AZL Giants lost to AZL Cubs, 10-4
They trail their Best of 3 Championship Series, 0-1
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AZL Championship series game 1. Cubs v Giants pic.twitter.com/i92aR8sZtF— Sande Charles (@sandecharles) September 6, 2017
An object lesson in perception — last fall we got the following short player notes from Eric Longenhagen off of Instrux looks:
Jose Marte, RHP – A 20-year-old Dominican righty who was up to 95 in instructional league and flashing an above average curveball. He’s a below-average athlete with some control issues but is an interesting low-level prospect.
Almost exactly a year a part in age, the two right handers both came into the year with about 20 professional innings. But when assignment time came at the end of XST Doval stayed in Scottsdale while Marte was deemed ready enough for the challenge assignment to the college-player heavy NWL.
And while Doval received plenty of shout outs on this platform as he racked up splashy K totals (51 in 32.1 IP), Marte mostly absorbed repeated beatings: 4 Runs in 2 innings, 6 runs in 2 innings, 4 Runs in 5 innings, 6 runs in 2.2 innings. On it went.
In a way those ugly lines were his badge of honor for a summer spent trying to keep from drowning. The organization never pulled the plug on him, never sent him to the bullpen or back down to the AZL (as they did Sidney Duprey and others). They showed faith in his ability to compete at the level. He rewarded them with the occasional quality start and some decent strikeout rates. But mostly he kept getting back up, taking the ball and avoiding (positive) notice from the likes of us.
All of which is to say that I couldn’t be happier that he had this opportunity to show what he might have done had he, too, gotten the cushier complex league assignment. Marte took the mound for Game 1 of the Championship series against one of the most prolific offenses in the AZL and he shoved it!
Six innings, two hits, one run, 9 Ks.
The one run was a vestige of Marte’s sometimes wonky control as he hit a leadoff hitter and then unleashed a WP while the runner was stealing 2b, landing him all the way at 3b. Ricardo Genoves (more on him later) completed the free run when he whizzed an ill-advised pickoff attempt down the LF line.
That was it. Otherwise, Marte set ‘em up and sat ‘em down. A night of brilliance. And we all got to see a glimpse the development that has perhaps been taking place all along, hidden amidst his prosaic and obscuring minor lines. What is signal and what is noise is always the question.
Should we watch more anachronistic Marte highlights? Why not! It sets the mood! Here he is striking out the Cubs 3b prospect Eudy Ramos, who would bash his way up to the Midwest League this year.
Unfortunately, an offense that has been moribund outside of Ismael Munguia and Jacob Gonzalez (who collected three hits apiece), was unable to take advantage of Marte’s effort. He left holding a slim 2-1 advantage, but within four batters that advantage was gone. Camilo Doval got a called strike three vs the first batter he faced but each of the next four walked or singled.
Olbis Parra miraculously got out of the bases-loaded, one-out jam with a unique 3U-1 double play. But in the 8th, after striking out the first two batters, Parra also found himself in a bases loaded jam that ended his night. John Gavin was called on to try to preserve the tie this time, and that’s when things got a little hinky.
Bases loaded wild pitch, Ricardo Genoves slings it into the infield after closing back, second run scores after failing to field the plate— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) September 6, 2017
18 year old Catcher Ricardo Genoves has received a lot of praise in his short career for his defensive acuity, but no way around it he had a rough game last night. In the pivotal play of the game he committed what was scored his second PB of the game (he had 7 during the season) and then committed his second throwing error of the game on the same play and failed to cover the plate allowing two runs to score.
At that point the dam burst as Gavin searched in vain for a third out to an inning that wouldn’t end
The Giants would mount a small rally in the end, scoring twice in the 9th and getting Jacob Gonzalez up to the plate with the bases loaded before things were over. Though Gonzalez’ night ended on a disappointing check swing strike three, he’s been the main man for the team’s listing offense. In their two playoff games, the second rounder now has five hits and five RBIs. Along with Ismael Munguia, who’s had six hits and scored five runs, they’re running a virtual two-man offense right now. Rincones and Bond have contributed, but the bottom of the order has been pretty silent.
So now the team has spent it’s best SP bullet and faces elimination with a sputtering offense. Time to find something guys. Will it be Greenwalt or Seth Corry on the mound to stave off elimination? Or possibly Miguel Figueroa or Sidney Duprey. Big night for one or more of these young arms. We shall see.