On the major league side, Mac’s blast made for a happy Play of the Day. But down on the farm, the play of the day for this Friday night was a bit of a bummer.
Though Heliot lobbied to stay in the game, Augusta did the smart thing and removed him for a PR. Hopefully nothing that keeps him out long. I do wish people would stop throwing at our Heliot though!
Good news! Heliot Ramos did some pregame base running work. Seems fine. Likely, just precautionary on him being out of lineup. I guess I have a 2nd night in a row free to spend with my wife. Back tomorrow but weather issues. #SFGiants— Chris Blessing (@C_Blessing) April 21, 2018
HIGHLIGHTS: Heath Quinn doubled twice in three hits; Joey Marciano struck out 11 over 6 IP.
Sacramento lost at Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 4-3
losing their series, 1-3
Tyler Beede struck out 7 Bees over 6 IP, which is the good news for his outing. But he also showed his normal command issues, walking three and hitting three batters, tossing a WP, while piling up 94 pitches in his 6 innings of work. Most of the trouble came in a three-run 3rd inning in which he allowed a BB, a HBP, and three hits, including Jabari Blash’s 6th homer of the year. Fortunately a TOOTBLAN opened the inning, which helped limit the damage a little. It’s a familiar story for Tyler: the stuff plays when he commands it, but the command profile lags behind. The time is now for that command to start to shape up if it’s going to.
Will Smith with a 1-2-3 7th inning with two strike outs. Last strike out on Jose Miguel Fernandez with a fastball at 93.— Johnny Doskow (@JDoskow) April 21, 2018
Sacramento actually outhit the Bees (6-5), and had more extra-base hits (3-1), but they scattered their hits around from inning to inning and couldn’t get much going against LHP John Lamb. Lamb, once one of the top prospects in baseball held Sacramento to just 1 run over 5 IP. The one run came courtesy of Chase D’Arnaud, who gave Sacramento another productive night from SS, picking up a walk, stealing a base, and hitting his 3rd HR of the year.
Chris Shaw has really started out the year in a scuffle. The slugger has 15 Ks in his last 7 games, against just 5 hits. Which is not so good. He’s piled up 24 strikeouts on the year so far in just 58 ABs. That’s excessive even for a guy who’s going to strikeout. A case of AAA-itis, or something more serious?
Alright, we can’t leave Mac out of a Minor Lines altogether now, can we?
Nothing much is slowing the high Flying Squirrels down these days. Not a struggling offense...
RVA Acorns: @GoSquirrels have scored just 1 run in the last 3 games but turned in a 2-1 record in that span. Altoona has overpowered with starting pitchers last 2 years.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) April 20, 2018
And apparently, not a struggling starting pitcher! For the second consecutive outing, Garrett Williams scuffled with his command, but in both cases, Richmond scored (for them) a week’s worth of runs to take the win regardless.
Williams was given a 3-0, courtesy of two HRs, including Aramis Garcia’s first long ball since his promotion to AA.
But the 3rd inning spun out of his control quickly, as he walked the first batter and hit the next. After a WP and an RBI groundout, Williams allowed back to back singles before a final walk ended his night. Williams labored through 53 pitches in just over 2 innings.
But the Squirrels have been getting great work from their bullpen all month and in this game, Dusten Knight, Michael Connolly, and Caleb Simpson delivered yeomen’s work allowing just 1 hit over 5.2 IP. Those three relievers have combined to allow just 1 run this season in 27 IP. Overall, Richmond’s team ERA is second best in the Eastern League.
That clampdown relief gave the offense plenty of breathing room in which to work. Dylan Davis, who had hit his 3rd HR earlier, hit a 7th inning double that started a 3-run rally in which five consecutive Squirrels reached base. The coup de grace came from Richmond’s hit leader Ryan Howard, who delivered a two-run double to provide the winning margin. AA does not appear to be slowing Howard’s bat down much at all.
Richmond continues post it’s best record out of the gates in franchise history and now boast the best record in the Eastern League.
By the way, you may ask yourself from time to time: why is Altoona nicknamed the Curve. For the answer to that question, look over play by play man Jay Burnham’s shoulder here at the oldest continuously operated rollercoaster in the country, the eponymous Curve itself, and one of the most notable features of any minor league park in America I think.
If you want to maximize your entertainment dollar, head to the Muni because the San Jose Giants are really bringing the drama at home this year. They produced their third walk off victory in just six home games last night and this one was a real stunner. Down 8-4 going into the bottom of the 9th, San Jose came up with a 5 run rally to steal the victory.
