ 2017 puzzle, but he’s hoping to show enough to catch on somewhere, and could conceivably fit the 2018 roster if he can stick on the field.
Portland starter Kevin McAvoy took the mound with a 4.60 ERA in the pitcher friendly EL and a recent three-week stint on the DL. He then threw 7 no-hit innings. The apotheosis is near!
Hunter Cole hit a hard grounder through the 5.5 hole for a clean single to end the night’s drama.
RVA Acorns: Don't sleep on starter Tyler Herb - acquired as PTBNL - Heb with 4 consecutive quality starts. Throws strikes, quality mix.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) August 8, 2017
Tyler Herb was a victim of lack of support in every way. Not only did his lineup fail to record a hit during his 7 strong innings of work but the only three runs he allowed were all unearned after CJ Hinojosa booted a tailor-made double play that should have ended the 2nd. In fairness to CJ, though the ball was a two-hopper right to him, it went through the 2b umpire’s legs on the way out, which no doubt caused some distraction. Still, that opened the door for all the runs Portland would need. Herb has been solid for the Squirrels, giving up 2 or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts.
Ryan Halsted has unsurprisingly found the EL a bit tougher sledding than the Cal League. Halsted was touched up for a two-run homer from Michael Chavis, who the Squirrels should just stop pitching to. It was Chavis’ third HR against the Squirrels in the four games between the two teams this week.
San Jose Bats
#SJGiants Grant Watson had allowed just three home runs in his entire pro career entering tonight (165 IP). Tonight: 5 HR in 4 innings.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 9, 2017
Dang, Watson is giving up some major bombs. These are no cheapies— Julie (@phibear35) August 9, 2017
Yeah, that’s not going to work out very well most nights. There was something very Lancaster-esque going on last night in Stockton as the two teams combined for 8 HRs. Watson’s problems all came to the 5-6-7 batters who combined for all five HRs he gave up. Those five swings of the bat accounted for eight of the runs San Jose surrendered. The final run was the result of Matt Krook’s wildness, as Krook walked the first two batters he faced and then WP them into scoring position. Two strikeouts got him out of trouble but not before an RBI groundball brought in the FREE!FREE!FREE! run.
The Giants did get solid pitching at the front and end of the game however.
No word on whether his velo’s ticking back up but at least his control is getting sharper as he threw 13 of 17 pitches for strikes. The Giants brass is still considering the timing for his return but there’s obviously no hurry.
At the end of the game, Rodolfo Martinez recaptured some of his old Cal League glory, striking out 2 in a perfect inning.
San Jose’s offense couldn’t keep up with the Stockton barrage, but they did manage three HRs of their own — solo shots from Dillon Dobson and Steven Duggar and a two-run blast from Matt Winn. Duggar showed off his well rounded game; in addition to the HR he walked twice and also stole a base. Just an OF assist away from the Toolsy Triple!
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.248|
Melvin did not get the best of this duel. Like their AA brethren, Augusta struggled for hits against yet another Braves’ pitching prospect. Wilson throttled the Greenjackets over 7 shutout innings, striking out 11 while allowing just four singles.
Adon meanwhile, continued his tendency to be just a little more hittable than you’d like to see out of a guy throwing in the upper 90s, giving up eight hits and four runs in his outing. However, the 6 Ks to 0 BBs continued his trend of controlling the strike zone much better the second half. That’s 22 Ks to 3 BBs over his last five starts now over 29 innings. With a delivery that can stay in the strike zone, a fastball that can hit triple digits and a slider he can throw for strikes he could probably move fast in a relief role. I’d guess finding himself some kind of usable changeup is the challenge for keeping him as a starter long term. Even an average changeup should make a lot of difference in batters ability to tackle his fastball.
Sandro Cabrera picked Adon up with two solid innings of relief, striking out three. The lefty with the sharp curve has had his ups and downs run-prevention-wise this year but he’s run up 63 Ks in 59 innings of relief.
The Augusta offense was almost breaktakingly bad in this game. Not only did they manage just five hits (all singles) and one walk while striking out 13 times, but they also hit into two double plays and went 0 for 3 in SB attempts. That’s quite a night, guys!
One of the few Volcanoes games I get to watch and they throw this stinker out there? Pee-yuu!
Malique Ziegler continued his second half slump with a forgettable night: 0 for 4 with a Golden Sombrero. Over his last three games Ziegler has gone 0 for 13 with 9 Ks and he’s hitting just .233/.303/.328 since July 1st. Still three weeks to turn things back around Malique!
Logan Baldwin, the 21st round pick from Georgia Southern has been on fire lately, and he kept it up yesterday with half the team’s four hits including a triple. In the last 10 days Baldwin has given his numbers a huge lift hitting and incredible .515/.541/.818 over 38 PA.
That is some pretty serious speed on display there. Despite the classic Hillsboro high hop, that ball was not that badly played to result in a coasting-into-the-bag stand up triple to LF.
But what we really should be talking about with this game (and clearly I didn’t take Journalism 101) is Logan Webb. The 20 year old RHP taken out of Rocklin, CA in the 4th round of the 2014 draft is having a very successful rehab season after having TJ surgery last summer. Working in strictly 1 and 2 inning stints, Webb has shown great zip on his fastball and surprising command for a TJ rehab guy. He’s now struck out 22 and walked just 2 in his 16 innings, while allowing only 5 ER. And last night he did what very few pitchers at any level accomplish — a fabled Immaculate Inning! Nine pitches; three strikeouts. Just a fastball and what looks like a splitter maybe. Let’s take the long view because you don’t see this every day:
Webb, who was a star QB on his high school football team was drafted as a raw arm strength kid. His progress has been slow thus far and obviously derailed somewhat by injury. But you have to be encouraged by how he’s looked this year.
AZL Giants had an off night
ICYMI: Baseball census with a report from Seth Corry’s start on Monday night including excellent side view video:
DSL Giants game was rained out
I want my Gregory Santos, dang it!
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. Aaron Brooks
Richmond: Dillon McNamara vs. Teddy Stankiewicz
San Jose: Garrett Williams vs. TBD
Augusta: TBD vs. Alan Rangel
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Tyler Vail
AZL: Miguel Figueroa
DSL: This better be Santos!
Two guys coming off big games head tonight’s slate. Garrett Williams looks to back up his sensational Cal League debut while Casey Kelly goes up against the team that just cut him.
Finally, an oft-asked question hereabouts is roughly: what’s the difference between the various levels? Well, we’re in luck, because yesterday’s “Ask BA” had an exceptionally good and detailed response.