On this Jackie Robinson Day, Richmond play by play man Jay Burnham was making his best calls prior to first pitch.
RVA Acorns: Today is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB. A day of reflection and brutal truth that the game we love has traditionally been on the wrong side of history.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) April 15, 2018
RVA Acorns: While we pay tribute to a ground breaking and historic figure, let us not forget that inequality is still sadly present in today's day and sage.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) April 15, 2018
Well said, Jay.
HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson reached base 5 times; Austin Slater had two doubles among five hits; Heath Quinn had four hits; Gio Brusa hit a walk off HR.
#DidMacHomer? Sadly no. But he did go 3 for 3 with 2 walks! Williamson teamed up with Austin Slater to give the RiverCats punch a solid 1-2 punch in the middle of the order. Slater, after missing a couple of games, picked up three more hits including two doubles. Slater’s six doubles leads the PCL. He also has just 3 SOs on the year (and 3 BBs).
Most of the game was anti-climax, however, as Jose Flores and Steven Okert combined to allow 12 runs in the 3rd and 4th innings. For Okert, it was the first runs he’s allowed this year. Apparently, he was saving them all up for a special occasion as he was truly knocked around. Among the six hits he allowed were two HRs.
Did I say the rest of the game was ALL anti-climax? Well, I happen to know that there’s a certain subset of fans who would disagree with that assessment!
I threw an extra E in his last name but it wasn't a misspelling it stands for EXCITEMENT— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) April 15, 2018
I told you Schroder pitches in wherever he’s asked! Schroeder picked up a rare combo yesterday, hitting a triple and recording a strikeout! Do we need a scouting report? Of course we do!
AAAHHHH! Myles Schroeder (position player) is pitching! He hit 85 on the gun!— Madison Marie Parks-Valetta (@legaleagle88) April 15, 2018
Schroder 83-86, T88. Saw a curve at 76. Struck out final batter of inning with some high 87-mph cheese— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) April 15, 2018
See, it wasn’t ALL anti-climax.
No, no, no, Doug! That’s taking things a little too far!
Richmond beat Reading FIghtin’ Phils, 7-6
sweeping their three game series, 3-0
On a day that started somewhat drizzly and cold (following a gorgeous high 80s summer day on Saturday), Garrett Williams was never quite in sort, struggling with his command from the outset. He held it together for four innings, allowing just a solo HR over that time, but in the 5th things well apart. A Ryan Howard error (his 3rd of the year and second in two games) opened the frame. Williams then lost the zone completely and walked two of the next three hitters with a single sandwiched in between. That made it 5 walks on the day and Williams’ Sunday was over.
However, Richmond’s hustling offense was up to the challenge against yet another Phillies hard-throwing top prospect, #10 Frankly Kilmomé. They used 8 hits and 5 walks to take the see-saw affair, along with an aggressive approach on the base paths that has come to be their signature style this year. The team’s .204 team batting average is, not surprisingly, near the bottom of the league, but their .324 OBP is actually second best. And they lead the league in stolen bases with 18 in 23 chances. They were a perfect 6 for 6 in SB attempts in the weekend series.
Ryan Howard got things started for the Squirrels, with his second run scoring double in two days.
But the star of the day was really minor league vet (and one time first round pick of the Braves) Matt Lipka. Lipka came into the day with a brilliant .125/.417/.125 line. Lipka would pad that middle slash line with two more walks but he also filled out the SLG a bit with his first HR of the season!
Lipka would score the winning run of the game, starting off the 9th inning with, of course, a walk and ultimately coming around with the game winner on a Jerry Sands single. The LF also swiped his 5th bag of the year, for I believe, the first combo meal of the season in the org.
And now that I’ve extolled the man’s virtues sufficiently, I have to take him down a peg. Each of the Giants’ affiliate coaching staffs this year includes a “fundamentals coach.” In Richmond that is Giants’ stalwart Gary Davenport (son of Jimmy). I suspect Gary had a talk with Lipka and Ronnie Freeman after watching this particular play:
Finally a historic note for Jackie Robinson Day. Did you know....
RVA Acorns: It just so happens that Flying Squirrels manager hails from Cairo, GA (Media note: pronounced "Kay-Row). Same as Jackie. Willie is the first African American manager in team history.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) April 15, 2018
San Jose beat Stockton Ports (A’s), 5-4 in 10 inn
winning their four game series, 3-1
For the second consecutive night, San Jose tied the game up in the bottom of the 9th and walked it off in the bottom of the 10th. And for the second consecutive night, they got a bolt of instant offense when they were down to their final out. To make the story even more incredible, last night’s hero was Gio Brusa. This really has been a week for San Jose Giants baseball. First Brusa and Jalen Miller become bi-cycling buddies, and then they take turns grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat with back to back extra inning walkoff homers.
Heath Quinn had a big day with four hits, the last of which opened up the bottom of the 9th rally. Quinn eventually came around to score the game tying run on singles from Jacob Heyward and vet Jeff Arnold.
Long before all the dramatics, the Giants’ got a solid start from Melvin Adon. Adon surrendered a 1st inning HR to rehabbing major leaguer Chad Pinder but he was strong after that, retiring the next 13 straight batters and going a season high 6 innings.
Will Smith made his second rehab appearance and is starting to lock in on his stuff.
Will Smith's second rehab appearance in San Jose - faced four batters: single, RBI double, strikeout, strikeout. 22 pitches. Both strikeouts came on the slider. FB was 90-93.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 15, 2018
Augusta’s final game vs Lexington was postponed by rain
Slip slidin’ away— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) April 15, 2018
When your game is postponed ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/x8BH3i3kXg
For a little off day reading, you probably want to check out this piece on Malique Ziegler from old friend David Lee:
Also, I wrote a feature on SF Giants 22nd-round OF Malique Ziegler and his exciting set of tools. https://t.co/DwzT64hMRR— David Lee (@David11Lee) April 16, 2018
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Andrew Suarez vs. Josh Smith
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Michael Kelly
San Jose: Logan Webb vs. Bo Takahashi
Augusta: Jason Bahr vs. Kade McClure
Things are off to a nice start on the season! Richmond is off to its best start in franchise history at 7-3 and both Richmond and San Jose (7-4) sit atop their divisions. Augusta at 6-4 is off to a solid start as well. Only Sacramento is below .500 and they’ve had some fairly substantial disruptions to their expected rotation so far this year. Today’s start will be just the second this year that they’ve received from their anticipated 1-2 starters Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez.
And we’ve had a healthy amount of thrills. I declare April good so far!
THIS is why you don’t leave @SJGiants games early! #GioBrusa with the walk-off 2-run home run. One day after @Jalen_Miller4 hits a walk-off home run and BOTH completed the cycle in the same game last week. I a theme going on here. @MiLB pic.twitter.com/Ys6tivm7oc— Tim Cattera Photo (@TimCatteraPhoto) April 16, 2018