It was a Death By Papercuts masterpiece, as the Giants never really did produce a well-hit ball in the inning. Modesto would hit two batters and walk two others to contribute base runners, and in between San Jose produced four ground ball singles that found holes in the infield to bring in runs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Bryce Johnson had the chance to play hero, and he did, Homer Simpson style!
Heath Quinn had a nice night, picking up three hits including two doubles. That gives Quinn 6 doubles for the year, though he’s hit just 1 HR so far.
The improbable come back saved the Giants from a fourth consecutive loss and masked a night of sloppy play. The San Jose defense made five errors on the night, contributing to three unearned runs.
Like Tyler Beede and Garrett Williams, Melvin Adon didn’t live up to the hype on this night. Adon’s stuff has, once again, been proving pretty hittable for Cal League batters. He’s surrendered 21 hits so far this year in 18.2 IP and has a weighty WHIP of 1.50. And he’s not missing as many bats as his stuff might indicate he should. So far this year, Adon has 15 Ks against 7 BB. Interestingly, the one outing when he did post big strikeout numbers was his 3 inning relief outing when Tyler Beede came down to San Jose. In his starts Adon now has just 9 Ks in 15.2 IP.
But at the end of the night, the only thing that mattered was joy.
Heliot Ramos getting ready for tonight’s game in Rome! pic.twitter.com/l5c6IxxdvZ— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) April 20, 2018
This game started out so nice! Things were happy!
Heliot Ramos’ game opening double opened a big three-run rally in the top of the 1st and that looked to be more than enough given yet another huge effort from the rotation.
Yep, on a night when Tyler Beede, Garrett Williams and Melvin Adon were taking the bump, the star performance came down in Augusta instead. Joey Marciano became the first Giants’ pitcher to hit double digits in strikeouts, as he had Braves swinging over the top of his curveball early and often. Marciano struck out three in the first, and two in each of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. He ran into some trouble in the 2nd inning, when he allowed three of his four hits on the night and also endured a throwing error from Catcher Rob Calabrese on a SB attempt. But the big left-hander settled down and dominated the Braves the rest of the way. A ball hitters were no match for Marciano’s big left hook (see what I did there? A boxing pun? Because Marciano.... oh never mind).
But this was not to be a happy story kind of night. Ramos took the shot off the leg or knee area in the 5th and though he tried to stay in the game, it quickly became clear that they had to get him out of the game. Fresh off that disappointment, Marciano hadn’t even toweled himself off yet when his Eduardo Rivera had thrown away the lead and the game, giving up a three run HR within his first five batters. And so a promising Friday night went down to dust.
Like Richmond, Augusta’s strong 9-6 start is mostly a testament to their pitching staff which sits third in the Sally with a 2.80 team ERA. They’re also second in the league in staff strikeouts. That’s covered for an offense that hasn’t gotten much going yet, as we can see from the bevy of low-.200s batting averages in the lineup. Jacob Gonzalez has been scuffling in the middle of the lineup, hitting .218/.267/.345 so far with 19 strikeouts vs. just 3 walks. This is a league where young hitters start to learn about pitches that bend.
So now we wait to hear how Ramos is doing and hopefully the news is positive and then we wait to see him return to the lineup and continue his baseball education. In the meantime, a few little teasers from Baseball HQ’s Chris Blessing, who caught some of the series in Rome.
Some thoughts from last night. #SFGiants prospect Heliot Ramos has a bright future. Some issues exist and we'll go into them next Thursday in the Eyes have it piece. He's a dude! I will revisit him Saturday Night!— Chris Blessing (@C_Blessing) April 20, 2018
#SFGiants prospect RHP Jose Marte will get the Eyes Have it treatment too. Raw throwers who spin the ball tend to eventually find their way to the big leagues. Also, great scouting work by NY area guy on senior sign Peter Lannoo. RHP w/ size, low 90s FB and can spin the ball.— Chris Blessing (@C_Blessing) April 20, 2018
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Andrew Suarez vs TBD
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Mitch Keller
San Jose: Logan Webb vs. Ljay Newsome
Augusta: Jason Bahr vs. Kyle Muller
Jason Bahr looks to extend his run of dominance, as we have another interesting slate of starters for tonight. So get out to a ballpark! All the cool kids are going to see the Minor Lines.